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Old 12-06-2009, 01:41 AM
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Can an inverter power an angle grinder?

I'm looking to get a power inverter for the rig, not something too expensive but one of the beefier ones that need to be hard wired to the batter versus the cigarette lighter or alligator clips.

Are any of these capable of powering an angle grinder(one of the 4" ones). Just thought it might be useful to be able to have my grinder w cut-off wheel run off the rig. Not sure when I'd need it but it's easy to just stash and just one of those things that could potentially be handy sometime.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:05 PM
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Just match the power requirement of the angle grinder to the size of the inverter.

For example. Here's a 4 inch grinder and you can see at the bottom it draws 5 amps and is 115v.
Amazon.com: Makita 9523NBH 4-Inch Angle Grinder: Home Improvement

amps times voltage equals power in watts.
5 x 115 = 575w

I would consider this the continuous current draw, and usually electric motors like this have a considerable surge when they are first started, so I would double this to a 1000w inverter or get one that is advertised with a peak for motor starting.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:49 PM
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Keep in mind that the power draw of an inverter can be signficant.

Using Franklin2's example of a tool drawing 5A at 115v, if there were no losses in the system, that would require 48A from your 12v system to power it.

Then consider is that inverters are rarely much more than 50% efficient, so to provide 5A out at 115v, an inverter that is 50% efficient would need to draw about 96A from your 12v system; peaking at over 190A draw if the tool motor required as much surge on startup as Franklin2's example.

Inverters can be really handy, but don't run even a moderate power inverter without the engine running at high idle unless you plan on having someone come to jump start your truck.

And, of course, be sure that the inverter is hard wired using very short runs of large enough wire and really good connections.

The 10 gauge wire that comes with some inverters is a joke. Automotive battery cables are a good choice for wiring up an inverter. You can get by with some of the heavy cable popular with high power stereo installers, but pre-made battery cables are heavier and cheaper.

At 100A draw, even 10 mOhm (1/100 of an Ohm) will cause a 1v voltage drop, accompanied by 100W of heat!
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:50 PM
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Touche.

Great post.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:32 AM
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There's ways to get 110V DC off an alternator, and many power tools that have motors with brushes are OK with DC power (check the label). A booklet called "Alternator Secrets" explains how to do this. Basically, disconnect the output from the battery and send it to an AC receptacle hot. Disconnect the regulator and put full 12V on the field, then adjust the engine throttle to get the right voltage. If there's room under the hood, it could be smarter to add a second alternator for this, especially if you have the newfangled kind with a built-in regulator. Add some other components and you could have an arc welder too.

Alternator Secrets

This thread goes into some detail; one guy swears it's impractical, but the post I've linked to claims it worked fine for him:
CR4 - Comment: Re: Can a car alternator generate 110v?

And, finally, there's actual AC alternators made for underhood mounting. I've occasionally seen them at swap meets, and a friend scrounged one off a scrapped work truck.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:05 AM
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If you have a Harbour Freight store near you, they have some inverters that are able to run a wall shaker AC unit and micowave oven(small one). My friend is using the 4000W peak/2000W cont inverter with no problems in his RV. You best have a good battery as those inverters will take some power when you load them down. He wound up using a deicated alternator and battery for the inverter as under load it can pull over 100amps from the batteries!
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F250racer View Post
I'm looking to get a power inverter for the rig, not something too expensive but one of the beefier ones that need to be hard wired to the batter versus the cigarette lighter or alligator clips.

Are any of these capable of powering an angle grinder(one of the 4" ones). Just thought it might be useful to be able to have my grinder w cut-off wheel run off the rig. Not sure when I'd need it but it's easy to just stash and just one of those things that could potentially be handy sometime.
F250racer,
I keep a number of power tools in the box and a grinder is one of them. The 900W modified sine wave inverter has no problems running it. It hooks up w/ clips to an auxilary deep cycle gel battery mounted in a box in the bed. It is kept charged through an isolator by the truck's alternator. It's been there awhile but I think it was around $50.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:46 PM
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Using inverters for large power draws is interesting. Points to consider are having an adequate power source for the inverter, cable size and length, and the amp draw of the tool or appliance. On one of our larger motorhomes we had a 3000 watt inverter and my wifes feet got cold. So being ever the gentleman, I plugged in a couple of ceramic heaters. With a strong alternator and large inverter, everythig worked fine until the terminal got so hot it blew right out of the battery. I think I still have a picture of the battery somewhere . True story!

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Old 01-04-2010, 04:46 PM
 
 
 
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