Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get a Power Inverter in Case of Power Outage

A colleague brought a great blog post to my attention; I thought the concept was brilliant! The post was about using a power inverter connected to his Chevy Volt during a power outage. As I read it I thought, "You don't need a hybrid to enjoy that benefit; any vehicle in good operating condition will do!"

So I tasked myself to get an inverter to test.

I went to my local Lowe's and found a Stanley 800 Watt Power Converter; out the door for just under $65. I brought it home and put it to the test.

Proof of Concept
I connected it to my Ford F-150's battery and started the truck. Then I turned on the inverter (Stanley calls it a Power Converter) and plugged in a portable air conditioner. It worked! And the converter's digital readout said it was only using 100 watts. So I also plugged in our refrigerator. When the refrigerator compressor kicked in the converter registered nearly 1250 watts, but then quickly settled down to a combined total of about 450.

It turns out that Consumer Reports wrote about this too! Because it is a great solution to power outages in our homes! Who knew?!! I thought you needed a $1000 generator-- which makes a lot of noise when running-- for that!

Thjere are a couple of cautions when using an inverter:
  • Make certain the vehicle is outside and well ventilated; not doing so can result in death.
  • Be careful when connecting the inverter to your vehicle battery. No one enjoys electrical shocks.

Bottom Line
I'm going back to Lowe's and getting a second unit, and we'll keep one in each vehicle trunk-- just in case.

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