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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There have been several posts about this spread through multiple threads over the past year or so - most recently, one in this thread (post 46):
http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/10-technical-discussion/11786-very-detailed-video-bolt-systems-5.html

and the "camping mode" thread has some hints as well : http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/10-technical-discussion/17722-camping-mode-test-results.html

There are others as well :

http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/82-charging-batteries/9362-connecting-dc-2-ac-converter-12v-battery.html

http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/82-charging-batteries/14986-using-bolt-battery-home-emergency-backup.html

http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/6-new-member-introductions/3497-bolt-battery-system-home-power-backup.html

(and probably more). But there isn't a concise description available (at least not on this forum - maybe on another forum?).

It sure would be useful to be able to power the refrigerator and the fan blower on the gas/propane/oil heater during a power outage (at a minimum)!

Would someone who has successfully used an inverter connected to an EV for emergency power be willing to contribute a small piece on this thread? Maybe including : "my setup", "what I wanted/needed/considered", "things to do", "things to avoid", "this works for me", "don't forget about ...". Addressing issues/topics spread throughout the various threads could be useful ...

Thanks in advance to any brave soul who provides information!
 

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I put a 120V 1400W pure-sine system together for my LEAF a couple years ago, and have run my house for over 20 hours on it. Total cost $300.

:nerd:

You can read the Gorey details at, ahem, a different forum:

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=13097&p=472099&hilit=tiger+claw#p472099

When I got a Kinetic Blue Bolt for an extended test drive, I set it up to run a 1200W space heater for an hour while monitoring 12V battery voltages. (I hooked up the + clamp to the 12V battery post and the - clamp to the 'jumpstarting stud' as described in the manual).

This data convinced me that the Bolt did not throw any error codes from a steady 120A draw, and that the DC-DC converter was operational.

Then I bought my own Cajun Red Bolt, and the grid has not yet failed me.

The whole 'three honks' thing is annoying. The turning off the car every two hours is MORE annoying. The LEAF didn't do this and would just stay on FOREVER (I did some overnight tests).

On the Bolt, I will need to set an alarm on my phone to go restart the car every two hours during a blackout, unless someone here comes up with a hack (like a rubber band on the shifter), or GM gives a camping mode as a software upgrade.

EDIT: Looks like the 'N' hack is a possibility....I will give that a try.
 

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On the Bolt, I will need to set an alarm on my phone to go restart the car every two hours during a blackout, unless someone here comes up with a hack (like a rubber band on the shifter), or GM gives a camping mode as a software upgrade.
There is a hack that was mentioned in another thread. I'd love to see if someone else has tried it. If I remember correctly, the hack is to put the car in neutral and exit through the passenger door.

Can anyone verify that this works?
 

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I wonder if it could be hooked up to a gas furnace for baseboard heating .. hmmmm

I am trying to prepare for outages up here in New England but don't want gas generator and Electric generators are $$$$.
Last outage I had was in 2010, out for 3 days. Not too bad but would be nice to get the gas heating going instead of a small heater.
 

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I wonder if it could be hooked up to a gas furnace for baseboard heating .. hmmmm

I am trying to prepare for outages up here in New England but don't want gas generator and Electric generators are $$$$.
Last outage I had was in 2010, out for 3 days. Not too bad but would be nice to get the gas heating going instead of a small heater.
During an Ice storm a couple years back, I had some friends whose house was freezing after a couple winter days without power. Their gas boiler ran off 120V, and not very much current, so I wired it to a regular plug and ran it for them off a $100 700W generator from HarborFright.

So, you just need to know the power and voltage requirements of your furnace/boiler. If it is 120V and less than 1000W (possible), then running it would be easy. There should be a badge on it somewhere.
 

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Cross-posted from the 'Camping Thread', where I reported that the car uses 175W standby in N mode with all the accessories turned off....

If we take the 1600W_DC output figure from GM at face value, and we assume that the 175W standby is input (i.e. on a traction battery energy basis) and the DC-DC is 90% efficient (I have heard this elsewhere), then the excess 12V power available is:

1600 - (175W*0.9) = 1440W_DC

If we assume a cheap pure sine inverter like my tiger claw is 80% efficient (conservative, online figures are 82-85%), then the most we can get out is:

1440 * 0.8 = 1150 W_AC

on a long-term basis. That is about the limit that we have to play with....plenty to run a small space heater, a window AC unit or a fridge, etc.

Surges and brief loads (like coffee pod machines) above this figure would be buffered by the AGM battery, and would be fine.

My current system is flawed in that it would allow loads up to about 1400W_AC (steady) that **could** drain the AGM, so I will need to be careful not to create that condition....I doubt I will ever use more than 1 kW sustained. On the plus side, it is over-built for my 300W typical load and accepts up to 3 kW brief surges (for starting motors) and 1.3 kW 60 second surges for making Nespresso for the spouse. :x

If you do set this up, I would put a dedicated 'kill-a-watt' or other AC power meter in place so you can monitor in use. I have.
 

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I wonder if it could be hooked up to a gas furnace for baseboard heating .. hmmmm

I am trying to prepare for outages up here in New England but don't want gas generator and Electric generators are $$$$.
Last outage I had was in 2010, out for 3 days. Not too bad but would be nice to get the gas heating going instead of a small heater.
I have a gas boiler, not a furnace, and my boiler draws less than 100 watts, most of that for the single circulator pump, which draws about 75 watts. I have an inexpensive 500 watt inverter I bought years ago, and it’s big enough to run the boiler and a few lights.

Now that I have the Bolt I could probably draw a few hundred watts for at least a couple of days, not sure how to do the math to figure out exactly how long.

Also, about a mile from my house is the local electricians union, they have a large uninterruptible power supply for their building, and two 6-kw level 2 chargers, which are free. With any luck they would be available should power get knocked out for an extended period.

Long Island isn’t going to get a direct hit tomorrow, but good luck up in New England, looks like a nasty blizzard is on the way.
 

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I have a gas boiler, not a furnace, and my boiler draws less than 100 watts, most of that for the single circulator pump, which draws about 75 watts. I have an inexpensive 500 watt inverter I bought years ago, and it’s big enough to run the boiler and a few lights.

Now that I have the Bolt I could probably draw a few hundred watts for at least a couple of days, not sure how to do the math to figure out exactly how long.

Also, about a mile from my house is the local electricians union, they have a large uninterruptible power supply for their building, and two 6-kw level 2 chargers, which are free. With any luck they would be available should power get knocked out for an extended period.

Long Island isn’t going to get a direct hit tomorrow, but good luck up in New England, looks like a nasty blizzard is on the way.
Assume 50% overall efficiency. 300W to the user would be 600W from the traction battery....and 100 hours of operation.

If you shut down at night, 5 days or so.
 

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Apologies in advance for this gripe: why couldn't GM have stuck in an inverter to supply a 120v outlet? My wife's 3 year old Buick Encore has a 120v outlet in the rear facing console to the back seats. I once used it to plug an extension cord and power some lighting. And that was off the Encore's piddly 60AH, 525CCA battery.
 

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Apologies in advance for this gripe: why couldn't GM have stuck in an inverter to supply a 120v outlet? My wife's 3 year old Buick Encore has a 120v outlet in the rear facing console to the back seats. I once used it to plug an extension cord and power some lighting. And that was off the Encore's piddly 60AH, 525CCA battery.
This would've been nice, but probably way down their engineering 'to do' list.

I would want the inverter to be BIG, and only activated when the car is in D or the (non-existent) 'camping mode' to avoid pulling down the AGM.

Would it increase sales if it added $500 to the cost of the vehicle?
 

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The battery in the Bolt is 350v right? 220v rectified peak to peak is 350v.... so lots of switch mode power supplies (ie cell phone chargers, laptop power supplies, etc) can run on 350v DC. I'm suggesting that a high frequency 110v/220v inverter would run directly off the 350v battery. I've been seeking this for my house power. In the house I presently have a 24v battery system that runs a 4kw inverter which powers 1/4 of my house. It would be slick to use the car's battery for this.
 

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The battery in the Bolt is 350v right? 220v rectified peak to peak is 350v.... so lots of switch mode power supplies (ie cell phone chargers, laptop power supplies, etc) can run on 350v DC. I'm suggesting that a high frequency 110v/220v inverter would run directly off the 350v battery. I've been seeking this for my house power. In the house I presently have a 24v battery system that runs a 4kw inverter which powers 1/4 of my house. It would be slick to use the car's battery for this.
OEM's have been promising this since the first Leaf. There are pilot programs here and there, but no commercial offerings. DIY guys have done some of this:

http://www.schultzengineering.us/festiva.htm

It should be possible to fake a "handshake" with the DC port to allow connecting, but will the Bolt's onboard computer let you run DC out of the outlet?

As you probably know, the battery voltage can range from almost 400v-240v.
 

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The battery in the Bolt is 350v right? 220v rectified peak to peak is 350v.... so lots of switch mode power supplies (ie cell phone chargers, laptop power supplies, etc) can run on 350v DC. I'm suggesting that a high frequency 110v/220v inverter would run directly off the 350v battery. I've been seeking this for my house power. In the house I presently have a 24v battery system that runs a 4kw inverter which powers 1/4 of my house. It would be slick to use the car's battery for this.
Other EV owners have pointed out that many large-scale UPS systems use high-voltage strings of batteries, and would work directly.

Myself, during an outage I am happy with <1100W_AC backfed to all my 120V circuits, a woodstove, a propane camp stove and big hot water tank.

And while I have done some outré things with electricity over the years (from a couple hundred kiloamps to 100 kV, but not at the same time), I will not touch the traction battery, out of safety concerns.
 

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Apologies in advance for this gripe: why couldn't GM have stuck in an inverter to supply a 120v outlet? My wife's 3 year old Buick Encore has a 120v outlet in the rear facing console to the back seats. I once used it to plug an extension cord and power some lighting. And that was off the Encore's piddly 60AH, 525CCA battery.
I can answer this one. Because, as yet, the traction battery in the Bolt costs as much as an entire Buick Encore to produce. They have scrimped as much as possible on the Bolt to lose the least amount of money, and still produce an acceptable product. If batteries ever become cheap enough to make EVs directly competitive with ICE, they will gladly load them with extras.
 

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Got to try this out tonight. We had a small outage from a car hitting a power-pole in the middle of a beautiful, sunny day.

We ran our Bolt2Home system for about 2 hours, varying between 400 and 1000W at 120VAC pure sine, backfed with interlock.

Determined that our garbage disposal has a heavy starting current...made the lights flicker.

Ran the Bolt in 'N' climbing out passenger side (and pulled the 'annoying noise fuse'....I still need to try 'car wash mode' overnight to make sure is 'stays'.
 

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Since that's just a 12V inverter setup, why pay that much extra for it? Just pop the hood and clamp onto the 12V battery since were talking about rare emergency circumstances, no?

As long as the EV HV battery is above ?30%? it should charge up the 12V battery as needed no? No need to run the car?

I'd be interested in seeing a system that attached to the HV battery instead, giving you much more power and less inefficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Since that's just a 12V inverter setup, why pay that much extra for it? Just pop the hood and clamp onto the 12V battery since were talking about rare emergency circumstances, no?

As long as the EV HV battery is above ?30%? it should charge up the 12V battery as needed no? No need to run the car?

I'd be interested in seeing a system that attached to the HV battery instead, giving you much more power and less inefficiency.
Read the entire thread (and any links pointing to other relevant threads). I am pretty sure that most, if not all, of your questions will be answered.
 

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grounding power inverter?

Hi all,

Any advice about how to ground an inverter hooked up to my Bolt's 12V battery? The inverter I purchased has a grounding terminal, but I'm not sure where I should attach it under the hood.

Thanks
Dave
 
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