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Prius/Prime traction battery inverter?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-2022)' started by Primefan, Aug 11, 2021.

  1. Primefan

    Primefan Junior Member

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    With great respect for what @Randy B has done at PlugOut are there other options for inverter/transformer devices for the Prius or Prime?

    @ChapmanF, among others, seems to have the capacity to evaluate the merits of different devices.
    Apparently this solar system might have potential: http://www.mppsolar.com/v3/catalogs/LVX6048.pdf

    I’ve also seen reference to this UPS device as accepting the 350vish Prime system: Vertiv Liebert GXT4-10000RT208.

    And does anyone have photos of a Prius Prime traction battery inverter installation?
     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I don't have any superpowers of merit evaluation ... I've written detailed reviews of a couple inverter models, just because I happened to buy them (bought one, it arrived DOA, so bought the other, it got pummeled in shipping, then fixed the first one, etc.). I probably won't personally be looking at any others in that level of detail, unless the two I've got start to breed or something.

    But I'll read reviews with interest when others do.
     
  3. Primefan

    Primefan Junior Member

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    Ok but I think to call your “reviews” simply “reviews” is to undersell what you bring to the table. Your ability to understand detailed electrical matters impresses at least me.
     
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I've never worked with a setup like that solar one. It looks like it's designed for its own 48 volt battery bank, which I hope you can just omit, and connect the car's system as its "solar" input, of course.

    I also notice it says it can supply 60 Hz or 50 Hz as its output frequency, "auto-sensing". I trust that means you can interconnect it with your utility grid, and it "auto senses" what the grid frequency is. So it might be worth checking whether it will function on its own, without a grid connection to auto-sense.

    At 34 kg, it's not any lighter than the ConVerdant one that nearly dismantled itself in the UPS truck on the way to me. That's a bunch of mass.
     
  5. Primefan

    Primefan Junior Member

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    @ChapmanF Thanks. Would I be right in thinking that the solar unit combines both the DC/AC inverter and the AC voltage converter into one unit?
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I grok the question.
     
  7. Primefan

    Primefan Junior Member

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    I’m super ignorant. Thanks for your patience.

    The solar unit seems to have, within one unit, a 6kw DC to AC inverter and an AC transformer to output 110v AC. This rather than two separate devices to accomplish each part. (I believe that is the meaning for the word “hybrid” in this industry.)

    Pros and cons of course to having two devices or one combined unit. Do I understand the capacity of the solar unit correctly?

    More broadly I find it really interesting that people are finding such a range of devices from various fields to serve the same purpose. The EV/hybrid vehicle inverter/transformer, the IT/businesscentric UPS, and the solar industry are independently producing devices which can take huge amounts of voltage and convert it to 110/120 volts. They seem to accomplish similar things despite very disparate assumed applications
     
    #7 Primefan, Aug 11, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    After a quick Google, I'm thinking they use 'hybrid' to mean that it contains all of:

    • one inverter to turn DC from solar panels (anywhere between 120 VDC and 450 VDC, for this one) into standard house AC
    • another inverter to turn DC from a local battery bank (48 VDC for this one) into standard house AC, for when the sun don't shine
    • a charge controller to sock away juice into said battery bank, either when the sun do shine or grid power is present

    To use it as a PriUPS, of course, you would probably just omit the local battery bank, so the 48 VDC inverter and charge controller would never be used, and wire the Prius battery to the unit's solar input.

    If a non-hybrid solar controller is just one that has the part you want and not the other two parts you don't need, that will probably be smaller, lighter, and cheaper.

    How the "standard house AC" comes out of the box is another thing. One box might produce only, say, US familiar 60 Hz 120 VAC. This one, I see, produces 120/240 VAC split phase: a neutral, two legs each 120 VAC away from it, but 180° out of phase with each other, so you can also power 240 VAC stuff by connecting it from one leg to the other.

    Whether the box produces that by actually synthesizing two 120 VAC waves in perfect sync but 180° apart, or if it just synthesizes one and feeds it into a big old-skool transformer with a center-tapped secondary (as the ConVerdant does) is kind of an internal detail. Though you might be able to guess by trying to lift the thing.
     
  9. The Big Sleaze

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    Does seem like a roof rack mount flat solar panel/cargo carrier that also tops off the traction battery AND runs HVAC would be a niffy FACTORY option, but sounds like would be major project and void warranty if after market.

    I doubt a roof rack sized panel would do much to charge if driven daily but would still sell well.
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The A/C compressor can use a couple kilowatts. I think that would still be a pretty big set of panels.

    The Gen 3 Prius with the solar roof can make about 60 watts, enough to run the A/C blower a little and keep hot air from building up in the cabin. Granted, that's ten-years-ago solar panel tech.