Electronics > Power/Renewable Energy/EV's

12V DC to AC power inverter for use inside vehicle

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I wanted to power an air purifier (120V, 60Hz, 48W) inside the car.

I got this inverter from Home Depot:

It says 120W of "continuous power" and it worked for the few times I tested it, albeit for only a few minutes. Lately there has been a winter storm around Christmas where the temperature dropped very low, and the inverter won't power on. It did power on once when after the interior of the car warmed up, but now it won't power up at all.

I'm a novice when it comes to electronics so I wonder if the cold temperature could've ruined the inverter. If so, I'd like to know some possible reasons.

I also wonder if the "48W" air purifier drew too much power and possibly burned a fuse inside the inverter?

Lastly, the inverter states that it does not produce sinusoidal wave. I wonder if this could have anything to do with it. This last part is the most interesting to me. What is the ramification of powering an AC device via non-sinusoidal wave? For instance, what kind of products is it critical to use a sinusoidal input?

I tried searching for Amazon for another inverter and there are many brands I've never heard of. Can you guys recommend a good one for a budget of under $200? I just need to power the air purifier without it dying on me after 2 days. I've heard good things about a brand called Victron.


It sounds like it's just defective, if it works occasionally I doubt it's the fault of anything you did, it could be a bad solder joint or a bad capacitor, Ryobi is not junk but it's a budget brand that is not fantastic either.

Until very recently most inexpensive inverters produce a "modified sine wave" which is actually a square wave with some dead time. Some equipment does not work properly on these, some will even be damaged, but a lot of things work ok. These days pure sine wave inverters are cheap, I got one a few years ago and never looked back. Personally I'd just get one of those, it will work with everything and you don't have to think about it.

is this déjà vu revisited?

yeah, you shouldn't have any issues running a 48W item on a 120W inverter.
Does sound like something is wrong either the inverter or the air filter.

One thing i would check though, is the cigarette lighter plug on the inverter. And maybe the DCjack end as well.
Cigarette lighter connectors are notorious for having bad connections and so that could be the problem.
Maybe its just a bad connection and there's a voltage drop that causes the inverter to switch off.
Sometimes they get hot and the spring on the tip pin loses all its springyness or they melt a bit.
They can also contain a fuse insider the connector, so unscrew the metal bit on the tip and check the fuse looks ok, spring is good and nothing is melted.

If you do buy a new one get something with A) a known brand name   B) pure sign wave


--- Quote from: themadhippy on January 15, 2023, 12:51:37 am ---is this déjà vu revisited?

--- End quote ---

Yeah, there's a guy who asked me to post it here as I wasn't getting enough help there.


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