Prius energy converter


Old 12-08-07, 11:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 91
Prius energy converter

I bought a prius this last summer and just love it! Some say it’s a ‘green car’ but they are mistaken. Its an economical car. It uses gas as well as electricity, but the fumes that come from it are just as dirty as the fumes from any other non-green car. Nonetheless, I like to think I’m doing some form of greenery, I’m saving petro and money!

I am quite ignorant with the lingo here, but I have heard that something can be plugged into the prius and run through some converter that will supply electricity to your house using the battery and fuel from the car. I have heard that it will run your entire house including appliances for up to several days on a couple gallons of gas. Does anyone know of any solid cases of this or if its any more economical than using electric?

It would be interesting to know if it really is worth the investment, I guess its about a 3000 dollar set up if bought complete but the handier people can make one for only a few hundred.
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Old 12-09-07, 04:24 AM
GregH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,644
Interesting idea so I looked it up.

The concept uses the generator in the car to power up a large computer type uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

Here is a website dedicated to that idea.

A NY Times article on the subject.

Image courtesey of

This would be along the lines of what I am making for an emergency power supply for a back-up sump pump.

I have a 1500 watt computer type UPS that I will plug in a small auxiliary sump pump.
I will then attach a cable to the UPS's internal batteries and connect it to a large deep cycle battery.
Then, in the event of a power failure my sump pump will run for a very long time.
If there is no pumping demand in I can then manage by plugging in any other short term devices.
I can also use a generator to recharge the batteries if need be.
Old 12-17-07, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2
Sounds like you probably would be best served by purchasing a small 2 KW generator (perhaps a Honda) to keep your house from being without power. This way you also could use your Prius car for its intended purpose - transportation.

The item you need to run your house from your Prius is an inverter. It converts Dc to Ac power at 60 Hz. But the size inverter you would need to operate an entire home would be very large and expensive. Much greener to get a generator.

Also the energy need to run an entire home would be significantly more than a couple of gallons of fuel per day. A 4 or 5 KW generator uses at least 5 gallons of fuel to run 6 to 8 hours. Load will dictate the fuel use.

I understand GM is soon to release a hybrid car that can be recharged from the house wiring (named Voltaic ? - or something like that). If this vehicle is as sucessful as the Prius, GM may have additional converts to this technology.

Norm . . .
Columbus, OH

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