What is an Inverter?
Have you ever wanted to power your favorite electrical device using your car, boat or RV? Have you ever needed power while camping or for emergency backup? If so, you must rely on a power inverter. Inverters convert DC power (in most instances from your vehicle's battery) into AC power (like you would find in a standard home electrical outlet), and can be connected to a vehicle's battery through the DC (cigarette lighter) plug or directly using supplied battery cables. Inverters have one or more outlets to plug in items such as TVs, video game consoles, laptops, electric lights, power tools, kitchen appliances, etc. The inverter draws power from the battery which ultimately must be recharged as power is drawn out. In marine applications, some inverters may include a GFCI feature which senses exterior conditions and protects users from electrical shocks or the potential risk of a fire. Inverters can also be used to convert the output from generator, wind, fuel cell, hydraulic and solar power into AC current.

Modified Sine Wave vs. Pure Sine Wave?
Inverters produce two types of output voltage: modified sine wave and pure sine wave.

Modified Sine Wave Inverters are the most popular and produce efficient stable power that can run most standard electrical equipment. Fusion Power offers both 12 VDC and 24 VDC options for multiple applications. 12 Volt inverters power anything from televisions, power tools, DVD players and laptops, while 24 Volt inverters allow for more industrial needs such as fleet vehicles, field work & construction sites, mobile offices, telecommunications, etc. Modified Sine Inverters offer portable power where you need it.


Pure Sine Wave Inverters produce the cleanest and most reliable power signal. Sensitive equipment such as medical equipment and rechargeable tools require Pure Sine Wave inverters. Pure Sine inverters produce lower distortion that reduces audible and electrical noises. Pure Sine offers power equal to or better than the power received from the outlets in your home. These inverters are longer lasting & more reliable than modified because they generally run at a lower temperature.

Choosing the Right Inverter
  1. Calculate Start-up/Peak Power Wattage for appliances to be powered: Multiply appliance Wattage X 2

    1. Ex: Coffee Maker @ 600W X 2 = 1,200W Start-up/Peak Power


  1. Add combined Start-up/Peak Power wattage for appliances to be powered simultaneously:

    1. Ex: Coffee Maker @ 600W X 2 = 1,200W Start-up/Peak Power

    2. DVD Player @ 48W X 2 = 96W Start-up/Peak Power

    3. 27” TV** @ 200W X 2 = 400W Start-up/Peak Power

    4. TOTAL = 1,696W Start-up/Peak Power

    5. Select a minimum 2,000W Pure Sine** Inverter for this scenario


  1. Select Inverter TYPE (Modified or Pure Sine):

    1. Select “Modified” for general purpose appliances like Lamps, Fans, Microwaves, Laptops

    2. Select “Pure Sine” for sensitive electronics like Tools with Rechargeable Batteries, LCD/Plasma TVs, Radios, etc

    3. Select 24V when mounting to any vehicle powered by 24V starting systems

** Pure Sine Inverter recommended for sensitive electronics.


Usage

Small inverters (400 watts or less) can be connected to a vehicle’s battery through the DC (cigarette lighter) plug. Larger inverters can be connected directly using battery type cables. Please note that cigarette lighters cannot handle large loads; if the cigarette lighter in your car is rated at 10 amps, you will only be able to use the inverter up to 120 watts, 15 amps will allow you to use it up to 180 watts and 20 amps up to 240 watts or up to 400 watts using a battery cable clip set by connecting them directly to the battery. Always check your vehicle instruction manual before using any type of power inverter.

Large inverters (500 watts or more) must be hard-wired directly to the battery. When connecting the inverter to the battery, keep the cables between your inverter and batteries as short as possible to keep the inverter signal clean. Always use the thickest gauge wire available, and check the owner's manual for guidelines. An in-line fuse or circuit breaker (typically 80 amp) installed near the battery is helpful in preventing an accidental short circuit or risk of fire. Basic installation would be as follows: Unscrew the nut that secures the positive (+) battery terminal to the battery post, slip the power lead terminal over the bolt that secures the battery terminal to the battery post and replace the nut. Do not attach the power lead terminal directly to the battery post. The ground wire should be the same gauge as the power cable and must make direct contact with bare metal of the car or the negative (-) battery terminal. These directions are general in nature and only to be used as a general idea of how this installation might proceed. Always refer to the installation instructions included with your inverter.

Cable recommendations: Inverters 1500 watts and under:

  • If battery and inverter are within 4', use #4 gauge AWG

  • If battery and inverter are within 4'-6', use #2 gauge AWG

  • If battery and inverter are more than 6', use #0 gauge wire (#0 gauge wire may require a "0 to 4 Gauge Adapter")

  • The maximum length generally recommended is 10', and shorter is better. If you need more length, it is much better to put it on the AC side (as with an extension cord from inverter to appliance) than on the DC side.


Cable recommendations: Inverters over 1500 watts:

  • These inverters will require #1/0 or larger cable, in the shortest possible length.

  • Note: Always check the owner's manual for gauge recommendations as this information is inconsistent among inverter brands and models.


Know your battery.

  • Batteries should be in good condition. Always replace old, corroded or weak batteries before connecting an inverter.

  • Standard automotive batteries are designed to provide starting power for your vehicle and are not suited to repeated long discharge and recharge cycles which would be experienced with inverter use, and will have to be replaced more often than a deep cycle battery. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be repeatedly drained and recharged and are a good choice for connecting an inverter.

  • It is beneficial to have more than one battery supplying power to an inverter.

  • The amp hour rating of a battery is the most important measure when choosing a battery for power inverter use. This indicates how many amps a battery can deliver for a specified period (usually 20 hours), showing how long it will run before needing to be connected to a battery charger.

  • To prolong battery life, you should not use more than 50% of the battery's rated capacity before recharging.

  • Batteries will discharge much quicker at lower temperatures.




APPLICATION

WATTS

PWR TOOL BATTERY PACKS

2

DIGITAL CAMERA

2

CD PLAYER

2

MP3 PLAYER

2

CELLULAR PHONE

3

14V CORDLESS DRILL CHARGER

8

CELL PHONE/CAMCORDER BATTERY

10

CAMCORDER

10

PORTABLE WORK LIGHT

25

DVD PLAYER

48

MINI STEREO SYSTEM

50

LAPTOP COMPUTER

90

COMPUTER/PRINTER/FAX

150

27” TV

200

3/8” VARIABLE SPEED DRILL

330

10-SPEED BLENDER

352

BELT SANDER

379

3/8” REVERSIBLE DRILL

385

HOUSEHOLD FOOD PROCESSOR

396

COMPUTER AND MONITOR

440

PORTABLE VACUUM

506

8-CUP COFFEE MAKER

605

1/2” HAMMER-DRILL

605

RECIPROCATING SAW

660

VACUUM CLEANER

792

1-1/8” ROTARY HAMMER

852

1/6 H.P. SUBMERSIBLE SUMP PUMP

880

COMPACT MICROWAVE OVEN

935

2-SLICE TOASTER

968

HEAVY-DUTY WORKLIGHT

990

14” CHAIN SAW

1100

42” FAN

1210

*Remember to double your wattage when choosing the right size inverter.

* Wattage shown are approximate values.







Connection Procedures
  1. Connect directly to a 12 Volt DC / Cigarette Lighter Adapter

  • Power the Inverter directly from a 12 volt DC / Cigarette Lighter Adapter in any vehicle.
  • Use the AC Power from the inverter for devices such as a phone, laptop computer, or iPod with the USB connectors or AC plug-ins.



Power Inverter’s adaptability to cigarette lighter, USB connector, and/or wattage output vary per model, see specifications per inverter model for details.



  1. Connect directly to a 12 Volt DC Battery

  • Connect the Power Inverter directly to a 12 volt DC battery using either the aligator clips or ring connectors.
  • Use the AC Power from the inverter for devices such as power tools and appliances with the USB connectors or AC plug-ins.


Power Inverter’s adaptability to alligator clips, USB connector, and/or wattage output vary per model, see specifications per inverter model for details.


How Long Will It Run?
Run time will depend on the size (capacity) of your battery or the amount of batteries supplied. The following formulas may be helpful in determining how long your device(s) will run (in hours):

Formula 3: Total Battery Amps / 12 = x

Formula 4: Total Amps on Devices + .5 Amps = x

The answer from Formula 4 / The answer from Formula 3 = Runtime in hours

Inverter safety tips and general information.
  • Power inverters work best with a fully charged battery in good condition. A weak battery will be drained easily if demands are too high. Always check your battery's condition before using an inverter to prevent becoming stranded.

  • If the power inverter is being used while the vehicle is running as in the case of a road trip, there should be no problem with the extra draw, assuming the battery and alternator are in good condition.

  • Always use a power inverter rated 10-20% higher than the total wattage of the devices you'd like to use; always account for surge wattage before using inverter. Don't overload the outlets.

  • When using the inverter, always place inverter on a flat level surface free of clutter or debris.

  • Place the inverter in a well-ventilated area when in use, as all inverters generate some amount of heat. An internal fan may be used to cool your inverter. While in use, maintain several inches of clearance around the top and sides of the inverter.

  • Never use the inverter near flammable materials.

  • Never leave an inverter connected to a line where other power (utility, household etc.) may feed into inverter.

  • When using your power inverter continuously inside a vehicle that is not running, the engine should be started at least once an hour for 10-15 minutes to keep the battery from discharging. Never start a vehicle in an enclosed garage due to risk of carbon monoxide (a colorless, odorless gas) poisoning.

  • Never install inverter in the engine compartment. Cables and inverter should stay cool, dry and untangled.

  • Never place the inverter on or near heating vents, radiators or other sources of heat, including operation in direct sunlight or any flammable materials. Ideal air temperature is between 50° and 80° F.

  • Do not expose unit to rain or moisture. DO NOT operate if you, the inverter, the battery source or item being powered is wet. This can cause electric shock, serious injury or even death.

  • Make sure your vehicle's wiring harness can handle the current before plugging in an inverter to your cigarette lighter. For safer use, you may need to hard wire the inverter directly to the battery.

  • Check the owner's manual for the proper wire size for battery cables when connecting the inverter to the battery. It is best to use copper wire over aluminum, which can resist the electrical current flow.

  • Always read, become familiar with, and save the instruction manual for proper use and safety precautions. Working with car batteries can be dangerous and can result in serious injury, and improper use of a power inverter can lead to electrocution or battery failure.