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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,
I got a 2013 Volt this summer to replace my second-generation Prius. I had set up my Prius to power some external equipment directly from the hybrid battery. I charged my electric motorcycle from it as well as a few other things. I want to set my Volt up to do likewise. I will have to deal with significantly higher voltage and I am preparing for that.

Before I actually get into the car's with, I am trying to find out if anyone has documented a similar project online. I know people have done some crazy stuff like adding second batteries, buy haven't found any real detail. The main thing I am curious about if whether the various computers in the Volt are going to panic if I draw a few kilowatts off the HV battery somewhere in the system. The Prius was happy to maintain SOC with no errors when I drew power downstream of the current sensor. I am hoping the Volt is also happy to let me take power without errors. Does anyone have any experience or know of someone else's work?


A quick last note: I am looking for knowledge or pointers to it, not inexperienced conjecture. If the main thrust of your message is that I am going to fry myself, it'll never work, or that I should just use the 12v system- thanks anyway, I have already considered that.
 

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I don't use 12 volts for anything directly but do use the 12 volt system through an inverter for powering household things from my volt. If you keep the volt plugged in and the shifter clamped the battery will be kept charged. I've only done this to experiment so I don't know all the down side that may happen during a long session.
Since the high voltage battery is 360 volts I can't think of anything you could use it for but driving the car unless you can engineer some kind of a transformer.
 

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The 12V battery is as close as you'll get. I know of no one who has "tapped" the potentially lethal high voltage battery.

But if you do, please post pics here. :)
 

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What will your project do with the 360 VDC?
 

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I have our Gen 2 volts wired to quick connect an inverter which is a way into the larger battery via the 12V system.

The Gen 2 volt can handle max 1600 watts or so continuous in this way.

The Gen 1 I think can handle 2000 watts continuous through an inverter.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Kind of apples to oranges comparing the Prius battery to the Volt. Different technologies, chemistry, voltages, etc... That being said, there is an inverter product you can purchase (EV Extend) that allows your Volt to in essence act as a generator which can power electronics, appliances, etc...

As Steverino said, it interfaces through the 12V system but does utilize the HV battery (and the range extender if necessary) to provide power.
 

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I have this picture of an old model-t using a belt drive off the wheel to turn a cotton gin.

So jack up the car and use a M-G set

See I did not bring up the 12 volt battery ;-)

---
A few posters want to use a old Volt main battery in solar power storage - no reports so far.
 

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DerpTruck and The Struggle for EV Legitimacy

Guy in the above link dug deep into the Gen1 battery pack and could be helpful for OP's 'mission'...





Rather short double-insulated HV DC cable located between battery pack to inverter OP would have to splice into in order to 'power directly from the HV battery' taken from the same link
 

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Some people have taken Tesla and Volt batteries to use for storing power, but I think you would seriously risk ruining the car if you tried to tap into it while still using it.
 

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Since the high voltage battery is 360 volts I can't think of anything you could use it for but driving the car unless you can engineer some kind of a transformer.
A transformer doesn't do a thing with a DC power source - Transformers are for AC and not DC

Don
 

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A transformer doesn't do a thing with a DC power source - Transformers are for AC and not DC

Don
well most of that statement is correct, however, if you pulse a dc source(on and off repeated) into a transformer it will work, a spark plug coil is a good example
 

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Discussion Starter #12
DerpTruck and The Struggle for EV Legitimacy

Guy in the above link dug deep into the Gen1 battery pack and could be helpful for OP's 'mission'...





Rather short double-insulated HV DC cable located between battery pack to inverter OP would have to splice into in order to 'power directly from the HV battery' taken from the same link
That's useful, thanks. I mean directly in the sense of no electrical conversion from 360VDC, rather than physically connecting only at the battery and not another convenient point. The battery disconnect unit under the hood seems a likely spot. I definitely want to be downstream of the car's current sensors and contactors. Hopefully if I connect where all the other HV accessory loads branch out (heater, air conditioning, etc) the car will count the coulombs I use as accessory load and keep track of SOC accurately without throwing errors. If it has logic to check that all the power going out has to match all the power going in somewhere else I might be sunk, but the Prius didn't care. So far, it sounds like nobody else has tried to use the battery in situ, so I might be the first to find out.

Yes, I do have an application for using HVDC, but I prefer not to discuss it since it's potentially a commercial development.
 

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That battery disconnect breaks the HVDC circuit in the middle of the battery string, not at one end. Pulling that disconnect WILL generate lots of error codes that have to be cleared before the car is drivable again.

Those 3 pics make me think about building a residential battery system.

Shielded power cables... Hmm. I'm curious... and interested.

Good luck sir. And make sure your gloves are in good condition.
 

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Hopefully if I connect where all the other HV accessory loads branch out (heater, air conditioning, etc) the car will count the coulombs I use as accessory load and keep track of SOC accurately without throwing errors.



A more convenient location for you to splice into the HV DC could be at the input of the APM.

You would be limited to the 20A max current pull of the APM + whateveryouthenconnect otherwise you risk blowing this fuse within the battery pack...
 

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Discussion Starter #15



A more convenient location for you to splice into the HV DC could be at the input of the APM.

You would be limited to the 20A max current pull of the APM + whateveryouthenconnect otherwise you risk blowing this fuse within the battery pack...
That's useful, thanks. Where'd you get the wiring diagram from? I was thinking about the APM myself- it being on the interior is also a bonus. Ideally I could get a male and female version of that same connector to make myself a pass-through wye. 20A limit isn't a problem for now- over 7kW at most pack voltages. Blowing that fuse would be very unfortunately, though! :eek:
 

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The HV battery can definitely be tapped into.
You will need an access point to tap into the battery (the hardest part) this would require cutting into your cars more than you want. Ie a 1 inch hole near the front by the gear shifter and another near the backseat.

All the recommendations to go through the cars DC DC converter or directly to the 12V WILL work but it wont give you the amps you are looking for. (Not to mention safety)


You will need a very large Buck Converter and some seriously think cables.

I would step it down all the way to 48V DC and then feed it into a 5000W inverter.

Now, I know this works because others have already done it with the Volt battery pack.
This video shows the correct contact points:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot3IhsUfFS8

The biggest challenge is doing it with the battery still in the car without destroying it too much.
Also, have you thought about where the giant buck converter will go?
Where will your giant inverter go?
Do you know that these units produce noise and heat?
I have already given this a lot of thought and with over $1.5k in parts alone before any labor I have decided against it.

We also don't know is how the car will react once its turned back on after losing 5KWH. I suspect it will still work just fine and estimate your range down accordingly but who knows.
 

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... Yes, I do have an application for using HVDC, but I prefer not to discuss it since it's potentially a commercial development.
If you search through old posts, some years back one of the EEs was discussing using a three phase converter, such as the Allen Bradley commercial modules. While 12V has been the only practical way for owners to use the VOLT battery to date, technically, some kind of direct connection to the HV battery is the only efficient way to do, for example, home power, such as V2H.

BTW, since you are hinting at your interest in a patent (your odd reference to "prior art"), you may want to be talking to an attorney (not legal advice, other than talk to an attorney) because everything you do in public before your filing date is creating prior art. Even if a patent examiner does not search forums, should you obtain a patent of any significant value (highly unlikely), your adversaries will search everywhere to try to make it go away (i.e. invalid or unenforceable).
 

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Make a plug to go in where the fuse/disconnect is in the tunnel. Park car, pull/disconnect the 12v and remove the fuse and insert plug.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Isn't that a mid-pack break? I'd have no way to draw current, the pack would have an open circuit at the contactors.
 
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