How to Connect an Inverter to a 12V Battery


Power inverters are electrical devices that convert DC power --- like the power that comes from solar panels and batteries --- into AC power. Each power inverter connects to a DC power source differently depending upon the inverter power rating. The two most common ways that a power inverter connects to a battery are by using battery clamps or by using a cigarette lighter outlet plug.

Things You'll Need

  • Working automotive cigarette lighter outlet (for inverters under 500 watts)
  • Access to the terminals on a lead-acid battery (for inverters 500 watts or greater)
  • Power inverter
  • AC-powered electrical device

Inverters Under 500 Watts

  • Insert the power inverter plug into the cigarette lighter outlet.

  • Turn on the power inverter. Allow the circuitry to charge up for at least 30 seconds.

  • Plug the AC-powered device into the inverter outlet receptacle. Turn on the AC-powered device.

Inverters 500 Watts or More

Tips & Warnings

  • Some high-wattage power inverters may also be equipped with battery terminal connectors that are intended to be connected permanently to battery terminals. These power inverters may be connected using a similar method to the procedure for inverters that produce more than 500 watts of power.

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