1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Using car as generator for house power

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by ED9593, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. hb06

    hb06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    550
    15
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    After several power outages over the last few years and for emergency, just purchased Converdant Plug-out Basic Pure Sine Wave 1KW inverter pkg on Converdant site on sale, also on PriusChat store. It comes with cables and KillaWatt power meter as a pkg. Converdant can be contacted with questions or service which is a plus.

    1)Just attach the Positive/Negative cable clamps to +/- terminals on 12V battery right rear cargo and 2)plug in 15amp extension cord to inverter. 3)Plug KillaWatt to extension cord, 4)Then Plug Power Strip to KillaWatt. 5)Plug in your items. On regular Prius, remove luggage tray to get to 12V battery. 6)Turn off car accessories i.e., lights, radio, AC, fan. Start Prius, 7)Turn on inverter Power button.

    The 1KW PSW inverter can handle double the surge up to 2KW. Easily handles fridge plus computer, router, TV, some lamps etc. Documents say with 600W will run about 8 hrs before the Prius/Hybrid has to start up. Pleased with the purchase for emergencies, it works fine.
     
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    6,722
    2,121
    45
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    The inverter might be able to handle 1kw (with 2kw of surge), but can your cars 12v charging circuit? Run some lights off your Prius, maybe a low power tv, but don't start plugging in your family fridge, a/c unit, washing machine etc. But it's your car :)


    The inv
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,391
    15,518
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    I'm finding ~75A on the 12V circuit is the limit. Anything over and the 12V starts to sag. So we're able to get an honest 900W out but 1000W is a little iffy. Short bursts of say 10-20 seconds where it draws power from the 12V battery are OK but sustained power needs to be in the 900-1000W range.

    Bob Wilson
     
    WE0H, ftl and GrumpyCabbie like this.
  4. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,852
    1,845
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    LE AWD-e
    That's 900 watts into the inverter. At 85% efficiency you are limited to about 750 watts of AC power.

    JeffD
     
  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    That sounds optimistic even for a fully charged PiP.
     
    #285 SageBrush, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    I'm curious about this.

    2000 watts over a 115V line in the US is around 17.4 Amps. Is that safe on a 10 Amp (or even 15 Amp) long cable ? I presume there is some safety margin, but how much ?
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,391
    15,518
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Safe, yes, but efficient depends on sine wave or modified sine wave. The modified sine wave, sharp dV/dt can show a singificant voltage drop as the extension cord length grows.

    Bob Wilson
     
    WE0H likes this.
  8. hb06

    hb06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    550
    15
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Yes, the Prius 12V battery can handle up to 1KW draw. Prius will cycle on and off when its needed.
    A normal refrigerator runs on fairly low power.With our fridge now plugged in to the KillaWatt, it is running between 120 and 133 watts and falling. With Freezer door open light bulb on 157W. With Front door open light bulb on 257W. Definitely going to replace those little incandescent light bulbs in the fridge! A surge would be up to 10x running watts.
     
    WE0H likes this.
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    How old is your fridge ? Mine showed similar power draw, but it is less than 2 years old.

    Regarding incandescents, I tend not to replace bulbs -- no matter how crappy -- if they are very infrequently used. Adapting the home to a limited power supply scenario may be a good reason.
     
  10. hb06

    hb06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    550
    15
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Amazingly, our GE medium-sized fridge is over 10 years old, still within the energy-efficient time period for refrigerators. Brief Surge might go to 800W. The fridge incandescents of course are being used every day, but for use with the inverter, its over 100 watts extra draw not needed during a power outage or emergency. Could either disconnect them when being used but I would rather replace with energy efficient small bulbs. The purpose of this exercise was to gauge the item of the most draw that would be used with the Prius as a Generator with the 1KW Pure Sine Wave inverter we just received, the refrigerator. You would only want to use CFL lights in this scenario. In addition a small TV, router computer, or in cold weather an electric blanket (165W) could be attached, low power items.
     
    #290 hb06, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  11. hb06

    hb06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    550
    15
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    That is about right from what I read. 750 watts is about the max I would want plugged in a 1KW inverter. Great to be able to use Prius as a generator if needed.
     
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,391
    15,518
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Testing is always key . . . during nice weather.

    We have a gas furnace and can run it on the 1kW inverter. The thermostat does not like the modified sine wave but as long as we have hot air blowing.

    Bob Wilson
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    Have a party. Each guest is 100 watts
     
    GrumpyCabbie likes this.
  14. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,852
    1,845
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    LE AWD-e
    More like 200 watts (700 BTU/hr) each as guests are active at my parties.

    JeffD
     
    DadofHedgehog likes this.
  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    6,722
    2,121
    45
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    o_O
     
  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    Still works out to 100 watts, if half of each person is insulated
     
    GrumpyCabbie likes this.
  17. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    6,722
    2,121
    45
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    What if some are fully insulated? I dread to think. :sick:
     
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,530
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    No doubt, an EE's idea of perfection.
     
  19. hb06

    hb06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    550
    15
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The documentation for the 1KW PSW inverter from Converdant recommends an extension cord and power strip rated at 15 Amps. We got a 100' so 12 gauge. For shorter distances, a 14 gauge would do.
     
  20. techntrek

    techntrek Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    263
    84
    0
    Location:
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    From experience I can tell you the Prius will fire up much more often than that.
     
    ftl likes this.