Powering stuff when there is a power outage

Hi! I spent the new year’s
countdown in the dark because there was a power
outage and half the city was out. I finally thought of a
solution, though, but… 2016 was already gone! See, I have this power
inverter for use in a car. You connect it to
your cigarette lighter or directly to the 12 V battery
and it generates AC output. So you can use it to power
your stuff at home. You can’t drive your car
into your home, but you might have
a battery-operated drill that runs on a 12 V or 14 V battery.
Then, you’re set! Let’s connect it up. I probably connected it backwards. My luck is sh*t. I never
connect it right the first time. F***!
Now it doesn’t work?! Are you kidding me?!
Not only it’s completely broken, its 50A fuse is blown.
Who designed this s***? Reverse-polarity protection
reliant on a 50A fuse to blow?! Seriously?! It’s like cutting your d***
to prevent pregnancy. I replaced the fuse, and now,
if I connect my Mooshim multimeter to the input terminals
of the inverter in reverse, I can clearly see that there is a diode
drop voltage across the terminals. This is the circuit they have.
If you connect the battery here, the current goes through
the fuse here and powers the circuit here. But if you connect the battery
backwards, like this, then the diode forward-bias
and there is a huge current through the fuse
that blows the fuse. And it can’t even protect
the circuit here! Even their datasheet says
“reverse polarity connection will result in a blown fuse and may cause
permanent damage to the inverter.” Absolute garbage. Well, this is bulls***.
Now I have to buy a new inverter. This wasn’t even the focus. Okay, let’s see.
Is there anything on sale? Let me test a couple of these
and see if it has the same crap circuit. Huh. This has a diode drop, too. Wow, even the Cat has
the same crappy protection. Seems like the same person
designed all of them. Let’s just get the cheapest one. Dear inverter designers,
this is the circuit you need. Keep your fuse, change
your diode to a TVS diode and use a MOSFET in this configuration
for reverse-polarity protection. Anyway, I have my drill battery and I’ve hooked up
my Mooshim meter, so we can measure the current
and voltage on my phone. Now, we connect the battery… and turn on the inverter. Here we go. You have around
5 A from the battery at 12 V, which draws 60W from the battery. This is good, but it drains
my puny drill battery quickly. So, instead… I can use an LED light. And you see, it only draws 1 A,
or 12 W, from the battery. So this is going to last much longer
and provides the same brightness. Now, I’d like to plug my inverter
into the outlet of my house so I can power more things. And for that I made this harness
that you can plug to both sides. First, you plug it to the inverter… [Pain and profanity] Any time you connect the power harness,
connect it to your load side first, so you wouldn’t short your
power supply or shock yourself. ♪ I’m only human, after all ♪ This is probably the most
stupid harness one can make, because it exposes high
voltage on both sides. So, don’t make it. Let’s very carefully plug it in. Yes, we have to make sure our load
is not powered from a different source, like the BLEEPING city power! The issue is that although
both these sources are 120 VAC, they are different in many ways. The yellow sine wave is the city voltage and the green wave is the
output of the inverter. You can see they don’t have the same shape, they are not in-phase,
or even have the same frequency. So connecting them together
shorts their voltages badly. So, in order for me to power
a room from a plug, I have to disconnect the main
power and some heavy loads, like the washer and the fridge, because my inverter cannot
take that much power. Actually, that’s pretty dumb. It’s better and easier if I just
disconnect that specific room, which I believe is breaker #3. Now we can safely plug them in. [Super girlish scream, bleeping] Apparently, it was breaker #2. Always make sure you open
the correct breaker by connecting the light or
something into the plug. But here’s a redneck way of knowing
which one is the correct breaker. Just short the plug in question
and the correct breaker opens. Hahaha!
Don’t do it! One last try. There! It’s working. Two lights, my phone—all working. One thing you should realize
is that your phone line, or internet, doesn’t disconnect when
there’s a power outage. So this way you can bring them back. [BEEEEEEEP!] Oh, now my inverter is complaining. The problem is that my puny
drill battery can’t last for long. But if you have one of these larger
batteries, like this one for example, that has 7.2 amp-hours,
it can last for much longer. Let’s turn on the TV by my
inverter and measure the current. It is drawing 16 A from 12 V,
so it is around 200 W. My battery is 7.2 amp-hours and drawing
16 A from it will shorten its life quicker. We need a car battery. With this, I plug the entire
setup into my inverter. The TV, digital box, my phone,
the radio and even the light. This setup is drawing around
22 A from the battery, and my battery is around 75 amp-hours,
which means it’ll last for more than 3 hours. So I’m set. Okay, let’s return the battery. Let’s try it. [Engine trying to start] [Profanity] [Engine still trying to start] You know, there are these things called
UPS, or uninterruptible power supply, that output AC, have their
own battery and charge it, too. Maybe they are worth the investment. You know, this Mooshim meter
has become increasingly handy. It would be ashame if
I had to give it away. Yes, I’m giving away 10 Mooshim meters
to my Patreons at Patreon.com. No matter what Mooshim
means in German. You can also buy it from these sources. And, you know, I want to make some
secret videos that I don’t want everyone to see,
available to my Paterons. Hopefully that’s a good idea.

100 thoughts on “Powering stuff when there is a power outage

  1. ElectroBOOM

    I like to exercise watching television and listening to music. There is some way of doing the same thing that you did of giving electrical power to a room through the inverter with a rechargeable battery, but, that this battery is being charged at the same time by my mechanical work. Could you design something that helps to use my spining gym or my treadmill to charge the battery at home?

  2. I built my own UPS using a 24 volt 10,000 watt inverter, 2 marine batteries, a double pole-double throw (8 terminal) relay & a 2 amp 25 volt transformer with FULL WAVE BRIDGE RECTIFIER. It has worked for 5 years now as I test it monthly.

  3. You really had a power outage?
    I have not had a power outage in my neighborhood in n.j. u.s.a. since 1978 or 1977. It was the year reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs in the world series. Since then no power outage. Uninterrupted power for like 30 years.

  4. I know you do all the "Boom" for fun, and you never would put you in danger, but sorry to expose your trick at 3:07 that you have a small capacitor or a diode connected in the power cord! =P

  5. Went back to look at your reverse polarity protection circuit, realized you have 4 hands on the paper… 1:57 and after

  6. If you feed 120v through your circuit breaker panel without disconnecting the city power during a power outage you will kill the lineman that is working on your lines because transformers work both ways.

  7. forgive me for being dumb but doesn't an inverter output AC ? why would you connect a mains outlet to the AC output of the inverter ? wouldn't that just blow it up ? or are you feeding the inverters output into your houses AC supply ?

  8. points to something
    *also points to something else
    Me:ok reasonable
    points at something else
    Me:ok- wait what

  9. I usually just wait until the power comes back on.
    Though, I have a dozen ice packs I keep in both the fridges freezer, and regular independent freezer, to keep it cool regardless. Lasts 16 hours.

  10. You're an ASSHOLE. You can't open up packages in a store and test them with your meter. If the meter is on the wrong setting you can damage electronics. 🖕

  11. they do that shit on purpose with the inverters because it's a common mistake to make so they just profit.

  12. Planned obsolescence… I'm sure it's cheaper to construct the devices without reverse polarity protection, and as seems to be the case today every company races to the bottom to make a cheaper product and maximize short-term profit. And then it breaks and people just buy a new one. Sad.

  13. I see no reason for reverse polarity protection at this output current level it will only generate additional losses. Dear Mehdi this voltage drop You see between – and + could exists because of reverse diodes in mosfets of H bridge.

  14. Please make a video explaining the diferencie between pure sine and modified Sine inverters, greetings from Colombia.

  15. That's a suicide cord. Male to Male ends. Dangerous. Safe and cheap way to go is to get a interlock safety switch for breaker panel and a 30 or 50 amp generator inlet plug in box with breaker installed. Then you can hookup a generator.

  16. I know this video is 2y old now but i actually don't have power where i live and i'm slowly buyi g everything to make a solar system(everything is super expensive), meanwhile i use a car battery with an inverter (slightly bigger than your's) to power basic stuff like phone chargers, the internet router and ocasionally other stuff during the day, (not the tv bc i have one of those very old ones and the inverter can't power it correctly bc of the wavefrequency but it's a very good thing, nor the computer bc it buzzes a lot i don't trust my gaming pc to that) and at night i have a gasoline generator that i turn on every day for a few hours to use the computer, fridge, washing machine, tv and charge the battery, i actually have another very expensive inverter that gives you the round wave instead of the square one and that can safely power my pc without buzzing and the older tv (but i don t use it since i'll be using it when i have my solar system in place)


  18. ElectroBoom is just like Kennedy Steve. I haven't got the slightest clue what the fuck is he talking about, but I'm staying for shits and giggles. The multiple hands were a hilarious Leslie Nielsen throwback.

  19. This guy is the type of person who can’t afford solar panels because of his monstrous electric bill and extensive house repairs.

  20. Why not park your car close to the door and run extended cables from the battery while the car is running and then hook it up to your Inverter? It will last as long as you have gas.

  21. Does he shock himself, so often, on purpose for comedic effect and/or as an example for us to watch what happens when you make minor mistakes?

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