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Can someone educate me how a variable voltage 110-220v AC input can be converted to identical 12v 15a 180W output without having to flip a switch at the input end? Would the DC output be steady enough to power a tire pressure compressor without damaging it? I have also seen products that works only with 110v or 220v (not variable) AC input to achieve same output results. Is the variable voltage input product making a false claim?

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Can someone educate me how a variable voltage 110-220v AC input can be converted to identical 12 V, 15 A, 180 W output without having to flip a switch at the input end?

This is a common feature on many SMPS (switched mode power-supplies) units. A high-frequency switching circuit adjusts the high-voltage pulses fed into a small transformer to feed enough energy through to maintain the correct voltage on the output over a wide range of input voltages and output currents.

Would the DC output be steady enough to power a tire pressure compressor without damaging it?

Motors present a difficult load as the starting current is very high so we can't say.

I have also seen products that works only with 110 V or 220 V (not variable) AC input to achieve same output results. Is the variable voltage input product making a false claim?

There is no reason to suspect this if buying from a reputable supplier.


Note: 'V' or 'volt', 'A' or 'ampere', 'K' or 'kelvin' (but 'k' for kilo). SI units named after a person are lowercase when spelled out but their symbols have the first letter capitalised.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The tire pressure compressor indicates a max draw of 10A from 12V DC source. So, I assume the output of 12V DC 15A 180W cigarette socket is adequate in this case. \$\endgroup\$ – user205639 Nov 28 '18 at 7:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ It should be OK. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Nov 28 '18 at 7:18

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