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Author Topic: Toyota Prius as an emergency power source  (Read 12396 times)
N4UM
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« on: June 02, 2012, 04:12:09 PM »

I've read several posts on the internet in which people have hooked up 1KW inverters to the 12 volt starting battery on their Toyota Prius hybrids.  That battery is charged from the large 200+ volt propulsion battery in the vehicle.  When the starting propulsion battery volage drops below a certain point, the gasoline engine turns on and recharges the propulsion battery.  The advantage of this system is that the gasoline engine runs only when necessary and consequently burns only about one quart of gasoline per KWH.

I wonder if any readers in this forum have used this sort of system with the Prius or with any other hybrids.  If so, what sort of results have you experienced?
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KC0RZW
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 07:40:27 AM »

The gasoline engine will also run periodically to maintain coolant temperature and air fuel sensor temp,  regardless of the hv battery state of charge.  So it may be efficient on a warm day,  but at 20 below the gas engine is almost constantly running.
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N4UM
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 01:53:16 PM »

The gasoline engine will also run periodically to maintain coolant temperature and air fuel sensor temp,  regardless of the hv battery state of charge.  So it may be efficient on a warm day,  but at 20 below the gas engine is almost constantly running.

Thanks for the info.  I live in Florida where hurricanes are the problem and 20 below seldom happens!
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KC0RZW
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 04:46:03 PM »

Yeah, prius owners get a little upset up here when they only get 30 mpg during the winter.  If I was using a prius for what you are suggesting I wouldn't get too carried away with what you are running,  the 12 volt system isn't designed for constant high current draws.
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N5TWB
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 12:39:03 PM »

Just when I thought the last post decrying the cost of a good Honda inverter-type generator had expired, along comes somebody to suggest a Prius as a power source... Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

J/K, I couldn't ignore the ironic/silly comparison opportunity. Carry on...have a good day!
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 05:51:47 PM »

Won't be long before Harbor Freight starts to sell a clone of the Prius!

73 james
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N2RRA
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 12:39:48 AM »

I should just say "pay them no mind" N4UM.

First off, Ive never tried putting a station far enough away from the Prius to say this statement wouldn't apply but the big problem is the noise from the high voltage lines in the Prius you'll have to worry about.

It causes major high noise floor within the reciever almost rendering it useless. Unless you take certain grounding measure to reduce this noise you'll be fine. I guess in your case depending on your scenerio your still better off with a generator or other power source.

By the way even in the winter the Prius still functions as it does in the summer no prob.

73!
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N4UM
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 12:13:59 PM »

N2RRA - Thanks for the information.  I have a cheap 400 watt inverter that I plan on trying out while running a 75 foot extension cord into the shack.  If the noise is not too bad maybe I'll go ahead and spring for a 1200 watt sine wave inverter. 
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 03:48:03 PM »

N2RRA - Thanks for the information.  I have a cheap 400 watt inverter that I plan on trying out while running a 75 foot extension cord into the shack.  If the noise is not too bad maybe I'll go ahead and spring for a 1200 watt sine wave inverter. 

I would just spring for a 1000 watt generator and be done with it. I would not run my car to power my shack.
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W7HBP
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 11:41:29 AM »

I've read several posts on the internet in which people have hooked up 1KW inverters to the 12 volt starting battery on their Toyota Prius hybrids.  That battery is charged from the large 200+ volt propulsion battery in the vehicle.  When the starting propulsion battery volage drops below a certain point, the gasoline engine turns on and recharges the propulsion battery.  The advantage of this system is that the gasoline engine runs only when necessary and consequently burns only about one quart of gasoline per KWH.

I wonder if any readers in this forum have used this sort of system with the Prius or with any other hybrids.  If so, what sort of results have you experienced?

I am a cetified Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician by trade, same Toyota dealer for the last 24 yrs and I am also hybrid certified. You are correct. The 12V system gets its power from a "converter" from bumping down the voltage for the 12V system from the high voltage battery and the engine will start as needed only. Turn the heater off etc. If the heater is on, it will force the engine to run more.
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NJ3U
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 06:55:40 AM »

I've had the oppurtunity to work the AT Golden Packet event with Bob Bruninga over the last years.  In the first attempt we used his Pirus with a single wire earth return system.  Worked fine, however retrieving the wire from the brush and trees on the mountain was a pain.

He has posted many articles on this topic - check out the following links;

http://www.aprs.org/APRS-SPHEV.html

http://www.aprs.org/EV-charging-everywhere.html

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AA4PB
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 07:37:02 AM »

One advantage of using a Prius as an emergency power source is that presumably you drive the Prius on a regular basis so it gets properly maintained. An emergency generator usually only gets used during an emergency and most people don't take the time to regularly exercise and maintain them. As a result, when the emergency happens, the generator won't start or run properly because the carburetor is gummed up (even if you used fuel preservative).

and yes - this is the voice of experience....
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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 08:02:17 AM »

One advantage of using a Prius as an emergency power source is that presumably you drive the Prius on a regular basis so it gets properly maintained. An emergency generator usually only gets used during an emergency and most people don't take the time to regularly exercise and maintain them. As a result, when the emergency happens, the generator won't start or run properly because the carburetor is gummed up (even if you used fuel preservative).

and yes - this is the voice of experience....


I never use fuel preservative but I do run carb dry with choke closed when done with them and store with either oil drained and a bottle of fresh oil or fresh oil in crankcase and cover them up. Never had a problem starting them even after sitting a few years.
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WN2C
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2012, 10:28:53 AM »

Check out wb4apr or aprs.org.  Bob has on that web site a lot of links and I believe a link to how he uses his Prius for power on field day.  If you are an ARRL member, then look up the article he recently wrote on the same subject.  Hope this helps.

73 de wn2c  Rick
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