What do I need to Know 'Power Inverters' for car

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  • What do I need to Know 'Power Inverters' for car
  • Royston
    Member

    Looking to purchase a ‘power inverter’ for use from the car when away camping so I can recharge my light batteries, inflate air mattress etc.

    Something like this

    http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/online-store/products/SCA-Power-Inverter-300W.aspx?pid=156467#Cross

    or this

    http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/online-store/products/SCA-Power-Inverter-150W.aspx?pid=156466#Cross

    Higher wattage = higher price and seem to have ‘jump’ style clamp leads for connection to battery rather than cigarette style jack.

    What do I need to know as I don’t want to damage the car battery/electricals or stuff I’m powering/charging

    Thanks in advance

    giant_scum
    Member

    Unless you have your engine running power inverters will drain the battery in my experience.
    I have only used the ones that plug into the cigarette lighter but know of people who have the larger (up to 1000w) hooked direct to the battery.

    yetidave
    Member

    If you charge your solar storm light in the back of the car whilst driving, be prepared for something to explode in the boot. 😳

    cbike
    Member

    Charge a leisure battery while under way and use that or risk car not starting.

    Do you need to go to 240 volts back to 12 anyway. Charge AA’s with 12 volt battery chargers?

    Use 12 volt LED and a wee motorcycle battery? You’ll not need to charge that at all for ages.

    Premier Icon phiiiiil
    Subscriber

    I had a 150W inverter; assuming they’re still the same mine didn’t have a fan, the 300W one did and was fairly noisy.

    I used to use mine to recharge bike light batteries, but found myself with a flat battery trying to leave Mayhem one year – they will cut out to prevent damage to the battery, but it’ll be well into can’t-start-the-car territory by then!

    I don’t have mine any more; a spare light battery was easier to carry round and they last longer these days, and everything else I just got a 12v adapter for (laptop, inflator etc.).

    mattsccm
    Member

    Buy the biggest capacity you can afford. Mine gets used with the laptop etc . Even a kettle. Must say that mine is wired to a big second battery with a cutout to stop the main one draining

    Junkyard
    Member

    Pointless you are taking 12 volts up to 240 to take it back down to 12 volts or less. Doing this you are wasting an awful lot of power and it makes no sense to do it in terms of power use or cost.
    Inverters are huge drains and terribly inefficient, especially the cheaper ones.
    I would never risk it on my only battery tbh – might do if parked at the top of a hill 😉
    10 volt cut off LOL you wont even make your starte click at that voltage and 12.4 is considered 50% charged and that low a cycle will wreck a car [ starter/non traction] battery in no time.

    If you must have one then the advice above about the biggest [ 300 w will be fine for your needs] and using a second battery with one way circuitry is the solution but I would not even dream of doing this

    FWIW I lived off 12 volts for about 10 years and can think of no reason to do as you suggest
    Other solutions exist that are cheaper, more efficient and let you start the vehicle.
    What about ?
    one of these and charge from that?
    http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/online-store/batteries-and-electrical/starting-power/jumpstarters.aspx?id=40701

    TBH I think i would just take a spare battery but you need to know what you are doing re transport and use a socket from here to the battery

    http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/online-store/batteries-and-electrical/electrical-accessories/12/-24v-accessories.aspx?id=40401

    then use a 12 volt power supply from there with selectable voltage and multi polarity ended tips thingy

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-CAR-POWER-ADAPTOR-SUPPLYCONVERTER-CHARGER-2A-2-AMP-3-4-5-6-7-5-9-12-VOLT-/120906906852?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Other&hash=item1c269cfce4
    a Laptop may be an issue depending on voltage though.

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