How To Install And Use a Power Inverter?

The materials and methods you use to install a DC to AC power inverter will determine the success. Power inverters that use low DC input voltage need high DC input current.

In this article, we guide you on how to install and use an inverter.

How to Install a Power Inverter

You must first begin by choosing your power inverter, battery, and alternator.

Power Inverter Installation Compartment

A power inverter is an electronic device, so it is sensitive to external elements. Extreme temperature changes, humidity, and air contamination which will enter the compartment whenever the cooling fans are running can shorten the life of the inverter.

You should not house the inverter under-the-hood, on the surface above the exhaust system, or in closed places where moisture can condense.

The best place to mount your power inverter must be clean, dry, cool and have some ventilation. It is essential to note that the inverter cannot be placed where there are combustible fuel vapors or corrosive battery fumes because these are potential fire hazards.

Mounting Process for Power Inverter

Bolt your power inverter properly on a platform or bulkhead. Leave some space (at least 1 inch) around and above the cabinet to allow free flow of warm air.

The front and the side where huge DC wires enter the inverter must be visible and accessible to allow for easy wiring, testing of ground fault interrupter and monitoring of status lights.

Installation of Fuse Holder

All cables leading from a battery should be protected with appropriate fuses. Fuses and fuse holders must be placed within some 18 inches of the cell.

Extra fuse holders might be needed if the power inverter is connected to the battery of the engine rather than the alternator, or if the under-the-hood wires have been upgraded.

An auxiliary battery fuse is used to guard the cables to the inverter and the cables to the alternator. An additional fuse holder should be mounted at the battery of the engine if there’s a direct connection.

The auxiliary battery fuse holders should not be mounted in an airtight battery housing because this may cause an explosion.

Place the fuse holders in a convenient area within some 18inches of the battery and mark the fuse rating next to its holder. Don't mount the fuses into their fuse holders until you have finished all the wiring.

Installation Compartment for the Battery

The battery housing needs to be vapor tight to the inside of the car and vented directly to the outside. There is a presumption that the battery is continually producing hydrogen gas.

Being lighter than air, this gas will escape very quickly via the openings at the top of the housing. Openings at the lower part of the battery housing will allow fresh air in.

Install a number of vent-plugs at the top and bottom part of this compartment. It is crucial to remark that you shouldn't place your battery in the same air-tight place with flammable items like the power inverter or fuses which may ignite the hydrogen gas being produced.

Mounting the Battery

You can use hold-downs, trays or battery boxes to mount the battery. Secure it to a level and clean surface. Battery boxes should have vents to allow free flow of air.

Leave some space around the battery particularly above it to allow good ventilation, inspection, and maintenance.

Installing a Small-load Inverter

For small current loads of at most 150 watts, you can easily connect your inverter using a cigarette lighter adapter.

This method is suitable if you plan to use the power inverter occasionally and will not use any large equipment.

Installing a Heavy-load Inverter

For high powering loads of at least 150 watts, you need to connect the power inverter directly to the vehicle’s battery. Here, you will need a 4-gauge power cable that draws power from the positive terminal of the battery.

You need to connect a circuit breaker (usually 80amp) near the battery. If you fail to, a sudden short circuit is a fire hazard that can damage your inverter or your car.

Power rings can ease the connection of the wires to the power source. Spot the nut securing the positive battery terminal to the battery post and unscrew it

Carefully slip the power lead end over the bolt securing the terminal of the battery to the battery post. Afterward, replace the nut. You should never connect the power lead terminal to the battery post directly.

Now, let's talk about it's use:

How to use a Power Inverter?

A power inverter that runs off a battery works by transforming DC to AC power. You can use inverters to power devices like microwaves, TVs, computers or power equipment. Inverters provide power in places where normally there is no access to the standard 115-120V AC from the power grid.

All you got to do is attach the inverter to a 12V battery and plug in your device to the power inverter.

Using an inverter to produce power from a battery may be an invaluable resource for any person who is not near an AC power source. The length of run-time provided by the battery is dependent on the sort of device you’re running.

If the appliance requires a steady power supply for long, this can put a heavy load on your battery. This is why it is not wise to use your vehicle battery in such a case.

Wrapping up, that is it for today. Let me know your feedbacks if it helped or not in the comments section below.

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