Using 2013 Plug-in Hybrid for backup power

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by 2013priusguy, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. 2013priusguy

    2013priusguy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2020
    3
    4
    0
    Location:
    Mountain View
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    All,
    The yearly PGE pro-active black out might be coming soon so I want to use my Plug-in Hybrid as a back up power supply by installing an inverter. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (Mountain View) and looking for a company that can do it for me. Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, how much will it cost to install one of these?




    Thanks for your help.

    Best,
    Priusguy
     
    kenoarto, jerrymildred and bisco like this.
  2. Pluggo

    Pluggo Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    586
    511
    0
    Location:
    Folsom, Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    The 1000 Watt Power Bright Pure Sine Power Inverter sells for $260 and connecting it to the Prius as he did with the 2 gauge wire, 80-amp fuse, and Anderson connectors could easily add another $50 to $100. You could stop right there and run a good extension cable to your refrigerator, maybe even to a 15-amp outlet strip for lights and phone chargers. But if you want a 10-circuit switch like his, you'll be paying a few thousand dollars more for the hardware and an electrician. Some people might safely put a disconnect on their gas furnace or oil furnace so they can unplug from the fuse box and then power off the car with a good extension cord - but probably not while the refrigerator is running, too.
     
    kenoarto and bisco like this.
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    10,272
    7,549
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    That video showed some interesting techniques for MacGyvering the terminations onto the heavy-gauge inverter input cables (the Amazon punch crimper and sledge hammer, and pipe cutter for wire stripping).

    It's probably ok, but I'll mention my favorite way to make cables like that is to walk into my friendly local independent auto-electric shop and say "Mark, could you make me a cable in this gauge, this long, with these style terminals on the ends" and about two minutes later he hands me it, beautifully made up with the heat-shrink still warm on the ends and the exact terminals I needed, crimped in the exact matching crimp die.

    A little bit of money changes hands, but it's fair, and for as often as I do such things, it just makes the most sense. He has all that inventory and all those tools right at hand and it's just easy for him.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    89,991
    40,367
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    well said (y)
     
  5. 2013priusguy

    2013priusguy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2020
    3
    4
    0
    Location:
    Mountain View
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Thanks Pluggo. I am afraid to touch the electrical so I would like a pro to do this. I don't need this elaborate setup. All I need when PGE out is 1. heater/furnace because all of us have sinus 2. one or two LED table lights 3. modem and router. Will this setup work?
     
    Pluggo likes this.
  6. Pluggo

    Pluggo Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    586
    511
    0
    Location:
    Folsom, Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Here is a safe, easy way to manually switch a furnace over to generator power.

    1. Before starting work, turn off the furnace power at the fuse box and at the red-cover furnace switch.

    2. Disconnect the furnace power line from the furnace switch. (In this case, it's a goose-neck conduit).

    3. Attach a regular household outlet to the side of the furnace using a metal surface mount box and cover plate.

    4. Move the furnace power line to power the new outlet box.

    5. Install a grounded plug onto a short piece of Romex cable. 14/2 with a ground is fine.

    6. Connect the other end to the furnace switch box where you previously removed the power cable.

    7. Plug the short piece of wire into the new box, turn the furnace switch and circuit breaker back on.

    8. When there’s a power failure, pull the new plug and put it into an extension cord (orange in the photo) powered by the generator. This gas-powered forced-air furnace requires 475 watts of electricity; any generator can supply that much, so can many automotive inverters.


    upload_2020-9-6_8-30-6.png
     
    #6 Pluggo, Sep 6, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
Loading...