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Prius as Generator. Vs Full Size Chevy Van. Real World Test

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by 09Prius2, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. 09Prius2

    09Prius2 Member

    Aug 20, 2016
    2009 Prius
    So, have a 220v 11000 BTU wall AC unit at the office and no electricity. I didn't use to use the office that much so they want like 4 city inspections to turn the electricity back on.

    So naturally, illegal supply is the immediate solution. I got a 10000 watt 12v dc to 240ac inverter on Amazon for around $400.

    I could have gone the proper route of direct supply from the hybrid battery, but I would have burned down the neighborhood for sure.

    So this is where things get interesting. The conversion rate of 12v dc to 220v ac is scary. 5-6 amps times 20, 100 amps needed at 12v times 2 surge rate, 100-200+ amps at ac startup.

    So I wanted to create a buffer between the inverter and prius arm battery. I had a new 12v battery for a malibu I never used rated at 700 surge amps. So I jumped the prius 12v battery to the intermediate battery, and the inverter off the this 2nd battery.

    It ran the AC unit about 5 minutes before the inverter interrupted below 11 input volts.

    The Prius nearly melted the jumper cables. This is when I realized that what I was doing was inadvertently dangerous.

    So I opted to try it with a full size Chevy van for comparison.

    I had to put a brick on the accelerator pedal just to generate enough voltage to start the ac unit. It operates the ac about 3 minutes before voltage threshold interruption.

    Meanwhile under the hood of the Chevy van smells like a full blown electrical fire. Otherwise no indication of malfunction.

    Bottom line, Prius wins hands down but still cannot deliver enough 12v converted power to run an ac unit, but not for the reasons you might think.

    You won't fry the prius, just your connecting wires. Voltage decreases and a limited charge rate interrupts inverter demand before damage occurs to the electrical system.
    bisco likes this.