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Thread: Power Inverter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    588

    Power Inverter

    I'm automotively-challenged in the extreme. I'm considering permanently installing a power inverter in the van. Do I/How do I run wires to the battery for this? Am I drilling a hole in the firewall, or what?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
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    Large ones would go to the battery. There are smaller ones in the 250 watt range and smaller that will plug into the power port and are capable of charging tools, cell phones etc. Depending on the load, make sure you don't wind up with a dead battery....:confused:
    Master Apprentice
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will buy a boat and drink beer all day.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    As was said large ones. I would put a fuse on the positive right off the battery as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    I'm getting one of the larger ones, a 1250W.

  5. #5
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    bay area, ca
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire
    As was said large ones. I would put a fuse on the positive right off the battery as well.

    This is definately the first thing you want to do. The closer to the battery - the better. A dead short will cause a lot of damage.

    ~Matt
    I would rather beg for forgiveness then beg for permission.

  6. #6
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    May 2005
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    Here's a hint: with a 100% efficiency, the inverter requires 10a for every amp used at 120v.

    1200w at 120v = 10a. 1200w at 12v = 100a.

    'nuff said?
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine
    Here's a hint: with a 100% efficiency, the inverter requires 10a for every amp used at 120v.

    1200w at 120v = 10a. 1200w at 12v = 100a.

    'nuff said?

    He is saying your alternator has to be upgraded if you want to run that - I have a 200 amp alternator in my suburban. it was about $400
    Heres some links:

    Powermaster - they make the alternators:
    http://www.powermastermotorsports.com

    Summit Racing - where I bought my alternator:
    http://www.summitracing.com/

    ~Matt
    I would rather beg for forgiveness then beg for permission.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky555
    I'm automotively-challenged in the extreme. I'm considering permanently installing a power inverter in the van. Do I/How do I run wires to the battery for this? Am I drilling a hole in the firewall, or what?
    Just make sure your alternator will handle the extra load. You can easily fry a stock alternator putting in a big inverter. You'll also need to have the engine idling if you're going to be using it very long, else you won't have the juice to start the van. I run a dual battery setup, with a battery isolator, and an upgraded alternator. The inverter runs off one battery only, but the alternator will charge both batteries. (that's what the battery isolator does for you).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdshunk
    Just make sure your alternator will handle the extra load. You can easily fry a stock alternator putting in a big inverter. You'll also need to have the engine idling if you're going to be using it very long, else you won't have the juice to start the van. I run a dual battery setup, with a battery isolator, and an upgraded alternator. The inverter runs off one battery only, but the alternator will charge both batteries. (that's what the battery isolator does for you).

    Yeah, I forgot to add the dual battery setup with the isolator. I have that for both of my trucks - a 200A battery isolator is somewhere between 100 and 200 dollars if I remember right. You can get the isolator at the site I mentioned above.

    ~Matt
    I would rather beg for forgiveness then beg for permission.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky555
    I'm automotively-challenged in the extreme. I'm considering permanently installing a power inverter in the van. Do I/How do I run wires to the battery for this? Am I drilling a hole in the firewall, or what?

    More info would be: What do you want to use it for? I know people that have installed the large inventers and actually went through the effort of a larger alternator and a separate isolated battery. Me, I have a 400w installed under the seat for battery chargers and similar uses. I ran a #10 from battery through truck wheel well and under step trim to the inverter. Works great and have left on for days with no affect on battery.
    Thom

    There is no greater sign of wealth than the ability to throw away food.

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