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Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

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Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

  #1  
Old 01-13-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

I was wondering if the Chevy Volt could be used to deliver electricity to my home if there was a power outage. If so, you could just pull it into the garage, hook an exhaust tube to the tailpipe, and turn it on while you wait for the electric company to restore power without worrying if the food will spoil in the refrigerator in the summer or whether the pipes will freeze in the winter.
 
  #2  
Old 01-20-2010, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

You would need to connect an AC inverter to the Volt's high voltage DC battery. Note that the battery voltage is high enough to electrocute you, so care and experience in working with electrical circuits is required. Read:

http://www.priups.com/

Which describes using the high voltage (200v in this case) battery in a Prius to provide for emergency AC power.

JeffD
 
  #3  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

At this time, I don't believe the Volt supports V2G or even V2H (vehicle to home). The problem is that without a smart grid, vehicle to grid is impossible to implement. V2H won't work unless you are off-grid. The reason being is that if the power goes out and your car is powering your house, the electric lines running to your house may be live, which could injure a repairman working on the lines that are supposed to be dead.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-2010, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

It seems to me that if you set up a circuit breaker to the house power line, you could take yourself off the grid and not put the repair worker at risk while running a vehicle to house electrical power.
 
  #5  
Old 02-27-2010, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

A coworker told me of an aftermarket inverter that is in development that has DC input in the 300 to 360 volt range and output as 220/110 AC. It is supposed to be a 6 kW unit. If the isolation impedance of this aftermerked inverter is high enough the vehicle's on-board isolation safety systems should be OK with it.

Then as Motown stated, a breaker system much like the Home Depot and Lowes back up generators could be used.

If this mythical device shows up I would certianly share the information. I believe that the Prius, FEH, and the GM 2 Modes could all be potential power sources for this.

Caution NOTE: to install this you will be exposing yourself to lethal voltages and currents on both sides of the inverter. And I think voiding your vehicle warranty.
 
  #6  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

Unless the inside of your home is very hot, your food isn't likely to spoil from your fridge being turned off for a couple of hours. And even then, how long could you power your entire house for off of just your Volt battery?

If you're worried about your pipes freezing, my advice is to just invest in better wall/pipe insulation. If you absolutely need to use electrical heating tape (even after insulation), then get a backup generator or a UPS (dunno if they make these for things other than computers).

It would be a good idea to develop a product that lets you safely draw power from your EV/PHEV if such a thing doesn't already exist. But otherwise, I wouldn't even try (for the reasons mentioned by the posters above).
 
  #7  
Old 09-05-2010, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

I'm not sure of that. Maybe yes or maybe no so it depends. But I was just wondering if chevy volt is enough to bring power or electricity to your house because I think it's not enough though.
 
  #8  
Old 09-06-2010, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

I don't think that Chevy volt can be used to power your house as voltage of chevy is less then it requires at our home.
 
  #9  
Old 09-06-2010, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

Here in Florida, a lot of people have backup generators for their houses. When you ae planning to hook up a generator, there are two main issues. One is safety. The other is the size (kilowatts) of the generator.

The main safety item, as giantquesadilla mentioned, is an interlock switch. An interlock switch makes it physically impossible for both the generator and the utility mains to be connected at the same time. The use of two circuit breakers, as Motown suggested, is absolutely illegal because it is not safe. People have been killed that way, because some homeowner just forgot to turn off the utility main breaker. The electrical code requires a mechanical interlock. (Interlocks don't have to be expensive. GE does make a mechanical interlock that is just a bracket with a movable piece of steel, arranged so that the main and generator breakers cannot both be "on" at the same time. Some inspectors/cities won't approve those, though.)

The second factor is capacity in kilowatts. To run a "whole house" takes a lot of power. A 200 amp service requires 44 kilowatts. A 100 amp service is 22 kilowatts. You don't normally use all the amps in a service, so half of that might be enough, but that is still a lot of power. Most people get a smaller generator, and select only a few circuits (part of the house) to supply. I don't know how much power a Chevy Volt can supply.

In addition to having the power, you have to get it from the generator to the house. For a permanent generator, it can be hard-wired. For a portable generator (e.g., a car), you have to be able to disconnect it. The wires have to be big. A 200 amp service, in most places, requires "3-0" copper wire. That is, each of the four copper wires is about as big around as your thumb. Fifty feet of that, with four conductors, will set you back several hundred bucks. The connectors are big and expensive, too. A "generator inlet" connector is a special device that mounts on the side of the house. I don't think I have ever seen a generator inlet rated for more than 50 amps.

Finally, all of the hookup needs to be designed by an engineer and installed by a licensed electrician. The amount of power in these things is enough to kill a person, so you really do not want to screw around with it if you are not completely trained and certain of what you are doing.

The cheap approach is to use the portable generator with extension cords. For a couple hundred bucks, you can buy enough extension cords to bring power from a small generator to a refrigerator, a few lamps, a TV, and a portable/window AC. Those use regular 3-prong electrical plugs and run at 110 volts. You don't get hot water or central AC, so it is like camping out in your house, but it also doesn't cost $30,000 bucks.
 
  #10  
Old 09-08-2010, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Will a Chevy Volt be able to power my house during an electric power outage?

Tractor Supply sells a small Honda clone 3500 watt "Champion" generator for around $300 that will power a fridge, small space heater, a computer and a few lights. It is fairly quiet (not as quiet as a genuine Honda) and is built pretty good considering the price.

I've used mine just a few times and figure it has been well worth the money.

Great to have around in case of a power failure or if you need power somewhere remote.

It won't power your whole house but you really don't need to power your whole house anyhow...

At one point I looked into buying a large diesel generator with the idea of running it on bio-diesel but that would be many, many times more expensive than buying electric from the grid.
 

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