How to Convert a 12-Volt Battery to 110 AC

by Thomas West
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Converting a vehicle’s 12-volt battery to 110 AC allows you to operate home electrical appliances, televisions, laptop computers and other devices from your car or recreational vehicle. This is easily accomplished by installing a power inverter in your vehicle. A power inverter converts a vehicle’s battery from 12-volt direct current to 110 volts alternating current (AC). Power inverters are also handy to run power tools from your vehicle’s battery where there is no electricity, or for emergency lighting in a power outage.

Step 1

Remove the cigarette lighter from the vehicle and set it aside.

Step 2

Push the power inverter cigarette lighter adapter plug into the cigarette lighter receptacle.

Step 3

Use the alligator clips on the power inverter instead of the cigarette lighter adapter if the items you want to power are more than 120 watts. Open the vehicle’s hood and connect the red (positive) alligator clip to the positive battery cable and the black (negative) alligator clip to the negative battery terminal.

Step 4

Make sure the inverter power switch is turned off. Plug the 110 AC appliance or electric device into the power cord receptacle on the power inverter.

Step 5

Turn the inverter power switch on.

Step 6

Turn on the appliance or electrical device and use as normal. Be aware the that the vehicle’s battery will run down while the device is being used unless the engine is running to keep the battery charged.

Turn the power inverter off and unplug the device when finished using it. Pull the invert cigarette lighter adapter from the cigarette lighter. Remove the alligator clips from the battery and close the hood (if necessary).

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