GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 64 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
That's a ridiculous video.

They guy is using the 12VDC battery to power an inverter - big deal! You could do that with any vehicle's 12V battery. He is NOT using the high voltage traction 360VDC battery!

He's probably got only a couple of hours drawdown, especially powering a fridge from an inverter and a smallish 12V vehicle battery .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,439 Posts
I didn't watch the video, but I am familiar with how this is done. You do in fact connect to the 12V battery. As long as the car is turned on, the energy in the traction battery is unleashed to support the 12V battery and your attached inverter. It will run for days. And after that, the generator will start and you can continue to draw power much longer. It is a great capability of the Volt. The only downside is that you can't use the car for transportation at the same time as it is powering stuff in your home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Assuming his car is in the "on" position, the traction battery will recharge the 12 volt as necessary. And when the traction batter runs down, the engine will come on to charge it. With a full tank of gas you could likely go many days this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
The EVextend kit works great. I had it hooked up to my 2012 Volt and simply reinstalled it to my 2016 Volt. It is really a great simple solution to having back up power, fast and effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
That's a ridiculous video..
No, when you understand how the Volt works, it is not.

To the contrary, you have 10+KW of power sitting in your driveway waiting to be used this way.

Whenever we are expecting bad weather I make sure our Volt is charged up beforehand - I have a 3000w inverter at the ready that'll power all our essentials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
You do in fact connect to the 12V battery. As long as the car is turned on, the energy in the traction battery is unleashed to support the 12V battery and your attached inverter. It will run for days. And after that, the generator will start and you can continue to draw power much longer. It is a great capability of the Volt.
Ditto to what Barry said. There are some threads on how to do this and type of equipment to use. Some have been doing it for years and also use it when camping.

Search the forum on it or scroll down to the very bottom of the page for other threads on similar topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
No, when you understand how the Volt works, it is not.

To the contrary, you have 10+KW of power sitting in your driveway waiting to be used this way.

Whenever we are expecting bad weather I make sure our Volt is charged up beforehand - I have a 3000w inverter at the ready that'll power all our essentials.
I'm pretty sure the max. recommended inverter is 1500w.

A quote from the EVextend site:

Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have kits available for inverters larger than 1500W?
At this time, we have chosen to only offer a wiring kit that supports up to 1500W continuous power. This is to ensure that the power draw from the inverter will work properly with the built-in power electronics of the vehicle. Larger systems, combined with other electronics that are always running in your vehicle, may draw more total power than the Volt can provide, ultimately resulting in a dead battery or damaged electronics within your vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I had the EVExtend for my leased Volt; waiting for them to develop one for my Bolt EV!

The advantage of the Volt, of course, was that it would automatically start the gasoline generator when needed to charge the 12 volt battery as needed until the 9 gallon tank was depleted. (and of course, an issue of dispersing the CO was present).

On the Bolt EV, it would also keep the 12 volt battery charged until the main big battery was running out of juice! (and no issue of carbon monoxide!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
So I'm not clear what's going on here. Is the guy in the video just connecting his inverter to the battery's 12 V terminals? Or is he using the $188 EVExtend kit ($448 w/inverter)? And is there any difference between just clipping on your own inverter vs. paying the crazy price of EVExtend?

I had always thought of plugging in to the cigarette lighter, but that's limited to 10 amps. This seems much more interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
The guy in the video is apparently using clips to connect to the battery.

The EVExtend uses a semi-permanently installed 100 amp fused system with high amperage Thompson PowerPole connectors for easy connect/disconnect for the inverter to get high amp power from the 12 volt battery.

comp_after_small.jpg volt_xsmall.jpg

The EVExtend is well worth the price of parts, R&D, instructions to install and support. The inverter can be shopped for a discount, if you are so inclined. The max wattage supported for the Volt is 1500 watts.

I used the Thompson PowerPole of the EVExtend to easily connect/disconnect my ham radio (W7ML) when I wanted to operate out of the back of my Volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I'm pretty sure the max. recommended inverter is 1500w.

A quote from the EVextend site:

Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have kits available for inverters larger than 1500W?
At this time, we have chosen to only offer a wiring kit that supports up to 1500W continuous power. This is to ensure that the power draw from the inverter will work properly with the built-in power electronics of the vehicle. Larger systems, combined with other electronics that are always running in your vehicle, may draw more total power than the Volt can provide, ultimately resulting in a dead battery or damaged electronics within your vehicle.
Very good to know!

1500 W should be enough for basic needs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,109 Posts
I'm pretty sure the max. recommended inverter is 1500w.
Agreed. The DC/DC inverter that maintains the 12V system I believe is rated at 100 amps. This would offer a continuous 1200 watts which is about the max load a 1500w inverter should run at. Continuously running significantly higher than about 1200w and you run the risk of blowing your APU, running the 12V battery down to far, or both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,397 Posts
For those interested in doing this, I offer a couple suggestions based on my experience.

First, don't even think about trying to save a few bucks by duplicating the parts in the EVExtend wiring kit. The kit has professionally crimped cables of appropriate gauge and length, a robust quick disconnect, the proper fuse to protect the car, and instructions to avoid any stupid mistakes. Really well done.

Second, I would recommend a much more expensive inverter to avoid two problems I've encountered. Maybe my car is the ONLY Volt ever built that charges the 12V battery at an overly aggressive 15V. Most inverters have a maximum input voltage to 15V and will shut down the instant they see 15V or more. Strangely enough, the one workaround I've found (for my car) is to pop the hood when the car is ON, starting the ICE -- for some reason, that drops the level of the charge to the 12V battery to an acceptable level, and it stays low even when I close the hood. I have no explanation for why this happens, and GM has ignored my requests for help. I wish however, I'd bought a much more expensive inverter than can handle up to 16V.

Everybody agrees that the sustained draw from the inverter should be 1500W. With a 1500W inverter, you are typically limited to a surge of 3000W, and you'd think that more than adequate for any medium (or even large) size fridge. However, once again, I'm special; my medium-size fridge with two small compressors evidently exceeds this limit on occasion when both try to start simultaneously. I wish I'd bought myself a bit more surge protection by getting a 2000W unit with a surge capability of 4000W -- I would never come close to loading it enough to exceed 1000W, much less 1500W on a sustained basis. Again, my workaround was to buy a really high end 10 AWG extension cord for the fridge alone and it seems to be OK so far, shortening or limiting the max draw just enough.

If anybody is confident that these inverter issues would be of no concern to themselves and wants a great deal on the Ramsond Sunray 1500 Pure Sine Wave Digital Inverter sold by EVExtend, I'll make you a great deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Yes, I'm aware of the 1500w limitation.

As per the above response, having a bit of an oversized inverter is never a bad thing in that it provides the capacity for starting heavy surge loads, mainly (again, as mentioned) things like refrigerators which may draw well over 1500W when starting, but once actually running draw significantly less.

My furnace fan is a great example - starting the fan from dead stop draws >2500W for about the first 5 seconds, then it quickly drops to only 350W or so once it's running, but I have my doubts a 1500W constant / 2000w surge inverter would successfully start it, and without that blower being able to run we effectively have no heat if we loose power in the winter.

Moral of the story, just because one has a big inverter doesn't mean they need to max it out. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,416 Posts
For those interested in doing this......
I have a different suggestion.



It's 17 kW, will run automatically and I can drive my car while it runs. With all due respect putting an inverter on your car is playing with toys by comparison and it becomes an anchor to your car. There's nothing wrong with playing with toys, but if you're serious about backup power you need to think a little bigger.

1.5 kW is inadequate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
It's 17 kW, will run automatically and I can drive my car while it runs.
It also has an engine that needs to be maintained and exercised, oil that needs to be changed, it needs to be plumbed to a fuel source, and makes a not insignificant amount of noise.

And unlike an inverter, it's not portable, so you can't have that convenient power wherever you decide to park.

Yes, a big standby generator has some advantages - simplicity and high output being amongst them, but for those who might have an outage (or any significant length) once a year, it's an overkill...and good luck taking it with you to your cottage, or your kids soccer game, or a campground...etc etc. ;)
 
1 - 20 of 64 Posts
Top