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power inverter to run compressor- good idea?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by monster man, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    I was at Sears last night and they had a pretty slick portable compressor that I think would outpump any portable 4wd compressor around, bar none. Problem is its about 50 pounds, and it runs on 120- is getting a power inverter to run it a bad idea. Will a power inverter blow my charging system up?
     
  2. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Just do some math. What is the power rating of the compressor? Multiply by 1.1 (Figure about 90% efficiency for the inverter) then divide by 12V. That's the steady-state amperage requirements for the inverter. Make sure the inverter can deliver at least twice that power in surges because it takes a lot of power to start the compressor.

    Now make sure that your alternator can support that load and run the proper wiring.
     
  3. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    shoot, I'll have to go back and check the amps it draws, it's not listed on their site. I do have a 100 amp alternator, but should probably get dual batteries as well and some heavy guage wiring for the whole setup first.
     
  4. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Or just go CO2! I love mine!
     
  5. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    A York or the like will look better and better when you consider the inefficient of converting mechanical energy to 12V DC (some losses), then to 110AV (more loss), then to mechanical energy (loss again).

    -- A
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I wouldn't..

    You would need a huge inverter,like 1000 watts or more--and a compressor motor would probably kill it pretty fast anyway..they draw a lot of amps,and the "surge" when they start would likely burn out the inverter in short order..not to mention the drain on your altenator and battery,and the need for thick wires going to the inverter..

    It would be better to use a 110V generator like the ones sold in Northern Tool's catalog ,adapted to run off your engine,seperate from the charging system,if you must use a 110V compressor..inverters are not really good for running motors,they are bst for lights,tv's,etc..electric heaters an inverters don't get along too well either--don't ask how I know.. :doah: :mad:

    An engine mounted compressor is best..no law against taking the pump off a 110V house style compressor and running it off your engine instead.. :thinking: :whistle: ... :crazy:
     
  7. idf_johnny

    idf_johnny Registered Member

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    I have a 1200 watt inverter on my work truck, it wont run a small shop vac without blowing the 60A fuse. Not to mention a quality inverter to run something like a compressor will cost a small fortune. I have seen portable 12V compressors of decent size that would last a lot longer and be cheaper.
     
  8. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    I kicked around a few different ideas about what to do with this as well. Compressors, running air tools, the usual stuff. Finally, I settled on getting the little 25.00 compressor for the tires. For tools, I pretty much figured that with the amount of air a normal impact uses, it would be wiser to find another route. So, instead of messing w/ converters etc.. I chose a dewalt 18 volt. :thumb:

    [​IMG]
    And while I was at it, I got a little grinder too ..
    [​IMG]

    Now I'll use the compressor to air up tires, and if I need tools, it will be cordless. I'll probably still plumb a small tank to the compressor, but I won't have to warry about using it for anything except airing up. Plus, I could still choose to run tools that don't eat as much air as an impact, if needed.
     
  9. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Yep. I have a 1000 watt inverter (2000 watt surge) and it won't even consider running even a small compressor. You will spend more on than combo (to get it to work reliably) than you would on a gas powered compressor.
     
  10. SHAWNSTER

    SHAWNSTER 1/2 ton status

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    small sears generator

    i was at sears last summer and i saw this compressor that was the size maybe smaller than a small tool box that held like 1.5 gallons of gas and would run 8 hours(not continuos) on the tank-it was somewhere around $500
    they had a demo setup and a cutaway and all that stuff so you could check it out-i thought about getting one, but i wanted someone with real world experience w/ it b4 i spent that kind of $$$-it even had 4 or 6-i dont remember electrical outlets on it-looked tough
     

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