Inverter versus DC to DC converter

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by CF30Medic, Sep 17, 2018.

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  1. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    i looked several places for an answer to this question and couldn’t find one, so I did a little experimenting.

    The question is: How much more efficient is a dc-dc adapter versus going from 12 volts to 120 volts through an inverter, and then back to laptop voltage through an ac charging cord?

    I have a Panasonic CF-30 Mk3 Toughbook, a 150 watt dc to ac modified sine wave inverter, a Lind dc to dc converter, and two ac charging cords, one OEM Panasonic and one cheap ebay charger.
    I tried them all together and here’s what I found out...

    Charging the laptop from a 50% discharged laptop battery with the unit turned off...
    Panasonic Charger with inverter 3.0 amps
    Cheap charger with inverter....also 3.0 amps
    Lind dc to dc: 2.5 amps

    Laptop turned on and “thinking” hard drive running, processor processing:
    Panasonic ~4.5 amps
    Lind: ~4.2 amps
    Hard to get a solid number because the amperage jumps around a lot.

    Laptop on but idle:
    Panasonic: not tested.
    Lind: 3.0 amps

    The difference is pretty insignificant if you’re charging from your car, but charging from a battery pack or from a solar power system a half an amp can make a big difference.
    Hope that helps.
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