I've recently bought an air compressor with a cigarette lighter socket cord. It plugs into your car.

The specs say that it takes 12V dc at 14A but I want to power it with small batteries (AA, AAA, 9V) so I can carry it on the go. I know that there are heavy car batteries that would work, but I want a light solution.

I tried using 2AA's and a 9V, only to realise that the current was too low.

Without putting 105 batteries in parallel, is there any way to amp up the current of a battery?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well with a dozen or two AAs you can get 12V@14A possibly but not for very long. How long time do you need it to sustain 14A BTW? \$\endgroup\$ – user3528438 Oct 3 '17 at 11:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Try some Li-ion 18650 cells, 4 in series. Most 18650's have a max current rating printed on them, make sure its greater than 14A. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve G Oct 3 '17 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ 168 Watts - it's just too much to ask from some AA "batteries" or even smaller cells. There's a reason why it's supposed to be connected to the cigarette lighter socket. A big lithium-ion battery might work as a replacement. \$\endgroup\$ – Oskar Skog Oct 3 '17 at 11:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Look at flight packs for RC aircraft or quadcopters. They will be Li-Ion as Steve G suggests, buy more than one and a matching charger. They are small, light and will do the job - a quadcopter is just a fancy air pump. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Oct 3 '17 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also bare in mind that those air compressors have a major inrush current (100+ amps) so even if you could manage with AA batteries you would need a thermistor to manage the current on turn on \$\endgroup\$ – Makoto Oct 3 '17 at 12:51

You are out of luck. This compressor takes 12 V at 14 A, so 170 W. Anything that can source that kind of power for a useable period of time is going to take some space and weight.

Trying to do this with AAA or even AA batteries is like trying to bail the Titanic with a teaspoon. Ain't gonna work.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What if I were to use 6V lantern batteries, will it be worth the price? \$\endgroup\$ – Beaver .Hacker Oct 4 '17 at 7:27

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