Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

12v to power household appliances?

  1. Mar 19, 2008 #1
    12v to power household appliances??

    How can I use a 12v battery to power household appliances such as computers/TV ect....
    Do I need some type of converter? I was told that a 12v battery wont power household appliances because they are designed to run off of the 100v house circuit. Where should I start?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF, Jagman.
    You need an inverter, not a converter. Most automotive supply places can set you up with one. They're a bit pricey, but not too bad if you really need one. Only problem is, the biggest one that Canadian Tire sells is 400 watts. It costs $60. I don't know about other suppliers. RV dealers might have something bigger.
  4. Mar 20, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    In addition to what Danger said.
    Most electronic equipment is not real happy with plain inverters.
    You are going to want a Sine Wave or Modified Sine Wave inverter.
    The average computer or TV might run 30 minutes to an hour on a large deep cycle battery like they sell for boats in the auto supply store.
    The "Deep Cycle" part is important if you want the battery to last a while.
    You can get inverters up to 2000 Watts, but to run one for any length of time is going to be a major investment in batteries.
  5. Mar 20, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    Check these people out, i have bought 1- 5000Watt, and 2- 2500Watt, inverters from them and have been pleased with all units. At the time, they came with cables(4 on the 5K) and were, sales tax and freight free. (i have had no problems with any units)
    Before finding this source, i bought a Vector 3000Watt, and a couple of smaller units, they required sales tax and cables
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook