Can I have a solar battery charger hooked up to a battery at the same time as an inverter that is in use?

If I have a car battery, a solar battery charger, and an inverter, can I have them all hooked up at the same time to get very long lasting electricity, assuming of course that the item plugged into the inverter isn't drawing more than what the charger provides?

I'm thinking remote location set up for a time lapse camera using camera's DC in line, hooked to the inverter, hooked to the battery, which is in turn hooked to the solar panel for long lasting power so I can get several weeks of photos.

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  • 7 years ago
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    Yes, absolutely. You nailed the real constraint on the head already, it's all about power consumption. Some things to consider:

    Don't forget to factor in power consumed by the inverter itself, in addition to the item you've got plugged into it. If you've got a good amp probe you can measure this directly, but keep in mind you'll need a good "True RMS" meter to get an accurate reading of DC current.

    Consider using a deep cycle battery rather than just a standard car battery. They're more expensive, but will work much better for your project. The battery label should indicate "amp hours". You can use this to calculate how large a battery you'll need to carry your load over night without discharging the battery.

    Many inverters have a built in low-voltage shutdown feature that will turn the inverter off well before the battery is fully discharged, so account for that with your battery size.

    Finally, a question, you mentioned that your camera had a DC line in. If that's the case, why mess with the inverter? If I understand correctly you're going solar panel (12VDC) -> car battery (12VDC) -> inverter (12VDC to 120 VAC) -> plug in transformer block (120VAC to some voltage VDC) -> camera, right? IF that's the case, you could go solar -> car battery -> resistor -> camera. It'd be more energy efficient. For that matter, if your camera isn't pulling all that much power, and I assume has a rechargeable battery already, you could probably do it with a solar panel and a resistor.

    Email me directly if you'd like, I've been down this road before.

    Source(s): I got a similar setup on my truck, powering fans that cool my inverter and battery bank, when I don't drive the truck.
  • 3 years ago

    It is going to depend on how much load the digital camera attracts and how much present you're going to get from the sun battery charger but obviously it should work pleasant. Is there a method of connecting the camera instantly to the 12VDC car battery alternatively of making use of an inverter to transform the 12VDC to AC after which using the camera's charger to convert it back to DC? That will extensively broaden the effectivity of your set-up.

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