Car batteries and inverters both are hazardous electrical elements yet very handy in off-the-grid applications or in emergencies. Suppose you have a medical emergency or need to charge your laptop or your coffee pot on the road. You need a reliable power source. So…
What will you do when there is no power source?
This is exactly the situation that demands an inverter. An inverter takes the DC power and converts it into AC that is usable by a wide range of gadgets and appliances. Good inverters are very handy so try to keep one in your car.
I’ve recommended many friends from my outdoor camping group to keep a good inverter in their car, RV, or whatever it is they are driving. So, I know which one is the ideal car power inverter to buy. Head over to the link and check out the product yourself.
So, now you have a chance to plug in your car battery with an inverter to power up your hardware. And while we all know that a battery is not an infinite power source, you might be wondering –
How Long Will A Car Battery Power an Inverter
To start with, the answer depends on two parameters, which are –
1. The total power capacity of the battery
2. Amount of current consumed by the external appliance
Standard car batteries have a capacity of 60Ah and 12 Volts which means, the power capacity is roughly 720 Watt-hour. As for time, it roughly translates into 10 to 20 hours of uninterrupted power supply. This is a general assumption, but here’s the math
100Ah Battery x 12V = 1200 Wh Power
1200Wh / 65W = 10hrs (approximately)
If the battery is 200Ah, then it should run for 20hrs and so on. So, if you know the power consumption of your hardware, then it’s easy to figure out how long the battery can keep supplying the required power.
Why Do You Need an Inverter to Extract Power from A Car Battery
Suppose you want to run a small refrigerator on a car battery that consumes about 100W. And with intermittent running, it roughly consumes 50Wh. You might even want to charge your phone or your laptop. But, it’s not possible to connect your devices directly with the car battery.
Also read about: Everything You need to know about Wet Rooms
As you might know, the car battery runs on Direct Current (DC), which needs to be converted into Alternating Current (AC). The electric power becomes usable only after it is converted. And to do that, you need a good rectifier. Check my recommended car power inverter to buy before even looking elsewhere.
As for the fridge, let’s do some calculations for the power consumption. You’ll need an inverter to convert the 12V DC power into 120V AC power to supply it in your fridge. Take this reading and multiply it with the voltage, and you will get the Watt-hour reading. In this case, 12V x 50Ah = 600Wh. And considering the 85% efficiency of the average rectifier, you can run the fridge for 12 hours.
There are two types of inverters depending on the usage –
Hard cable inverters
Choosing an inverter at random never helps. So, it brings us to the next question.
What Kind of Inverter Do You Need
The first thing you need to know before buying an inverter is your hardware's wattage requirement to answer that question. For example – you want to light a lamp that operates at 120 Volts at 5 Amps. So, 120V x 0.5A = 60W is the wattage requirement of your appliance.
But here’s the caveat. Choosing an inverter that supplies the same amount of wattage as your appliance is only going to wear down your inverter sooner. So, experts suggest that you should buy an inverter keeping a 20% buffer than your consumption level. So, if it’s a matter of 100W, you should buy an inverter of 100W + 20% = 120W.
What Kind of Appliances Can You Use with Inverters
You can use an inverter to power anything that runs on AC power. It can be a blender, an iron, a fan, a cooktop, or even a crane. You can even use it to run medical equipment like – a CPAP machine or some sensitive electronic equipment like – a printer, fax machine, computer that nicely fits into this category.
While we know that knowledge is power, but in this case, the real power is the car battery and an inverter that saves us during a dire need of backup power. Simply carrying an inverter in your car can save you from handicapped situations. Check this awesome product, and you can thank me later when it really comes in handy.