Using 100-200watt dc inverter to power 1000watt heater?
Currently purchasing items for a camping trip in winter. I have bought a solar generator that has four 6v DC output ports. I am going to buy an inverter so I can power a small catalytic heater which puts out between 750-2000watts. The DC inverters all have wattage between 150-200watts. Can I utilize the 150watt inverter to power the 750watt heater? Is it possible? What are the pros and cons?
*I apologize if i worded anything incorrectly and/or this question is stupid. I researched but all the answers I got were too scientific for me to understand or didn't actually give an detailed answer. Thanks everyone!*
- Anonymous6 days ago
A catalytic heater doesnot produce watts.
Neither does an electric heater.
- 異域秦後人Lv 71 month ago
Yes, this is a stupid question. You cannot expect to power 750W heater with inverter output power that has 150W.
What you need to buy is a solar generator that able to provide at least 2000W more under full sun shine ( summer time). Let it power inverter that is able to handle at least 3000W or more. With this set up, you may power any heater under 2000W without burning down the inverter and solar panel.
Sun shine in winter is very weak, therefore, you need to get the solar panel able to provide 5000W ,because under weak light provides as little as 1500W.
- roderick_youngLv 71 month ago
Honest questions are never stupid. Everyone has to start somewhere.
As the others have mentioned, solar electric is not a good solution for heat, and that goes double for camping, where size and weight matter.
The number one thing you need to keep warm while camping is good clothing, including a good insulated hat that covers everything. And for sleeping, a good sleeping bag. A little chill is expected, consider that part of the adventure. After all, if you didn't want to ever be cold, you'd stay at home, or go to some warm location like the tropics.
For backpacking-type camping, you generally won't be able to carry enough fuel to stay warm, so will probably need to gather and burn wood at your campsite. Hopefully, you're going with someone who has done this before (it would be really inconvenient if you gathered wood that you thought would last the night, and it ran out after 2 hours of darkness).
For car camping, you can bring a propane tank or two with you, and your small catalytic heater if you want.
- billrussell42Lv 71 month ago
Marcus is entirely correct.
Cat heaters run from gas, not electricity, and are rated in BTU, not watts.
That solar generator is intended to power small appliances like a cell phone, it can not power an inverter. or a heater.
A 200 watt inverter can deliver only 200 watts (max, usually much less) of output power and requires about 300 watts input power to do that, which would require a very large set of solar panels.
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- Markus ImhofLv 71 month ago
You are mixing up a lot of things here - let me start at the back.
- a catalytic heater doesn't require electricity, it requires gas (as in propane, butane or LNG). So you can't power it from your solar panel, you need to power it from a gas bottle
- DC inverters can be had for basically any power, but
- you can only get as much power out of it (and usually quite a bit less) as you put in, so the amount of power you can get out of that inverter will depend on the amount of power your solar panel can generate
Your solar panel will only generate power while the sun is shining on it. The best commercial panels have an efficency around 22%. At orthogonal incidence (i.e. the sun shining straight down onto the panel), the power from the sun is around 1 kW/m², so you may get up to 220 Watts from 1 square meter of panel area. In order to power a 2000 Watt (electric) heater, you would need slighly more than 9 square meters of panel area - and have that panel tracking the sun unless you only want the full power for a few minutes around noon. And whie the panel is generating 2000 Watts of electricity, the sun is delivering 9000 Watts of heat to the panel area - which is the basic reason why it's in general a bad idea to run an electric heater from a solar panel.
- DixonLv 71 month ago
"I am going to buy an inverter so I can power a small catalytic heater"
Yes, you are really going to need that mains AC to power your catalytic heater.
Why not get a 2kW electric heater? They will run off DC just as well as AC so you can connect it directly to your solar cells and bask in the glory of the 30W your cells will produce. That should keep you warm at night... oh wait
- oldschoolLv 71 month ago
You can't get more power out than power in and inverters get very warm when loaded indicating poor efficiency. Burn wood and wear thermal underwear or go camping in warm months. This is like using a shotgun to kill a fly.