Electric power from a hybrid, connecting inverter to the high-voltage system

Discussion in 'Knowledge Base Articles Discussion' started by ChapmanF, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    This is a topic that has been coming up over and over from the earliest years, but in a whole bunch of separate threads. Part of the problem is people start threads in the forum for their model and generation, and those are all separate. I'm starting this "knowledge base" thread because the topic is no way specific to just Prius or any particular generation.

    Any car has a 12 volt system, and power inverters to run from the 12 volt system are easy to find. Pretty much any modern car, Prius included, can give you somewhere around 1000 watts of power that way, and if that meets your need, that's the simplest way to go. There are tons of threads and how-tos and videos about that.

    That's not what this thread is about.

    A hybrid also has a high-voltage system, and with a (less easy to find) inverter with a compatible input voltage rating, you can put a rig together that will give you more power than the 12 volt route can give you: from two or three times as much, for early Prius and similar hybrids, maybe five times as much in newer, larger or plugin hybrids.

    How much power each model can give you that way has to be experimentally determined; this is generally an aftermarket mod that the manufacturer doesn't publish figures for. (Ford's F-150 hybrid is expected to have an official 7.2 kW power-out option.)

    One place to find such figures is PlugOut Power's supported vehicle list. PlugOut Power is a company selling inverters that will work for this application. Randy Bryan, who runs it, also ran an earlier company, ConVerdant Vehicles LLC, selling similar products several years ago.

    Early credit for getting the idea off the ground has to go to Richard Factor, who started the PriUPS pages back in 2005. One of his pages is a wish list for desirable specifications of an inverter product for this use.

    One of the first products marketed for the purpose, the 2000 watt Jack Chen custom AIMS build, was announced to Richard in response to his publishing the wish list.

    [​IMG]

    The idea attracts discussion of its merits every time it comes up, often with comments that duplicate many others made years before. To help with that, Richard Factor put up an early summary of the Usual Comments.

    Here in one place are some of the many existing links on the topic.

    Non-PriusChat links

    PriUPS-getting electricity FROM your hybrid vehicle

    Using a Prius as a generator — northernarizona-windandsun

    PriusChat links

    From Gen 2 forums

    Serious Business: Getting AC electrical power from my Prius | PriusChat

    Best Way to Tap 240v Traction Battery? | PriusChat

    From Gen 3 forums

    PlugOut Power Inverter | PriusChat

    From Gen 4/Prime forums

    What is the voltage of traction battery? | PriusChat

    Reviews

    My install and review of the AIMS Prius 2kW Pure Sine Wave Inverter for Backup Power Generator | PriusChat

    My install and review of the ConVerdant LFI30-220 3kVA Pure Sine Wave Inverter for Backup Power | PriusChat


    I'm sure this list is nowhere near complete, but should save somebody some searching.
     
    #1 ChapmanF, Mar 28, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Randy Bryan's company recently announced a new version of their product [v4.1] over at plugoutpower.com and reportedly has some new info there on comparison to generators too.
     
  3. Randy B

    Randy B Junior Member

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    Thank you for starting to consolidate the various forums/comments on the subject. Not sure how to reach all Prius owners in one place with good visibility.. But this is a good start.
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Anyone checked out the Ford F-150 Hybrid?

    I understand there are two "power out" factory options available for this truck, one is a 120V inverter (size not known to me) and the higher end option is reported to be a 120/240V 7.2kW inverter. The truck has a 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery and a turbocharged V6.

    It's a $50k truck and not a $20k people mover, so I know there may not be much overlap. I've only just seen passing mention of the features, wondered if anyone else had gotten closer.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    There's a TorqueNews article about it linked in post #1.
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Thanks, sorry for the dup. I managed to lose it in the wall o'text.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Wayne Gerdes at CleanMPG has a press one now for review. Took about 1.2gals over 5.5 hours for it to charge up his Prius Prime.
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Which power-out option has it got? It looks as if they offer a 2 kW or a 2.4 kW, 120 VAC only, or 7.2 kW 120/240 option. And what flavor of charging point was used between that and the Prime?
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It was the 2.4kW. He used the Prime's included EVSE, Killawatt, and extension cord. I think the extension cord was used to see how the system would work with it, as that is what someone would do if they wanted to run stuff in their house during a power outage.

    Thread here, Ford’s All-New F-150 Earns Coveted North American Truck of the Year Honors | CleanMPG. Includes a couple videos of his test.
     
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    An extension cord or something was needed as it didn't look like the Killawatt could plug directly into the truck's outlet because of the cover to it.
     
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