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Old 02-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #1
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Dumb electrical question about potentially overloading a power socket

I'm not an electrician or anything, I'm just wondering about an electrical question and this seemed like a good place to ask. I'm going to be taking a cross-country road trip and on the drive I'm going to need about 8 different chargers plugged in and charging, possibly all at the same time; all of the chargers have two-pronged plugs. My car is a 2007 Honda CR-V and, according to the manual, "each socket is intended to supply power for 12 volt DC accessories that are rated 120 watts or less (10 amps)."

Now, I have a 75 watt Radio Shack power inverter, the specs of which are listed here:

And I have an 8-outlet power strip/surge protector which can be seen here:

My idea is to plug the power inverter into the cigarette lighter socket in the car, plug the surge protector into the grounded power outlet on the power inverter and then plug the chargers into the surge protector so that I can charge more than one thing at a time. Each charger that I'll need to plug in has a rating of either "5V 1A" or "8.4V 0.7A" or "8.4V 1.2A" so, if wattage equals volts times amperes (#V times #A) then those ratings would equal 5 watts, 5.88 watts and 10.08 watts in wattage...right? If that's correct and the chargers were all plugged in at once then I assume you'd just add up their wattages and as long as that number is under 75 watts then the inverter, the lighter socket, the surge protector and the chargers should all be fine...right? I added the wattages up and it totals to around 70 watts so even if they were all plugged in at once they'd still be below the limit for both the inverter (75W) and the car (120W).

Now, assuming everything I said above is correct (and I'm not sure that it is) one thing still throws me off and makes me uncertain which is the specs listed for the power strip/surge protector. These are from the surge protector's page that I linked to above:
Joules = 1800 joules, Wattage = 1875 watts, Amp Rating = 15 amps, Input Voltage = 125 Volts, Clamping Voltage = 330 Volts

Now, obviously 1875 watts is more than 75 watts, 15 amps is more than 10 amps and 125 and 330 volts are more than 12 volts so according to those numbers it would be way too much for either the inverter or the car's power socket to handle and thus would not work. But I'm not sure if those numbers actually mean anything in this scenario or don't apply since the total wattage of the chargers plugged into the surge protector is less than the 75 watt limit for the inverter and the 120 watt limit for the car.

So my question is: would I be able to successfully hook up the inverter, surge protector and chargers into the car's cigarette lighter socket without blowing a fuse or anything else going wrong? Thanks in advance, and forgive my ignorance on this topic!
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:36 AM   #2
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The ratings of the surge protector are the maximum power it can
It is not what will be flowing in all cases or for your case,
What will be flowing for you,
will be only what the chargers will use,
Which is only 47 w.
Well with in the 75w rating.
You can safely use it for what you have described.

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 02-17-2011 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:43 AM   #3
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what is the amperage requirement of the inverter? less that 10a?
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Please follow the code - its there for your safety no matter how inconvenient.
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