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Electric Power from Hybrid Using EG4 Solar Inverter?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Siprfixrupr, Mar 16, 2023.

  1. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    Greetings ChapmanF. I would like your opinion, and or suggestion about the possibility of using an eg4 unit on prius as home backup power. Its advertised as 120 to 500 vdc input capacity and the 3000 watt unit is only 18 lbs and only 750 dollars. Their split phase unit is half the price of the plugout power and is a 6000 watt unit.

    I'm concerned about the fluctuating voltage input when ice kicks in, but have the idea to take supply input to inverter from the opposite battery posts than what go to the cars MG unit thus using the battery as a buffer for the rapid voltage fluctuacion. What do you think?
     
    #1 Siprfixrupr, Mar 16, 2023
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2023
  2. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    When I put test meter on while running ice, it shows over 500 volts, but isnt resolved when testing on opposite battery posts. Don't want to toast inverter, but want to use my old prius for portable power. Think to wait for your and cookie cutters ideas first.
     
    #2 Siprfixrupr, Mar 16, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    This is a general knowledge-base thread as an overview of available solutions. It would be great to have a link here to a new thread you would start for discussing these units you're interested in, and the discussion specific to those units could happen on that thread. It's not so great for that discussion to take up space here.
     
  4. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    I can do that but wouldnt know of a better title for the thread than this title;
    Electric power from a hybrid, connecting inverter to the high-voltage system, with eg4 solar inverter.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    That would be a pretty good title. Maybe better with the EG4 closer to the front since that'd be what it's about. Something like "EG4 solar inverter for electric power from a hybrid".

    If you want to go start that thread, and it's not clear how to add a link to it here, I'll be happy to add the link.

    You can start a thread by going to the top of the list of threads in any appropriate forum, and using the big "Post New Thread" button at the right.
     
  6. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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  7. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    I guess I wasn't clear, my idea was to feed the eg4 inverter on its 500vdc capacity solar panel side, not the 48v storage side. The inverter functions without the 48v system as one youtuber demonstrates.
    My concen is that the voltage fluctuation when ice starts would be considerable more than when a cloud covers your solar string. Maybe a dc surge protector between car and eg4?
    By the way thank you Chapman for moving this thread I wasn't figuring it out.
    When I put a 500 volt meter on input cables when ice starts it doesn't register, so I presume it goes above that? That doesn't seem right to charge a 210 v battery, but maybe it's just my meter?
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm guessing rj was looking at the vendor's "NOTICE: This inverter does not support battery-less operation." If a youtuber has demonstrated that it actually does, then cool. I wonder why the vendor said that, though. Is it possible the youtuber didn't consider or test every condition the vendor does?

    Maybe a link in this thread to the youtube clip in question could help shed some light.

    Have you spent much time yet learning how the electrical system in the Prius works? The battery voltage is 201.6 volts nominal. You might see it as low as 190ish at quite low charge, or 240+ when being charged.

    You don't see anything like 500 volts back there ever. The motor-generators can reach that voltage, but the "boost converter" that's one of the internal components of the car's inverter assembly is completely responsible for boosting the battery voltage to the higher voltage for the motors, or bucking the motor voltage back to the lower voltage for the battery. You wouldn't ever see 500 volts except sometimes on the leads to the MGs themselves, or inside the inverter assembly on the IPM buses.

    [​IMG]

    The voltage you see at the battery isn't something that swings around wildly because the engine starts or stops. It swings around under control of the HV control ECU deciding what rate of charging or discharging to apply.

    "Doesn't register", by the way, typically isn't what you'd see on a voltmeter exposed to a voltage above the scale. Usually there will be an overrange indication for that case. If there's a way you can get some additional practice in the use of your meter in advance of digging much into the Prius high-voltage system, that might be a good idea.
     
    #8 ChapmanF, Mar 18, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023
  9. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    I think you are digging deeper than your safety can tolerate.

    As I mentioned before, you should list the model number of the solar inverter under consideration. They are rarely if ever made for use without the 48v battery or similar as a necessary buffer in a system specifically designed for a widely variable solar input. The model I found that matches your power, price and brand says the 48v battery is required.

    I would contact the manufacturer if such contact is remotely possible. No support now would indicate no support later when the real issues figuratively (or literally) explode on you.
     
  10. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    Link to eg4 running without batteries.
     
  11. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    Thanks ChapmanF for this helpful information.
    I am considering trying it realizing I might well loose the eg4, but if it works, would really be a simple and economical way to get high amp backup 220 from the prius
     
  12. Siprfixrupr

    Siprfixrupr Junior Member

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    I have already purchased eg4, just haven't gotten brave enough (or dumb enough?) to hook it up yet.
    I did try another volt meter on input and it did same thing, but I think I need a better quality meter.
     
  13. tgtech

    tgtech Member

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    Definitely interested in the results of your experiment. Since the AIMS unit is no longer available this might be a viable option at a relatively low cost. I'd have a thermal camera on hand to image the eg4 component temps while in operation. I would recommend having some sort of 48V battery connected - even if it is a 48V e-bike battery (~$200).
     
  14. sail4horizon

    sail4horizon New Member

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    The EG4 3000EHV-48 should work like you're thinking. I'm thinking about using one of these hybrid inverters in my RV to charge the 48V battery bank. I'll be towing the Prius behind as a toad on a car dolly. I plan to wire in an Anderson connector to where to bolted connections are to the traction battery in the back. This wire I could spool out easily to wherever the car is parked around the RV. It would plug into the PV (solar panels) part of the inverter and in my case charge up the 48V battery. I'll have a disconnect switch before it goes into the inverter and as long as the Prius is powered off my high voltage wire between the Prius and RV would be dead on both ends. Start the Prius and turn on the disconnect and the hybrid inverter should think it's hooked up to solar panels. In my case once my 48V battery is charged I'd shut off the Prius until it needs to be charged again.

    There is a company that has been doing this for many years using and inverter wired up to the traction battery. Just google: plugoutpower (I'm new here so I can't post links)

    How you're wanting to use the EG4 inverter should also be possible without the 48V battery hooked up to power AC loads according to this video on Signature Solar's Youtube channel. Again, I can't post links but the video is named:
    New AMAZING Inverter! EG4 Electronics 3000EHV-48! 3000W Inverter, 5000w MPPT, 80A Battery Charger

    I don't see any reason it wouldn't work. Of course, we're talking very high voltage DC power here that would kill anyone dead so do be careful.