Inverters up to 450 Watts can plug into a cigarette lighter.
Larger ones require hard wiring to the battery.
AC Watts divided by 12 x 1.1 = DC Amps.
Source: FAQ : InverterDirect.com, DC AC Watt Power Inverter
Higher power inverters (1000-4000 watt) wires should be no longer than 6 feet
long, and preferably 3 feet or less.
Plan for a voltage drop of less than 0.5V at maximum load.
You must add the +ve cable length and the -ve length together.
General Recommendations from DonRowe.com: FAQ's
|Inverter Size |
|Amps ||Cable Gauge
|< 3 ft ||3-6 ft ||6-10 ft
|750 ||69 ||6 ||4 ||2
|1000 ||92 ||4 ||2 ||1/0
|1500 ||138 ||2 ||1 ||3/0
|2000 ||183 ||1/0 ||2/0 ||250
|2500 ||229 ||1/0 ||3/0 ||350
|3000 ||275 ||3/0 ||4/0 ||500
See: Wire Size Specs
2,000 wattHours system would require 4 x200 AmpHr (Ah) of battery capacity.
A 1,000 watt inverter:
Time @ 1,000 battery Ah
1 hr 200 Ah
2 hr 400 Ah
See Power Requirements
Advantages of Pure Sine Wave inverters
Some devices which will not work with modifided sine wave inverters:
- Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
- Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
- Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, and glitches and noise in monitors
The majority of portable appliances do not have this problem. Most portable appliances use separate transformers or chargers that plug into AC receptacles to supply a low-voltage DC or AC output to the appliance. If the appliance label states that the charger or adapter produces a low-voltage DC or AC output (30 volts or less), there should be no problem powering that charger or adapter.
- Laser printers, photocopiers, magneto-optical hard drives
- Certain laptop computers (you should check with your manufacturer)
- Some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts.
If the bulb appears to be too bright, or fails to light, do not use the lamp with an inverter.
- Certain rechargers for small nickel-cadmium batteries.
e.g. Small, battery-operated appliances such as flashlights, cordless razors and toothbrushes that can be plugged directly into an AC receptacle to recharge.
- Power tools employing "solid state" power or variable speed control
- Some battery chargers for cordless tools
DO NOT plug in battery chargers for cordless power tools if the charger carries a warning that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals.
- Some new furnaces and pellet stoves with microprocessor control
- Digital clocks with radios
- Sewing machines with speed/microprocessor control
- X-10 home automation system
- Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators
Pure sine wave converters are more expensive:
|Watts ||Sine Wave
|150 ||$25 ||$120
|300 ||35 ||160
|1000 ||80 ||480
|1500 ||120 ||550
||2000 ||280 ||
Using the Inverter:
Use deep cycle (marine or RV) batteries which will give you several hundred complete charge/discharge cycles. If you use the normal vehicle starting batteries they will wear out after about a dozen charge/discharge cycles. If you do not have a deep cycle battery, you run the engine of your vehicle when operating the power inverter.
When operating the inverter with a deep cycle battery, start the engine every 30 to 60 minutes and let it run for 10 minutes to recharge the battery.
Manufacturers - Models
Modified Sine Wave Power Inverters | The Inverter Store
Cable and Fuse Kit for Inverters Over 1800 Watts $180
2000-3000 Watt Power Inverter 2x 3" #4 AWG Cable Kit $35
Power Inverters Xpower Portable Power Xantrex Inverter - Inverters
Deep Cycle Batteries
Power Inverter Links at 4lots.com
Home Power Inverter | electroschematics.com
FAQ : InverterDirect.com, DC AC Watt Power Inverter | inverterdirect.com
Power Inverters for Solar Energy Systems, (System Overview, Batteries, )
Electrical Wire Size Specs
Power Requirements for appliances
last updated 28 Apr 2008