How to convert a car battery into a power outlet without inverter?

Have you ever felt left out of the world because of the lack of electricity supply? Electricity is part and parcel of our life. We can’t think of a single day without it. 

A single household appliance greatly depends on electric power. So, when the main power source is not working, either for a power outage or for any default, you may have thought of an emergency power supply. Your car battery can help you here. 

But how should you do it? Here’s how to convert a car battery into a power outlet without inverter.

When do you need to convert the car battery into a power outlet?

There may be various reasons when you need to think about converting a car battery into a power outlet. The common reason behind this thought is power lacking in crucial moments. 

Our house appliances like radio, television, lights, phones, etc., function through electricity. With a power outage comes great suffering. Almost all your devices stop working due to a lack of current. Likewise, your camper van seeks current to function properly.

Using a car battery for home power in the time of emergency is not easy as it can’t provide you with current directly. A household appliance or a camper van needs the main socket for power consumption. 

Since your car battery doesn’t have a main direct socket, you can not get any power out of it. So, if you are thinking about your battery as an emergency power source for your devices, you need to convert the battery into a power outlet. 

How does an inverter work?

Your day-to-day appliances generally depend on alternating current(ac current), but the current your battery produces is direct current(dc current). 

So, in a general sense, your households cannot use the raw current from a battery except for the small appliances. Here an inverter plays a vital role. An inverter(power inverter) is an electronic device that converts the dc power to ac power. 

An inverter generally stays connected to a battery. It seeks the direct current from the battery and lets your 12v battery convert to ac current. It does not only convert but also amplifies the current. Out of a 12v regular battery, it can produce a 110v ac current which is sufficient for almost every household electronic device. 

So, it is apparent that you need a power inverter if you are thinking of using your car battery for bigger appliances. But for the smaller appliance, it may not be necessary.

Is it possible to convert a car battery into a power outlet without an inverter?

Honestly speaking, converting a car battery into a power outlet without an inverter is pretty much impossible. The reason behind this can be either because:

  • Your battery power is not sufficient enough. The power consumption of a tv or freeze is much higher than a mobile phone, i.e., it needs an increased voltage similar to 110 volts. 
  • Or your household appliance needs ac power. The current your 12-volt battery will provide is dc power.

However, some devices can use DC to function properly. Typically small appliances like mobile devices can work with dc current. Besides, some devices with an internal rectifier can operate with DC if the current is high enough. 

But that is a complex setup to follow. Don’t worry, I did some research and got successful. So here’s how I convert a car battery to an outlet with and without an inverter.

Converting a car battery into a power outlet without an inverter:

This setup will cost you way more dollars than you can think of, and this model is quite impractical. But if you want it too bad, here are some essential tools you may need:

Essential tools

  1. Multiple batteries
  2. Ac outlet
  3. A dynamo
  4. Some wirings 

Now let’s talk about the procedure. 

The procedure

Your home appliances with an inbuilt rectifier can operate if your battery provides enough current (120 volts).  Getting 120 volt from our 12-volt battery is impossible. So, you’ll need ten or more 12-volt batteries. Five of them have to be +12 volt batteries, and five have to be -12 volt batteries.

In some cases, you may need more than ten batteries. Whatever, you need to connect those batteries through a power strip. Here you should know how to connect a power strip to a car battery. 

After finishing, you need to attach an ac outlet to the last battery. Your appliance will use this ac outlet as the main power socket.

Remember that a dynamo can also help you get AC out of a battery. You have to connect the batteries to a series, which will produce enough voltage to operate a dynamo. 

The dynamo will further connect to an alternator, giving you ac output. You’ll also have to use a motor controller to give you a stable current flow.

You have successfully converted your battery to a power outlet. It’s quite a critical step to be followed and impractical. Besides, it’s costlier than you can afford for just an emergency power source.

Converting a car battery into a power outlet with an inverter:

A more straightforward and cost-friendly process of converting a battery to a power outlet is using an inverter. Here you don’t have to buy a bunch of multiple batteries or a dynamo. 

For this setup, the tools you’ll need are just a battery, an inverter, and some connecting cables. So here is how to tap power from a car battery without an inverter:

Step 1: Select a proper inverter

Selecting a proper inverter will reduce your work by half. You should buy an inverter that works on a 12-volt battery pack. You can find inverters like” 12-volt to 110-volt converter” these days. Choose the right one as it is vital. 

Using a more powerful inverter for small appliances may not seem hard. But trying to use a less powerful inverter for a bigger device will lead you to failure. So, if you are thinking of using a radio or television with battery power, consider taking a more powerful inverter.

Step 2: Connect the inverter with the battery

Inverters have negative and positive clamps marked as black and red. Connect the black and red clamp to your battery terminals respectively. In some cases where your battery pack doesn’t have clamps, you need to do some wiring. 

Connect the inverter terminal to the battery terminal accordingly( red to red, black to black). Your inverter has an ac output, so there’s no need to worry. 

Step 3: Plug and play

Unlike the previous setup, you don’t have to add an ac outlet to supply the current of your battery. Just plug the power cord of your device into this slotted outlet and your battery is successfully converted to a power outlet. 

Lastly, if your setup is not working this may be one of these reasons:

  • Your battery is not charged. Charge it thoroughly and try again.
  • There may be some problem with the wiring between the inverter and the battery.
  • You may have a faulty inverter. Try changing it.
  • The inverter may be cheap or its power is not a match to the appliances.

Is it worth it to convert a battery into a power outlet without an inverter?

It depends on how you are using it. If you are using the car battery to power your tv or freeze or any other heavier devices then it’s not really worth it. 

Because you need a bunch of batteries for these devices. A bunch of batteries will cost you a bunch of money.  Besides, it will hamper the battery life and you could endanger all the batteries at a single time.

But using a car battery to plug the adapter of a laptop, charger of mobile phones and other mini devices are just fine. They can function properly with this limited power source. It will be efficient and the battery life will be less hampered in this way. 

With an inverter, you can easily use your battery as a power outlet. It is less complicated and it will be more cost-friendly.

Conclusion

Converting car batteries to a power outlet without an inverter may seem very easy and effective. 

But if you have gone through this article, you would understand how complex and costly this would be. Besides, it’s not a full-proof setup that can help you during an emergency. It’s effective for smaller devices.

This will be a lot easier if you just use an inverter instead. An inverter will single-handedly deal with the power consumption of those bigger appliances.

FAQ:

Can I use a car battery as a power source?

As technology is evolving, you can now use a car battery as a secondary/ auxiliary power source in time of emergency. But since almost all your household appliances operate through alternating current, you need to convert a battery’s direct current by an inverter. But you can directly use the battery as a power source for smaller appliances.

Can you wire a house outlet to a car?

Yes, you can. To provide 110v ac current you may need some batteries. But you can’t use the battery terminal as the main socket for these appliances. So, you need to wire a house outlet with the battery terminals. This outlet will work as the main socket your appliances need.

Can a car battery power a fridge?

You can power a fridge if only you have an inverter. Without it, your battery can’t push the power limits to achieve the need for a fridge. You can use 40% of your battery capacity in summer if you have a good-conditioned battery. In winter, you can barely use 30% of your battery power to run a fridge.

How long can you run a TV on a 12-volt battery?

Tv is a huge power-consuming appliance that is not designed to work with a car battery. Though a portable DC 1.5 amp TV can be powered up by a 12v battery for at least 12 hours. But a new flat led TV requires alternating current to function, which a battery can’t provide. There are some TVs that have an inbuilt rectifier. A 12v battery can run these kinds of TVs for 45 minutes or less.

How many watts can a 12v car outlet handle?

The voltage(watt) of an outlet of your car nearly handles 12v DC. It may fluctuate between 13.5v to 15v while the car is running. Normally a car outlet will produce 120 to 240 watts. 

 

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