How to Convert a 12-Volt Battery to 110 ACby Thomas West
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.
Remove the cigarette lighter from the vehicle and set it aside.
Push the power inverter cigarette lighter adapter plug into the cigarette lighter receptacle.
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.
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.
Turn the inverter power switch on.
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).
- You should use the cigarette lighter adapter on the inverter only if your electrical devices use 120 watts or less. Connect the inverter directly to the battery using the alligator clips (included with the inverter) for devices higher than 120 watts. Do not use devices that exceed the wattage of your inverter. Check the instruction manual for the inverter for more information.
Things You'll Need
- Power inverter
- When connecting the inverter to the battery using alligator clips, use care to prevent connecting the clips to the wrong terminal. Always connect the black clip to the negative terminal and the red clip to the positive terminal to avoid damage to the battery or inverter. Wear protective goggles when working around batteries to guard against possible explosion.