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Solved: 12V to 120V Car Power Inverter Question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by doomlord289, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. doomlord289

    doomlord289 Thread Starter

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    I'm about to go on vacation with my family and decided to bring my laptop along to keep myself entertained on the long car ride. My laptop only has a 4 hour battery and it's an 8 hour trip. So I bought a 12V to 120V power inverter so I could plug it into the cigarette lighter to power it. However, I noticed that the cigarette lighter port provides 120W of power and the inverter is 160W. My laptop only needs 90W to run (according to the manual). My question is: is it safe to use a 160W inverter when the power port only provides 120W? Would I just get the reduced wattage instead of the full 160W or will something fry when the inverter tries to pull 160W out of a 120W outlet?

    Thanks to all in advance.
     
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  3. Billyd65

    Billyd65

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    Short answer is yes. While the inverter can draw 160 watts, it will only draw depending on the demand placed on it. You indicate that your laptop draws 90 watts, so you should be fine. If it makes you feel better, see if you can return the one you have for one with a lower draw, that way you know for sure that you can't overload.
     
  4. aka Brett

    aka Brett Banned

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    you should be fine
    the inverter will draw some just from merely being in use...this wont be to high without a load placed on it.

    Lets say you had a dead battery on your laptop and it used all 90 watts to use the unit and change at the same time.
    Next the efficiency of the inverter.... will it waste 30 watts producing 90..thus totaling 120 watts...probably not..there will be some loss but i expect not that much.
    Just to be safe and give your inverter an easy ride...start out with a topped off battery on the laptop...your laptop will be drawing less than 90 this way
     
  5. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master

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    As the others have stated you'll be fine, worst case you will blow a fuse, I've got one of those inverters got it at Walmart for $39.(and some change), and has never failed me yet got it 2 yrs ago and have been charging and using the laptop on it, just got to make sure that the inverter has a fan to dissipate heat (ran accross 1 that didn't)...
     
  6. doomlord289

    doomlord289 Thread Starter

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    Well, based on your information I tried the inverter and it worked! The laptop ran just fine and no fuses blew. Thanks again for all your reassurances that it would work.
     
  7. aka Brett

    aka Brett Banned

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    Welcome
     
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