A nearly perfect emergency generator

“Easily enough to power my freezer, refrigerator, some LED lights, the TV, and the blower for my wood burning fireplace insert.”
– Nathan Brazil

__________

Note: This post is for information only and is not electrical or mechanical advice.

A nearly perfect emergency generator

Nathan Brazil

A Toyota Prius with an inverter, available factory installed or added yourself to the 12V system if you are capable, is a nearly perfect emergency generator. This article https://invertersrus.com/prius-power-inverter/ explains it well.

My Prius “c” provides me with 800 watts continuously via a 1KW sine-wave inverter I added to the 12 VDC system. This is easily enough to power my freezer, refrigerator, some LED lights, the TV, and the blower for my wood burning fireplace insert. I run heavy duty extension cords around the house rather than trying to tie-in to the breaker box, that way I have complete control over the loads I place on the system and there is no danger of feeding power into a dead power line. I used this system for 5 days during an ice storm a few years ago.

The engine runs intermittently, about 1 minute out of 10 to keep the main high voltage traction battery battery charged. The system uses the traction battery to charge the 12 VDC accessory battery. The 12 V battery supplies the approximately 80 amps needed to run my add-on inverter.

The Prius as a generator is very efficient. I did not measure exactly how much gas I used in those 5 days, but I never refilled my 10 gallon tank and had plenty left in it.

I left the car parked out in my driveway (locked) and ran a construction grade #10 extension cord into the house under the garage door. It’s a hassle to run the extension cords and I only do it if I have reason to believe it will be an extended outage. In my location I’m guessing that except for the ice storm, in the last 10 years the power has been out less than a 5 hours a year. To me its not worth putting in a whole house generator for that.

Keep in mind that a Prius is designed to generate and properly handle distribution of large DC voltages and currents. Don’t try this with a regular car battery and alternator, you may damage your vehicle. You could screw up and damage your Prius. The factory installed option is best, this post is for information only and is not electrical or mechanical advice.

The post A nearly perfect emergency generator appeared first on Ice Age Now.

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November 4, 2020 at 09:10AM

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