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Using car as generator

generator inverter

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29 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:01 AM

In case I was not clear, I was proposing hooking the deep cycle battery to the battery in the C-

 

 

So are you saying that when the C-Max uses 12 volt power with the key in the engaged position (engine will go on when needed) the power does not come from the 12 volt battery but kind of comes from the HVB, so the 12 volt battery does not really get depleted.   If this is the case, then my idea to hook the deep cycle battery to the car 12 volt doesn't do much when the key is on.  To keep the engine from running a lot in the cold, it might work to charge the HVB to a high state by tricking the car to think you want the heater on until the HVB is charged.  IF this is the case it might be a good idea to use a electric space heater to heat the car with the key engaged.

 

In the ready to drive position.  I have push button start.  Yes, the DC/DC converter is supplying the load (like a conventional alternator would do) whether ICE is on or off.  But unlike a conventional car, ICE in the C-Max will be off until the HVB is below a threshold level.  ICE will then start to charge the HVB up to a certain level and then shut off. This ICE on/off cycle will continue.  This is significantly more efficient than running a conventional car continuously for auxiliary power.   The 12 V C-Max battery does not get depleted as the DC/DC converter keeps its charge up.

 

Like I've said several times in other threads, I've done this to keep car cool (AC on) with my dog in the car.  IIRC, you have to lock the car with the key FOB.  IIRC, the black button on the handles won't work to lock the car with the car in ready to drive.  It's probably illegal to leave the car "running" in most jurisdictions.  But when I've done it, I've parked somewhat away from where most are parking so as not to attract attention with a pet in a "hot" car and an unattended running car.  When I first started do this, I checked about every 10 minutes or so to make sure the all was fine.

 

Don't know about a keyed ignition system. But I assume that if you start the car by turning the key, you are in ready to drive just like with push button start.


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 14 April 2017 - 06:06 AM.








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#22 OFFLINE   homestead

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:51 AM

In case I was not clear, I was proposing hooking the deep cycle battery to the battery in the C-

 

 

So are you saying that when the C-Max uses 12 volt power with the key in the engaged position (engine will go on when needed) the power does not come from the 12 volt battery but kind of comes from the HVB, so the 12 volt battery does not really get depleted.   If this is the case, then my idea to hook the deep cycle battery to the car 12 volt doesn't do much when the key is on.  To keep the engine from running a lot in the cold, it might work to charge the HVB to a high state by tricking the car to think you want the heater on until the HVB is charged.  IF this is the case it might be a good idea to use a electric space heater to heat the car with the key engaged.

Putting a deep cycle battery in parallel with the car battery wouldn't do much to save the car battery.  Both batteries would go through the same discharge and recharge cycles, it would just take a little longer before the ice kicks on.

 

Don't understand the reason for putting electric space heater in the car plus how would you power the heater during a power failure?



#23 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:58 PM

Putting a deep cycle battery in parallel with the car battery wouldn't do much to save the car battery.  Both batteries would go through the same discharge and recharge cycles, it would just take a little longer before the ice kicks on.

 

Don't understand the reason for putting electric space heater in the car plus how would you power the heater during a power failure?

 

I didn't do the best job on that post.

 

The electric space heater in the car was for winter days so I wouldn't have to run the engine just to warm the car up.

 

I would consider this if it did not drain the 12V battery but come off the HVB.



#24 OFFLINE   homestead

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:47 PM

Thinking about getting this inverter https://www.amazon.c...watt SW600 600W

 

Someone has used this inverter successfully with the same brand pellet stove.

I tried running my car last night with headlights off.  Was concerned that the running lights on

the car might stay on but all exterior lights were off.  Only the dash lights were on.  I thought

this was a problem with c-max at drive-in theaters but perhaps they fixed it.

I don't keep my c-max in a garage so no risk of monoxide gas and plan on locking the car doors

with another fob leaving a 2nd fob in the car so the horn doesn't honk when you close the door.



#25 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:55 PM

I tow my C Max with a motorhome.  To keep the 12V battery from running down when towing, there is a 12V charge line from the Motorhome to the C Max battery.

 

On occasion, when camping somewhere where there is no 120V hookup for the motorhome everything in the motorhome runs off the two large house batteries. After a day or so I will let the Cmax run and charge the motorhome house batteries back through the charge line..  Same as previous posts, the ICE will start occasionally and then shut off.  Much quieter than running the gasoline generator on the motorhome.


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#26 OFFLINE   homestead

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

Update:

Received the inverter and installed it in the hatch area.  Tested it using a 3 prong 120v outlet tester and a floodlight.

Didn't want to test it with the stove since its 75F out today but will test it this fall.

So, it looks like I am good to go.  Anyone know if there is rubber plug in the hatch area to the outside world

big enough for an extension cord?



#27 OFFLINE   Whozwat

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:00 PM

I tow my C Max with a motorhome. To keep the 12V battery from running down when towing, there is a 12V charge line from the Motorhome to the C Max battery.

On occasion, when camping somewhere where there is no 120V hookup for the motorhome everything in the motorhome runs off the two large house batteries. After a day or so I will let the Cmax run and charge the motorhome house batteries back through the charge line.. Same as previous posts, the ICE will start occasionally and then shut off. Much quieter than running the gasoline generator on the motorhome.



#28 OFFLINE   Whozwat

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:04 PM

Might as well push the envelope on 2 fronts ... I wonder, could my C-MAX Energi pull a small travel trailer and then power a small air conditioner or electric heater in the trailer?

Edited by Whozwat, 29 November 2017 - 01:06 PM.


#29 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 07:06 PM

I have left my C-Max "on" and car locked, with AC running for cooling when traveling with our dog and stopping for 40 - 60 minutes to dine.  ICE does start when the HVB falls to a low level.  So, be aware of potential exhaust fumes from ICE based on power draw of the stove and outage length.    

 

It shouldn't matter whether the load is internal to the C-Max or attached to the 12 V battery except that the 12 V charging circuit has a 175 A fuse (about 2100 W) and the 12 V battery is fused at 150 A (1800 W).   So, I'd keep the 12V to 120V AC converter as small as possible to avoid blowing either of these fuses.  

 

I recently bought a 1500 watt sine wave inverter.   I was going to hook it directly to the battery but after reading this thread over I am wondering if it was a good idea to get the inverter I got and where I should connect it.

 

Most of why I got it is to run a device that uses about 400 watts in the car.  It also would be nice to be able to utilize my faberware fry pan which I think is a bit less that 1300 watts in the car (not essential).

 

I also could use it to back up my house backup power generator which is old or if I run out of gas.  The most important thing is to allow the oil burner to be plugged in and I believe that is about 800 watts but my sense is it may need a lot to get started.  (this is not essential and I would only run to heat up the house pretty warm and then turn in off until it needs it again.  No electric and no heat is a bad combination in the winter.)

 

So my questions.  Did I buy an inverter that is too powerful ?  Should I install a fuse to avoid the car's fuse from blowing first?  Where is the best place to hook it up.  The answer may have been stated but I am not really technically comfortable in this area to discern it.

 

Thanks.


Edited by obob, 25 July 2018 - 07:09 PM.


#30 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 11:51 PM

The 1500 W inverter is likely around 90% efficient.  So, the input current to the inverter would be 1500W/12V/0.9 = 139A which is less than the 175A charging circuit fuse. I would add a 140 A fuse in the input line to the 1500 W inverter to not blow the 175A fuse of the DC/DC converter charging circuit when the car is running and the HVB is supplying the 1500 W inverter.  See the attached.  I would connect the new 140A fuse to the 1500 W inverter to one of the studs (added in black on the attachment) of the red cables on the fuse link assembly attached to the 12 V + battery terminal.  Hopefully, the140 A added fuse would blow before the 12 V 150 A battery fuse link when the 12 V battery is supplying load (car off) as my guess is it is expensive since it can't be replaced separately from the fuse link assembly.

 

Obviously, proceed with caution as "blowing fuses" can be expensive.  The 1500 W inverter can probably handle large inrush current of loads attached to it. But the C-Max fuses may not be able to handle it and blow.  Resistive loads should be fine but any motor loads for example may have too large of an inrush current for the C-Max fuses.

 

Attached File  tempsnip.png   93.1KB   0 downloads


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 25 July 2018 - 11:58 PM.

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