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Author Topic: Toyota Prius as an emergency power source  (Read 34360 times)
K5LXP
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2015, 06:22:39 AM »


I think the common denominator is "emergency".  No matter what your power source whether it's a high efficiency genset or operating an inverter from the 12V system in your car, whatever gets you there counts.

Even operating portable I don't bother with a genset, I just run things off the car.  Yes, woefully inefficient.  But it works, is self contained and there's nothing extra to bring along and set up.  For the few times a year I do this, it's a no brainer.  Same goes for power outages.  In the decades I've lived here I can count the ones that lasted more than a few minutes on one hand.  What would be the point of buying and maintaining a genset I would never use?  Just to be ready for "when all else fails"?  That's not my goal, and I'll gladly cede the credit then to the whackers who are actually prepared for that.

So if someone owns a Prius and wants to use it as a standby power source, why not?  Just like having multiple radios and multiple antennas, an alternate power source is just another tool in the tool box.  I'd rather have that system worked out and available as an option and not use it, than scramble when other options don't work or are unavailable.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K6CPO
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2015, 01:06:41 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!

It's a good use for them.  They're a hazard on the road...
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W8JX
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 04:00:22 PM »


So if someone owns a Prius and wants to use it as a standby power source, why not? 


No real big advantage over just using your car with a inverter because the Prius has a very limited capacity in its 200 v NiMH battery, less than 1kw hr usable, and add power loss converting from 200 to 12v and engine will run a lot and not be very efficient. A Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf have 16 to 25 times more capacity respectfully in their battery packs and Volt has a 55kw generator if you could find a inverter powered by 370 volts you would have a source capable of fully powering a few houses and its built in inverters are liquid cooled. A Tesla over 80 times more energy stored. Now that's a big backup house supply if you can harness it. 
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K5LXP
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2015, 08:35:54 PM »

No real big advantage over just using your car with a inverter because the Prius has a very limited capacity in its 200 v NiMH battery

But the point is that it's 100% more than nothing.  If it's sitting in the driveway/out in the field otherwise doing nothing, efficiency be damned.  Lights are lights, power is power.

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Now that's a big backup house supply if you can harness it. 

Harnessing it is the trick.  I've run stuff off my BEV pack but it's either been DC (lights, brushed motors) or through a 2-step conversion for AC:



Not optimum nor a lot of power but again, 100% more than nothing.  I ran 2A Field Day with it one year, powered the entire site.  But there's no point advantage to running battery unless you're QRP, and with a nominal 30kWh pack on tap, who wants to run QRP?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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W8JX
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2015, 04:56:49 AM »


But the point is that it's 100% more than nothing.  If it's sitting in the driveway/out in the field otherwise doing nothing, efficiency be damned.  Lights are lights, power is power.


And the same of which you can do with your car and a inverter in a pinch so Prius is no big gold mine here.
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SOFAR
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2015, 03:38:01 PM »

It appears W8JX has developed a case of 'Prius Envy'.
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W8JX
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2015, 11:23:18 AM »

It appears W8JX has developed a case of 'Prius Envy'.

No in the slightest. Drove all thee models and all too buzzy and handle poorly (PriusV does handle noticeably better than other two though and only model we even remotely considered purchasing) Volt is way quieter even in engine assist range extending mode and handles much better. Prius needs a serious overhaul/upgrade. Plus after 7500 dollar tax credit we got is was much cheaper than Prius too. We have no regrets a year later.
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KC2UGV
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« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2015, 04:17:20 AM »

No real big advantage over just using your car with a inverter because the Prius has a very limited capacity in its 200 v NiMH battery

But the point is that it's 100% more than nothing.  If it's sitting in the driveway/out in the field otherwise doing nothing, efficiency be damned.  Lights are lights, power is power.

Quote
Now that's a big backup house supply if you can harness it. 

Harnessing it is the trick.  I've run stuff off my BEV pack but it's either been DC (lights, brushed motors) or through a 2-step conversion for AC:



Not optimum nor a lot of power but again, 100% more than nothing.  I ran 2A Field Day with it one year, powered the entire site.  But there's no point advantage to running battery unless you're QRP, and with a nominal 30kWh pack on tap, who wants to run QRP?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


I wouldn't even bother with the inverter to get DC --> AC...  Just stick a buck-boost DC-DC converter to get yourself a steady 13.8V, and start swapping out things you'll be running to operate at 13.8VDC.  Much more efficient, since your inverter is likely only about 60% efficient.  Buck boosts are in the neighborhood of 90% efficient as long as supply voltage is within +/-10%.
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W8JX
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« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2015, 05:23:02 AM »

I wouldn't even bother with the inverter to get DC --> AC...  Just stick a buck-boost DC-DC converter to get yourself a steady 13.8V, and start swapping out things you'll be running to operate at 13.8VDC.  Much more efficient, since your inverter is likely only about 60% efficient.  Buck boosts are in the neighborhood of 90% efficient as long as supply voltage is within +/-10%.

If this was true electric cars would not be possible as efficiency would be poor.  Modern inverters are in 90%+ efficiency range. Electric cars are powered by AC motors driven by inverters powered by DC. Where most power is lost in powering ham gear from 120 ac is using linear power supplies which are not as efficient as switching supplies. If you do this then your over all efficiency (DC - AC inverter - Linear power supply) your over all efficiency will only be 50 to 60%
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K5LXP
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« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2015, 06:34:59 AM »

Just stick a buck-boost DC-DC converter to get yourself a steady 13.8V, and start swapping out things you'll be running to operate at 13.8VDC.

Sure, if you can rationalize that expense vs a target run time.  Or do what I did and use what I already have, and not care that I can only run for 4 weeks instead of 6 when the goal is 2 days.  Perfection can sometimes be the enemy of good enough.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


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W8JX
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2015, 06:29:26 AM »

Just stick a buck-boost DC-DC converter to get yourself a steady 13.8V, and start swapping out things you'll be running to operate at 13.8VDC.

I fail to see the reason for the fascination with this "got to have" 13.8v mentality. It is way over blown. Just like need for LMR400 for HF.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
AFA6MD
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2015, 09:54:48 PM »

N4UM,

Don't worry about naysayers. I've used the Prius as a 12V operating station (nice to be sitting in a climatized car instead of sweating it out for hours and fighting insects; there is some RF hash when the motor comes on, but it's manageable, HF and large VHF antennas were mounted about 50ft away from car); and have also used it with a 1000W DC/AC  with long AC power cable running into house during a power outage (had no RF hash that time).

Keeping the gasoline nicely topped off, you have a fairly comfortable Comms vehicle Smiley

73
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