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Old 07-12-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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Now that I live in a home (not on wheels) and have a riding mower with charger I was curious about a power inverter that would allow me to use a fully charged lawn mower battery as a power supply during power outages for things like charging electronic devices, radio, light, fans, etc. I know using it to run a home refrigerator is a waste of battery even with a powerful car battery. Got plenty of battery powered emergency lights as well as oil flame lamps (hurricane hitting tomorrow). Any recommendations on brand and type of inverter? I want one I can directly connect to a riding mower battery instead of the car. Our vehicles require the key be in the on position for power to be in the outlets plus I donít want to drain car batteries. How cheap can I go and get a good reliable model?
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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Harbor Freight Tools has a selection. You can get by with anything they offer assuming it's enough VA to power what you want; if you plan on running any kind of delicate electronics you want one that is "computer grade" or otherwise generates a cleaner sine wave output than your basic automotive-grade ones.

You might find a mower battery a little small for anything but the lightest/shortest use; consider picking up an inexpensive auto battery and a 'battery tender' to make the combination go further.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:25 PM
 
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Well, it seems to me that if you want a little bit of power for a short time a battery with battery tender and inverter would be OK-ish.

I would buy a high capacity car battery, or forktruck battery, and a "battery tender", and keep it set up in the garage.

But I think that as you go up in size, very quickly you will get better performance at lower cost from a gasoline powered generator. And as long as you have fuel the generator will keep going, whereas the car battery with charger will deplete in a long outage with no way to recharge it. And the generator will make AC for you so there's one less device to fool with.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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I think the tradeoff here is the simplest and least expensive way to leverage an existing source, or a more complex and expensive process for more/reliable outage power. A cheap inverter would leverage the mower battery as well as a car battery, with limitations but at a modest cost and hassle.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:12 PM
 
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Well, I work with a number of people who have backup power systems because in New England it's not uncommon in winter to have power outages lasting many days.

I have heard not a one talk about battery backup. Everyone I know, who thinks backup is important because they really need it and use it once a year or so, uses a generator. You've got three options there: diesel, gasoline, or natural gas/propane.

Personally, I would go with what people who think it's important go with.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,882 posts, read 54,180,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Now that I live in a home (not on wheels) and have a riding mower with charger I was curious about a power inverter that would allow me to use a fully charged lawn mower battery as a power supply during power outages for things like charging electronic devices, radio, light, fans, etc. I know using it to run a home refrigerator is a waste of battery even with a powerful car battery. Got plenty of battery powered emergency lights as well as oil flame lamps (hurricane hitting tomorrow). Any recommendations on brand and type of inverter? I want one I can directly connect to a riding mower battery instead of the car. Our vehicles require the key be in the on position for power to be in the outlets plus I donít want to drain car batteries. How cheap can I go and get a good reliable model?
A little late on the draw, maybe? If you are charging cell phones and the like, just use one that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket and strip the plug of the end and connect directly to the battery (being sure of polarity), The charge on the battery will last a lot longer.

Mower batteries are pretty small, so don't expect too much, especially if it has been in service for a year or two.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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While an inverter with a high capacity 12-volt battery (not from a lawn mower because it is too small) would be fine, a better idea would be a 2000-Watt Honda inverter generator, or even the smaller one if you only need under 1000 watts. Just keep in mind that it's not a good idea to overload a generator. You want to load it to a maximum of perhaps 75%.

The Honda, or even Yamaha 1,000 Watt generators, are quite nice, and produce clean power. They also have a 12-volt battery charging outlet.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:17 PM
 
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Portable generators are regularly stolen after hurricanes. Some people even tried using chains to lock up the generator and they were still stolen. Only generators not stolen were built in models. We just moved into this home a month ago. It has natural gas. Before we consider a whole home generator we need to change the breaker panel and upgrade the home’s wiring, both more expensive than we can afford at this time after the move. Both of our cars do not have power to the auxiliaries when the key is in the off position. After hurricanes thieves drive around looking for generators as well as vehicles running with no one inside.
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Old Yesterday, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Portable generators are regularly stolen after hurricanes. Some people even tried using chains to lock up the generator and they were still stolen. Only generators not stolen were built in models. We just moved into this home a month ago. It has natural gas. Before we consider a whole home generator we need to change the breaker panel and upgrade the home’s wiring, both more expensive than we can afford at this time after the move. Both of our cars do not have power to the auxiliaries when the key is in the off position. After hurricanes thieves drive around looking for generators as well as vehicles running with no one inside.
Pretty bad situation, I guess. If you don't want to use an inverter generator, then your plan may work, but you will need a high capacity battery, but even so it's charge won't last very long, maybe an hour or two depending on the load being put on the system. The magneto of the lawn tractor can keep the battery charged as long as you keep the motor running, but in reality you can easily overpower it if you add extra lights and things like that. Now an automobile battery has a lot more capacity than the lawn tractor, so you can use a larger inverter as long as you keep the motor running. Some of the vehicles at work have large inverters installed in the engine bay, and an AC power outlet by the fender, but the motor has to be running to maintain the battery fully charged. Solar panels and a battery bank is an option, but can be expensive.
https://www.lifewire.com/will-car-po...battery-534794
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Old Yesterday, 09:06 PM
 
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Just get the smallest cheapest like 80 or 120 watt inverter from Harbour Freight and hook it to your tractor battery. It might not do everything you want but it will surely do some of it.
Your tractor has some capacity to charge the battery. With the tractor running, you might be able to use somewhere around 60 to 150 watts continuously.

Some chargers are not happy with the modified sine wave power from inverters.

What keeps the thieves from taking the tractor. If you can keep an eye on a small generator that's easy to bring inside when your not using it, Theres this,
1000 watt Sportsman inverter generator on sale online at Lowes for $149. Only weighs about 20 lbs. If you get one, keep your receipt so you can return it just in case. I have 2 of them, I think they are great but they are not Honda quality. They are 4 cycle so you don't have to mix the gas & oil. They actually put out about 700 watts of clean sine wave power. There's also a 12vdc output. I think it's 4 amps. I've not used the 12v.
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