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Will this power inverter work?

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Could this harm the MBP battery/any other hardware? I occasionally have electrical problems, so I cannot afford a generator/UPS.

This device (above) will convert from 12V to 220V from a connected 12V battery. Can I plug in a MBP charger to this device and will it charge 100W MBP battery for 5 to 6 hrs continuously?

Any suggestions regarding the use of this modified sine wave device would be appreciated.

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    See also - Charging my Macbook with power inverter.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 0:56
  • You might be better off asking a more problem-oriented question instead of trying an imperfect solution first when an easier option is available. This is an X,Y problem. More to the point: converting 12V to 220V and then to 20V is more steps than straight 12V to 20V. The automotive USB-C charger options are what you need. Older generations exist as well for magsafe charging and classic barrel plug chargers. No need for the inverter in any scenario. Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 10:31
  • @JohnKeates Sure, a direct to battery USB charger connector - like this (disclaimer: not a product recommendation, buy at your own risk) - with a USB-C charger may work fine. But an inverter is a better idea if you want to use other AC appliances too.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 12:16

2 Answers 2

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No, it is not advisable to use an inverter that provides a modified sine wave output to charge delicate electronic equipment like phones and laptops. Battery chargers can have issues with these type of inverter, may not charge properly and can get damaged too as they attempt to draw more current.

Invest in a good quality inverter that outputs pure sine wave, and will provide the correct voltage and current rating. (Opt for reputed brands than considering the cheaper lower quality options - they are often cheaper because they skimp on essential circuitry).

(See Pure Sine Wave vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverters – What’s the Difference? to learn more).

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I believe it will work but that is looking like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly. You will not need a 1500 watt inverter to charge a laptop. I would suggest something like this, an automotive USB-C charger: https://www.aukey.com/collections/car-charger/products/aukey-car-charger-dual-usb-48w

I use something similar to keep my MacBook Pro charged should utility power fail me. My USB-C automotive charger is similar, it will provide up to 27 watts to the USB-C port, that's 9 volt at 3 amps. The example I gave above will provide up to 30 watts. That's 15 volts at 3 amps or 20 volts at 1.5 amps. It also provide 9 volts and 5 volts at 3 amps for lower power devices.

27 watts worked well for me to keep my MBP running indefinitely with web surfing, e-mail, and other light general purpose stuff. If you need to have 100 watts to your laptop then I'd still recommend against the inverter. Not only are inverters notorious for not playing well with many DC power supplies but you are also introducing two voltage conversions, each voltage conversion will come with a loss in efficiency. If run time is precious then you will want the most efficient conversion from 12 volt DC to the 20 volt DC that your MBP wants.

Perhaps this will work: https://satechi.net/products/72w-type-c-pd-car-charger-adapter

I've used Aukey before and they worked for me, I haven't tried Satechi. They say it is a 72 watt charger but that means 60 watts to USB-C and 12 watts to USB-A. The Aukey is rated similarly, 30 watts to USB-C and 18 watts to USB-A. Plugging in both to your MBP doesn't allow the laptop to charge faster, the MBP will only charge from the port that offers the most power.

Unless you plan on doing some real heavy work on your laptop in an extended power outage something like those two examples I gave should work. If you do in fact need more than 60 watts then I'd at least exhaust all options for a 12 volt USB-C charger before resorting to an inverter to power an AC to USB-C charger.

Good luck with that, I know what it's like to have the power go out while trying to stay connected on the computer.

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  • But then, we need to purchase a car first. ;)
    – sfxedit
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 12:20
  • " But then, we need to purchase a car first. " Or one of these powerwerx.com/… and one of these powerwerx.com/alligator-clips-inline-fuse-powerpole I know it is a comment make in jest, but I offer a suggestion if someone does find this a real problem. As the original question shows battery clamps the assumption is that clamping to the battery terminals is an option.
    – MacGuffin
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 12:29

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