Open hardware idea: high power 120V inverter

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by NiHaoMike, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. NiHaoMike

    NiHaoMike Member

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    design exercise: inverter for Toyota Prius - diyAudio
    Something like that would be so useful for getting a supply of 120V AC anywhere. Apart from a more reliable alternative to a backup generator, it would be excellent for operating power tools at remote sites with no access to AC power. Only problem is that it doesn't exist yet...

    But perhaps we can change that? With open hardware, we can come up with a good design, and if it becomes popular enough, companies like Sparkfun and Adafruit might start selling it.
     
  2. Erikon

    Erikon Active Member

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  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I'd like to more about what you mean regarding "open hardware." I thought what you're referring to is as simple as wiring a 110 power inverter to your 12 volt battery. If you use complicated electronics you want to spend more on a sine wave inverter rather than a modified sine wave inverter, which I plan to do.

    If you have ideas you can add to this I'd love to hear from you...

    Especially interested in someone testing the limits of maximum watts/amps a modified Prius with extra batteries can pump out before damage occurs. It'd be cool to have a prius-powered landscaping service that used all electric mowers, blowers and blades, but I'd need a dedicated project car for that... Not gonna happen with only one car in my life!
     
  5. rcf@eventide.com

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    In a system that Toyota demonstrated a number of years ago, they said that the Prius could supply 3kW to power a household. An inverter powered from the traction battery can supply much more than that on peaks, but I've been suggesting 3kW as a maximum based on this presumably conservative figure.

    This page ( Test Data and Results ) shows the ICE duty cycle at various loads. It looks like the maximum might be as much as 5-6kW with the engine running continuously, but I wouldn't take that chance. Even so, it would be worthwhile having an inverter with a peak capability between 10 and 20kW for starting motors, pumps, etc. The traction battery can easily handle short peaks, as it does when accelerating.

    Richard
     
  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Fascinating... I was resigned to a 1000 watt inverter direct to the 12 volt battery because I depend on my car too much to push the limits. But based on what you're saying maybe I could bump that up to 1500w or 2000w without much risk?

    Sure wish I had a car solely dedicated to this kind of research? Do you think anyone out there has a project car they'd put at risk for this? I mean you figure a PIP, a solar array on the roof of your home, maybe wood pellets made out of yard waste or propane or natural gas system for peak-loads would be a way to live off the grid? I wonder who'd be doing research like this? Or maybe a PIP is never going to be as efficient than a gas powered generator?

    IDK?

    Thoughts?
     
  7. rcf@eventide.com

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    I have a PiP and hope to be able to charge it from solar panels and use it to power the house in an emergency. However I don't view this as an off-grid project. The PiP is more reliable, safer, and probably more efficient than a gas-powered generator. However it can also be used for transportation, an APP many people consider primary! If you really want to live off-grid, you're probably better off with a dedicated generator.

    1kW is considered the maximum you can get from the 12V battery. In my previous post I'm referring to getting power from the traction battery, which has much higher power.

    Richard
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Thanks for the clarification on 12v battery limit... I don't think I'm gonna tinker with inverting the HV battery anytime soon. So 1000w power inverter it is! What's your opinion on who makes the best 1000w inverter and what make 'em the best?
     
  9. rcf@eventide.com

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    I'm opinion-free on that subject. Maybe Bob Wilson or others have more insight. ( Prius - UPS Project )

    Richard
     
  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    So many options when it comes to inverter manufacturers and there isn't much to be found for product reviews...
     
  11. ls1z01

    ls1z01 Junior Member

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    That's a very expensive power generator.... but more power to you if you get it to work...
     
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