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Can I Power My Shed With a Car Battery?

Updated February 21, 2017

Supplying power to a shed from the house electrical supply can be costly and difficult. Old car batteries are cheap, easy to move around and can supply enough power to meet the basic needs of many shed enthusiasts.

Lighting

A single car battery will light a shed. Use salvaged car light fittings or buy 12-volt lighting designed for use in trailers and boats. Low energy LED lights are ideal as they draw very little power from the battery.

Heating

Heaters designed for use in boats and trailers run on 12 volts. Heaters can draw over 40 amps from a battery so power them from a high amp/hour rated battery.

Other Items

Almost anything designed to run in a car, boat or trailer will run from a 12-volt battery. Clocks, radios, CD players, televisions and kettles, microwaves and cool boxes are available in 12-volt versions.

More Power

More than one battery increases the voltage or power available. Linking batteries in series combines their voltages. Ten 12-volt batteries in series give a 120-volt supply. Batteries joined in "parallel" still provide 12 volts but the power, and thus the lifetime in use, increases. Never run a car battery until it "dies." This quickly shortens its life.

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About the Author

David Robinson has written professionally since 2000. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. He has written for the "Telegraph" and "Guardian" newspapers in the U.K., government publications, websites, magazines and school textbooks. He holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in geography and education and a teaching certificate from Durham University, England.