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haroldo

join:2004-01-16
united state
kudos:1

Using a hybrid car for power in case of blackout

*sorry if this was discussed already (I also posted a similar question in Automotive)

I have a Camry hybrid and sat in the dark for 13 days due to hurricane Sandy. I've been reading that some people used their hybrid with an inverter for power. I am not interested in powering my whole house nor major appliances, but was wondering how easy it is for my hybrid to power a few lights, a space heater and sump pumps (via extension cords).
It's been a long time since I learned about watts, amperage and volts...I've basically forgotten most/all of it (so explain briefly if these are important considerations)
I have heavy duty extension cords. Is it as simple as buying an inverter? Can I run two off the car at the same time? What is the size of the inverter needed to be used safely?
Is there anything else I need to know? (yes, I know my car will be on outside in a well ventilated area)
Thanks!



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

While it is -possible- to do what you want, I'm not sure that is the best way to go.

Inverters are relatively expensive, especially in size you would need for your stated objectives.

A generator would be far more economical and efficient.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to haroldo

Most plug-in inverters are limited to about 200W - that's not going to run a pump or heaters.

You can get bigger ones, but they generally need to be hardwired into the vehicle - some of our service trucks have 2000/2500W inverters.

That said - using an inverter driven off the car's accessory electrical system will exactly the same way for a hybrid or conventional car...

There is talk of using the generator part of a hybrid to produce residential power - which would be much more efficient then an external inverter - but I don't know much more about it...



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to haroldo



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to haroldo

said by haroldo:

It's been a long time since I learned about watts, amperage and volts...I've basically forgotten most/all of it (so explain briefly if these are important considerations)

Watts = Volts * Amps. So a 200 watt inverter equals 120 volts * 1.6 amps. It also draws at least 12 volts * 16.6 amps.from the car. I say at least because the inverting process is not 100% efficient.

The Camry has a 1.3kWH battery, or 1300 watt-hours. Not counting inefficiencies, that 200 watt inverter would run for 6.5 hours before the battery was dead. To power a single 15-amp circuit, you'd need a 1800+ watt inverter hard wired. And you're car would be able to power it for less than 43 minutes at full load.

You can get the power draw from the device it self, or here is a guide that estimates many common devices.

In short, just get a cheap generator.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by cdru:

The Camry has a 1.3kWH battery, or 1300 watt-hours.

But the alternator can keep charging the battery if you use a big inverter.
Wouldn't that be more efficient than a generator?


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

said by alkizmo:

said by cdru:

The Camry has a 1.3kWH battery, or 1300 watt-hours.

But the alternator can keep charging the battery if you use a big inverter.
Wouldn't that be more efficient than a generator?

An engine, coupled with an alternator... IS a generator...

Just happens in car-form, they have a handy carrying case attached... When it comes to a hybrid setup, I'm sure they've tuned the engine/alternator package to be as efficent as possible for it's intended purpose. How it would compare to a stand-alone generator, I have no idea, but I'd probably give the nod to the generator...

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA

1 recommendation

reply to haroldo

Been there, done that, with a Prius. With the Toyota hybrid systems, you turn the car on, leave it running, in park and Ready status. The engine will turn off after a few minutes because the high voltage traction battery is fully charged and there is nothing else for the engine to do. If the traction battery discharges to a particular point, the engine will restart itself to run the motor-generator(s) to recharge the traction battery.

You cannot access the high voltage traction battery system; instead you hardwire a substantial inverter to the 12V starting battery in the trunk. The 12V battery is puny by automotive standards, because in actual use it does very little. It only powers the computers and accessories, it does not power a starter motor to turn the engine over for starting, there isn't one of those. Instead, to start the engine, the computer instructs the high voltage battery to spin up the powerful traction motors which in turn spin up the output shaft of the gas engine and then apply spark to the cylinders, for a near instantaneous start. But, if the computer senses that the 12V battery is running low, it will bleed off some current from the traction battery to recharge the low voltage system. And that is where the inverter comes in. As you bleed house power through the inverter, the 12V battery discharges, which signals the car computer to bleed traction battery power to the 12V battery, which in time will discharge the traction battery to the setpoint where the computer instructs the engine to start and recharge the traction battery. When the traction battery is recharged, the engine will turn off, and the cycle will continue until the car gas tank is empty.

So where are the limits? The accessory outlets (cigarette lighters to those of us of a certain age who remember them) are fused at 10 amps @ 12V, which is less than 1 amp @ 120V, or just a couple of small lights. Anything else will trip the fuse to protect the car wiring from overload. That is why you have to hardwire a large inverter directly to the 12V battery. But then the charging system from the traction battery to the 12V battery is fused at 100 amps, which means you can only pull 10 amps @ 120V out of the inverter before the car's high voltage charging system fuse blows. And that is not something you want to do.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

said by dick white:

{...}

So where are the limits? The accessory outlets (cigarette lighters to those of us of a certain age who remember them) are fused at 10 amps @ 12V, which is less than 1 amp @ 120V, or just a couple of small lights. Anything else will trip the fuse to protect the car wiring from overload. That is why you have to hardwire a large inverter directly to the 12V battery. But then the charging system from the traction battery to the 12V battery is fused at 100 amps, which means you can only pull 10 amps @ 120V out of the inverter before the car's high voltage charging system fuse blows. And that is not something you want to do.

Which, to sum it all up, means that best case scenario you can power a few lights and a few electronic devices. Or the blower motor of a natural gas or propane furnace.

Space heaters and other high consumption appliances are completely out of the question.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by TheMG:

Which, to sum it all up, means that best case scenario you can power a few lights and a few electronic devices. Or the blower motor of a natural gas or propane furnace.

Space heaters and other high consumption appliances are completely out of the question.

A few small wattage lights or charging small electronic devices but a blower motor? Forget it. Just buy a generator.

sergey3

join:2004-08-25
reply to haroldo

Everyone who posted before is right, but here is a little more information.
The cigarette lighter in the car is very limited and will max at ~400 watts. For this reason, larger inverters come with clips to connect directly to the 12v battery. You can get an inverter of almost any size with the limit being the battery (or batteries) powering it. To keep the battery from running out of power you will need to keep the engine running. On a hybrid car the electronics are smart enough to turn on and off the engine as needed. On a non-hybrid you will want to keep the engine running or risk having the battery run out.

Also on a small car the engine is usually small and will only be able to provide between 1000 and 2000 watts.

Having said all that, you can buy a cheap Chinese inverter from Harbor Freight which will be good enough.

For example you can get one of these which will produce 2000 watts which will be enough for the things you described.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by sergey3:

Everyone who posted before is right, but here is a little more information.
The cigarette lighter in the car is very limited and will max at ~400 watts. For this reason, larger inverters come with clips to connect directly to the 12v battery. You can get an inverter of almost any size with the limit being the battery (or batteries) powering it. To keep the battery from running out of power you will need to keep the engine running. On a hybrid car the electronics are smart enough to turn on and off the engine as needed. On a non-hybrid you will want to keep the engine running or risk having the battery run out.

Also on a small car the engine is usually small and will only be able to provide between 1000 and 2000 watts.

Having said all that, you can buy a cheap Chinese inverter from Harbor Freight which will be good enough.

For example you can get one of these which will produce 2000 watts which will be enough for the things you described.

Hooking the inverter to the 12v battery is the same as hooking an inverter to any car 12v battery. Charging and capacity has nothing to do with the engine size as the 12v battery is charged by the alternator. The amount of power available is determined by the 12v battery capacity and the capacity of the vehicles alternator.

The fact it's a hybrid car has nothing to do with it as the main traction batteries are not accessible for this use.

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

The fact it's a hybrid car has nothing to do with it as the main traction batteries are not accessible for this use.

Well, actually, that it is a Toyota-type hybrid has everything to do with it. As you point out, ultimately it is a function of how much power can the alternator produce. In this configuration, the battery is just a transition point. The Toyota hybrid system has massive generating capacity compared to the small alternators on regular cars. Even with a heavy duty charging system, a regular car must run its engine constantly. The Toyota hybrid can automatically turn it's gas engine on as needed to quickly top off the traction batteries and then off for a while. No matter what car-sourced inverter you use, you aren't going to power the whole house or even selected high-power loads (like heating). You can, however, power selected low and moderate loads, like lights, electronics, and even the fridge if you keep it to just that. It's an emergency measure, not the means by which to flaunt to your neighbors that you have everything that they don't.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

said by dick white:

Well, actually, that it is a Toyota-type hybrid has everything to do with it. As you point out, ultimately it is a function of how much power can the alternator produce. In this configuration, the battery is just a transition point. The Toyota hybrid system has massive generating capacity compared to the small alternators on regular cars. Even with a heavy duty charging system, a regular car must run its engine constantly. The Toyota hybrid can automatically turn it's gas engine on as needed to quickly top off the traction batteries and then off for a while. No matter what car-sourced inverter you use, you aren't going to power the whole house or even selected high-power loads (like heating). You can, however, power selected low and moderate loads, like lights, electronics, and even the fridge if you keep it to just that. It's an emergency measure, not the means by which to flaunt to your neighbors that you have everything that they don't.

All that being said, having this as a "emergency option" is silly. For what you'll pay for a decent 2000+ watt inverter ($200-$250 or more), you can get a decent generator. Using the car is just silly.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to haroldo

If you really want to use a motor vehicle to power your house, get a big honkin' pickup truck with a trailer tow package (including high output alternator) and a large sine wave inverter.

It will be more expensive than a generator and provide less power but hey, you get to use your car to power your house!



haroldo

join:2004-01-16
united state
kudos:1
reply to haroldo

I guess it's time to look for a generator.
Thanks, all!



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to dick white

said by dick white:

said by Jack_in_VA:

The fact it's a hybrid car has nothing to do with it as the main traction batteries are not accessible for this use.

Well, actually, that it is a Toyota-type hybrid has everything to do with it. As you point out, ultimately it is a function of how much power can the alternator produce. In this configuration, the battery is just a transition point. The Toyota hybrid system has massive generating capacity compared to the small alternators on regular cars. Even with a heavy duty charging system, a regular car must run its engine constantly. The Toyota hybrid can automatically turn it's gas engine on as needed to quickly top off the traction batteries and then off for a while. No matter what car-sourced inverter you use, you aren't going to power the whole house or even selected high-power loads (like heating). You can, however, power selected low and moderate loads, like lights, electronics, and even the fridge if you keep it to just that. It's an emergency measure, not the means by which to flaunt to your neighbors that you have everything that they don't.

I think you have a big misunderstanding of how this works. If the vehicle is not being driven then no power is taken from the traction batteries. The traction batteries consists of 346 Li-ion 3.6 volt cells connected in a series-parallel circuit.

Prius Electrical

The batteries are high voltage, the generator is 3-phase high voltage used to charge the batteries is high voltage.

They cannot be used to power anything else.

Click on the Prius Electrical link above for a description of the components and their functions.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

1 recommendation

reply to haroldo

I have several vehicle inverters: »dimensions.sensata.com/pure12V_1···600.html

They are quite expensive. I think it was around $2K for the 2400N. Granted, these are "commercial" inverters with pure sine wave output.

I buy them because I don't want to listen to a generator run all day. I start my truck every 4 hours and charge the batteries like a submarine. I don't want to carry gas cans around and have generators taking up valuable truck space. With a light load, I can run all work day without having to charge up.
Also, when you show up on a powerless job site with a generator, every swinging dick who has an extension cord on his truck wants to plug something in.

Most of the hybrids do not make the driving battery available for use (they don't lend themselves well to external use). There are companies that will convert them, but the cost a lot and void the warranty.

You'd be much better off getting a Honda EU3000i: »www.wisesales.com/generators-1/h···odk14Atg
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

said by nunya:

I have several vehicle inverters: »dimensions.sensata.com/pure12V_1···600.html

They are quite expensive. I think it was around $2K for the 2400N. Granted, these are "commercial" inverters with pure sine wave output.

I have seen those in the cable company vans. They use them to run TVs and other gear while troubleshooting in the field.

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA

2 recommendations

reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

I think you have a big misunderstanding of how this works. If the vehicle is not being driven then no power is taken from the traction batteries. The traction batteries consists of 346 Li-ion 3.6 volt cells connected in a series-parallel circuit.

Prius Electrical

The batteries are high voltage, the generator is 3-phase high voltage used to charge the batteries is high voltage.

They cannot be used to power anything else.

Click on the Prius Electrical link above for a description of the components and their functions.

Excuse me, Jack, I have owned both a 2002 Prius and a 2009 Camry hybrid. Years ago I outfitted the Prius (and used it) in exactly the manner described. Your understanding of the motor-generators and the high voltage battery pack is incomplete. The traction battery is used to recharge the 12V battery as needed. The 12V battery operates only the controls and accessories. Hence, if the 12V battery is discharged (usually by leaving a door slightly ajar with the interior light on overnight, don't ask how I know this...) before starting, the car will not start only because the computer controls cannot be booted. But once the car is running and all control systems are operational, the 12V battery continues to power the radio and lights. Thus, it needs a steady source for recharging, which it gets through a step-down from the traction battery, regardless of what else the traction battery might be doing at any given moment.

The motor-generators (there are two of them) are geared together with the output shaft of the gas engine in a unique power-split device (not a conventional transmission) that allows all three to operate independently, or in tandem, or rotate in contrary motion under certain circumstances. The larger of the two motor-generators is the actual drive source for the wheels. Because an electric motor can be spun in either direction by changing the polarity of the current, it can drive the car forward or in reverse. During regenerative braking or downhill drifting, it changes mode to a generator to recharge the traction battery. If more power is needed to drive the car than is available in the traction battery pack or if the power demand exceeds the output capacity of the primary motor-generator, the gas engine will start and some of the engine power will be split off to turn the second motor generator while some of the engine power is directed to assist the primary motor, if needed. If the primary motor-generator has sufficient power for the present driving needs but there is insufficient voltage in the traction battery, the entire gas engine power output will spin the second motor-generator in generator mode to recharge the traction battery. This is the "emergency" setup we are discussing. There is no motive demand on the primary motor-generator as the car is stationary, in park, but the traction battery is discharging because the 12V system is powering stuff in the house as well as the accessory system of the car. The computer doesn't know that, all it knows is that the 12V battery is constantly running down. So it bleeds some current over from the traction battery. At the point when the traction battery is discharged below its setpoint, the gas engine will start, and drive the secondary motor-generator until the traction battery is recharged.

(And finally, in the interest of completeness in describing the multiple configurations of power flow through the power-split "transmission", if there is a full charge in the battery pack and there is an extreme demand for motive power, e.g., acceleration for passing or a jackrabbit start, all three sources, the gas engine and both motor-generators will go into power mode. But this will last for only a short while until the traction battery is drawn down below its setpoint, and then the secondary motor-generator will shift back to generator mode drawing on the gas engine for its power source, and the car's acceleration will quickly fade. At higher speeds, the gas engine must be spinning to offset the RPMs of the secondary motor-generator below its maximum rating so it doesn't explode. This can result in a phantom mode at higher speeds with low motive power demand, such as coasting down a hill, where the gas engine will be spinning but with the fuel injectors off and the valves open. It really is an interesting technical/automotive tour-de-force.)

cheers
dw

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

{...} I buy them because I don't want to listen to a generator run all day. {...}

When the Prius was still a new novelty, there were rumors that Toyota was going to port the hybrid system to one of their pickup trucks, with some built-in 120V plugs, aiming at the contractor market for running power tools at the job site. Like many rumors, it never came to be.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

The GM hybrid pickups have (had?) this feature.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

4 edits
reply to dick white

said by dick white:

said by Jack_in_VA:

I think you have a big misunderstanding of how this works. If the vehicle is not being driven then no power is taken from the traction batteries. The traction batteries consists of 346 Li-ion 3.6 volt cells connected in a series-parallel circuit.

Prius Electrical

The batteries are high voltage, the generator is 3-phase high voltage used to charge the batteries is high voltage.

They cannot be used to power anything else.

Click on the Prius Electrical link above for a description of the components and their functions.

Excuse me, Jack, I have owned both a 2002 Prius and a 2009 Camry hybrid. Years ago I outfitted the Prius (and used it) in exactly the manner described. Your understanding of the motor-generators and the high voltage battery pack is incomplete. The traction battery is used to recharge the 12V battery as needed. The 12V battery operates only the controls and accessories. Hence, if the 12V battery is discharged (usually by leaving a door slightly ajar with the interior light on overnight, don't ask how I know this...) before starting, the car will not start only because the computer controls cannot be booted. But once the car is running and all control systems are operational, the 12V battery continues to power the radio and lights. Thus, it needs a steady source for recharging, which it gets through a step-down from the traction battery, regardless of what else the traction battery might be doing at any given moment.

The motor-generators (there are two of them) are geared together with the output shaft of the gas engine in a unique power-split device (not a conventional transmission) that allows all three to operate independently, or in tandem, or rotate in contrary motion under certain circumstances. The larger of the two motor-generators is the actual drive source for the wheels. Because an electric motor can be spun in either direction by changing the polarity of the current, it can drive the car forward or in reverse. During regenerative braking or downhill drifting, it changes mode to a generator to recharge the traction battery. If more power is needed to drive the car than is available in the traction battery pack or if the power demand exceeds the output capacity of the primary motor-generator, the gas engine will start and some of the engine power will be split off to turn the second motor generator while some of the engine power is directed to assist the primary motor, if needed. If the primary motor-generator has sufficient power for the present driving needs but there is insufficient voltage in the traction battery, the entire gas engine power output will spin the second motor-generator in generator mode to recharge the traction battery. This is the "emergency" setup we are discussing. There is no motive demand on the primary motor-generator as the car is stationary, in park, but the traction battery is discharging because the 12V system is powering stuff in the house as well as the accessory system of the car. The computer doesn't know that, all it knows is that the 12V battery is constantly running down. So it bleeds some current over from the traction battery. At the point when the traction battery is discharged below its setpoint, the gas engine will start, and drive the secondary motor-generator until the traction battery is recharged.

(And finally, in the interest of completeness in describing the multiple configurations of power flow through the power-split "transmission", if there is a full charge in the battery pack and there is an extreme demand for motive power, e.g., acceleration for passing or a jackrabbit start, all three sources, the gas engine and both motor-generators will go into power mode. But this will last for only a short while until the traction battery is drawn down below its setpoint, and then the secondary motor-generator will shift back to generator mode drawing on the gas engine for its power source, and the car's acceleration will quickly fade. At higher speeds, the gas engine must be spinning to offset the RPMs of the secondary motor-generator below its maximum rating so it doesn't explode. This can result in a phantom mode at higher speeds with low motive power demand, such as coasting down a hill, where the gas engine will be spinning but with the fuel injectors off and the valves open. It really is an interesting technical/automotive tour-de-force.)

cheers
dw

All of that doesn't address the fact if you hook an invertor to the 12v battery it is no different than hooking it up to any vehicle. Like nuya said you just start the vehicle and charge the battery(s) as they run down. In the case of the prius the main battery provides the source but at a rate the 12v battery can safely accept.

You can't access the main battery except for it to recharge the 12v battery which limits the amount of power available to what the 12v battery and inverter can safely provide. A 12v battery is not an infinite source of power regardless of the ability to charge it.

It is an inefficient awkward effort at best and a small emergency generator would be a much better choice unless you just want to charge your cell phones and maybe run a laptop and small light. Leave your headlights on with the engine off and you'll get an idea of how much power is available in a standard 12v battery and how long it will provide that power.

All of the manufacturers are working on making the main battery accessible for emergency use providing power for homes in blackouts. They are not available here yet.

»usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11···use?lite

quote:
Sakala says he first read about the Prius' use as a power source years ago on the internet.

After the storm, and the resulting power outage, he thought he'd give it a try. He ended up powering a few lights, his TV, laptop and modem with a 100 watt power inverter and a few heavy-duty extension cords he purchased at Home Depot. He later moved to a 300 watt inverter, which let him power more lights.
It had to be a very small tv to power it on a 100 watt inverter "along with a few lights". Add it up 100 watts is 100 watts.

Google "Using hybrid vehicles for power in emergencies"

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

said by Jack_in_VA:

It is an inefficient awkward effort at best and a small emergency generator would be a much better choice

Which is exactly what Mr. White said.

said by Jack_in_VA:

It had to be a very small tv to power it on a 100 watt inverter "along with a few lights". Add it up 100 watts is 100 watts.

My 40" LED TV uses about 25 Watts.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Maybe jack is thinking of his 500 watt incandescent power hogs when he thinks of "a few lights". Using led or cfl I can run about 8 lights on 100w.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to haroldo

I'm surprised by all the comments here insisting that the high-voltage traction batteries cannot be used to provide emergency power ?
PRIUPS is one site that has documented how to do it and there are a few others that did their own variation thereof. It is not trivial and I'm not suggesting everybody should do this (needless to say, electricity can kill and there is a reason for all the warning labels on the high voltage system in the car) but it is certainly possible.

A 2005-2009 Toyota Prius is capable of providing more then 5kW at 220V DC (not AC!) at the traction battery. That is similar to the amount of power that you get from an emergency generator (3 to 7kW for many portables).

In some cases (electronics with a 120V-240V switchmode power supply) you may be able to directly power AC devices with this 220V DC voltage. For anything else requiring 120V AC you will need an inverter. PRIUPS and others had success with using an industrial UPS that uses high battery voltage (most consumer UPS use 12V or 24V inverters).
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

said by Jack_in_VA:

It is an inefficient awkward effort at best and a small emergency generator would be a much better choice

quote:
Which is exactly what Mr. White said.
Not quite he still is presenting the prius as a emergency source. Googling the issue it is apparent it could be a future source of power but it's not ready for prime time yet.

said by Jack_in_VA:

It had to be a very small tv to power it on a 100 watt inverter "along with a few lights". Add it up 100 watts is 100 watts.

quote:
My 40" LED TV uses about 25 Watts.
My Sony 46" is listed at 240 watts, not including the Directv DVR and Sony Surround Sound System.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

3 edits
reply to leibold

said by leibold:

I'm surprised by all the comments here insisting that the high-voltage traction batteries cannot be used to provide emergency power ?
PRIUPS is one site that has documented how to do it and there are a few others that did their own variation thereof. It is not trivial and I'm not suggesting everybody should do this (needless to say, electricity can kill and there is a reason for all the warning labels on the high voltage system in the car) but it is certainly possible.

A 2005-2009 Toyota Prius is capable of providing more then 5kW at 220V DC (not AC!) at the traction battery. That is similar to the amount of power that you get from an emergency generator (3 to 7kW for many portables).

In some cases (electronics with a 120V-240V switchmode power supply) you may be able to directly power AC devices with this 220V DC voltage. For anything else requiring 120V AC you will need an inverter. PRIUPS and others had success with using an industrial UPS that uses high battery voltage (most consumer UPS use 12V or 24V inverters).

The Prius voltage is higher than 220 and are you suggesting that someone dismantle the vehicle to gain access to the batteries themselves? That would void any warranties instantly to subject the vehicle (batteries) for this use.

Toyota, Nissan and others are working on this especially for use in Japan. It's not here yet. Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it is realistic to do. As your link points out there are many considerations that need addressing before this becomes feasible.

Running an Inverter off a Prius for Backup Power

How I added an inverter to my 2005 Prius

A lot of effort for less than 1000 watts


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Cogeco Cable
reply to Jack_in_VA

The Prius or any other hybrids with this type of hybrid system are actually far more efficient than a conventional vehicle when used in this manner.

Reasons:
1. The engine is used at a far more efficient loading than conventional vehicles would be when operating to charge the HV battery. (gasoline engines are extremely inefficient at idle)

2. The engine need not idle unnecessarily.

3. The vehicle and all systems are designed to operate in this way. There is less risk of letting the 12 V battery discharge to a harmful level as there would be in a conventional vehicle.

4. The vehicle emits far fewer pollutants than any conventional portable generator.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
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·Millenicom

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How I added an inverter to my 2005 Prius

It's a lot of equipment and work for the less than 1000 watts. The average person would not have the ability to do this safely.