GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,871 Posts
This is why a Chevy Volt could easily power your whole house in a blackout, if GM would include the small additional amount of hardware to allow for such a feature. Your car could take the place of a $10,000 whole house generator and I would bet the incremental cost for parts to do it on the Volt would be less than $500.

At a constant 65mph, your Volt's battery is putting out roughly 25kW. And most homes use 10kW or less instantaneous, and certainly much less on average.

It's cost prohibitive aftermarket, because a 300V inverter is, itself, expensive, and playing with 300V isn't for the faint of heart. But GM has the inverter essentially as part of the motor controller. Or with some added hardware, the battery charger could be an inverter as well. Heck, if they're truly working on Vehicle-to-Grid as they state, that prototype has all the functionality that's needed.

Just one more way to make the Volt that much more of a bargain for buyers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Good article but some of the numbers are inconsistent.
1) There are 5 batteries in the module.
2) Together they provide 25 KW and 25 KWH.
3) The average American home uses 29 KWH/day.
4) The module provides 2 hours of electricity for 3 - 5 American homes.

This is a great idea but it will lose credibility if the claims appear to be flaky.

KNS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I wonder if inverters like that in a car are an insurance issue (for manufacturer and policy-holder)? I know that the C-Max has a 120V plug in the back seat but it's probably lower amps than it could be.

I just installed an EVExtend.com wiring kit into our Volt yesterday. Even though it "supports" 1000W inverters, I went with a 600W Xantrex True SineWave inverter and it was able to run our garage refrigerator, in a test, which had a startup peak wattage over 700W and 150W while compressor was running. Ready for the next blackout :) I want to look into an LPG generator that could tie into our underground LPG tank which we use for water heating and home heating in the winter.

Running a whole home is good but perhaps even better is tying 10-20 of them together and running an apartment building. The amount of energy used per-capita in an apartment building is far less than individual homes in neighborhoods. It would be nice to help smooth out the power grid by having localized well-tested and vetted battery-storage units in high-population areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,101 Posts
Good article but some of the numbers are inconsistent.
1) There are 5 batteries in the module.
2) Together they provide 25 KW and 25 KWH.
3) The average American home uses 29 KWH/day.
4) The module provides 2 hours of electricity for 3 - 5 American homes.

This is a great idea but it will lose credibility if the claims appear to be flaky.

KNS
They said in the demonstration it output 25kWh, that doesn't mean that is all it is capable of. 5 Volt batteries at 16kWh each is 80kWh, assuming they are down to 70% life, that's still 56kWh.
Their specs I'm sure are pretty conservative. What do you see as flaky?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
The Volt Generator max output is 55 KW.
The maximum output per day is 24*55 = 1320 KWh ( you would have to refill the tank numerous times at this power level).

I don't see why the volt couldn't power a very large house
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I can't see GM building this into vehicles. It introduces too much liability for the few times it would be used. If they provided this as af factory option suddenly they would be responsible for it. Given what the whole 12 amp/8 amp 120 volt charging situation has shown us, I think it is pretty clear GM doesn't want to be responsible for any exposure to bad things happening to household wiring.

Also, given how rare blackouts really are for most areas of the country I don't see it as something most people would be willing to pay extra for. The most important factor to get the Volt more widely adopted will be getting the price down, so adding anything that could increase the costs simply works against this goal.

There's also an interesting twist to this story. In a disaster scenario where the grid goes down in a severe manner that could cause it to be out for some time (aka Sandy or an earthquake) draining someone's battery to power their home might leave them in a worse off situation. You might need the extra battery range to make it out of an area safely. The battery capacity is great but isn't large enough for a long term outage on it's own.

I'm a bit of a nut on this subject. I've got a backup generator, a home built whole house battery backup system, transfer switches, solar panels, etc..For people like myself who can tap into the existing design (at our own risk) and can power a few things it's a extra comfort to have that power sitting there. But in a real disaster scenario the best part to me would be being able to recharge my Volt from my generator if gas stations are down for days or weeks so I doubt I'd want to tap into the power anyway.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top