Car Power Inverter
Car power inverters are car accessories that allow normal electronic applications to run in through a car’s native power source. Most of these run through the car’s normal power adapter (also called the cigarette lighter), but in some cases, they can also be attached directly to the car’s battery for more extreme applications. With a power inverter, a car can power any normal home appliance, from a cell phone charger to a TV or even a microwave. As long as your car and the adapter are capable of producing enough power, it can run anything. Even if you’re only running small applications, buying a power inverter will almost certainly save money in the long term as opposed to buying electric cords made specifically for the car’s power outlet.
The reason cars cannot simply carry an AC (alternate current) electrical outlet, like you’d see in a building, is because car batteries don’t produce that kind of energy. Even though the alternator is technically what generates the electrical power in the battery, it’s the battery that we ultimately get the power from when we get electrical power from the car. The alternator simply keeps charging the battery, which usually keeps your battery from losing its charge.
The car battery sends out DC (direct current) electrical power, which is not compatible with normal electrical applications, which are wired to receive AC power. The power inverter converts the car’s native DC power to AC power, which allows normal electrical applications to run smoothly. As said, this allows people to take any normal household application, and run it through the car, although there are some restrictions, depending on the power supply of both the car and the inverter. If you run applications that consume too much power, you can damage your inverter or battery, or even both.
If you’re considering buying a car power inverter, it’s worth noting that they are fairly inexpensive. You can find a power inverter for less than $30. By contrast, car power adapters usually cost between $10 and $20, so a smaller, less powerful one can pay for itself with two appliances. They’re great for families who take a lot of long trips because you can run things like TV’s and video game systems while driving (they shouldn’t be used when the car is off). For something like that, you might need a more medium-range inverter, but even those shouldn’t cost more than about $50.
The difference in cost for power inverters is caused by the amount of wattage that they can transmit. The least expensive power inverters can transmit about 300 watts, while the most expensive can cost more than $400, and can transmit more than 3,000 watts of power. The inverters on the higher end are usually used to run multiple power-draining applications, like speakers, microwaves, refrigerators, etc. You see this more with larger vehicles, but sometimes cars run these bigger applications as well. In order to do this, a regular car probably won’t have enough power to run all of these applications.
In order to get enough power, you’ll probably have to buy a new high performance alternator, which will simply produce more power on a consistent basis. If the alternator is not producing enough power, two things will happen: First, the car’s battery power will begin to get depleted. This will both prevent the car from starting the next time use it and damage the battery, as car batteries are not meant to use more than about 30% of their power. The other effect will be that the car’s other appliances will begin to suffer. If you’re driving at night, you’ll notice the lights dimming. Because the engine also uses some power from the alternator, this can do long-term damage to your car, so you’ll want to make sure your car can put out the power you’re demanding of it. In a sedan, as long as you stay at or below 500 watts, you’ll probably be fine.