Power Supplies and Inverters in 12 Volt Applications

Power Supplies and Power M30S+ Inverters are something you will be involved with if you do a lot of road travel or even one good summer vacation. Power, of course is the key to everything on the road. There are many 12 Volt appliances and accessories available both online and off.

Power Supplies are units that plug into a 110 ac outlet and deliver 12 Volt dc to a set of positive and negative plugs or a cigarette lighter socket, usually located on the front of the unit. Some deliver only a few amps and the bigger units deliver 35 and more. Amps are only important in as far as having enough. Your unit will only draw what it needs, even if the power supply is rated very high and the device only requires low amps.

Don’t even think about that working the other way around. Too small an amp rating attempting to power a higher rated unit will overheat the power supply and damage it. Most quality power supplies have overload protection and fuses to prevent damage and even fire related to such a situation.
Best thing to do is be aware of the required draw of devices you intend to power and the capacity of the power supply unit you have in service. Best match is where the power supply has about 10% larger amp rating than the sum of all the devices it is required to power.

Power Inverters are the other side of the coin, they attach to a battery, 12 Volt for our purposes, and deliver power as 110 ac. Worth mentioning that most units include the convenience of a 12 Volt cigarette lighter type socket or two. Two pieces of information should be brought to bear before you even get started down the inverter road.

The larger the battery the better the result. Often in larger vehicles or dedicated applications you will find multiple batteries connected in parallel or series parallel configuration. This can provide good power for longer periods of time. Since power inverter applications often rely on battery power that is not being replenished as it is being used, you will discharge the battery.

The first; there is a device commonly referred to as a “battery guard”. The function of the battery guard is to keep track of how discharged the battery power is becoming and shut down the power inverter service while there is still enough battery power to start the engine.

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