A battery-powered inverter converts the 12 volt DC voltage from a battery into conventional 120 volt AC power that can be used to operate appliances, lights and other electrical devices. It’s a great way to take advantage of the power stored in a battery when away from a mains supply, or when you’re running a generator.
The first step in connecting an inverter to a battery is determining the device’s power requirements, such as Watts (power) or Amps (current). Most appliances have a label that can be used to determine their maximum output. Then, you can use that information to determine the size of inverter you need.
Inverter and Battery Wiring
The distance between the inverter and battery must be minimal to maximize efficiency. It is also recommended to use a wire gauge that limits the voltage drop to less than 2% when carrying the maximum input current. This will help to avoid frequent low-input voltage warnings and shut downs.
For inverter-to-battery wiring, it is advisable to use heavy, high quality wire that has a good copper content and is rated to carry a minimum of 166.6 Amps. This will provide the utmost safety against short circuits and blown fuses which can damage your system and possibly cause fires and other hazards.
To ensure that the inverter and battery are connected correctly, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific inverter and batteries you are using. This will help to reduce errors, prevent fires and minimize the cost of installation.
If your inverter and battery are being used together, a fuse or circuit breaker should be added to the positive cable between the inverter and battery. This will protect your inverter and battery from overcurrent by blowing when it senses a potential short circuit.
In addition to the fuse or circuit breaker, it is also possible to use a relay as an overcurrent protection device. Depending on the model and manufacturer, these may be sold separately or integrated into the unit. A relay, which consists of a switch and a fuse or circuit breaker, can be placed between the inverter and battery, or between the inverter and other devices. It can be set to a time delay, such as one millisecond, to prevent a short circuit from occurring, which can damage the inverter or battery. It can also be programmed to automatically shut down or reset when the inverter senses a low-input voltage or if the battery voltage drops below a preset level.