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    Grans New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    First of all, hey there, new here to the Prius chat!

    Our family has just purchased a 2010 Prius II, and we are taking an extensive trip out west with it. We want to use the Prius battery via the cigarette lighter to recharge our laptop's battery (ONLY while driving, not while it's parked). It's a Toshiba Satellite L505 and gets about 2 hours of life on a six-cell battery. I was wondering what effect this will have on our Prius' battery power while traveling. Will it be any different if i recharge around town or on the highway? And will it cause the car's battery to run down while driving or after stopping and restarting the car? In other words, how much pull will it be on the battery?

    And while i'm thinking about it, will doing this also affect my gas mileage while having the laptop plugged in? If so how much? If you're not quite sure, a ballpark figure would be ok, it's important.

    Thanks very much in advance. I can provide more information if necessary, if i have it. Great to have this chat. :)
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    Airbalancer Active Member

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    Location:
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    We were on an 18 hour trip in June
    My daughter used their 17" laptop in the lighter without any problems
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    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    silentak1 Since 2005

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    I've done this with a 300watt power inverter. Worked fine, but take extra fuses.
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    rpeek2 Dry Ice Juggler

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    Yep, ditto here. I've used a 200 watt Coleman inverter for several hours at a time--no harm to the car or laptop. Do note that the 12V outlet is not energised when car is off.
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    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    All those blown fuses should be telling you that those 12V accessory outlets are not designed for anything close to 300 watts.
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    Grans New Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. I'd post a link to the charger i'm buying, but i can't post links till i have 5 posts... It's a car adapter made specifically for my laptop, not an inverter (if you mean those devices that let you plug into another battery and you can plug a device into like normal). I'm also aware that we can't power the devices while the car is off, this is going to be while it's on and running.

    Sucks that i can't post a link, but if you google "toshiba L505 car adapter", it's the first result you see from amazon $30. That's what i'll be using to power the laptop and plug it into the cigarette lighter. I wanted to say the specific model just for clarification, so there you go. It's listed as "Pwr+ Car Charger for Toshiba Satellite L305 L355 L355d L505 L505d L515 L555 L555d Power Cord".

    While i'm on this topic, i wanted to ask something else as well. Im also getting an Android phone (Droid X probably or something similar). Would using that via a car adapter be too stressful on the battery WHILE ALSO having the laptop plugged into the other cigarette lighter at the same time? I know it won't be much if i just have the Android phone plugged in, but what about running both the laptop AND the Droid simultaneously? Thanks again for everything.
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    macman408 Devil's Advocate General

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    Model:
    V
    The manual says the port will supply 12V at up to 10 Amps - that's 120 Watts. The first thing that comes up doing the search you recommend is a 95 Watt adapter, which should be OK.

    I don't know about the Droid X in particular, but assuming it charges via USB, that's typically 2.5 Watts (5V, 500 milliamps). Some devices (iPad, iPhone) come with more powerful chargers (10 Watt and 5 Watt, respectively) that still travels on a USB cable. Fairly small.

    The manual says that the power outlets are fused at 15A (located near the driver's feet), and there's nothing but them on the circuit. So if you blow a fuse, you're not out much. And there is a spare 15A fuse in the fuse box under the hood, too. Shouldn't be likely though, given the ratings of the devices involved.

    For what it's worth, I've used a 400-Watt inverter with a laptop that had a 65-Watt power adapter. The inverter would occasionally barf, complaining of an overload. It's possible that the power factor was far from unity (this more or less means that lots of current is moving around but not doing any work - the components have to handle higher currents for the same amount of power), and that it should have been called a 400-VA inverter than 400-W. When I had problems with it, I just made sure the laptop wasn't trying to both charge the battery and run at the same time. Either charging while it was asleep or running it with >80% charge (or the battery removed) typically worked OK. Something to keep in mind, in case you do encounter any problems.
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    Grans New Member

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    Yeah, the input for the adapter i'm getting says this about the input power-
    Input: DC 11.5V - 16V / Output: 19V 4.9A / Power: 90 Watt (Compatible with 75W)

    My concern though isn't overloading the actual port, but rather what effect this will have on the Prius itself, like the MPG performance and battery. Will it be almost no effect, mild effect, or huge?

    I think the Droid has a USB charger, i'm unsure if it will come with one though. I assume you can plug it into a USB port, but i'm not sure if it draws power from the USB port in order to recharge.

    Does the Prius have a port to plug the USB cable in to charge it? Assuming it's like the iPhone or whatever that is.
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    lolder New Member

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    It will have a negligible effect. The Prius uses about 12 KW at about 50 mph. 100 watts is less than 1 % of that.
    1 people like this.
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    Judgeless Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I hard wired a constant 12V power connection to the car. I keep my laptop charger, cell phone charger, GPS, and a couple extra USB ports that are active all the time. I put a switch on it so I can turn it all off if I am going to leave the car for a couple of days. I never have any issues.

    I would recommend buying a car charger for your laptop from eBay. You can get one from Hong Kong for about $10.00 including shipping. Using a DC-AC inverter then going back from AC to DC to charge the laptop is huge waste of power.
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    David Beale Senior Member

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    Do note that "the Prius uses about 12 kW while running" means from the high voltage circuit. That's the MG1 and traction battery. And it all comes from MG1 on average.

    The 12V circuit in the Prius is charged by the inverter (a charger circuit is built in and runs off the high voltage side, converting it to 13.8 Volts at up to about 50-60 Amps). Your converter for the laptop and the Android phone will have negligible effect, especially during the day when you have the headlamps off. The headlamps are the only really large load on this circuit, other than the A/C heating units, which you won't be using in the summer. Fans etc. are less than 10 Amps each. The headlamps can be 14 Amps for the pair if you have halogens. About half that or less if you are lucky enough to have LEDs.

    As noted above, the only thing you have to watch out for is blowing the accy. socket fuse (it's no longer called a cig lighter fuse as no cig lighter is supplied - we are trying to discourage smoking ;) ). I'd buy a pack of fuses just in case. The inverter could blow the fuse on start-up once in a while. Note that the inverter will draw more current if the voltage is lower. In the Prius, this would probably not happen as the 12 V charger cct is running whenever the accessory socket is energized (unless you modify it to stay on). When in "ready" or "accessory" the 12 volt circuit is running at 13.8 V +or- about 0.2 V at -ALL- times.
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    rrolff Prius Surgeon

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    Keep in mind that while the power supply (computer) may be rated at 60-95 watts, and likely runs far less, you have a huge spike in current/power when you first plug in the power supply.

    I've had mixed results with Compaq/HP power supplies and inverters. I have yet to find a 200 w that will get it going. I ended up just getting a 400w inverter (still not too big) - which has no issues starting up...
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    rpeek2 Dry Ice Juggler

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    "Using a DC-AC inverter then going back from AC to DC to charge the laptop is huge waste of power. "

    Thanks, Judgeless never thought about the waste factor. Adapter surely the way to go.
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    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Don't worry. Using 12V accessory power through the prius is no different than using a 12V outlet in any other car...
  16. Offline

    Grans New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'd like to thank everyone who responded here helping me! Looks like i'll have no troubles, even if i'm charging my laptop AND cellphone at the same time. Thanks so much everyone! :D

    And yeah, i know it's not a cig lighter anymore (and no i don't smoke lol). That's just what I grew up with calling it. I assume though that this car adapter i bought off amazon will still work though?
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    Bernie-B New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
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    Your Owners Manual states not to exceed TOTAL vehicle capacity (12VDC/120W)at the outlets (Owners Manual-Pg 307). The Power outlets each have a 15 Amp fuse located in the CAB fuse panel under the dash. Recommend checking your Owners Manual, then check visually for the Fuse Panel, and the fuses locations. My Panel's located below the steering column, to the rear (towards engine) of dash Panel. Has a black, approx 4"x 1.5' plastic cover. Also, in the same panel,there's suppose to be a 25 Amp fuse ("ECC-B 25A "power outlet" "ACC" fuses") that I believe monitors total current drawn between those outlets. If true, you know where to look if you loose pwr at both outlets.

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