A car power adapter is built to perform the function of an AC / DC inverter. It conveniently plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet to give a reliable power source while away from home. The inverter has a variety of sockets including a USB port to accept most standard items of electronic equipment. This means it is able to charge power tools, games consoles, cell phones, or laptops when camping or similar.
There are a wide range of car power inverter units with a choice of outlets. They can vary with the type and number of outlets, as well as the voltage that can be handled.
Here is an overview of the different types of car power inverter:
The most cost-effective option is the single outlet inverter. They are built with a single 3-pronged outlet to accept one electronic item. The current capacity can vary between 150 watts and 200 watts. A useful benefit of this unit is its compact size, which makes it really easy to use and store. Also, the ability to power only one device at a time means there is a low risk of overloading the system. But, the single use option means the all-round use is limited and not a practical choice when multiple devices are in need of charging. If it is necessary to charge several devices, the inverter will be in use for a long time, which can put a strain on the vehicle battery.
The Multiple outlet inverters are a lot more expensive and larger than the single outlet units. Most are built to power two devices, although there are some that have up to three and include a higher wattage capacity. This type of inverter is great on a campsite when it is necessary to power a DVD player and television at the same time. When using the multiple outlet inverters it is essential to make sure the electronic items do not exceed the accepted capacity limit of the inverter. If it does go above the maximum limit the devices may not perform correctly or simply not work at all.
There are certain inverters that include one or more USB ports. This is often in conjunction with the 3-pronged outlets. Easy access to USB power is practical to charge a wide range of devices like tablet PCs, smart phones, or other gadgets powered via a USB cable. Similar to the multiple outlet inverters it is important to avoid charging devices that will exceed the maximum current rating.