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Old 07-31-2018, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Automobile Power Inverter Charging...

My wife is letting us use her minivan for IRCHA. In all the years we have owned a minivan, we have never used the AC inverter outlet.

Reading the owner's manual it looks like it works when the car is running and can output 150 watts.

With my 12V power supply that would allow 12A charging in theory. I'll try to test it today.

Anyone with experience using this?
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing but waste when you convert 12vdc to 120vac back to 12vdc.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It will work but probably not at 150 watts. Ohms law states that 12A at 12v is 144 watts. But you will lose some as you convert 12v battery to AC, then convert AC back to DC in your charger.

If your charges can take direct DC input, it might be better to hook it directly to the battery to avoid losses in AC/DC conversions.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
My wife is letting us use her minivan for IRCHA. In all the years we have owned a minivan, we have never used the AC inverter outlet.

Reading the owner's manual it looks like it works when the car is running and can output 150 watts.

With my 12V power supply that would allow 12A charging in theory. I'll try to test it today.

Anyone with experience using this?
Not exactly your setup, but I have done quite a bit of charging with car battery.

I have a 12 volt 70 Ah battery in the car. I try to never discharge the battery to less than 40-50%, i.e. not using more than 42 Ah. Then I always charge the car battery when I get back home where I have AC and a charger.

Most car lead batteries don't like deep discharge.

If you keep the engine running running you don't have to worry about the battery running low, but to run the car engine to get 150 watts is very inefficient and not very environment friendly.

If you keep an eye on the battery voltage you might get by with running the engine only when the battery gets down to some 50% (whatever voltage that is for a car battery).

Also, if your charger runs on 12 volt you gain efficiency if you skip the inverter and the power supply and connect the charger to the car battery. You probably loose 10-15% in each of inverter and power supply, if you use them.

/Bo
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nothing but waste when you convert 12vdc to 120vac back to 12vdc.
Everyone else there with a portable inverter generator will be doing it that way.

The extension cord will carry 120V safely away from the automobile. Then convert back to 12V for charging. Common plan for power transmission over a distance to minimize resistive loss in the transmission wires.

From what I can tell the minivan V6 and catalytic converter uses 0.5 gallons per hour at idle whereas a portable generator with no catalytic converter uses around 0.75 gallons per hour for charging.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Everyone else there with a portable generator will be doing it that way.

The extension cord will carry 120V safely away from the automobile. Then convert back to 12V for charging. Common sense for power transmission over a distance.
That's because most portable generators have AC output. If they also have DC (12 volt) out it is usually with little power.

A little portable generator can run continously without using too much gas. To get some distance to the noise and exhaust it is good to have a long extension cord. Charging from a lead battery noise and exhaust is not a concern.

/Bo
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes but many of those people are using charging stations with power supplies in the box that provide DC into the actual lipo charger and not AC.

The AC amperage that can be delivered by a generator is much different than the typical one built into an auto.

will what you want to do technically work, yes. Is it better than nothing, Yes. Will you get peak charge rate, no.

Also the built-in systems are made to run something local not via a long extension cord.

Long extension cords will introduce voltage drop. 50ft 14 gauge at 12A will lose about 3% IIRC.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You're much better off just clamping the charger directly to the battery and running the car every now and then to charge the battery back up.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good chance it isn't a pure sine wave inverter also. I have one but they are expensive. Direct to battery is best like people are saying.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Direct to car-battery involves an under-hood attachment of large gage wires and clamps to the battery. I do automobile restorations and know that anytime one goes under the hood of a car with the engine running there is inherent danger of bodily harm.

12 Amps is more than I need to charge my batteries. No peak charging, though, I'm using hybrid constant current, followed by constant voltage top-up.

An extension cord to route the charging lipo battery out of the automobile interior need not be 50 feet. In fact, 'extension cord' maybe is a misnomer. The AC cord is the power supply cord and it is 6 feet which is adequate length for the purpose.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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power transmission lines arent 120v, their thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of volts. then dropped into substations and the voltage is broken down to usable voltages via transformers.

a better way to charge away from the home is do like everybody is saying and get a good charger and use 2-12v deep cycle batterys and run a nice 24v charging setup and charge all day long quietly.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
anytime one goes under the hood of a car with the engine running there is inherent danger of bodily harm.
Some of us have worked on and around running engines all of lives and would venture that this hobby has a higher inherent danger of bodily harm. When I work on my heli's my pulse is telling I think they are more dangerous.

Can you do what you want, yes. People have pointed out it's not the best way. Do what makes you comfortable and enjoy the funfly!

Oh, using the car battery is not the big issue in the pic posted. Where the charger and batteries are located, and how the cables are run is. The charger and batteries should be located outside of the car where they are not picking engine heat and cannot vibrate off into a fan or fan belt. The cables should be routed again to the side and out of the hood where they cannot get caught in the fan or fan belt.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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From what I can tell the minivan V6 and catalytic converter uses 0.5 gallons per hour at idle whereas a portable generator with no catalytic converter uses around 0.75 gallons per hour for charging.
A Honda 2200i generator will run for over 8 hours under a 550W load on 1 gallon of gas.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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if a train leaves Chicago without a catalytic converter going 55mph..
and another leaves texas with a catalytic converter going 55mph..
im kidding..
some generators are great..
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If my car has a sub-woofer amplifier at the back can I connect my charger to the amp's thick power cables as they can carry high amperage current already?

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Old 07-31-2018, 04:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If my car has a sub-woofer amplifier at the back can I connect my charger to the amp's thick power cables as they can carry high amperage current already?

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Yes you could use those leads with proper connections. Amps is probably not the limiting factor though, voltage is. You need to really know the specs of the charger.

for example; At first blush the TSDT Q6+ says it will charge at up to 300 watts. When you look a little deeper it says accepts DC from 7 to 32V. However, you have to read the manual to see that max charge rate is at 14A. Using Ohms law 14A at 12v is only 168 Watts. So if you want to get the advertised 300 watts out of that charger you need to be feeding it 24V and then it will only pull 12.5 amps.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by drparker151 View Post
Yes you could use those leads with proper connections. Amps is probably not the limiting factor though, voltage is. You need to really know the specs of the charger.

for example; At first blush the TSDT Q6+ says it will charge at up to 300 watts. When you look a little deeper it says accepts DC from 7 to 32V. However, you have to read the manual to see that max charge rate is at 14A. Using Ohms law 14A at 12v is only 168 Watts. So if you want to get the advertised 300 watts out of that charger you need to be feeding it 24V and then it will only pull 12.5 amps.
Thanks. My charger is an ISDT T6 lite and I charge my 6s 5000 mAh lipo at 2c so I only need 10 amps. I don't parallel charge so should be fine.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My Generator burns no way near that much. I put in about 1/2 gallon and it runs for about 4 to 5 hours on that.


Quote:
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From what I can tell the minivan V6 and catalytic converter uses 0.5 gallons per hour at idle whereas a portable generator with no catalytic converter uses around 0.75 gallons per hour for charging.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Same here. My genny has a 1/2 gallon tank and runs for 5-6 hours under constant 3C charge load (15A). I only have 2 packs and charge again as soon as I land and can fly all day this way
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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What you might save running 120vac through an extension cord you will lose in the conversion from DC to AC back to DC.

If you have a set of jumper cables, you can ise those to keep the charger out on the ground instead of under the hood.

As far as burning .5 gallons at idle for an hour, I don't think I buy that one. My old roommate ran his Dodge Neon for 2 hours to get heat and burned through almost 1/4 tank. Sounds like a lot but its only about 3 gallons or so, but I can't imaging a car engine only burning 1/2 gallon an hour at idle.
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