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He only powered Laptops and lights and television, and I'm sure not for 24 hours a day. Never said a word about the fridge or real 24 hour-a-day power vampires.

To compare the Volt to this guy's usage, we'd have to know how long he powered each unit attached to the power.

The Volt runs the engine only about 10 minutes an hour. The Prius in the story I assume is not the PIP. The Prius would have to run the ICE how many minutes an hour? I am sure a lot more than a Volt, sine the Volt has a 10.5-10.9 kWh buffer. If fully charged of course when started as a home generator.

For whatever his energy usage was - and he only burned 5 gallons. I gotta believe for the exact same needs, the Volt would have burned much less than half of what he did, and much of the energy used for the three days would have been from the Volt's battery and therefore much, much more cleaner and therefore much, much less chance of giving your family Carbon monoxide poisoning. :)
 

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The Prius's ICE is more efficient than the Volt's; however, I have to imagine that the rest of the Volt's systems are more efficient than the Prius'. Assuming 30% efficiency on the Prius's ICE and no electrical losses, he was able to produce 51 kWh of electricity. After loses, I have to imagine that he probably got 35 to 40 kWh of actual electricity. In the case of the Volt, the good thing is (assuming it was charged) you start out with 10 kWh of available electricity, so the ICE won't kick on until after the Prius has already burned one gallon of gas. It would take quite a bit of time for the Prius to catch up, despite having a 2-3% (not sure of the exact number) advantage in ICE efficiency.
 

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With the Volt, you could drive a few miles to a public charging station and get a "fill-up" then come home and power your home off the battery. You could do this twice a day and never crank on the ICE. :)

Electric when you want it, Gas when you need it.
 

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I pretty much did exactly this, charging my battery during the day, then powering some items at night - lamps, charging some iPhones/iPads, computers, and even a space heater. On the night I also ran the 750W heater over about 8 hours I depleted the battery and used about 1/3 of a gallon of gas.
 

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With the Volt, you could drive a few miles to a public charging station and get a "fill-up" then come home and power your home off the battery. You could do this twice a day and never crank on the ICE. :)

Electric when you want it, Gas when you need it.
Except that in NJ and my state of PA, public charging stations are few and very far between. Plugshare shows very few public ones in the NJ area that was affected by the storm.
 

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I pretty much did exactly this, charging my battery during the day, then powering some items at night - lamps, charging some iPhones/iPads, computers, and even a space heater. On the night I also ran the 750W heater over about 8 hours I depleted the battery and used about 1/3 of a gallon of gas.
What did you use to do this? I was one of the lucky ones... and was only out 2 days without power... but want to know exactly what I need to do to use my Volt to run a few critical things... without voiding the warranty of course... Thanks!
 

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The Prius's ICE is more efficient than the Volt's; however, I have to imagine that the rest of the Volt's systems are more efficient than the Prius'. Assuming 30% efficiency on the Prius's ICE and no electrical losses, he was able to produce 51 kWh of electricity. After loses, I have to imagine that he probably got 35 to 40 kWh of actual electricity. In the case of the Volt, the good thing is (assuming it was charged) you start out with 10 kWh of available electricity, so the ICE won't kick on until after the Prius has already burned one gallon of gas. It would take quite a bit of time for the Prius to catch up, despite having a 2-3% (not sure of the exact number) advantage in ICE efficiency.
Once the initial 10 kWh was depleted, the ICE cycles between the Prius, PiP, and Volt might be similar since they all would just be using the CS(HV) buffer sizing between cycles. With the Volt you could imlement a larger buffer by switching to Mountain Mode at the start of each ICE cycle and switching out of Mountain Mode once the ICE cycle completes.

I wonder if this could be automated by monitoring the OBDII/Can bus and sending the Mountain Mode command(s) when the ICE starts/stops? If we can't command the Mountain Mode, perhaps spoofing the Hood open and closed would do the same thing while monitoring the HV battery level or the AC->DC charger output with an current sensor.
 

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What did you use to do this? I was one of the lucky ones... and was only out 2 days without power... but want to know exactly what I need to do to use my Volt to run a few critical things... without voiding the warranty of course... Thanks!
You use an inverter and actually power through the 12V battery. If you leave the car on, the 12V will be kept charged by the high voltage system (and ICE when the HV battery is depleted). You can get inverters that just plug into the "cigarette lighter" plugs but are more limited on the Watts. There seems to be consensus that a 1KW inverter directly tied to the 12V battery terminals is perfectly fine for the car and doesn't stress it. I found lamps with LED bulbs were almost negligible in their energy use and the car could power them easily over night on pure battery.
 

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You use an inverter and actually power through the 12V battery. If you leave the car on, the 12V will be kept charged by the high voltage system (and ICE when the HV battery is depleted). You can get inverters that just plug into the "cigarette lighter" plugs but are more limited on the Watts. There seems to be consensus that a 1KW inverter directly tied to the 12V battery terminals is perfectly fine for the car and doesn't stress it. I found lamps with LED bulbs were almost negligible in their energy use and the car could power them easily over night on pure battery.
Right... I would want to basically get a 1500W inverter (do I need a sine wave one?) To power the fridge (alternating with a 1000W-ish space heater if it goes out in the winter...) and the TV (I have DirecTV, so who cares if cable is out! The whole TV/DVR uses ~120W without the sound system)
 

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Right... I would want to basically get a 1500W inverter (do I need a sine wave one?) To power the fridge (alternating with a 1000W-ish space heater if it goes out in the winter...) and the TV (I have DirecTV, so who cares if cable is out! The whole TV/DVR uses ~120W without the sound system)
I bought a 1600W inverter. I have yet to hook it up yet though. I wouldn't bother with a Pure sine wave inverter, as you can buy a small generator for about the same price.
 

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Right... I would want to basically get a 1500W inverter (do I need a sine wave one?) To power the fridge (alternating with a 1000W-ish space heater if it goes out in the winter...) and the TV (I have DirecTV, so who cares if cable is out! The whole TV/DVR uses ~120W without the sound system)
From what I understand, you'd want a pure sine wave inverter for the TV for sure, and possibly for the refrigerator. I'm guessing that the space heater would be fine with either. Others can shed more light on it, but especially for sensitive electronics like a TV, you want a pure sine wave inverter.
 

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From what I understand, you'd want a pure sine wave inverter for the TV for sure, and possibly for the refrigerator. I'm guessing that the space heater would be fine with either. Others can shed more light on it, but especially for sensitive electronics like a TV, you want a pure sine wave inverter.
I DO have a UPS on the TV... it should regulate the power and make sure the TV gets clean power... but will the inverter power the UPS properly or will the UPS keep tripping because it doesn't like the "utility" power?
 

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When the power is out, we just don't watch TV. We use laptops and smartphones.

I have a 1500w non-sine-wave inverter and my UPS has no issues with it. My street power is worse.

I run my phones (VoIP) and internet/wifi on the UPS. It has about 8 hours of capacity for these small things before needing a recharge.

The most my power has ever been out is 4 hours (in 15 years), so, buying a generator is overkill. My cable was out for a full week after a tornado, but, I have dsl now as the phone lines never failed.

DFW area.
 

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When the power is out, we just don't watch TV. We use laptops and smartphones.

I have a 1500w non-sine-wave inverter and my UPS has no issues with it. My street power is worse.

I run my phones (VoIP) and internet/wifi on the UPS. It has about 8 hours of capacity for these small things before needing a recharge.

The most my power has ever been out is 4 hours (in 15 years), so, buying a generator is overkill. My cable was out for a full week after a tornado, but, I have dsl now as the phone lines never failed.

DFW area.
Thanks... but here in NJ... after this Sandy thing... everything was down. No cable, no cell service, nothing. TV would have been my only option for entertainment/amusement!
 

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I DO have a UPS on the TV... it should regulate the power and make sure the TV gets clean power... but will the inverter power the UPS properly or will the UPS keep tripping because it doesn't like the "utility" power?
I don't know how much a UPS would fix or be affected by a cheaper inverter. For me, I'm at the point in my life where I would rather buy the best tool for the job than whatever is cheapest. If it's just a matter of running the TV, then I guess it's not a big deal. But if I have to run critical equipment, I'm not going to go cheap on the inverter.
 
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