Wagan Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter for AC power in Car/SUV
See solar and battery power charging wish list at B&H Photo.
This is now my meat and potatoes power source for when I’m traveling in my vehicle in the mountains; it charges up everything
- Charge/Run Electronics in Vehicle
- Plug Into Cigarette Lighter Socket
- Pure Sine Wave for Clean, Cool Operation
- 200W Continuous Power, 400W Surge Power
- Two 3-Prong AC Outlets
- USB Power Port
- Auto Shutoff When Car Battery Gets Low
I replaced an older and cheaper square wave inverter with it. The older unit became relatively hot and ran its fan too often. That older inverter cost a lot less, but as it turns out, you get what you pay for.
Update: another unit, the WAGAN Elite 400W PRO DC to AC Pure Sine Inverter failed after 9 months (perhaps a fuse internally from too much power draw on low input voltage). It took Wagan 3-4 weeks to repair it (free of charge), but this forced me to buy a replacement as I could not go without. In any case, my recommendationfor anyone out and about without regular access to AC power is two carry dual inverters, in case one fails.
The Wagan EL2600 Elite Pro 200W Pure Sine Inverter runs much cooler and with minimal fan noise and no fuss. Its pure sine wave AC output is more efficient for devices and hence the cooler operation (lower power draw on the unit itself, which is claimed to itself be 90% efficient).
I charged 3 camera batteries at once as well as the iPhone via USB, and it powers the MacBook Pro with no fuss at all. 200W is plenty for all that stuff, even simultaneously.
The main limitation is typically not the inverter, but that the engine be running when supplying a load of 50 watts or more. My SUV cuts power to the socket when the load exceeds 90 watts for 10 minutes (the MacBook Pro Retina pulls 90 watts when recharging a low battery).
The WAGAN Elite 400W PRO DC to AC Pure Sine Inverter and more powerful inverters may be of use to some, but 200W will already blow a vehicle fuse in many vehicles (12V X 16.7 amps ~= 200W, my vehicle is fused at 20 amps but some are fused at 15 amps). Higher power units can deliver a lot more power, but only if connected directly to a suitable battery with the alligator clamps (not the cigarette lighter socket).