Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

  #1  
Old 03-17-2007, 12:36 PM
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Default Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Hi Guys,

I'm a 2007 FEH owner in Los Angeles. These vehicles are getting popular here. The Santa Monica dealer has about fifteen of them all lined up in front and they sell fast.

I have been very satisfied with mine -- normally getting 40mpg on a 20 minute round trip errand in the heart of the city. Nice.

My question, though, is about camping and using the AC and DC outlets for camp power. I am aware of how to use the AC plug, with the keys in the ignition. It acts like an intelligent generator, only starting the engine from time to time, running lights in camp.

But my knowledge ends there and I have been unsuccessful using the search tool here for more info.

What is the real load I can run in camp through the AC plug?

About how much gasoline does it use if I run near capacity for hours at a stretch?

What about using the two DC outlets with inverters from the auto store? Can I run those in the same "intelligent" on-off mode that makes the AC outlet so cool? Even if they use the little battery in front?

I feel like I need a primer on the basics of using the FEH as a stationary power supply. I do not have great electrical knowledge. Thanks.

-Christopher
 
  #2  
Old 03-17-2007, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

#1 the car is starting and stopping to keep the engine hot. Not to keep the battery charged ( although that happens also as a side note ).

#2 the "stock" AC plug is good for just what it says, 150 watts. Not much, so be careful. Also, it is not a perfect 60 Hz sine wave power supply either, so very sensitve equipment might struggle.

#3 While using just the AC 110v outlet, let the car run ( in park ) until it stops. Then TURN THE KEY OFF, and back to RUN, without re-starting the gas engine. If you ONLY use the AC 110v plug, you can run it for 2-3 hours before starting the gas engine. 2 hours FOR SURE... probably 3 hours...
THEN start the gas engine with the key, and let it run until it shuts itself off again. Your large battery usually charges FASTER than the time required to heat up the engine and catalytic converters.

#4 If you add on other inverters, you have 400 watt hours to play with per full charge of the car's battery. So you could run your stock 150w inverter for about 2.5 hours. You could run a 400watt inverter for 1 hour. You could run an 800 watt inverter for 30 minutes. You get the idea.

#5 your car has two batteries, true, but just one "electrical system"... so don't try to differentiate between the two batteries. Look at it as your car has 400 watt hours to give per charge.

#6 Good news is, each 400 watt hour charge takes only about 5 minutes to restore. Now that's a fast charger in my book!

Enjoy, and post back often!
-John
 

Last edited by gpsman1; 03-19-2007 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Fixed error in red
  #3  
Old 03-17-2007, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Wow. Thanks John for the informed reply. I wanted to run more than just 150 watts at camp and I was worried about using both the 110 AC outlet AND the DC with an inverter at the same time.

I might use a 200 watt inverter on one of the DC ports (does it matter which one?) and combine that with the AC port of 150 watts. Thats 350 total. So I should start the Escape up only once an hour under this scenario? And if I wanted to let the show run while I went away for more than an hour, I would leave the ignition ON and it would keep things running OK.

My plan is to run a video projector and sound amplifier at a remote location and this will fit the bill. Cool.

By the way, if I did leave the ignition on, what would be the max over all watts I could pull from all three ports?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

With the key in "run" with the gas engine started, you would be safe to let it run forever without keeping track, until you ran out of gas! ( probably one-third to one-half gallon per hour )

With engine running, you still have 150 watts from the bulit-in one.
Engine running or not, you only have 120 watts from the cigarette lighter(s).
Each one has 10 amps.

So you could have 150 + 120 + 120 using all three.

Larger than 120 watt inverters will need to attach directly to the 12v battery under the hood with clamps ( like jumper cables ). If you attach under the hood, you could probably use as large as you can find. ( 2000 watts? )

Pulling about 2000 watts, your gas engine would run 5 min on / 5 min off repeat. ( maybe 5 min on, 10 minutes off, best case )
 

Last edited by gpsman1; 03-17-2007 at 08:33 PM.
  #5  
Old 03-17-2007, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Very good info to know! I feel like I can make some informed decisions now. It would be awful to get stuck after blowing the electrical system.

This is better than a Honda generator!

-Christopher
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-2007, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

John pointed out all the great technicial information...just remember that it is still a vehicle with emissions...

Remember to watch out for elevated levels of CO as a result of running the engine. In an outdoor setting as you seem to be describing, it should be fine, however your version of camping tends to be a bit different than mine!

I have used the built-in inverter with my laptop, and while it is not providing true sine-wave power, it seems to be reletively happy. If you are running high end audio equipment, such as an amplifier, it may be a bit more picky.
 
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Originally Posted by EOppie View Post
John pointed out all the great technicial information...just remember that it is still a vehicle with emissions...

Remember to watch out for elevated levels of CO as a result of running the engine. In an outdoor setting as you seem to be describing, it should be fine, however your version of camping tends to be a bit different than mine!

I have used the built-in inverter with my laptop, and while it is not providing true sine-wave power, it seems to be relatively happy. If you are running high end audio equipment, such as an amplifier, it may be a bit more picky.

Well, there are two kinds of camping in my book: quiet nature camping and Burning Man festival camping! I do both and honor the attitude of both. The electrical stuff is for Burning Man crazy camping. The sound and light show wouldn't be for the Henry David Thoreau experience.

In addition, I am also thinking of power outages in the city. Hurricanes, terrorism, whatever.

That being said, I do wonder about CO gas emissions. The vehicle will be at least 15 to 25 yards away from tents but what if I attached a pipe or clothes-dryer type tube to the exhaust pipe and elevate it on a pole to about 12 ft in the air.

Thanks guys.

-Christopher
 
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Don't worry about emissions.

#1 the car will cycle every few minutes... being totally off more than on

#2 this is the cleanest car built by ANY manufacturer in the USA. ( maybe world )

#3 while I DO NOTwant anyone to actually try this, by all measurements, coupled with the fact the car will run only a fraction of the time... you could indeed run this car in a closed garage without killing yourself... provided the catalyst and engine are at full temperature. Don't think that's true? There are gas powered stoves and lamps that have such good catalysts these days that they are approved for indoor use, or inside tents.

#4 being OUTSIDE in the first place, you, and your guests will have nothing to worry about.

#5 the BIG plus is, this Ford "generator" will be much quieter, and about 100 times cleaner burning than any portable gas powered generator!

Have fun.
Post details after!
-John
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Does the factory inverter (110v outlet) draw from the 12v battery or the 300v battery?
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Hi, need info about using AC/DC plugs

Originally Posted by WaltPA View Post
Does the factory inverter (110v outlet) draw from the 12v battery or the 300v battery?
Without the key on the 110v outlet isn't even live I think (the 12V next to it is)....

I read on here that it draws from the 12V. The 330V doesn't really end up being some large battery to power your TV and stuff... In fact in watt hours its not even as big as you might think. Its really just there to start the vehicle and store braking energy for release. The fact you can get a few miles out of it is almost a bonus.

Of course if the ignition is on... it really doesn't matter where it draws from... the generator keeps the 330V system up and there is a step down to 14V or so to power the 12V system and charge the 12V battery... there isn't any alternator per se.
 

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