A new single phase half-bridge cascaded multilevel inverter based series active power filter (SAPF) is proposed. The main parts of the inverter are presented in detail. With the proposed inverter topology, any compensation voltage reference can be easily obtained. Therefore, the inverter acts as a harmonic source when the reference is a non-sinusoidal signal. A 31-level inverter based SAPF with the proposed topology, is manufactured and the voltage harmonics of the load connected to the point of common coupling (PCC) are compensated. There is no need for a parallel passive filter (PPF) since the main purpose of the paper is to represent the compensation capability of the SAPF without a PPF. It is aimed to compensate the voltage harmonics of the load fed by a non-sinusoidal supply using the proposed inverter. The validity of the proposed inverter based SAPF is verified by simulation as well as experimental study. The system efficiency is also measured in this study. Both simulation and experimental results show that the proposed multilevel inverter is suitable for SAPF applications.