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That’s Mister Chalet To You ....
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm generally google-proficient but I wouldn't know where to start on this, since all I remember from high school is amps X volts = watts

Pellet smokers: Traeger has a little 300 sq" tailgater unit that would be ideal for my needs. That brings camping to mind. It draws 300-400W for the first few minutes (igniter starting the pellets on fire) and drops-off to a scant 60ish W to maintain a low & slow smoke. Call it 100W for good measure. How do you figure-out how long a fully-charged car battery could produce 100W (with the power loss through an inverter)?

IE if I'm dreaming of a smoker running for.... call it 2 start-ups and 10-15 hours over a camping weekend, how big of a car battery would I need to bring with me?






PS: I hate generators. At track day weekends, camping in pit row SUCKS when some people run generators the whole time. I'd never bring one to a campground.
 

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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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7,781 Posts
100 W is 8 amps at 12 V in round numbers. Inverters are fairly efficient. Look at the amp hour rating of your battery. This information isn't as commonly available as it once was so you may have to hunt a bit. Numbers like 80 amp-hours are typical but much higher capacity batteries are available. You're probably better off with a deep draw battery as common car batteries don't do well with repeated deep discharges. Off hand, I'd try to avoid discharging beyond 50%.

The better generators are fairly quiet.
 

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Good rule of thumb is 12V on an inverter is extremely inefficient, not going into technical jargon but the "most efficient" inverters run on 48V and up. The lower the input volts the more the inverter has to double the volts to get to the output. I have a small (cheap) 1000W inverter running my garage. Enough to run lights and the odd drillmachine. Go for those portable solar jobbies, sunlight is free after all.
 

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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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7,781 Posts
See here. They're typically seeing 85-95% efficiency, which in the round numbers used here can be ignored.
 

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That’s Mister Chalet To You ....
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7,753 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info guys but this whole smoker story is a non-starter.

Yes, it smokes well but the claim is that you can also grill on them, which is definitely not the case, with this model anyway. I let it run on max for one full hour, expecting to hear a nice screaming sear when I drop a burger on the grill but no. It is impossible to achieve grill marks on a fucking burger, never mind actually sear a steak. It's more like a hamburger warmer-upper.

End-result: click
 
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