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200W laptop charger

Philatc

Member
Mar 16, 2019
20
14
Los Angeles
So I've been deep in the forums for a few hours. I don't need the 1000 plus watt inverter install. I'm looking to just have 200w. My laptop draws a maximum of 188.3 watts at peak. The 12v is limited to 150w. Any ideas on how to add a 200w outlet? I've also browsed the amp forums and those watts are high, 450 plus. My intent is to tap into the fusebox under the frunk. Put an inside 20A fuse with a relay so it's only on when the car is on. Thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
My wife and I both have Dell laptops that require 130w, and the 150w inverter I bought won't allow them to charge. I think the Dell adapter might be requiring a proper ground wire which the inverter won't supply.

But more appropriately, you're changing DC to AC and then back to DC. Have you searched for a DC-DC converter that works with your laptop? Often times the manufacturer makes one, or 3rd party sometimes do as well. The maximum watts will still be a concern, but it's worth a shot. I got the Lenovo 12v to 19v travel adapter for my work laptop and it works great, though it's lower wattage anyway.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J86UXE0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Other than that I don't believe you'll be able to trick more than 150w out of the 12v outlet without replacing wiring, fuses, etc. If you desperately need high power in the cabin you're probably going to need to install that high watt inverter.
 

Philatc

Member
Mar 16, 2019
20
14
Los Angeles
My wife and I both have Dell laptops that require 130w, and the 150w inverter I bought won't allow them to charge. I think the Dell adapter might be requiring a proper ground wire which the inverter won't supply.

But more appropriately, you're changing DC to AC and then back to DC. Have you searched for a DC-DC converter that works with your laptop? Often times the manufacturer makes one, or 3rd party sometimes do as well. The maximum watts will still be a concern, but it's worth a shot. I got the Lenovo 12v to 19v travel adapter for my work laptop and it works great, though it's lower wattage anyway.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J86UXE0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Other than that I don't believe you'll be able to trick more than 150w out of the 12v outlet without replacing wiring, fuses, etc. If you desperately need high power in the cabin you're probably going to need to install that high watt inverter.


So dell does have a DC to DC 12v charger. Only issue is that it still requires the same 200ws. I've modified my other ICE cars and didn't think anything of it. Being that this is nothing but computers and batteries. I'm trying to not brick my car and need a SC visit. I thought about upgrading the current 12v outlet to a 20A circuit. Not sure on the wiring. I'm sure its bundled with 300 other wires. Making this an almost impossible task. The next option I thought of was to tap into my amp. Again I don't want to ruin something. I've seen a video on YouTube where the poster claims there is a 30A circuit in the trunk. For the powerlift gate. That does appeal to me but again knowing me. I'll have my laptop plugged in and open up the lift gate at the same time. I've noticed a few blank fuse spots. So my plan was to run a new line completely. I'm not worried about battery drain etc as the inverter and charger will only be plugged in to charger my laptop. I will say that I am surprised that the car does not come with a higher watt outlet.
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
So dell does have a DC to DC 12v charger. Only issue is that it still requires the same 200ws. I've modified my other ICE cars and didn't think anything of it. Being that this is nothing but computers and batteries. I'm trying to not brick my car and need a SC visit. I thought about upgrading the current 12v outlet to a 20A circuit. Not sure on the wiring. I'm sure its bundled with 300 other wires. Making this an almost impossible task. The next option I thought of was to tap into my amp. Again I don't want to ruin something. I've seen a video on YouTube where the poster claims there is a 30A circuit in the trunk. For the powerlift gate. That does appeal to me but again knowing me. I'll have my laptop plugged in and open up the lift gate at the same time. I've noticed a few blank fuse spots. So my plan was to run a new line completely. I'm not worried about battery drain etc as the inverter and charger will only be plugged in to charger my laptop. I will say that I am surprised that the car does not come with a higher watt outlet.

I was also surprised to know it only has low watt 12v ports. But I figure that's fairly common.

I would really like to have a ~2000w 120v AC inverter with an outlet in the back of my Model Y. That would allow me to use the car to power pretty much anything I want. Basically a makeshift "vehicle to grid" solution.
 

Philatc

Member
Mar 16, 2019
20
14
Los Angeles
I was also surprised to know it only has low watt 12v ports. But I figure that's fairly common.

I would really like to have a ~2000w 120v AC inverter with an outlet in the back of my Model Y. That would allow me to use the car to power pretty much anything I want. Basically a makeshift "vehicle to grid" solution.

We just had a power outage the other day. I was thinking about my 100kwh battery just sitting on the driveway. Then I thought about the Tesla Powerwall and how much that cost. Seems the car could supply your needs via the on board inverter. I'm to scared to mess with it. On a side note I would if this will work?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LFXA5UA

There's a fuse panel on the passenger side kick panel. I'd put this in one of the fuse slots and add a 12V lighter socket. Then power my laptop off of that. If things go south I can always remove the fuse tap. That way I'm not tapping into wires and causing damage. What do you all think of this route??
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
I've never seen that concept before. I suppose it would work but it makes me nervous.

If I ever do this I'm going to tap straight to the 12v battery and put an inverter in the frunk, with an additional outlet run to the back of the car. Having a little piddly inverter in the cabin seems clumsy (I've done it for years and I hate it :D ).
 

luckyj

Member
Dec 8, 2016
434
509
Northern Virginia, USA
I figure if the fuse is 20A then the wire behind it can handle the 200w load at 12v. Worse case I call the fire department, best case I can charge my laptop.

If all you plan to do is charge your laptop, I doubt it would draw more than 100w. I've tested several laptops I own, and the one with the biggest power brick I have is a 120V 3A input. When charging only, it draws between 50 to 60 watts (laptop powered off). You could get a power monitor to test yours.
 
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LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
If all you plan to do is charge your laptop, I doubt it would draw more than 100w. I've tested several laptops I own, and the one with the biggest power brick I have is a 120V 3A input. When charging only, it draws between 50 to 60 watts (laptop powered off). You could get a power monitor to test yours.

There are a lot of laptops that require a lot more power than that. The power brick's OUTPUT numbers are the one to look for.
 

luckyj

Member
Dec 8, 2016
434
509
Northern Virginia, USA
There are a lot of laptops that require a lot more power than that. The power brick's OUTPUT numbers are the one to look for.

My beefiest laptop is pretty beefy, so I'm interested in what those lots of laptops look like and how much power they are drawing :) Why is the output the number too look for? If you're trying to prevent blowing a fuse, don't you want to know the draw not the output? The output on mine is listed as 200w. But the input is more than that, I assume due to conversion losses.
 
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LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
My beefiest laptop is pretty beefy, so I'm interested in what those lots of laptops look like and how much power they are drawing :) Why is the output the number too look for? If you're trying to prevent blowing a fuse, don't you want to know the draw not the output? The output on mine is listed as 200w. But the input is more than that, I assume due to conversion losses.

I find the input values to often be weirdly skewed. There's definitely overhead, but it's such small numbers anyway that I doubt it's likely to be noticeable.

My Dell XPS 15 has a 130w charger and it definitely draws that. If your laptop charger is 200w but only ever draws 50 to 60, I wonder why it has a 200w charger?
 

luckyj

Member
Dec 8, 2016
434
509
Northern Virginia, USA
I find the input values to often be weirdly skewed. There's definitely overhead, but it's such small numbers anyway that I doubt it's likely to be noticeable.

My Dell XPS 15 has a 130w charger and it definitely draws that. If your laptop charger is 200w but only ever draws 50 to 60, I wonder why it has a 200w charger?

That draw is just when charging in a powered off state. When playing games like Overwatch with graphics maxed out, it's over 200w draw.
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
627
701
Arkansas
Ah, well my wife and I definitely want to be able to use the laptop in the car. It's kind of the point of having it with us :D So the 12v outlets aren't high power enough for our laptops.
 

luckyj

Member
Dec 8, 2016
434
509
Northern Virginia, USA
I think it depends on what you are doing. If you are just browsing the net, I would imagine it's no big deal. Streaming a movie, probably still okay, pretty efficient these days. Playing intense games... doubtful.

I used a 200w inverter to power my laptop to take pictures of the 2017 total solar eclipse. Was running for hours, no issue.
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,419
1,348
Newport Coast, CA
Inverters are unnecessary. We use these 120W DC - DC USB-C PD converters to power our high end MacBook pro laptops in our Tesla and RV. They use less power than an inverter and are much more compact. This eliminates the "circular" DC -> AC -> DC conversions an inverter requires.

BatPower|Car Chargers

What brand & model laptops are you using that actually draw 188.3W from your laptop 120V AC -> ???V DC laptop converter? Sure your laptop 120V AC converter might pull that much... but doubt your laptop requires that many Watts to run and charge.

We run our 15" 2017 Core i7 16GB RAM 1TB SSD and 2019 Core i9 64GB RAM 1TB SSD MacBook Pro laptop on a BatPower DC-DC converter. We charge them one at a time in our Tesla since it only has one 12V outlet. Not a problem since both laptops run off their batteries for hours so while ones charging the other runs fine. EASY
 
Last edited:

CraigE1965

Member
Apr 10, 2018
71
82
Mi
I have a 200 watt gaming laptop, about as power hungry as you can get. You can charge it just fine (about 60 watts) from the aux port with converter when it is off. You can even do light usage like a movie or browsing (about 100-120w). You just can not play video games or do cpu/gpu intensive business apps.
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,419
1,348
Newport Coast, CA
I have a 200 watt gaming laptop, about as power hungry as you can get. You can charge it just fine (about 60 watts) from the aux port with converter when it is off. You can even do light usage like a movie or browsing (about 100-120w). You just can not play video games or do cpu/gpu intensive business apps.

What brand & model gaming laptop are you using?
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,419
1,348
Newport Coast, CA
I have a 200 watt gaming laptop, about as power hungry as you can get. You can charge it just fine (about 60 watts) from the aux port with converter when it is off. You can even do light usage like a movie or browsing (about 100-120w). You just can not play video games or do cpu/gpu intensive business apps.

YIKES. Power hungry beast. Sounds like you need to find a 120V AC power plug to use your 200W gaming laptop for anything but "light usage". OUCH

This limits its usability in vehicles since cigarette lighter outlets are typically 12V DC x 15A = 180W. You'd need a minimum of 17A outlet (actually 20A since nobody makes 17A DC fuses fuses) which almost assuredly aren't standard in cars.

Looks like your 200W gaming laptop needs to be connected to the grid... or a 200W or larger inverter... or more power efficient laptop.
 

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