I'm looking at buying a power inverter for my vehicle that will
convert 12v to 110v. I've seen several with various price ranges &
power ratings. The tools I want to run are a drill, jigsaw, electric
chainsaw & maybe a circular saw. The amp rating on the drill & jigsaw
are low, the chainsaw says 8 amps & circular saw says 10 amp. In
theory a 1200 watt inverter (peak watts 2400) should be big enough
(120v X 10amp = 1200watts)
Does anyone have any experience with this?
Any recommendations are welcome.
Don't even think about it.
1. Inverters are expensive. A decent quality of inverter > 300W is
2. Inverters don't like inductive loads. This either puts the inverter
price up, or kills the output stage.
3. Some devices don't like the output of cheap inverters. Inductive
motors may overheat if fed with harmonic-rich square-waves.
If you're in the >500W region, look at generating 240V / 110V
directly. Small petrol generators are cheap, especially larger S/H
generators of 1.5kW - 2.5kW.
Other technologies are engine-driven generators - many off-roaders are
using rebuilt car alternators to produce 110V, and the details are out
on the web.
You might even find a suitable rotary inverter (motor generator set),
probably mil-surplus. 400Hz kit can still be useful here, depending
on your motor.
I have a 5000 watt unit on my company truck. The inverter is expensive
(over $2000). Also with units this large the vehicle's alternator can't
keep up the the unit's output when running high amperage drawing
equipment. To overcome this the truck also has five marine type 12 volt
batteries (wired in parallel without isolators) connected to the
In my company's case the inverter was chosen due to space requirements.
In my opinion, if space is not an issue, a generator would be a better
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
For serious electric tools you will need MORE than the nameplate
rating. An electric motor draws maximum amps at stall, which is more
like starting amps than running amps.
A generator under the hood driven by the engine will work if you have
space for it. I have a 2kw gasoline generator which runs most loads
and only weighs 100#. It does not start motors like a 10" chop saw as
quickly as house power.
When there is serious construction to perform, the 8kw 16hp generator
goes in the truck bed. With 4 circuits at 15 amps each, there is
enough power, but it weighs 500# and drinks 1 gallon per hour of
As posted previously, all of these are inductive loads.
Recommendation: 3500-4000 watt gasoline generator with a large tank
and a large muffler.
On Mon, 31 May 2004 02:02:31 -0400, Frankcw
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