Using a 2008 Toyota Prius as a generator for my house

Good luck with suing, Propane and deisel are available, as is a small 3500 watt gas generator as I have.

Thanks for the gut laugh!

I won’t store fuel on my property, and my wife makes her living suing people and companies.

No gas lawnmower or boat or anything? My sister went nutso at the cabin, disposed of all the cans of spray paint, gawd at home I have turpentine, linseed oil, naptha, mineral spirits, white gas for the coleman etc., never lost a night of sleep over it.

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Lawnmower, snowblower, leaf blower are all electric. I’ve no need or desire for a boat.

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The problem with the Prius/12v/Inverter to 110 v idea is that the car’s 12 volt battery circuit isn’t designed for that amount of power. The car’s primary electrical power circuit is for the electrical-engine-motor-powering battery, which isn’t a simple 12 volt circuit. To use the engine-powering battery circuit you’d need a special-purpose inverter, which is likely to cost so much it will be impractical.

Here’s a little trivia. The term “inverter” is derived from an electrical circuit from the early days of electronic design called an AC to DC Converter. Someone later wanted a circuit to do the opposite of that; i.e. a DC to AC circuit, so they decided to call that circuit an “inverter”. It doesn’t actually invert anything. It’s just what they call it to indicate it is the opposite of a “converter” circuit.

Getting back to your goal of electrifying your domicile when the electricity is out, a gasoline powered generator is the cheapo solution that will do the trick in most cases. If you want to go whole-hog, the better solution is a natural gas powered generator. That requires a natural gas hookup of course. That’s the type hospitals and the like have. It’s always hooked up and ready to go, no need to remember to fuel it up, and it turns on by itself when it detects it is needed.

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The Tesla Model 3 manual (page 146) says “Caution: Do not use the Battery as a
stationary power source. Doing so voids the warranty.” You can download the manual from their web site.

So if you have a Tesla, or a friend’s Tesla, don’t use it to run your refrigerator-it certainly is not worth voiding the warranty for that!

My father in law has a 4000w investor he picked up years back to his tools in VAN with second battery.

He now uses as you propose clamping to his Ford F-150 truck battery and idles manage to keep fridge, gas heat boiler, tv and lamp working.

Simple approach and not much fuel burned. Maybe 1/4 gallon per hour.

A Prius would be great car because it would shut down/turn on appropriately to maintain charge:

“Can” and “should” mean two different things. I used “can.” :wink:

NO! The inverter connects to the very weak 12v system, not the much more powerful hybrid battery. A very bad idea.

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These batteries last much longer when partially charged and discharged. My understanding is that the Prius never charges the batteries over 80% and never discharges them under 30%. It’s also why Toyota voids battery warrantees if the owner converts the car to a plug in hybrid.
Lead acid batteries are happiest when kept fully charged and fully discharging them is hard on them.
Lithium batteries are happiest being about 60 to 80% charged and completely discharging them is battery death, usually unrecoverable, and overcharging them is playing with fire, literally.


It is more likely that the generator will supply power to neighbors and got overloaded.

Unlikely, but it happened in Anchorage when I lived there.

I hope anyone contemplating back powering their home without an utility company approved isolator has the good sense to physically secure their main disconnect switch with a signed key lock, and pray that the disconnect doesn’t fail. In addition, doing this most likely involves using a male plug to connect the generator to the female household outlet, with the result that if the cord is pulled while the generator is running (say by a child, by someone tripping over it, etc.), that the exposed terminals will be carrying line voltage.

Let’s bring Mr. Musk’s Powerwall to the rescue? :slight_smile:

For the affordable price close to the one of Prius, you can get some glorified backup power.

The main breaker is my prevention to electrocute lineman. Had a real electrician bud check it out, It will work he says, and it does.

Not to change the subject but how is your head? No permanent issues? Car repair replacement? I don’t know what thread that whole discussion is in.

Everything is good, as far as medical, Going to go for a replacement vehicle, thank you for asking.