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

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by AHetaFan, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. George W

    George W Active Member

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    Midnight Solar makes excellent
    that will accept up to 250V (solar) input to the HV battery pack, but i wonder how sharing that connection might effect the car's ability to compensate.

    The scenerio I see, is that the Prius is only going to cycle to get 2 Bar in the HV pack before it cuts-off. Meanwhile, the HV pack is trying to support a 5-stage mppt cycle to fill the house bank. It seems you could get into a point of diminishing returns that the ICE would be running almost constantly WHEN the Midnight Solar is pushing max amperage to get the 48V House bank to 80% before switching to the next charging stage where it begins to taper down.

    Look at the similarity:
    Prius delivers high current to 80% State of Charge, and backs off.
    Solar charge controller charges high current to 80% before tapering off, but is still charging (in stages) to full capacity.

    You have a charging system feeding a charging system. Is this sustainable?

    Look at this way. You are trying to push the power of a 90 pound HV pack into a storage bank of Eight 6V RE batteries that probably weigh 62 lbs each, or almost 500 pounds of house battery.

    90 lbs to feed 500 lbs.

    Your ICE is pushing that. Bad idea?
     
    #221 George W, Dec 12, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  2. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Nooooo, it was a joke... :whistle:
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Nah. It won't push any harder than it's designed to, and it'll just hum along for as long as it takes, then end up stopping for a while. Could be easier on it (and disturb you less) than the more-frequent cycling using just the 90 lbs directly.
     
  4. George W

    George W Active Member

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    The potential for a problem exists if the end-user is drawing a lot of power off the 48V Bank. The Midnite solar charger is going to draw what it needs to try to maintain the 48V, it might end up having to do a force charge on the Prius to put the HV battery pack at full bars, so that Midnite solar can draw it down to top off the house Bank.
     
  5. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    You've got a good point there but my house would have to be consuming more power than my inverter is even capable of. In other words that won't be a problem. It's a 5000 watt inverter with a 10000 watt surge. The Prius battery is certainly capable of delivering 10000w with no problem and 5000 Watts continuously. Sure the Prius probably can't maintain 10000 Watts for very long but neither can the inverter. The Internal combustion engine will start and ketchup no problem. I will not have to manually go out to force the high-voltage battery to full bars before I turn on something large.
     
  6. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    I'm not charging one battery off the other. I'll set the output of the midnight classic to the same voltage as the house battery bank. I'll disable all the stages and turn it into a constant voltage power Supply. That way it's not trying to charge the house battery. However when I turn on a load that load will try and bring the house battery voltage down. The midnight won't let that happen. At least it will try it's hardest to maintain that voltage. And if it gets maxed out it will not be damaged because they're designed to hold at their Max output without self-destructing.
     
    #226 Travis Sanders, Dec 14, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    @Travis Sanders Okay, I see where you're headed. I still think it could work, but I'd still be concerned about the Prius & midnight working too hard to bring up that house battery. I don't know how bad yours is- I've seen some very bad ones and I may be inferring something worse than your reality.

    Anyway I'm just concerned that you might reveal that the Honda genny has actually been limiting your overnight fuel burn, and the Prius + midnight may have the ability to try too hard and wind up burning even more fuel. If the Midnight lets you adjust and program well enough, you might not have a problem at all.

    I wouldn't be too worried about the admittedly odd draw pattern of the MPPT vs. the Prius HV battery.
     
    #227 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Dec 14, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  8. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    somebody asked why not power the house directly off the high-voltage battery? Well that's because I don't have an inverter capable of 250 volt input.
    And I don't want one because my solar system produces 5000w & the highest V my charge controller can go is around 60 volts output. So I cannot charge the Prius battery from the solar panels. Nor do I want to get a high voltage inverter because then I would have to switch from my regular inverter to the Prius inverter at sunset and any time you do a switch the lights blink clocks get reset the Xbox shuts off the Wi-Fi turns off and then all hell breaks loose. the DC to DC step-down in the Midnite is very efficient and its output will be going directly to the inverter only when a load demands it.
     
  9. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    Let's say for some reason I get home from work after sundown and the house battery is dead. Then I hook up the Prius to the house battery. I now have the choice to change the output voltage of the midnight to match the dead battery therefore the only time the Prius will deliver power is when a load tries to bring the voltage down even further. I also have the choice to raise the voltage and try and charge the house battery. And do be aware that the midnight knows the difference between amperage going to the house battery versus amperage going to the houses inverter. I also have the ability to program the midnight not just by the voltage set point but the actual wattage going into the house battery. So I could in fact program the midnight to allow only 100 watts into the house battery if I wanted to.
    the midnight classic charge controller is the most programmable and customizable charge controller on the market. I've messed with them alot I understand them quite well within the Applications I've used them. But I've never tried this yet so I'll be learning some new things.
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    If you think you can program it to replace usage losses without overtly charging the house battery then I think you'll be set.

    Sounds like I should read up on the Midnight... I've been using a decidedly non-programmable Morningstar with our offgrid setup for about 10 years. It's been good but very occasionally the charge voltage exceeds the inverter's hi volt cutoff by a measly .2V or so. *argh*
     
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  11. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    I contacted midnite classic tech support. He said it would likely pop the fets and they could fix it for around $150. He said the setting to try would be the setting where I choose the percentage of voltage open circuit to utilize. so the midnight checks for the open circuit voltage and then tries to drag the voltage down to the percentage that I specified. It still does some kind of an mppt sweep that will interfere with the Prius when its internal combustion engine is trying to charge its high voltage battery.
    It sounds to me like the charge controller does a bunch of fancy things in the background in order to accomplish its sweep. If it's not expecting a high wattage forced increase in voltage it may smoke.
    On the other hand he said connecting too many solar panels to the charge controller is not a problem. Like there could be enough solar panels to replicate the Priuses maximum abilities and a cloud passing by changing the voltage will not be a problem so I'm not sure how these two situations differ and think it's worth a try.
     
  12. George W

    George W Active Member

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    Did you actually tell Midnite Tech support that you were feeding a Prius (instead of solar) to their charge controller?
     
  13. George W

    George W Active Member

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    To me, MorningStar is like the middle product catagory. Budget is Meanwell, middle is MorningStar, top is Midnite solar. I've never used solar completely off-grid, only for convenience power to outbuildings.
     
  14. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    Yes & he said that would void the warranty but the midnight that's only $300 on eBay has no warranty anyway.
     
  15. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    I read an interesting old thread here where a guy used a rectified AC output from a small generator to feed into a midnight classic using the hydro setting with good success. This is very promising.

    Experimental 48VDC Generator
     
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  16. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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    I feel like I need to start my own thread and point people to it from here and stop hijacking this one. This thread is similar but it's not quite the same thing.
     
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  17. Terrell

    Terrell Member

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    I live in WI. You could find someone near you to do it for you. An independent shop?
     
  18. Travis Sanders

    Travis Sanders Junior Member

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