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Power Inverter

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  • Power Inverter

    I occasionally need to use a small air compressor (1.5 h.p, 12 amp, 3 gallon) and would like to install a inverter in my Chevy Express van to run it.
    If my calculations are correct, that's just under 1500 watts.

    Does anyone have any experience and/or recommendations with these little beasts?
    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: Power Inverter

    1500 watts is correct for the tool. But inverters have overload protection that take them down fast if the load is to close to the maximum output. You will probably want a 3000 watt unit if youm want to be happy.

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    • #3
      Re: Power Inverter

      not even sure if the 3000 watt will start that air compressor when under load.

      i have a 2000 watt inverter that's great for my k-60, but bogs down on my timberwolf. i cheat and run the engine to bring up the supply voltage.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Power Inverter

        Motors of different kinds have different start up loads. Pump motors for instance take between 3 to 5 times the start up current that the motor runs at. So if your compressor uses 12 amps to run, it could take a minimum of 36 amps to start. Inverters were never known for their start up current. Some generators are better at this than others too. Before taking the plunge, borrowing somebody's might be a good test.

        I also tried to run something with my 2200 watt inverter. I can't remember what it was now. It seemed like it was an AC brush type motor and it wouldn't even buzz. It was as if it wasn't plugged in.
        Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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        • #5
          Re: Power Inverter

          Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
          I occasionally need to use a small air compressor (1.5 h.p, 12 amp, 3 gallon) and would like to install a inverter in my Chevy Express van to run it.
          If my calculations are correct, that's just under 1500 watts.

          Does anyone have any experience and/or recommendations with these little beasts?
          If I understand your question correctly, you are thinking about an inverter where you want to draw enough current off the 12 volt system of your chevy van to run a 12 amp draw at 120 volts compressor. Forget it. There is no way for the alternator or 12 volt system in your van to supply enough current for an inverter to run a 12 amp/ 120 volt load. Especially as others have stated in this thread, the startup loads are much greater than the 12 amp run load.
          You could hook up a large electric AC charging motor to your van and have it driven off a pully or PTO or something from your van motor.
          The answer to your problem is a portable generator sized correctly to meet the power requirements of your compressor. Good luck......Ray

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Power Inverter

            I asked about the 110 15 amp some trucks have. I asked this on a truck web forum. Here are a couple posts.


            If you are planning on useing the inverter for longer than 10-20 minutes for more than 100 watts your truck batteries will take a beating. Your trucks alternator is not designed to provide large amounts of current for an extended time. Continuosly recharging nearly dead batteries will burn up the windings or the diodes. If I run my truck batteries dead I place them on a charger to recoup the batteries unless it means I'm stranded. The little suitcase Honda generators are nice. I would get the 2000 watt so if needed you can power your refrigerator during a power outage. Still have my original alt.
            __________________
            Amps X Volts = Watts, 110 Volts X 15 Amps = 1650 Watts / 12 Volts = 137.5 Amps DC

            You will fry your electrical system, alternator, and your battery

            Your 12 volt power outlet is good for 20 amps

            12 volts x 20 amps = 240 watts / 110 volts = 2.18 amps __________________

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            • #7
              Re: Power Inverter

              Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
              The answer to your problem is a portable generator sized correctly to meet the power requirements of your compressor. Good luck......Ray
              Very good answer, Ray

              The starting current (especially) and running current of his air compressor is far too great for the electrical system in a pickup or van to handle. A portable engine-generator is the only way to go without huge $$$ for modifications needed to the pickup or van.

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