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Author Topic: Using power inverter to charge batteries  (Read 4571 times)

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Offline flphish

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Using power inverter to charge batteries
« on: April 12, 2010, 04:42:30 PM »
Has anyone ever used a power inverter in their car (ala cigarette lighter) to charge batteries? I am going to need to charge a couple of sets of RC battery packs this weekend using a 7.5 hour charger via the inverter. Was wondering if anyone has done so before and had any issues with starting their car?

Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: Using power inverter to charge batteries
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 10:20:44 PM »
It varies.  If you have a brand new large battery, you stand a good chance.  If you have an 8 year old battery in your car, chances are less.

Below is my experience.  If you are going to do this for one session of 7.5 hours, I think you stand a decent chance of starting the car afterward (depending on the car and battery).  Bring jumper cables and park facing out for good measure.

I brought a spare car battery to a festival with an inverter and charger thinking I could charge DVD player batteries out of the trunk all weekend.  I got 1 DVD battery charged and was part way through a second when the inverter kicked out because the car battery was too dead.  That was a 300 watt inverter with a fan to keep itself cool, and it ate the battery.

At another festival we ran off the car battery and charged about 6 DVD player batteries over the course of 2 days, before the car battery died.  That was a smaller, more efficient inverter.  We did have to get a jump to get the car going again.

Going from  DC > AC > DC again is just inefficient.  Now I have an adapter than will charge DVD player batteries from 12V, with a DC-DC converter, which is more efficient.  I'm expecting better life with that.

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Offline taperj

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Re: Using power inverter to charge batteries
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2010, 02:52:28 PM »
At summercamp last year I lugged a car jump starter(car battery with cigarette lighter) which I plugged into an inverter and ran my laptop off of. I returned to my vehicle for a charge each night and it did ok for a couple days until it finally had depleted enough that it was going to take a full day on some real electricity to get it back to full. Definitely ineffficient but in a pinch it pulled through, I got a lot more music taped than I would have otherwise.

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