Milwaukee M18 Propane 6-Bay Inverter/Charger

*** EXCLUSIVE – 10/19/2016 @ 12:33PM ***

Milwaukee is innovating in a way that has yet-to-be-seen…..

The design stages are complete for a new propane-powered inverter charger, which will be able to charge 6 of the M18 batteries (2 at a time) without having to plug it  into the wall.  This will be powered solely from disposable propane cylinders, and will give the user the ultimate in portability.

Basically this will be a 6-port charger & propane inverter/generator all in one.  It will NOT be able to power corded tools, but the power output will go exclusively into the built-in charging ports.

A total of 6 ports (all M18) + 2 USB ports will surround the base.  Internally these are split into two distinct “banks”.  The 3-port left & 3-port right.  One battery per side can be charged at the same time — meaning you will be able to load it up & charge two batteries at once.  The two USB ports are installed separately, meaning you will be also able to charger your phone anytime the unit is running.

Here is a quick “how it works” flowchart & wiring diagram….

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Since the unit will utilize standard 1-lb disposable propane cylinders — which are the same variety you would buy at your local store to power a small propane grill — you will most likely be able to use a standard adapter & hose in order to power the unit off of the much larger 20lb+ tanks (like your regular gas grill will use).

Why not just use a regular inverter or generator, plug regular chargers into it, and have the option to use it for things other than charging batteries?

We can think of a few reasons….and here is a rundown of the good/bad that sticks out already…..

Good :

  • Portability
  • Weight (vs Inverter + Charger separately)
  • Ease-of-use
  • Simply design
  • No need for external power source
  • Fast charging
  • Quiet operation
  • Price (if priced BELOW the cost of a typical inverter/generator)

Bad :

  • Outdoor use only
  • Fumes
  • Fire risk
  • Weight (vs standard wall charger)
  • Maintenance costs
  • Propane costs
  • Lifespan (wont last forever….)
  • Price (if priced near/at/above the cost of a typical inverter/generator)
  • New “untested” design

What does this mean?

Well….it means that Milwaukee is thinking outside the box.  They are continuing to pursue new ideas that will eventually make the job-site completely cordless — including chargers.  Time will tell if this actually makes it to production, but it looks promising.

Our fears would be job-site accidents resulting from people using the unit indoors (carbon monoxide poisoning), fire risks (hot exhaust near flammable materials), and the unit lifespan/reliability.

Since you must run generators & inverters outside in order to properly/safely dissipate the exhaust — that means you would also need to leave your very expensive propane charger & very expensive battery packs outside also.  Theft & weather will be the two biggest enemies of this setup & either will cost you a lot of money.

Stay tuned as we learn of more developments from Milwaukee!

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