The batteries in cars are strong.

They must be, after all, in order to maintain the electrical energy that powers your car’s lights, air conditioner, and other gadgets.

However, we use our automobile batteries for more than simply propulsion.

You’ve utilized the vehicle to provide that electricity if you’ve ever hooked your cell phone into the cigarette lighter.

You’re not the only one who has ever pondered how to connect a laptop, video game system, or even a tiny refrigerator.

Did you realize that you could use the battery in your car to power these things?

However, the procedure is more involved than just putting anything into the lighter and hoping for the best.

You need a specific equipment to do that conversion since the electrical current needed by these products and the electrical current supplied by the battery vary.

This may be achieved with the use of that device, a power inverter.

In order to keep your gadgets or equipment switched on and operational, let’s examine how power inverters function, why you need one, and how to connect them securely.

A Power Inverter Is What?

Direct current (DC) is converted to alternating current (AC) using a power inverter (AC).

While many domestic gadgets utilize AC, the battery in your automobile uses DC to power your electrical components.

By converting the electricity from your car into usable current, the power inverter enables you to run various items on it.

Power inverters are often used for “off-grid” living in addition to drawing power from automobile batteries; bigger power inverters are connected to banks of batteries and solar grids to power essential equipment.

What Makes A Power Inverter Necessary?

Your car’s battery powers a single circuit in a single direction.

Because of this, it is known as “direct current.” Alternating current, on the other hand, offers greater power than DC typically does.

A power inverter is necessary if you want to use gadgets like DVD players, gaming consoles, laptop computers, or other equipment or appliances in your car, truck, or recreational vehicle.

How Do I Choose A Power Inverter?

There are many sizes of power inverters.

Models with 1,000, 3,000, and 5,000 watts are typical variations.

The versatility provided by the 3,000 watt option draws a lot of consumers.

You may use this inverter to power typical small gadgets.

More watts can be necessary for greater requirements.

There are power converters that can fit into a cigarette lighter.

Devices that are large enough to need their own area in the trunk until they are required may also be found.

Pure sine wave and modified sine wave power inverters are also available.

Better current fidelity may be provided by pure sine waves than by modified ones, although often at a higher cost.

Modified sine wave inverters have a lower efficiency and are often more economical, however they may not be able to power certain appliances, including TVs.

What Is A Power Inverter Used For?

Using a power inverter looks vary depending on the type you have and what you want to use it for.

You may possibly connect the power inverter into your car’s cigarette lighter for electrical loads up to 200 watts.

These types of gadgets are often fueled by:

  • Notebook computers
  • Micro-power tools
  • Many compact appliances
  • 13-inch televisions

The power inverter may need to be linked directly to your battery if you require more power or if you need it for many things at once.

To guarantee safe operation, the inverter should be attached directly to the battery if you wish to power a load that consumes more than 200 watts.

Car Batteries Are Drained By Power Inverters?

The quick response is yes.

Of course, the lengthy response is trickier.

It’s feasible to use a 400W power inverter without starting the vehicle for around an hour before the battery is completely exhausted, if the battery is fully charged and in excellent condition.

You need to perform a little arithmetic to see how long the battery can endure with any certain power inverter:

To determine how many amps the inverter consumes, divide the wattage being utilized (400W) by the voltage of your battery (12V).

33.33 amps is equal to 400 watts divided by 12 volts.

However, inverters are only capable of converting electricity at an efficiency of around 90%.

In reality, the inverter uses 37 amps.

The reserve capacity of a typical automobile battery is 80 minutes (80 minutes at 25 amps).

With the 400W inverter using 37 amps, the battery will be entirely discharged in about 54 minutes: 54 minutes are equal to ((80 minutes x 25 amps)/37 amps.)

Because of this, it’s a good idea to start the car’s engine every 30 minutes while utilizing a power inverter to assist preserve battery charge.

What Specifications Must My Inverter Have?

What your inverter needs will depend on how you want to use it, but several common characteristics might make utilizing your devices easier.

There are many power inverter types featuring multiple 120V AC home outlets, which come in handy for simultaneously powering several gadgets.

A USB port is another beneficial component of power inverters.

This enables you to use the power inverter to charge your smartphone or other gadgets.

Look for a power converter that enables you to quickly connect or attach to your car’s batteries if you have heavy-duty requirements, such as using numerous pieces of equipment or large power tools.

High-speed cooling fans, thermal protection, and surge protection are common safety features to look for when choosing a power converter.

Upgrades to the quality of life, such a low battery alert or an LED indication, may also help you protect your battery and your gadgets.

What Kind Of Power Inverter Is That?

Finding a power converter is the next step if you’ve determined that utilizing your car’s battery to power electronics, tools, and other appliances on your next camping trip or excursion sounds handy.

We can assist, whether you’re a gamer who wants to be able to play from the backseat or a contractor who needs a power inverter to give your equipment some much-needed energy on an off-grid construction site.

Schumacher Electric fortunately provides a broad array of power converting devices to match your demands.

Today, choose the power converter product that is best for your budget.

How To Use A Power Inverter With A Car Battery? Videos Suggestions From Youtube

Connecting a Power Inverter to a Car Battery – Survivalist Prepper
3000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter hook up to Car battery – 12v DC to 220v AC Converter CNSWIPOWER – Mr Electron
How to Install Power Inverter in Your Car (How It Works) – Scotty Kilmer
How to Connect a Battery, 12 Volt Inverter, and Charger – Dan Usher

Updated on

Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.