I have a large inverter so, in principle, I can run my AC equipment
while off shore power
. However, it has built in inefficiency in converting DC to AC. So, when traveling down from the TCI we used a small "auto cigarette lighter" inverter for charging
our laptops, through their regular AC plug in power supplies. Since then, I've purchased a different cigarette lighter inverter that will handle enough current
to actually run my laptop full time, if I want. It also has a couple of USB ports
that could be used for charging other devices. This is the easy answer, for my application.
But, it can't be very efficient!! I've never calculated the overall conversion losses but if I'm just sailing then my electrons come from my solar panels
, which generate DC to charge my 12 volt batteries. Now, I'm going to take that nominal 12 volts and use an inverter with 85% (??) efficiency at best to generate 110 AC then plug in my laptop power supply and convert that to 19.5 volts DC at maybe another 85% efficiency. There must be some simple, cheap
DC converters...transformers available that would be more efficient. I've got to do some kind of a power calculation on all of this to see where to spend the dollars to get the most electrical
efficiency. I've also got to think about charging my rechargeable batteries for my handheld GPS
and VHF radio
and a few other essential devices.
I'm open to suggestions from some of the more experienced electronics
I suspect that most charging power supplies will handle the funky "sine waves" out of an inverter but I'll tell you my microwave (installed by the PO) chokes completely on my inverter power.