Can I bypass my ac adaptor to save energy?

By Stevec77 ·
I'm going solar at my remote weekend cabin. I'd like my computer, modem & wifi on all the time. The components each have an AC adapter(120AC to 12VDC) I'm thinking that there would be less power consumption and waste if I bypass the ac adapters and wire directly to my 12 volt battery bank (which is recharged by the solar system). I'd not be wasting energy through the adapters. Am I correct in my thinking or all wrong? Help please?

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The proper use would be an Inverter ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Can I bypass my ac adapto ...

That way, you could channel the solar powered charge, thus driving 120V AC units through whichever battery-powered system you have (either 12Volt or 24Volt).

A residual current device wouldn't be a bad idea either.

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Fusing and Current Limits

by TheChas In reply to Can I bypass my ac adapto ...

If the AC adapters all provide 12 VDC, you are correct that you would save power and improve efficiency if you connected your devices directly to your 12 volt DC battery bank.

However, I would not directly connect any DC powered device directly to your battery bank. At a minimum, you want to add a fuse rated for somewhere between nominal and maximum current draw for the device.

I myself would include a reverse polarity protection diode and perhaps a voltage surge protector. A switch in the power line would not be a bad idea.

You can build all of this into either an electrical box, or a small "Bud" box.

For your DC devices that use lower voltages, you can still bypass the AC adapters with voltage regulators. Just make sure to properly size them and allow for proper cooling.

For some detailed information on voltage regulator components, check out the National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments and EDN web sites.

For parts for the home hobbyist, check out All Electronics, BG Micro, and Hostfelt Electronics.

It can also be more efficient for devices that require higher DC voltages to use a DC to DC converter rather than an AC power inverter.

Vicor Power is but one company that makes a broad line of DC to DC converters.


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Great solid advice

by Stevec77 In reply to Fusing and Current Limits

Thank you, Chas. I'll print your reply and suggestions off and follow it. Much appreciated.


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