How long can a 12v battery run with an inverter? This question can be approached by discussing two scenarios: with the inverter connected to the load or without the inverter connected to the load.
This article will delve into the methods for calculating the duration of battery in the scenario where a load is connected to an inverter, along with the factors that need to be taken into consideration.
To figure out how long can a 12v battery run the inverter , we must specify three factors to provide a complete answer:
- Four factors that affect the run time of a 12v battery with an inverter
- Factor 1 - How many watts are in a 12volt battery
- Factor 2 - Which is the depth of discharge of the battery
- Factor 3 - How much is the power consumption of the inverter getting from the battery
- Factor 4 - What is the inverter efficiency？
- 2 Steps to calculate how long will a 12v battery last with an inverter
Calculating the duration of time that a 12v battery can power an inverter is impossible due to the numerous factors that come into play.
However, in this part, we will explore some of the key factors that influence the average length of time that a 12v battery can sustain an inverter:
4 Key Factors of 12Volt Battery Duration Time
- Capacity of the battery
- Battery types and depth of discharge
- Power consumption
- Inverter Efficiency
Factor 1 - How many watts are in a 12volt battery
Watts are a measure of power, while volts are a measure of electric potential or voltage.
The battery capacity, which is measured in ampere-hours (Ah) or milliampere-hours (mAh), is conclusive to figure out the number of watts in a 12-volt battery.
To calculate the power in watts, you need to use the formula P = VI, where P is power in watts, V is voltage in volts, and I is current in amperes. Alternatively, the formula to calculate the number of watts in a battery is:
Watts = Volts x Amps
Where:
Volts is the voltage of the battery (in this case, 12 volts)
Amps is the current output of the battery (measured in amperes or milliamperes)
For example, if you have a 12-volt battery with a capacity of 100 Ah, the number of watts would be:
- Watts = 12 volts x 100 amps = 1200 wattss
So, a 12-volt battery with a capacity of 100 Ah has 1200 watts of power.
Which is the depth of discharge of the battery
Different types of batteries have different discharge depths and the discharge depth affects the battery life and capacity. Here are some commonly used battery types and their corresponding discharge depths:
- Lead-acid batteries
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Nickel-cadmium batteries
- Deep Cycle Batteries
These are the most commonly used batteries for inverter and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. These batteries have a discharge depth of around 50%. Going below 50% discharge depth can significantly reduce the life of the battery.
These batteries are relatively new and gaining popularity due to their high energy density, low weight, long lifespan. They are more expensive than lead-acid batteries but are lighter, more compact, and require less maintenance. These batteries have a discharge depth of around 80%. Going below 80% discharge depth can significantly reduce the life of the battery.
Nickel-cadmium batteries are commonly used in cordless power tools and emergency lighting systems. These batteries have a discharge depth of around 80%. Going below 80% discharge depth can significantly reduce the life of the battery.
These batteries are designed to provide sustained power over a longer period of time, making them ideal for use with inverters. They can be discharged to a lower level (between 50% and 80% DOD) without damage, unlike regular batteries.
For an inverter, deep cycle batteries are often the preferred option because they are designed to handle the cyclic discharge and recharge that occurs with inverters. They provide a reliable and long-lasting source of power and are available in both lead-acid and lithium-ion options
Factor 3 - How much is the power consumption of the inverter getting from the battery
To calculate how long a 12V battery will last with an inverter, you need to determine the total power consumption of the inverter and the loads connected to the inverter in watts.
The power consumption of the inverter refers to the amount of DC power drawn from the battery to produce a given amount of AC power.
There are two methods to calculate the total power consumption:
- Use the rated power of the inverter as the total power consumption
This method is relatively simple and suitable for rough energy consumption estimation.This method is relatively simple and suitable for rough energy consumption estimation. In practice, the power of the load may vary, but none of the total load power should exceed the rated power of the inverter. Therefore, it can be equated to the load power for calculation without considering the power of the actual connected appliances.
- Sum up the power of the loads connected to the inverter and the inverter no-load consumption to calculate the total energy consumption.
This method is more detailed and accurate. For each load, you can calculate its energy consumption and then add them up to obtain the overall energy consumption.
However, keep in mind that these calculations are an estimate, and the actual battery life will depend on various factors, such as the age and condition of the battery, the temperature, and the inverter's no load consumption.
Factor 4 - What is the inverter efficiency？
Inverter efficiency is a critical factor that directly impacts the overall energy consumption and battery duration in a system. Efficiency refers to how effectively the inverter can convert the DC power from the battery into AC power for your devices. It is usually expressed as a percentage.
Efficiency is an important consideration because not all of the DC power drawn from the battery is successfully converted into AC power. Some of the energy is lost as heat due to the internal workings of the inverter. This energy loss can vary based on the quality, design, and technology of the inverter.
PowMr's solar inverters stand out with exceptional efficiency, with most of them boasting peak rates of over 95%. This ensures optimal energy conversion, minimal waste, and prolonged battery life, making them an ideal choice for energy-conscious users.
Factoring efficiency in power calculations gives a more accurate estimate of energy consumption from the battery, crucial for extending battery life and optimizing energy use.
2 Steps to calculate how long will a 12v battery last with an inverter
Having obtained all the necessary values mentioned above:
- How many watts in a 12v battery (Battery Capacity)
- Depth of discharge of the battery
- Power consumption of the inverter
- Inverter Efficiency
Next, we will initiate the computation process.
The running time of a battery connected to an inverter is based on the power capacity of the battery and the overall power consumption of the inverter.
The two formulas below will give you an estimate of how long the battery will last before it needs to be recharged or replaced.
- Available battery capacity for inverter = Battery Capacity x Battery Voltage x DOD% x Inverter Efficiency
- Battery Running Time = Available battery capacity for inverter / Overall power consumption of the
inverter
= Battery Capacity x Battery Voltage x DOD% x Inverter Efficiency / Overall power consumption of the inverter
Step 1. Calculate the Available Battery Capacity for Inverter
To ensure accurate calculations and extend battery lifespan, we will take into account the inverter efficiency and battery discharge depth to estimate battery runtime.
Available Battery Capacity for Inverter = Battery Capacity x 12v x DOD% x Inverter Efficiency
Step2. Calculate the Battery Running Time
Divide the available battery capacity for Inverter by the ovelall power consumed by the inverter to get an estimate of the 12v battery life.
- Battery Running Time = Available Battery Capacity for Inverter / Total consumption of the inverter = Battery Capacity x 12v x DOD% x Inverter Efficiency / Total consumption of the inverter
Note:
As mentioned earlier, you have the option to either utilize the rated power of the inverter as the total power consumption or aggregate the power of the loads connected to the inverter to calculate the overall energy consumption.
- Battery Running Time = Available Battery Capacity for Inverter / Inverter Rated Power
or
- Battery Running Time = Available Battery Capacity for Inverter / Sum of the loads power + Inverter No-load Consumption
We will now utilize the first calculation method, assuming that the connected load power is equal to the inverter's rated power. This will allow us to calculate the minimum operating time of the battery, enabling a better assessment of the reliability and performance of the battery system.
This, in turn, provides greater predictability and planning for operations in emergency situations. By computing the shortest duration, you can determine the necessary battery capacity to meet the energy storage requirements during periods without solar input, ensuring the system's smooth operation even under unfavorable conditions.
How long will a 12v battery run the inverter with loads
Here, we take a 12v 100Ah battery(DOD of 80%) as example.
Based on the two formulas listed above, we can calculate how long will a 12v battery last with inverters of different wattages and efficiency.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 3000W inverter (94% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 94% / 3000W = 0.3008 hours
So, battery running time for a 12V battery with a 3000W inverter (94% efficiency) is 0.3008 hours.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 5000W inverter (95% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 95% / 5000W = 0.1824 hours
With a 5000W inverter (95% efficiency), a 12V battery will run for 0.1824 hours.
Battery running time for a 12V battery with a 5000W inverter (95% efficiency) is 0.1824 hours.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 2000W inverter (92% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 92% / 2000W = 0.4416 hours
When powered by a 2000W inverter (92% efficiency), a 12V battery will last 0.4416 hours.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 1000W inverter (92% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 92% / 1000W = 0.8832 hours
With a 1000W inverter (92% efficiency), a 12V battery's runtime is 0.8832 hours.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 200W inverter (92% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 92% / 200W = 4.416 hours
Employing a 200W inverter (92% efficiency) results in a 12V battery lasting for 4.416 hours.
How long will a 12v battery last will an 500W inverter (92% efficiency)
Battery Running Time = 100Ah x 12v x 80% x 92% / 500W = 1.7664 hours
When connected to a 500W inverter (92% efficiency), a 12V battery will run for 1.7664 hours.
These are the methods for calculating battery life. Again, these calculations are only estimates, and the actual battery runtime may vary depending on a variety of factors (such as the age of the battery, temperature, and usage patterns).
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