Anybody have a POWER INVERTER for emergency use installed on their Prius?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by ski.dive, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    Other threads discussing tapping the Prius, here on priuschat.com:

    Using car as generator for house power | PriusChat
    Using PIP As A Generator | PriusChat

    Randy is correct that 1500+ watts is too much on the 12 volt side. You should use a 1000 watt inverter max - and then you still need to be careful not to apply much surge above that since the battery is the only thing that will take up the slack. The Prius' DC-DC converter can only supply 1000 watts max, no surge. Really it can do 1200, but the Prius uses 200 watts for itself.

    And finally, as I have noted on those other threads that Randy has posted on, he has not revealed that he is the owner of Converdant. Bias beware.
     
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  2. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    My inverter mostly stays in the basement when I'm not using it. I have a pair of Anderson Powerpole connectors so it just plugs in and out from the upper trunk.
     
  3. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    New info if you are interested in tapping your traction battery for 3000-4000 watts. I've posted additional brands/models of UPS, and an inverter, that are compatible with the Prius traction battery. I added the info to the end of the thread linked in my signature.
     
  4. Bo Henderson

    Bo Henderson Junior Member

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    The better solution to this is to get a Solar Grid Tie Inverter and connect it directly to the high voltage battery. A solar grid tie inverter can accept anywhere from 200 to 400 VDC and output 120/240 VAC. This could be a very large inverter. Be sure to start the car so that the engine can cycle on and off and keep the battery charged. The gas engine has plenty of power to produce 60 kW. However, there is probably a limit on the output of the high voltage battery charger. For example, 100 Amps at 300 VDC is 30 kW. Once connected you could run your entire house on it.
     
  5. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    And a grid tie inverter must be.... tied to the grid before it will output anything. And don't suggest you parallel it with a generator or another inverter because
    1) usually it won't
    2) if you have a generator or inverter, you don't need the grid-tie inverter

    First you need to do a lot of reading up on what grid-tie inverters are and what they can (and can't) do.

    Second you need to do a lot of reading up on the link in my signature. For starters, 60 kw is NOT possible from the Prius due to thermal issues. Toyota itself has said 3 kw is the maximum continuous - again to to a thermal constraint. Richard at priups.com has run tests that show up to about 6 kw is ok for a while. Starting surge of 2-3 times that is ok briefly.
     
  6. Bo Henderson

    Bo Henderson Junior Member

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    so, i don't get it. You say it won't work but then you include a link that shows it will work. Hmmm.....
    by the way, i know that some inverters do not require a grid tie to operate. The link proves that.

    So, Again I ask, why did you say it WON'T work and then provide a link showing that it WILL work????
     
  7. Bo Henderson

    Bo Henderson Junior Member

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    by the way, it is pretty easy to calculate fuel burn based on energy content of gasoline and the expected efficiency of the prius engine. Gasoline contains about 33.4 kWh/gal. At 30% efficiency, it would provide 11 kWh/gal. Or provide 1 kW for 11 hours on a gallon. Or 2 kW for 5.5 hours. Or 3 kW for ~4 hours. OK, let the nit picking begin.....
     
  8. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    What link? I have never provided a link to a GRID TIE inverter. It really isn't hard for you to do 1 or 2 searches in Google to find out the difference between GRID TIE and OFF GRID inverters.

    GRID TIE inverters must detect the capacitance of the grid, and a stable voltage within limits and a frequency within a very tight limit. They must do this for an uninterrupted 5 minutes before the AC inverter circuitry is activated. See UL 1741 and IEEE 1547. Once they are online they will output the same frequency and voltage that the grid is supplying and will immediately turn off within one cycle if the grid disappears. You can not just hook one of these up to a Prius and run your house... the inverter will never turn on!

    OFF GRID inverters will supply AC output as long as they receive their DC input. They can not be connected to the grid or they will literally blow up. All of the inverters I have linked to are OFF GRID inverters. It is very rare to find one that will operate from the odd DC output of a Prius. Most run from 12, 24, or 48 volts, which is why the information I've posted is so important.

    Just to be clear GRID TIE inverters will not work with a Prius. PERIOD!
     
  9. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    Your highly estimated numbers show nothing at all. Where does 30% come into play? Is it a random guess at the conversion losses from chemical to mechanical to electrical in the Prius? How much energy does the Prius itself require just to run? What is the loss in the inverter itself? What is the charging loss in the battery?

    The actual MEASURED fuel use I've posted takes all of this real-world stuff into account.
     
  10. Bo Henderson

    Bo Henderson Junior Member

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    as i said, let the nit picking begin......
     
  11. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    Go away troll. And please do not attempt to hook your Prius up to anything, you will kill yourself.
     
  12. Randy B

    Randy B Junior Member

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    Bo, You would do well to listen to Techntrek. From your posts, you are not yet qualified as a tinkerer in this area. Please research more and be more careful. You could harm yourself, your car or your house.
     
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  13. donalmilligan089

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    yes I have and it works fine
     
  14. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    Loving my Prius today. Massive ice storm, tons of trees and limbs down. Lost power at 2:21 am and switched over from my automatic generator to my Prius around 6. Neighbors have stories of being out for 2 weeks after an ice storm and I would bet it will be days before we get it back this time. Have everything running - lights, TVs, DVRs, furnace and wood stove fan.

    Go Prius Power!
     
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