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My dad just had to replace his generator in his RV and it got me thinking.

I wonder how much engineering it would take to make it so that the Volt could be plugged into your wall outlet and backfeed your house with power in the case of emergency. Just like a generator that runs on gas would do.

Honestly i'm far from an electrical engineer and i know we got some really smart guys on here. So come on guys what would it take for this to work on a normal house? What would it take for the Volt to be able to do this? Is it possible at all? Would the extra parts/engineering be worth it finacially? whatever else i haven't thought of?

It would be alot easier to swallow 35K for the Volt if i new i was also getting a what 16Kwh generator with a 12 gal fuel tank in the case of an emergency.
 

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Hi JPhillips, You can go to the old forum (click the button) and check out the lively debate we had on V2G to G2V. Not only is it possible but there are on-going research projects working hard on the problem. Basically you have an intelligent connection between the car, house and the grid. When the programming is done they will all work in harmony. Each using their assets in the best way, like the example you mentioned. The car's battery working as a backup to your house, a backup for the grid during peak times, the battery working as a sink when the grid has excess capacity, etc. I'm very excited about this technology and feel it's the way our new smart grid will be built. Think of energy as the next currently. There needs to be a way for people to charge and be charged for energy. A smart grid is the solution. The technology exists today but we need the best minds in the world to come up with the optimal implementation. It will also cost a ton of money (well spent if you ask me - direct value added infrastructure - on US soil by US workers). Check out the old thread! :)
 

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In the polling section I voted against this option since I live in an area where I've never needed a generator for extended power outages, but this would be a great idea for people who live in parts of the country frequented by ice storms and violent weather. I feel now I need to find some wood to knock on!
 

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I was in favor of the idea of being able to use it as a generator UNTIL I actually went to a home store and saw a 5000 watt generator for $500.

Backup gas generators are just plain dirt cheap, okay they might not be super efficient, but if you only use it as a backup that's not material.

Also if anyone needed a generator with any degree of frequency, it would likely make more sense to get a natural gas or diesel generator.
 

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I think most people were thinking along the lines of why buy another generator if you already have one (in the Volt). The extra one requires space, fuel storage (and it's space), maintenance, energy to produce the unit, etc. However, I agree with the poster that said if you frequently use a generator it makes sense to have a dedicated unit. The Volt would probably only make sense for emergency situations. It could actually turn out to be a lifesaver. I'm waiting for the first story that tells how one Volt owner used it to power his grandmother's medical equipment during an Ice storm. Now THAT would make a great PR story. :)
 

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I think the point though is that you can get a small generator for <$200, so the likelyhood that adding the feature to the Volt does not seem to add that much of a value proposition vs. the cost of developing the feature. (IE they might have to add a dedicated inverter). It would make just as much sense to just offer a generator add-on attachment to a gas lawnmower for the same purpose.

Plus I really hate the idea of connecting an electric device that shorts out and damages the Volt.
 

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<$200, LOL. A whole house generator that is less capable and less likely to actually work when you need it costs $8000 installed minimum and goes up from there. Camping, charging laptops, tailgating, etc with 120 outlets. Can someone provide a good reason not to offer V2house or standard household power?
 

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I never said whole-house, Just a little one that could power a few items (frig, etc) in the event of a power outage. Those you get for dirt cheap.

For a whole house a lot of that cost is just wiring the generator into your house, so that cost will be fixed--Plus if you used the Volt for it's primary purpose (as a car), you would loose any benefit of having a generator.

I could see a low wattage 120 Volt Plug (many cars already have them)--but I fail to see the benefit of using the volt to generate a lot of power (ie kilowatts of energy)
 

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I never said whole-house, Just a little one that could power a few items (frig, etc) in the event of a power outage. Those you get for dirt cheap.

For a whole house a lot of that cost is just wiring the generator into your house, so that cost will be fixed--Plus if you used the Volt for it's primary purpose (as a car), you would loose any benefit of having a generator.

I could see a low wattage 120 Volt Plug (many cars already have them)--but I fail to see the benefit of using the volt to generate a lot of power (ie kilowatts of energy)
Transfer switch installed is $800-$1200. I wasn't referring to that. A decent 2KW generator that is quiet and doesn't burn a lot of gas is $1000 and that can run your fridge, some lights, and a few other goodies. There is not much use for a car during a prolonged outage and if your driving it then you don't need it for power at home at that time. I'll invite you down for the next week's outage after a hurricane and you will see a lot differently.
 
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