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Inverter Battery Installation: What You Need To Know Before Installing

If you want to power up your electronic devices but you don’t have the required power supply, batteries can aid you in giving your devices the needed electrical charge to operate. Those who are always on the road, know the benefit of utilizing the battery and inverter connection.

Our phones, tablets, and laptops can get power fromthe 12V source via the car’s cigarette lighter. However, the main question is, how do you make sure that you are using the battery power wisely so that you don’t compromise the engine needs and the life of the battery?

The purpose of using an inverter in your car, at home or in your camping site is to convert the DC charge from the battery to AC since that is what electrical devices will use. 

The following information sheds light on how you need to use the battery power to your advantage while taking care of how you charge and discharge

How Long Will A Battery Last With An Inverter?

Now, to determine the amount of time that your battery will last after hooking it up with an inverter, you need to be aware of the amp hours on your battery’s specification. 

A good example is if you have a 90a/h rating on your battery, it will serve you for the next two hours if your load takes away 400 watts of power via the inverter.

The rule of thumb here is that the higher the amp hour rating, the longer the battery will serve with an electrical charge. 

Something else you need to remember is that a battery will give you a finite amount of charge that can be utilized by the devices hooked up on your inverter. 

If you are using an automotive battery, the total charge capacity should not go below 20%. A quick discharge on such a battery shortens its life use.

What we connect to the inverter after fixing it to the battery varies from one user to the next. If you are using it in your car to charge your phones and laptops, someone else is using it in an RV in a distant camping site. 

However, there is a formula to help both users to calculate how long will their appliances operate on the battery they are using.

If you have a 12V system:

If you have a 12​V system:

(10 x (Amp hours on the battery) / (watts from the load)) / 2 = Total run time (hrs.)

If you have a 24V system:

(20 x (Amp hours on the battery) / (watts from the load)) / 2 = Total run time (hrs.)

Tips

  • The watts from the load refer to the total amount of power that your devices require.
  • You battery comes with amp hour rating so, that is what you use in the first brackets within the main brackets in the formulas.
  • If your calculation totals to zero, it means that your battery is insufficient to supply power to the loaded components. The solution is to add a battery bank to reach the needed wattage.
  • We did not stress this point enough. If your battery is meant to start the engine (automotive types), you should not discharge it below 90%. For the deep cycle batteries, they should not go below 50%. Going below the specified percentages will shorten the battery life.
  • If your load requires more than 200W of power and you need to use it for more than one hour or so, then installing a second battery is necessary as they both charge.

How to Charge Inverter Battery Faster?

Once you know how long the battery will last with your inverter and load, the next part is about charging the battery. As you charge it, there are two factors to look at here: the current supply to your battery and the load connected to the inverter.

While the time taken to charge a battery should be put into consideration, your battery charger should load the battery at the rate of 20% of the total amp hour rating on the battery. 

How to Charge Inverter Battery Faster

Faster charging requires a high amperage setting on the charger. If you are using a 1ah to charge a 100ah battery, it will still perform,but that will take too long.

Another thing to consider is the flat rate on your battery. Take note of the minimal charge that your battery should not go beyond. We earlier talked about 90% and 50% on automotive and deep cycle batteries respectively. 

Your inverter should not drain the batteries below 30% as a standard before you think about recharging them.

If you have two batteries connected in series, with a 100ah rating on each as an example, a 20 amp charger will load the cells for 6-12 hours. 

Charging using the car is much easier since all you have to worry about is the driving and making sure that there is enough charge in the battery to start the car after using the cell with the car off. 

If you are using your vehicle, then it is advisable that you start the engine after every 30-60 minutes of use if you are drawing more than 200W from the battery.

With that, the question of how fast can you charge an inverter battery depends on whether the inverter is connected or not and how much it is drawing from the battery. 

For the cycling batteries, charging them requires lower amperage but take care of dealing with totally flat batteries. In case it happens, then, you’ll need a high amperage rating to wake the cells up. 

However, that will be diminishing their longevity of use especially if the inverter is always connected.

Back to the inverter, charging the battery depends on the KVa rating on your inverter and the load connected to it. More load means slower charging.

You can add another battery if you have many appliances to charge, but that does not mean that you will add more devices. If we take the example of a car, the inverter will serve as the engine while the battery becomes the fuel tank. 

If you get an extra fuel tank, it means that your car will go for a longer distance with the same load. So, you cannot add more load simply because your car has an extra fuel tank.

How to Make Inverter Battery Last Longer?

Batteries are made to work with inverters among other uses. To optimize their performance and extended use, maintenance is inevitable. Just like the rest of the gadgets you own, proper care ensures that you live comfortably despite not having a reliable source of power – the electrical wiring in your house for example.

Here are some maintenance tips for your inverter battery.

  • Make sure that you have proper ventilation before installing the inverter. The inverter heats up during use hence the need to have a space that allows for air circulation. That way, you will not have to top up your battery with distilled water now and then.
  • If you are out there in the wild (camping site) then using the battery on a regular basis is inevitable. However, if it is in a home setting and you don’t experience a power cut for a month or so, take a point of discharging the battery completely before recharging it. Do it once in a month.
  • Make sure your battery has the required amount of water. It should always be somewhere between the minimum and maximum limits. Another thing, never use tap or rain water to top it up and instead go for the distilled water. The previous water sources have impurities in them which are prone to the battery’s performance and long-term use.
  • At times, the terminals on the batteries get corrosion. It would be best if you always kept them free from rust. Doing so requires pouring hot water mixed with baking soda. After that, use a toothbrush to scrub off the rust and cleaning them thoroughly. Once they are clean, apply some Vaseline or petroleum jelly on the terminals. Do it on the bolts and nuts too. If the terminals are corroded, they lead to a deteriorated performance on the battery. How? By reducing the current flowing from the cell which also affects the charging rate. Eventually, it also compromises the battery life.
  • Do it on the bolts and nuts too. If the terminals are corroded, they lead to a deteriorated performance on the battery. How? By reducing the current flowing from the cell which also affects the charging rate. Eventually, it also compromises the battery life.
  • Make sure your battery is clean at all times. That implies wiping the sides and top parts using a cotton cloth to get rid of dust. The vents supplying air to your battery should also be free of dust. Its accumulation leads to hydrogen gas building up,and that is not good for overall safety.
  • Do you have children around? Make sure that the battery and inverter are out of reach.
  • Always check if your battery is in excellent condition. If it’s dead or damaged, do not use it in such a state. Instead, get a new one.

Which Types Inverter Is Best For Car Battery?

Different inverters will come with various features that make them suitable for in-car use. The primary consideration to look at is how they connect to the power source.

The 12-volt connection usually makes use of the cigarette lighter in your car. The advantages here include a simple plugin method since after connecting to the source, that’s it. 

It can be used while the vehicle is on the move,so there is no need to pull over. While plugging in, you also don’t need to stop and do it.

The only disadvantage is that you can only generate up to 500 watts of power.

Another connection to look at is the direct connection. That means the inverter is drawing power from the battery. 

The best thing about this (especially the RV users) is that you get enough power to operate heavier electrical appliances such as the fringe, coffee maker, lamps and the fan. 

It would be best if you, however, pulled over before using the battery since you are considering a direct connection to the battery.

It is also not possible to use the battery when you are on the move. If you want to load power hungry electronic devices in your vehicle while driving, that calls for an additional battery.

Overall, what you are charging is what will determine the kind of connection you want from your battery to the inverter. Always consider the information above before making a final decision.

Which Types Inverter Is Best For Car Battery?

Both automotive and deep cycle batteries can be used with car inverters, but you need to note the amount of load connected to the inverter.

Automotive Batteries

They provide sufficient power to small inverters that demand 500 watts or less. If you are using the cigarette lighter in your car to power the inverter, that will be enough to charge your phone, laptops and other devices requiring less current.

How long it serves depends on the load on your inverter. Some of the recommendations include ACDelco94RAGM and ACDB24R AGM automotive models. 

If you are using the battery and inverter while the engine is off, make sure that you start the car after every hour and leave it on for the next ten minutes. That way, you will be giving the battery time to recharge.

Deep Cycle, Marine Or RV Batteries

If you are using more than 500 watts of power from the battery, then it is advisable to install this type. If you don’t know what to look for, check out the Odyssey battery or the Optima Batteries model.

AGM batteries are also considered as deep cycle types, but they don’t permit many cycles when compared to flooded types. If the battery is not being used by the car, then you don’t have to worry about starting it.

However, if the car is using it, make sure to start the car after every 30-60 minutes.

If you have more appliances needing an electrical charge, it is advisable to purchase a separate battery instead of interfering with what the car is using.

The advantage of using deep cycle batteries with inverters include:

  • Delivers more amperes than the conventional types
  • Constant voltage supply as it discharges
  • More longevity of use
  • Can perform in hot and cold weather conditions

Conclusion

Are you looking for the best ways inverter battery installation? We hope that you have gotten the right information that will help you ponder the considerations you have to make before purchasing an inverter for your battery.

What you need to note is that the main difference on the inverters is how you connect them to the power supply. The difference between the recommended batteries for your operation and what you don’t need is the power supply required by your inverter to supply to the load.

Once you get your load requirements right, the rest will be easy to figure out.

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David Brown
 

Hey, it's David. I am a professional technician of outdoor equipment and power equipment. After completing my graduation in EEE I decide to open my own workshop to help people and make my dream true. I always Review the best product in my blog. Those reviews will definitely help my readers to choose the best product for there home.

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