Is it ok to run both electric blanket & lap top off cigarette lighter via inverter

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by amylase, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. amylase

    amylase New Member

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    As title thanks.

    I am going to a 4 day academic conference in Melbourne and it's quite cold these days. I intend to turn Prius into my study room and bed room overnights. I need netbook (EeePC) and electric blanket to both be plugged into the cigarette lighter via an inverter & powerstrip.

    Did a quick search for 'electric blanket' on this forum without luck other than
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-main-forum/703-electric-blanket.html
    which briefly mentioned a 12V electric blanket.

    Just got a few quick questions

    1) Is it feasible to run electric blanket (110V AC input) + netbook off the cigarette lighter? Using one of these adaptors
    laptop car adapters, dc converters, power cords, voltage adapter

    (a) Is it going to blow the fuse for cigarette lighter? and
    (b) Is it going to blow the fuse for the inverter?

    Power supply in Australia is 240V but I'm sure I can order an electric banket from Japan or US that runs on 110V. Is Prius' cigarette lighter fuse going to blow though? These blankets suck quite a bit of energy.

    (c) How many kilo watt hours exactly does Prius' battery hold? Let's say the cigarette lighter fuse doesn't blow and electric blanket heats up fine, is the engine going to start and stop every half an hour or something frequent like that?

    2) Should I use the first one or the second one shown on the website?
    Universal 75 Watt Car Adapter, or
    Universal Car Adapter (DC-AC Inverter).

    Thanks. Any advices would be great. :rolleyes:


    (PS: keeping the engine and heater on overnight , or using just a sleeping bag are both out of question for me. The risk of monoxide poisoning myself is not worth it; don't like the idea of keeping engine on constantly without going moving anywhere; Sleeping bag is no where near as warm enough for me. I want something that actively heats me up.)
     
  2. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    Even if you don't blow a fuse, your battery won't last the night. Get a dog or two, unless it's a three dog night. ;)
     
  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    A sleeping bag and/or a blanket. I personally wouldn't want the car running with me in it asleep - you might never wake up!

    Is there no way you can get a cheap room or share one with a friend? Four days in a car would be hard (and smelly!).
     
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  4. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Why not get a portable electric battery jumpers. I think the outdoor camping companies sell them; i.e. Dicks Sporting Goods, Gander Moutain, etc.
     
  5. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Neither an electric blanket nor a laptop really requires high voltage AC current. Look for an electric blanket that runs on 12v DC (try places that sell to truckers), and a laptop adapter that plugs into a 12v car socket.

    That said, they make sleeping bags warm enough for people climbing mountains, you should be able to find one that keeps you warm. Humans radiate about 60 watts of heat, which is about what you will get from an electric blanket.
     
  6. amylase

    amylase New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I'll try setting up a 1kW inverter by connecting directly to the 12V battery at the back. That should give me more than enough power for a proper electric blanket, a small heater, a lamp and my laptop computer.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...2-anyone-use-inverter-need-quick-reply-2.html

    Hybrid Car user prepares for hurricanes!

    Although 4 days, I'll mainly be in the car only from about 9pm - 6am and most of that period is sleep. I'll just park the car outside of the state library. Study in the library until they close. Study another 2 hours in Prius. Go to bed. Get up early next morning to the closest gym for a quick run and shower. Rest of the day is at the conference. Motels are pretty cheap but I mainly wanted to try it out on Prius for the fun of it. Thanks. If it gets too cold I might check into a hotel then.
     
  7. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i have a 1kw inverter. it works ok for certain things. if you are going to power a laptop, you need a pure sign-wave inverter.. if you don't, you may end up with problems. (i've fried a few electronics that way)

    also... just for future note, the cigarette plugs only handle 10 amps... or 120 watts... with several test and now a burnt out cigarette plug (wires).. it handles less than that.

    running the lightish load you mentioned.. with the car fully on (that's what i recommend) you'll only burn a gallon every 8 hours or so... but that's kinda unlikely seeing i've powered my sound system on high with a sub and a few cfl lights and the car only burnt through a gallon every 10 to 12 hours...

    while using my car as a backup for my quadriplegic uncle's ventilator and his 600watt heater... it was a gallon every 4 to 6 hours.. but that's a constant 900 watt load (roughly)...
     
  8. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    btw... even leaving the auto climate control on at a set temp and fans on low doesn't burn too much gas either... nothing you do will make this coast as much as a single night in a hotel... (i've done this too while traveling across the u.s.)
     
  9. amylase

    amylase New Member

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    Thanks V8Cobrakid. I am glad 1kW is sufficient. Don't want to get too big an inverter and waste power just running the inverter itself.

    I've got real fear of leaving the engine on constantly throughout the night, mainly for monoxide poisoning concern which though highly unlikely to occur, is a significant concern to me. I am okay with the car turning itself on and off once in a while to recharge battery.

    Just continuing with the thread: what's the most efficient sine wave inverter?

    I am looking for a 12V input, 240V output 1200W pure sine wave inverter with maximum efficiency at about 600W. What's a good brand to go with? Had a quick look around, just to list a few web sites:

    What Power Inverter Will I Need | Performance Shop
    Power Inverters - Save on our entire range of Power Inverters
    GSL Electronics | 12V DC / 24V DC - 240V AC Pure Sinewave Power Inverters
    2400W DC 12V to AC 240V Power Inverter with Cooling Fan + USB Socket | Crazy Sales
    Pure Sine Wave 2000W/4000W Max 12V-240V Power Inverter | eBay

    I also get jokes like this with really dodgy description
    2000w pure sine wave power inverter 12v/240v-power jack | eBay

    and this one with a chick holding onto a massive inverter like she's enjoying it
    3500w pure sine wave power inverter dc 12v /ac 220-240v | eBay

    Price range vary greatly from as cheap as AU$200 to $1800.
    So far brands I've come across include: 8ZED, Redarc, Solar River, Cotek, GSL, Maxkon etc.

    I am after something that has maximal output of 1200W, has good efficiency at mid range output (say 95% efficiency at 600W would be good), and is light weight. Any suggestions please? Thanks.
     
  10. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Your Prius charging system can supply a kwatt safely if you have the car in "Ready" mode, but not via an auxiliary power outlet (AKA the cigarette lighter) which is stressed to supply 5 amps (60 watts). The 12v battery itself will quickly be depleted if asked to supply a kwatt. The HV battery might last 10-20 minutes if asked to supply this load.

    As others have said, use a good sleeping blanket to stay warm.

    JeffD
     
  11. DumbMike

    DumbMike Active Member

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    If you are worried about carbon monoxide poisoning, you should keep a carbon monoxide detector in your car.

    Just a different idea: How about parking your car near an electrical outlet and use a long extension chord?

    Mike
     
  12. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    A quick question that pertains to this thread pretty well... (coming from someone that is admittedly very stupid about electrical stuff)

    I have a very basic 120v/90 watt/10amp "CyberPower" inverter. When I plug this into the cigarette lighter is it drawing power from the 12v battery or the traction battery?

    Stupid question I know, but please humor me. ;)
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    12v, no one has figured out how to tap into hybrid battery power. consider yourself humored.:cool:
     
  14. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Even if you could run an electric blanket and charge a netbook at the same time, I would worry about electrical noise. The blankets' thermo switch cycling on/off could affect the netbooks' operation while in use.

    DBCassidy
     
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