Inverter Vs Converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2016, 08:33 PM   #1
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Inverter Vs Converter

I was told by some one I know that: Using a power inverter was the best use of the power in my trailer 's battery to run a TV/dvd player (Battery to power inverter to 110 TV/dvd player) was a better more efficient (longer lasting)use of the power in my trailer's battery VS ( Battery to 12volt TV/dvd player) what do you think & why. Thank you. Jim W.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:46 PM   #2
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A TV/DVD combo, it is by far more convenient and efficient to run off 12VDC. Of course, this requires a 12 volt TV/DVD system.

Using an inverter to change 12VDC to 120VAC has a certain amount of "electrical overhead." You will use some battery power in just the conversion process. And your components will have to be 120 volt.

On the other hand, a 12 volt TV will be much more expensive than a 120 volt TV.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:34 AM   #3
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Ditto what Steve said.

Many/most/some TVs (LED/LCD or LCD) have a "brick" in the power line, which in the TV I have in the den, converts 110vAC to 12vDC. So you would have 12 vDC going into the inverter to convert it to 110vAC so the brick can convert it back to 12vDC and into the TV.

Each conversion is only on the order of 80-90% efficient. So if you plug the TV into a 110v outlet you would have one conversion (brick). Using the inverter you would have three conversions (converter, inverter,brick). If you plugged the TV directly into the 12vDC system you would have one conversion (the converter converting 110vAC into 12vDC to recharge the battery and/or supplying the 12vDC to the fuse panel.

So in terms of total watts used, the least efficient method is running the TV off an inverter.

Assume your TV requires 100 watts and all conversions are 90% efficient:

TV needs 100w
Brick has to use 111w to get 100w.
The inverter has to use 123w to get 111w.
The converter has to use 137w to get 123w.

Best case scenario would be to wire a 12DC receptacle directly to the battery (with a fuse in the positive line) and plug the TV into it. It would only use 111w because the converter would have to run at some point to recharge the battery. It could be much worse if you use the tow vehicle to recharge the battery because gas engines/alternators are much less efficient than 90%, but I'm not going to work hard enough to equate gas efficiency to watts.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:14 AM   #4
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pure sign wave inverter is best for you expensive devices, we went with a 1300 watt unit.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:33 AM   #5
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I'm partial to pure sine wave as well. A 1300w inverter is a bit of overkill (that's way more than 100 amps DC if you use it at capacity) but if you got a good deal on one nothing says you have to use it all.

I have a 400w PSW inverter. I can find them on the web for less than $150 (as low as $110). Even 400w is over 30 aDC. But, inverter recommendations are slightly tangential to the discussion.
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
Ditto what Steve said.

Many/most/some TVs (LED/LCD or LCD) have a "brick" in the power line, which in the TV I have in the den, converts 110vAC to 12vDC. So you would have 12 vDC going into the inverter to convert it to 110vAC so the brick can convert it back to 12vDC and into the TV.
...
TV in this form means two (sic) many things.

My TV and my laptops' "bricks" are all 19 volts out. I don't know if they'd work at 12 volts but that isn't "as designed".
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:36 AM   #7
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If you do have a TV that runs natively on 12vdc either directly or through a "Brick" or transformer then running it on 12vdc is the most efficient way to run it wether it is made and sold as a Home Use set or not.

As Steve properly points out there is lost efficiency in converting 120vac to or from 12vdc at all times and even more loss doing so twice!

So it is not really debatable ,if the TV can run on 12vdc do so to use the least amount of power possible.

It will be silly to use an inverter if not needed but more simple maybe too?

Also if running a 12vdc on 12vdc then the quality or spec of the inverter do not really matter anyway do they?
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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FWIW, when I look for 12v plugs to run a device directly, I look for the word "regulated" in the specs/description. I do this because the appliance I'm looking to power may be expecting 12v and not the 13+ volts alternators and chargers output when recharging. If I need more or less than 12v I take it for granted that there is some sort of regulating going on to get the advertised voltage but that some cheaper plugs that are only passing through "12v" may cause issues with sensitive electronics.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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An inverter uses power even when nothing is drawing power from it, be careful leaving it turned on when you don't need it.


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Old 07-11-2016, 11:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
An inverter uses power even when nothing is drawing power from it, be careful leaving it turned on when you don't need it.


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Generally true. Some have an actual on/off switch. Switched off they generally don't draw current.

Switched on and "idling", i.e. nothing plugged in, does draw some current.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:50 PM   #11
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I'd just like to point out that my 19" TV/DVD was meant for home use (and was very inexpensive), but after reading the specs, I learned that the input voltage is 12v DC, like so many small devices. So I used one of these:
2ft | DC Power Socket to Bare Wire | DC Male to Open End
...but I could have used one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/2-1mm-5-5mm-M.../dp/B002QWNZHU
...and I leave the brick at home.
As already mentioned, inverting to 110vac and then converting back to 12vdc is very inefficient. And...setting up a 12v branch circuit is no more complicated than wiring for a new 12v light.
Also mentioned was the fact that small TV's sold as "12Volt" are more expensive. But they should be a little less...they're just leaving out the brick.

Gordon
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:36 PM   #12
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I've read item descriptions that claim a given 12v product has been "ruggedized" to account for the more vibration prone use in a vehicle or RV. Being a part-time cynic I'm suspicious of these claims. They may be true in some instances but I largely doubt them.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #13
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I am slowing getting my small used trailer ready for first time out.
I have installed a new Progressive Dynamics PD405KA and hooked it up to the 12 volt battery as well as the shore power 30 amp inlet I installed.
My question may be stupid but
I am considering buying a Honda eu200i and am curious as to how to integrate it to my electrical system Do you just use an adaptor to plug into the 30 amp shore power receptacle?
Thanks
if I need to make a new post I will
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:22 AM   #14
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This is not rocket science, I expect you can work it out.

My trailer has a male RV 30A 3 blade connector (actually 2 blades and a pin). The generator has either a couple 15A normal household receptacles or a 30A receptacle which is what I call a marine connector which has three sockets in a circular orientation, one of which has a little 90 degree bend radially inwards. If the blade has an outward bend to one or two of the three blades it's a 50A. Marine joins are made to rotate (clockwise) just a little bit to secure the connection.

I think that the simplest thing to do is to just plug your trailer into the generator then find an appropriate adapter. Let the trailer's converter/charger recharge the battery.

Your choice of words makes me think you've installed one of those marine plug style fittings on the outside of your trailer and you carry your cord as a detached item. Therefore you'd need a 30A female plug at one end (trailer side) and some combinations of extension end or adapter with a male 30A RV cord at the other end (for campground power use) and perhaps a male 15A household and/or generator use and/or male marine 30A plug depending on what sort of receptacle your generator has.

Make a simple sketch. Make a sketch with the trailer side and the intended power source side, label the joins with amps and gender, Sort though what the intermediate joins look like. Mine starts (at the trailer side) with RV30Male and ends with the campsite power post which is RV30Female. So I need some cord/adapter that's RV30Female for the trailer end and RV30Male at the post end. Make a sketch for everything you expect to hook up to.

My generator hook up looks like:
Trailer side, RV30Male to RV30Female to 15AMale to 15AFemale @ generator. So I have an RV30Female to 15AMale adapter.

Over the years I've picked up a number of adapters:
RV30Female to 15AMale (I think I have 2 of these because I forgot to pack one and needed it.
RV30Female to RV50AMale
RV30Female to Marine30AMale

You can make it more complicated by plugging a dedicated charger into the generator. You wouldn't have AC in the trailer unless you were also using an inverter. Either way you would just match up the plugs with the appropriate adapter.

They make an adapter for pratically all combination of plugs. Park Power and Camco make a wide variety of adapters if it turns out you need one. Cabelas also sells a variety. This one adapts a 30a marine to 30a RV.

Camco RV Power-Converting Adapters : Cabela's

Places that sell generators also usually have a wide choice of adapters too. Just match up plug genders and go camping.

I'm not an electrician and I offer the above as a simplified overview. There are tons of exceptions. That's why electricians get so much training. There have been efforts to avoid missconnections by designing the plug patterns. Don't force something to fit.
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