What does a power inverter do, and what can I use one for?
A power inverter changes DC power from a battery into conventional AC power that you can use to operate all kinds of devices ... electric lights, kitchen appliances, microwaves, power tools, TVs, radios, computers, to name just a few. You just connect the inverter to a battery, and plug your AC devices into the inverter ... and you've got portable power ... whenever and wherever you need it.
The inverter draws its power from a 12 Volt battery (preferably deep-cycle), or several batteries wired in parallel. The battery will need to be recharged as the power is drawn out of it by the inverter. The battery can be recharged by running the automobile motor, or a gas generator, solar panels, or wind. Or you can use a battery charger plugged into an AC outlet to recharge the battery.
What type of battery should I use (automotive or deep cycle)?
Small Inverters: Most automobile and marine batteries will provide an ample power supply for 30 to 60 minutes even when the engine is off. Actual time may vary depending on the age and condition of the battery, and the power demand being placed on it by the equipment being operated by the inverter. If you use the inverter while the engine is off, you should start the engine every hour and let it run for 10 minutes to recharge the battery.
500 Watt and larger Inverters: We recommend you 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, we recommend that 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.
When the inverter will be operating appliances with high continuous load ratings for extended periods, it is not advisable to power the inverter with the same battery used to power your car or truck. If the car or truck battery is utilized for an extended period, it is possible that the battery voltage may be drained to the point where the battery has insufficient reserve power to start the vehicle. In these cases, it's a good idea to have an extra deep cycle battery for the inverter (installed close to the inverter), cabled to the starting battery. It is recommended to install a battery isolator between the batteries.
General Safety Precautions and Installation Tips:
Place the inverter on a reasonably flat surface, either horizontally or vertically.
The inverter should not be installed in the engine compartment, due to possible water/oil/acid contamination, and excessive heat under the hood, as well as potential danger from gasoline fumes and the spark that an inverter can occasionally produce. It's best to run battery cables to a dry, cool inverter mounting location.
Keep the inverter dry. Do not expose it to rain or moisture. DO NOT operate the inverter if you, the inverter, the device being operated, or any other surfaces that may come in contact with any power source are wet. Water and many other liquids can conduct electricity which may lead to serious injury or death.
Avoid placing the inverter on or near heating vents, radiators or other sources of heat. Do not place the inverter in direct sunlight. Ideal air temperature is between 50° and 80° F.
In order to properly disperse heat generated while the inverter is in operation, keep it well ventilated. While in use, maintain several inches of clearance around the top and sides of the inverter.
Do not use the inverter near flammable materials. Do not place the inverter in areas such as battery compartments where fumes or gases may accumulate.
Contact Person: Miss. Fiona