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Old 06-27-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2015 16' Sport
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 89
Is the loss THAT significant?

Would a 175w sine inverter on 14v TV ( that has its own 14v to 110v brick) use significantly more battery than a straight 12v to 14v up-converter plunged into 12v socket? I would have a 100w solar suitcase to recharge batteries either way. I'm just wondering if there was a substantial energy difference between the two.

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Old 06-27-2015, 06:35 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
It depends on the basic efficiency of the inverter. I have found that the small modified sine wave inverters take relatively little extra power when supplying small loads such as the television. Unfortunately most true sine wave inverters have a low load loss which is much higher when not supplying much power.

Small modified sine wave inverters often have a no load loss of about 0.4 amps while small sine wave inverters generally have a no load loss of 1.5 to 2 amps. The only small true sine wave inverter I have measured with a reasonable no load loss is the Morningstar True Sine 300 watt inverter. It has a no load loss of about 0.4 amps and also has a search function which can allow you to leave it on with a loss of only a few mA. It automatically turns on when it sees a load.

My original Airstream supplied Samsung has the 120 to 14 volt brick you mention, but I have not measured the power to the Television using the low voltage directly vs. through the inverter. One reason I have not is that I am not sure just how well regulated a power source the Television needs and if it will be happy on the 12.4 to 13.8 volts my Airstream supplies (depending on what is operating and charging etc.) and the other reason is that with my Morningstar inverter, I don't think it makes much difference considering the small amount of Television I watch.

So, your own measurements with your own specific equipment may be needed to answer the question. Even if I had the answer for my own unit, I am not sure it would fit everyone. I don't think there is a one size fits all answer.
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