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Discussion Starter #1
I'm doing it with (2) pure sine wave inverters attached to two of the three 12v outlets in the Volt, One going to back charge a large portable battery so I can power my fridge once in awhile to keep things from spoiling and another inverter going to power my modem, router, one lamp and laptop.... You can use "up to" 240 watts AC for each inverter. I went with two 180 watt "pure" sine wave ones so you don't have to worry about damaging electronics or blowing a fuse in the Volt...

MrEnergyCzar
 

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Have you thought of just going for a single 1000W inverter and power-strip? Attach that kind of inverter to the AGM battery directly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you thought of just going for a single 1000W inverter and power-strip? Attach that kind of inverter to the AGM battery directly.
I heard doing that voids the warranty.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It should not if you attach to the 80 amp fused connection in the fuse box.
Is there a video out there showing how to do it safely? thanks
 

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There is an empty fuse in the trunk. I think WOT suggested using this for home power. There is a thread and I think he even gave us a schematic.
 

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DCfusor did a direct connect to the battery, but he did use fuses in between as a fire protection.
The unused 80 amp fuse should be just add the inverter to the lug. pull the fuse and make sure the unit is off when attaching. A quick DVM test should suffice. As DonC said WOT showed the schematics in a much earlier thread. BTW 80 amps X 12V = 960 watts, it should stand some short surges above that, so a 1000watt inverter would work. Make sure the car is in the on position and you shut off everything you can so the APM can keep up. If you flip it to Mountain mode it should start cycling the engine at 40% SOC.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DCfusor did a direct connect to the battery, but he did use fuses in between as a fire protection.
The unused 80 amp fuse should be just add the inverter to the lug. pull the fuse and make sure the unit is off when attaching. A quick DVM test should suffice. As DonC said WOT showed the schematics in a much earlier thread. BTW 80 amps X 12V = 960 watts, it should stand some short surges above that, so a 1000watt inverter would work. Make sure the car is in the on position and you shut off everything you can so the APM can keep up. If you flip it to Mountain mode it should start cycling the engine at 40% SOC.
I'm not good with this kind of stuff, I'd need a walk through video with exact steps... sounds great though.

MrEnergyCzar
 

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In the old days pure sine wave involved having to use a motor/generator set now times have changed- or have they -the MG set is now in the VOLT :)

What units are you going to use. (more pictures please)

I wanted to do something like that for this years Ham radio field day.
 

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In the old days pure sine wave involved having to use a motor/generator set now times have changed- or have they -the MG set is now in the VOLT :)

What units are you going to use. (more pictures please)

I wanted to do something like that for this years Ham radio field day.
They are not cheap, search for True Sinewave Inverter, exeltech and samplex are good brands.
 

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POWER FAILURE

Before placing an order for Volt,I came across a thread where it was discussed,how great is Volt as a generator to provide household lights in case of power failure.How does that work? Is it possible?
 

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Well, I launched a thread on GM-Volt.com with a title that might have lead one to believe what you are suggesting. But that thread title was indeed misleading. During an extended power outage, our family sat in our Volt for hours on end, used the accessory power sockets, and played with our phones, iPads, etc. It was great, but we certainly did not light up our house!

Many threads here have yearned for the possibility of using the Volt as a real back-up generator, but as far as I know, it's just not possible. A much better plan is to go ahead buy a Volt (of course), and then go ahead buy a gas generator for your house, if back-up generation is important to you.
 

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Before placing an order for Volt,I came across a thread where it was discussed,how great is Volt as a generator to provide household lights in case of power failure.How does that work? Is it possible?
As a whole house generator, it isn't - right now. To get that kind of power, you'd need a device tapped into the high voltage bus - which, for safety reasons, is tightly limited. Via motors included a 15kW inverter into the design of their EREV pickup/SUV/Van, but so far there's been no hint of such a device in the Volt (I doubt there'd be that many people who are interested to justify making it standard, and it'd be annoying to design as an option.)

However, if all you need is a few lights, a computer, and maybe a refrigerator, that's not hard. You need a 12V inverter in the 1-1.5kW range (the APM - the DC-DC converter that serves like an alternator on the Volt - is rated for 175 Amp - just over 2kW - but the Volt needs 2-300 Watt of that for normal operations.) Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-1124...1345424330&sr=8-1&keywords=pure+sine+inverter

Conceptually, you'd hook the inverter into the car at the battery (I believe there's even an open 80 Amp fusible like there, for safety,) and then turn the car on and plug the devices into the inverter. The car will use the traction battery to supply power for the inverter, and if you drain that (several hours at high output on the inverter) it will turn the engine on to hold the battery SoC. That means that you need to keep the Volt in a ventilated area, of course.

Don't turn on the inverter without turning the car on - it'd only take about half an hour to suck the life out of your Volt by draining the 12V AGM battery. Some people have found that some inverters aren't happy with the 15V that the Volt pushes from the APM on initial start up, but the voltage soon settles down if you leave the car on.

[edit: Merged this thread with an identical older one...]
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm putting a video out soon showing how I use the Volt to feed my home with up to 480watts AC just by using 2 of the 3 12v cigarette sockets in the Volt. You just need a couple of nice 180-240w pure sine wave (cleaner than modified) inverters and some extension cords. The Volt generator will come on for about 10 minutes per hour as you tap the battery power. This is much better than getting a separate gas generator because those engines won't last as long as the Volt's.... I believe tapping into the main battery via the back of the Volt would void the warranty, the 12v lighter sockets don't..

MrEnergyCzar
 

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MrEC - don't you have a device that plugs in and is a multi-kWh backup battery?

A good generator is a good idea for most solutions. Maxing out the fuse rating in the accessory sockets may not be a great idea for an extended period of time because of wire heating. I doubt using the 12V AGM for an inverter would void the warranty but somebody with easy access to a Volt Advisor could check. WOT or someone else uber-techie could also say whether this is the case. I'd much rather tap into the 12V battery directly than use the sockets. You could run a 1000W inverter quite easily that way and even, perhaps, run a refrigerator for a while if needed. But a generator is always a more consistent and viable solution to power standby. Plus, you can run the generator and take a drive in the Volt to the store, to get to work, do other things while the power is out.
 

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As a whole house generator, it isn't - right now. To get that kind of power, you'd need a device tapped into the high voltage bus - which, for safety reasons, is tightly limited. Via motors included a 15kW inverter into the design of their EREV pickup/SUV/Van, but so far there's been no hint of such a device in the Volt (I doubt there'd be that many people who are interested to justify making it standard, and it'd be annoying to design as an option.)

However, if all you need is a few lights, a computer, and maybe a refrigerator, that's not hard. You need a 12V inverter in the 1-1.5kW range (the APM - the DC-DC converter that serves like an alternator on the Volt - is rated for 175 Amp - just over 2kW - but the Volt needs 2-300 Watt of that for normal operations.) Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-1124...1345424330&sr=8-1&keywords=pure+sine+inverter

Conceptually, you'd hook the inverter into the car at the battery (I believe there's even an open 80 Amp fusible like there, for safety,) and then turn the car on and plug the devices into the inverter. The car will use the traction battery to supply power for the inverter, and if you drain that (several hours at high output on the inverter) it will turn the engine on to hold the battery SoC. That means that you need to keep the Volt in a ventilated area, of course.

Don't turn on the inverter without turning the car on - it'd only take about half an hour to suck the life out of your Volt by draining the 12V AGM battery. Some people have found that some inverters aren't happy with the 15V that the Volt pushes from the APM on initial start up, but the voltage soon settles down if you leave the car on.

[edit: Merged this thread with an identical older one...]
The Volt already does high power inverting for the AC motors. It should just be a matter of control programming. Of course, if I were GM, this would still only be offered as an option. A whole house generator with a fraction of the Volt's capability isn't cheap. I bet if GM were headquartered in Miami, this would already be available. Others will offer it and GM will likely follow. That will be a shame.
 

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The beefiest backup you can do with the Volt (without tapping into high voltage DC which will surely void your Voltec warranty) is to tap into the 12V battery with some 4 gauge (approx) wires, and then hook a 1kW inverter to it (true-sine is best, modified sine works with most things but isn't as friendly to some electronics). That can at least power a fridge and other small appliances in a pinch.

When you do this, people have said you just need to make sure your car is turned on, so the Volt's high voltage DC-DC converter will keep your 12V battery nice and charged. Probably also best to turn off all your Volt's accessories and headlights etc. to minimize other power draws off the 12V line.

With a full 1kW constant draw (unlikely) your battery would power your critical applications for about 10 hours. After that, the car would cycle the engine on and off with gasoline to maintain the high voltage battery's charge, keeping you powered for much longer if needed.

See also page 32 of the April/May issue of Charged Magazine: http://www.chargedevs.com/content/inside-magazine
 

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My house has a basement with a french drain and sump, due to prior basement flooding. During the last big rainstorm that we had, the sump kept things dry just fine, but had the power gone out, it would have overflowed in minutes and we'd have been absolutely screwed. So an inverter that could run my sump would be huge insurance for me.

The issue is that when I'd need this the most, it'd be pouring rain (Volt lives outside), and I'd be fiddling with setting up a 1000W connection directly to the battery. Am I foolish to attempt this?
 
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