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Old 02-11-2020, 12:02 PM
ZonexandScout's Avatar
ZonexandScout is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 1,818

Real life experiences with inverters and batteries (non-RV)?

Short version: Power was out for more than two days while I was away on business. We have gas logs and gas water heater, so no problem there. Plenty of flashlights and batteries for my wife to use. Friends offered to come get her and have her stay with them, but she was concerned about leaving the kids. Biggest problems were keeping a charge on her cell and the fact that her CPAP wouldn't work. She was also concerned about the food in the fridge.

In my post-event guilt, I've addressed several of the issues, including getting a 12 VDC to 24 VDC converter to run her CPAP from a 12 VDC source. Now, I just happen to have a 1200-watt inverter sitting around. I know I can run it off the car using clamps and 4 AWG cables to the battery terminals, but she is not going to go out and hook that up by herself. Therefore, I'd like to have a decent rechargeable battery in the house. I could use it either with a lighter adapter so she can run her CPAP, or I could leave the inverter connected to it so she could have (limited) AC. In either case, it would be inside the house in a conditioned environment while charging and discharging.

What kind of real-life experience does anyone have with doing this? There are obviously some gray areas.

1. I'd like the SLA deep-cycle battery to be large enough to be useful, but small enough she can move it if she needs to. Maybe 35 AH? 55 AH? 75 AH? 100 AH (about 60 pounds!)? Remember, I don't currently have a battery (except in my car) on which to do any testing.

2. I know the inverter can run my side-by-side refrigerator, but I don't know how much power it draws. I'm guessing 400 to 700 watts. Can I cycle the fridge for an hour, leave it off for a couple hours, and then cycle it again for an hour safely to preserve battery power?

3. Would I be OK using my big car battery charger (in deep-cycle AGM mode) to put an initial charge on, say, a 55 AH battery and then use an inexpensive battery maintainer to keep it topped off? Is this a problem with a deep-cycle battery?

Ideally, I just want to spend $125 - $175 on a single battery and leave it at that. People who seem knowledgeable about inverter/battery systems almost always start out by saying, "In my RV..." and the info isn't always directly comparable to what I'm trying to do.

Or, should I forget the whole idea and have a Pop-Tart?

PS - "Kids" = dogs.

Last edited by ZonexandScout; 02-11-2020 at 12:04 PM.


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