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Has anyone attempted to use their car as a generator during power failures? We are thinking of that and have found some OEM devices that let you do it. We don't quite know where to hook it up though. How much current can you draw continuously from the posts that lead to the battery? Does it make more sense to connect directly to the 12V battery (and how would you even do this)? It seems as if 1kW would definitely be possible, and 1.5 might be. We don't own the megabuck service manual and aren't car mechanics/DIYers ourselves, but my husband has a very good understanding of electricity and a decent touch with cars. I have a 2017 MH.
 

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To get 1kw at 12 volts you would need to draw 83 amps from the battery (not to mention the added current due to inefficiencies of the inverter to power your house). I don't think the battery charging circuit on the Malibu would like that. And don't even think of connecting to the high voltage battery. Buy a generator. Much cheaper than blowing up your Malibu.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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... or a Tesla ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
To get 1kw at 12 volts you would need to draw 83 amps from the battery (not to mention the added current due to inefficiencies of the inverter to power your house). I don't think the battery charging circuit on the Malibu would like that. And don't even think of connecting to the high voltage battery. Buy a generator. Much cheaper than blowing up your Malibu.
Yes, my husband calculated the same. Here is a link for context. This is not something that hasn’t been done with other hybrids, so I was wondering if anyone here had tried it.
 

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Yes, my husband calculated the same. Here is a link for context. This is not something that hasn’t been done with other hybrids, so I was wondering if anyone here had tried it.
All of those units you've linked appear to tap into the battery, not the HV system. I've removed the link.

1kw = 1ooo watts.

1ooo watts at a nominal 120V is a mere 8.3 amps, which won't power any house unless it's occupants are Ken and Barbie. But, like @SandyRidgeMalibu stated, it'll require 83 amps from the battery to provide it since the battery is only a nominal 12V. So, doing the math and making both sides of the equation the same:
1ooo W / 120V = 8.3A
120V x 8.3A = 12V x 83A

Whether the alternator can stand a continuous output of 83 amps, plus even more to overcome the losses to convert from DC to AC, and to raise it from 12V to 120V, needs to be considered as well.

If what you actually want is to power the house during a power outage, get a generator. You'll burn up the car and/or spend way more in fuel and inverters to accomplish the same task that a dedicated generator can do.
 

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"You'll burn up the car and/or spend way more in fuel and inverters to accomplish the same task that a dedicated generator can do."
I thought they were talking about a Gen 9 Hybrid here. The many Prius examples on the internet have tested theirs and the engine only comes on a couple of minutes at a time to recharge the hv drive battery, so I don't understand your description. The question is whether there is enough power, I believe.

See: Running an Inverter off a Prius for Backup Power | Peak Prosperity - "As long as the vehicle is "started," or turned on so to speak, electricity is taken from the high voltage battery pack, and passed through a DC-DC converter. "

Using a Hybrid vehicle as a Generator - "the gas engine ran roughly five minutes every half hour to charge the drive battery. Over the four days we ran the house from the Prius, we used about 17 kilowatt hours of energy, and the car burned about five gallons of gas. "
 

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Then if you tie into the hv drive battery, you can run a specialized 3-5 kwt inverter.
See: Running Our House on Prius Power - GreenBuildingAdvisor - "The inverter takes as input the DC current from the hybrid battery. As the hybrid battery loses its charge, the Prius’s gas engine turns on to recharge the hybrid battery.
If there is only a small appliance load on the inverter, the gas engine turns on infrequently. We only had a few hundred watts of power being drawn, so we used little gasoline."
 

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All of those units you've linked appear to tap into the battery, not the HV system. I've removed the link.
... snip ...
I thought they were talking about a Gen 9 Hybrid here. The many Prius examples on the internet have tested theirs and the engine only comes on a couple of minutes at a time to recharge the hv drive battery, so I don't understand your description. The question is whether there is enough power, I believe.

See: Running an Inverter off a Prius for Backup Power | Peak Prosperity - "As long as the vehicle is "started," or turned on so to speak, electricity is taken from the high voltage battery pack, and passed through a DC-DC converter. "

Using a Hybrid vehicle as a Generator - "the gas engine ran roughly five minutes every half hour to charge the drive battery. Over the four days we ran the house from the Prius, we used about 17 kilowatt hours of energy, and the car burned about five gallons of gas. "
When I answered that 6 months ago, the links they supplied were to devices that use the 12V battery, not the HV. That is what spawned my remarks.

So long as that's what you, too, understood, then I don't quite understand why you quoted only the tail end of my post.

I don't have a hybrid so I can't comment any further than I did, other than to ask if it might shorten the life expectancy of the HV battery. I'd guess that it wouldn't shorten it appreciably or those Prius owners would have had a cow by now.
 

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"Anyone try to power their house from their Malibu HYBRID?":D

My link that was removed was examples of how Prius owners utilized their unique HYBRID power source through a hookup to the 12 v battery. Of course they could not run 3-5 kw inverters, but some hybrid owners out there were using 1 kw to power certain circuits in their homes - a practical use, with little downside.
Is there anybody out there that knows that a hybrid does not have an alternator, but a dc to dc "Converter". Please let us know some info here besides what we cannot do.
What is the output to the 12 v battery that we can work with for supplying a 1 - 1.5 kw inverter? What protections are needed of the inverter or would you have to install an inline fuse/circuit breaker? Yes, we want to connect to the 12 v battery. We don't want to perform major surgery to the high voltage circuit. We want to have a temporary emergency hookup, maybe with a quick disconnect Anderson plug, so that when the lights come back on, we unplug and drive.
If anybody has access to the 12 v battery circuit specs of the Malibu HYBRID, please give us a hand here. Surely, you do not think that a Prius is unique for this kind of adaptation/use.
 
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