Can I use a MIG or TIG Welder with a 12V-230V Power' Inverter?

robert1701robert1701 Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
This is probably a tricky one.
I would like to use my welders on an off grid or mobile installation, which I still have to put together also.
The biggest one is a 'Cebora MIG-802 Special Car', 220V, 9A to 18A Prim.
A few parallel batteries can deliver some serious Amps and there are some inverters which can, on paper, supply some more power than others.
But it's the starting current that worries me. I'm afraid the inverter will go in safety and cut off.
Has anyone tried this already?


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,042 admin
    We had one member from Hawaii that ran a fabrication business on old/recovered forklift batteries and AIMS AC Inverters (AIMS--Not the best inverters out there). Last we heard years ago, he was very happy with the setup.

    This is always the issue with making your own power--You are experimenting with out of the box usage, and if something does fail, it is your $$$ and time used to recover if there are any issues/failures.

    My suggestion would be, if you try the welder(s), just don't have anything else expensive on the AC output of the Inverter while trying welding (like your laptop computer)--And see what happens.

    I cannot figure out the minimum input AC rating of the welder--Is it 1-50 Amps @ 60 Hz and 220 VAC?

    You can always start at low welding current and see how the inverter behaves. Have a pocket full of DC fuses or use DC breaker on the inverter DC power input for testing. At 150 Amps @ 19 volts, that is ~2,850 VA (sort of Watts), So, you are probably looking at a 4,000 Watt (VA) rated inverter minimum to run at near full output current. Not a small inverter or battery bank (suggest ~800 AH @ 24 volts or 400 AH @ 48 volt DC battery bank for running at full power for extensive amounts of time--You might try 1/2 that AH if you are going to experiment with new/fully charged battery bank).

    There is a Cosine (power factor?) on the bottom of the welder label... That would tell you a bit more about the AC power requirements... VA=Watts/PowerPactor -- VA is either same value or larger than Watts (2,850W/0.9PF=3,167VA). And most "residential inverters", their Watt rating equals their VA rating (commercial inverters and generators can have higher VA ratings). 

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,543 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Using an inverter to power a welder really doesn't make much sense, it involves converting DC to AC then back to DC, perhaps with an extremely large inverter, along with a substantial battery capacity, the conversion losses may be trivial, however doing so on a marginal system is not something I would recommend or consider, welding is, after all,  an intentional controlled short circuit, keeping the arc between the feed wire and the work piece.

    For this reason I personally use a generator to power the MIG welder, it is able to maintain a controlled arc without the sags that would  occur with a limited battery / inverter combination.The generator obviously should be sized accordingly to the welders demands to avoid the same voltage sag issues.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭✭
    You could measure the startup and operating currents and compare to available inverter specs.  I'd also consider upgrading to an inverter welder - it's likely to cause less stress on the DC->240VAC inverter.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • robert1701robert1701 Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    edited May 8 #5
    I've found this inverter online:
    If I read correct, I can connect solar panels to it also. So It's an Inverter and controller in-one. If I'm correct.
    I also think it wil be beter to put some batteries is series and make a 24v or 48v system
    About using and electronic inverter welder. I heared it wouldn't be a good idea. If the power inverter and inverter Welder for example both use pwm and chop the current, the welder might need electricity the most when the inverter issupplying none at that moment. I havend looked at the schematics of such appliances yet, so I don't know it is so. But I saw someone try to use a 12V- 230V electronic inverter in a car to feed the electronic switching power supply for his laptop and this did not work. It would not work at all.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,042 admin
    Normally, PSW/TSW AC inverters work fine for powering laptops and other AC power supplies.

    What can work/sort of work/or fail are MSW (modified square/sine wave) inverters--The "square wave" output of these types of AC inverters can cause some AC power bricks to overheat and fail, or even fail almost immediately. And for induction motors, make those run hot.

    The problem is, there are different ways to make the front end of AC power supplies... The older/cheap/easy way does not like MSW input (run hot, MSW peak voltage is lower than PSW sine wave peak voltage)... The newer Power Factor Corrected input AC supplies, usually work very nicely with MSW input.

    Lightly loaded induction motors will usually work OK on MSW. Dedicated/designed for takes (like integrated refrigeration compressors), are usually operated near their design loading. And the 10-20% extra heat that comes from operating on MSW can be enough to cause hot running/shorter life.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • robert1701robert1701 Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    edited May 9 #7
    Thanks for the pdf.
    The reason I would first opt for a 12v system is that many appliances and electric tools are available in 12v versions, so no inverter will je needed at all.
    But something like a welder which needs a big current as is, this would be multiplied a lot on the 12v side.
    A refrigirator with a compressor wouldn't ask for so much and a 12v inverter will suffice, but still I will have to choose a compatible type to avoid problems, as you mentioned, running hot. I would place a dedicated inverter for the fridge, so the thermostat will switch the inverter on and off, not the fridge itself.
    It will probably be better to weld with a generator. But there the startup is a huge problem. That's why I would have liked to try an big inverter.

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,012 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have used a large arc welder (240V 30A) with my XW6048.    I'd prefer to use a generator in the future.
     I don't see a good result using a 12V inverter with a welder
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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