Installing 1200W inverter, inline fuse, new wire

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by gboss, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. gboss

    gboss Junior Member

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    Well, I finally joined club Prius and couldn't be happier about it. I still can't believe that I bought the Prius and am even more surprised that it actually brings a huge smile to my face when I drive it. This coming from a guy, who up until now, drove fast motorcycles and fast cars. I'm still in shock.

    As a life experiment, I'll be using my 2013 Prius five as a high tech horse for nomadic living for at least a month or two while I am traveling the country. I once tried living out of my old motorcycle, but it wasn't practical as a business owner who operates in a 'professional' industry and needs more conveniences than I care to admit. I thought about vanlifing, but ultimately decided on the Prius because of the battery, its inconspicuous nature, and the incredible mpg. First and only step to making this thing livable is installing a 1200W inverter to run my cooking equipment and electronics for work.

    I've read as many threads as I could find on installing an inverter, but I still have a few questions that remain unclear. Here's my situation:

    The knowns:
    • I bought this Giandel pure sine wave 1200Watt inverter
    • The included wire is ~6AWG of questionable quality and it uses plastic nuts for the leads o_O.
    • I am going to install the inverter so it can 'hide' in the cargo storage area of the trunk (i.e. wire may be slightly longer)

    My 3 questions:
    1. Do I use an inline fuse (like this) or an inline breaker (like this)? If anyone can recommend a specific inline fuse/breaker, it would help a lot...I can't seem to find one with a kill switch.
    2. Should I use a 100A fuse as many have done, or install an 80A fuse to ensure that it blows before blowing the Prius's internal 100A fuse?
    3. Should I replace the included 6AWG wire with 5 gauge or 4 gauge wire? My understanding is that 6 AWG wire has a maximum rating of 101A and that I should go up a size or two to ensure proper power distribution.

    I know @bwilson4web mentioned that adding any 12V connectors (like the circuit breaker, Anderson connectors, etc.) will create a 10-15% loss in energy. I'm lost on how to properly fuse this thing (if at all).
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Most recommend no more than a 1,000 watt 12v inverter. You absolutely need to fuse it. Size by inverter recommendations. You will have to wire directly to a 12v battery assuming you use a 12v inverter. The better installations are similar to rv setups with an extra 12v battery and isolation.

    Typically 12v inverters in this power range need free air cooling. So don't hide them too well.

    The last thing you want to do is blow the 125a fuse located inside the engine fuse box. It protects the car's high voltage and dc to dc inverter which is where most of your power will come from. If it blows the vehicle won't run and access is difficult and time consuming.
     
    #2 rjparker, Sep 2, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  3. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    You'll regret getting such a small inverter. Get at least a 2000 watt unit. I draw 2,000 watts continuously for hours without damaging anything. 1200 watts isn't enough to run a fine Italian cappuccino machine. Who could start their day without a fine cappuccino machine
     
  4. gboss

    gboss Junior Member

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    Would making the in-line fuse/breaker an 80A help so that it blows before either the car’s 100A or 125A fuses blow?
     
  5. gboss

    gboss Junior Member

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    I have a 700W pressure cooker, a laptop, a computer monitor and a 1000W stove. They will not be run at the same time except for the computer and monitor. I think this inverter will be enough.
     
  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    It should.
     
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