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Hey GregBrew, is this pretty much the kit you designed and built yourself?

Further information on my setup.

I tied the negative cable of my inverter under-hood connector to the same location that the vehicle battery negative terminal is attached to. The vehicle battery negative cable goes through a toroidal current sensor, then to the grounding stud. The inverter under-hood connector negative cable does not go through the current sensor. The grounding stud is on the drivers side wheel well, and as such is a PITA to get to, but I struggled and was successful. I highly recommend being very careful about dropping anything (like tools) when you're elbow deep under the hood. I didn't drop anything, but I'm uncertain if it would be retrievable if I did. There are also several sharp metal surfaces in there. I have multiple superficial cuts on my hands to prove it.

I modified the procedure a bit. I've chosen to shift the Bolt into "L" before exiting from the passenger side, instead of "N". I'm doing this because the Bolt will hold its position when in "L", and it won't while in "N". I don't know if there's any power use difference between the two. (If any of you know, please speak up.) Of course, the Bolt has the parking brake set in either case.

I hooked up a 1500W pure sine-wave inverter, and plugged in a (heat shrink type) heat gun as a load. The heat gun has two settings: 900W and 1200W. Note that these are both on the load side of the inverter, so the vehicle draw is probably closer to approximately 1100W and 1500W, considering conversion efficiencies. Unfortunately, I don't own a DC clamp-on current meter.

Load current was provided by a Watt's Up meter.
At 1200W AC load, the vehicle DC-DC couldn't keep up, and the aux battery voltage dropped slowly.
At 900W AC load, the battery voltage cycled between 13.66V and 13.88V, measured with a reliable multimeter. I suspect that these values represent the hysteresis of the DC-DC to AGM battery system..."on" when the battery drops below 13.66, and "off" when it gets to 13.88. The cycling rate was probably every 5-10 seconds. That's a lot of cycles, but the cycle rate with a realistic load should be much slower.

I'm going to let it run with the 900W AC load for a couple of hours to verify that the system functions as expected. Using a gun-type IR temperature meter, I checked connection temperatures at the studs where the inverter cable is connected to the battery and grounding stud, as well as everywhere else, and am seeing no temperature rise beyond ambient. Surprising, when you consider I'm drawing around 100A through them all.

FYI. When I tried tying the ground lead elsewhere than the designated stud, I first-degree burned my fingers testing for temperature rise. Stupid!
 

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Not to detract from any of the inverter setups folks have set up to run off their 12 volt battery...it still drives me nuts that every new EV has a 7+ kW onboard inverter that could be made to send power back out for a few dollars worth of redesign. I ask again...Why will none of the manufacturers put these outlets in the storage compartment of their EVs?


Places like Lowes sells thousands of these every year, to any yahoo that can fog a mirror, yet EV owners can't be trusted to use this responsibly?

 

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Hey GregBrew, is this pretty much the kit you designed and built yourself?

Pretty much. The Bolt kit wasn't available when I made my own. Mine was somewhat based on their kit for the Volt, that I had purchased and installed.
 

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I have built my own system per the parts list by GregBrew (ThankYou!) in this excellent thread for my '19 Bolt and it is working great on all resistive loads I've tested it on up to about 1000 watts max. Everything that is, except my fridge– arguably my highest priority item. I must have the least energy efficient fridge on the planet. It doesn't run all the time, and when it does it's usually reading about 1 amp, occasionally I see short spells of 6.25 amps. But starting up after I first plug it in can see the ammeter spike up to 18.5 amps for less than a second before it settles down. I assume this is the Locked Rotor Amps (LRA) of the fridge's compressor motor?
Anyway, with no other loads running in the house, as soon as I plug the fridge in, it is enough to put both of the inverters I've tried into alarm mode an shut down the output. I have tried two different inverters, a 1500 watt and then, thinking I might need something a little more robust, a 3000 watt- both pure sine wave.
The fridge is a GE Model #: GTH17JBXWW Energy Star 16.5 Cu Ft Top-Freezer Refrigerator. Technical Data sheet attached.
I'm curious before we run out and buy a new fridge if this is really the problem. How does this compare to what others are using? Could it be fate that the 2 inverters I picked were both poor quality, or...?
 

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those trashy inverters will never yield that power that they advertise. I think the inverter rating of 1500 or 3000 watts is a measure the power consumption of the inverter when running at full power and not the power it can provide. I have a Xantrex PROwatt 2000 watt inverter. Got it because the max out of the Bolt is 16 amps at 12v. Installed a 150 amp fuse between the Bolt and the inverter (when in use) to make sure I don't hurt my baby bolt. I can run my refrigerator on it but nothing else. Of course, I can run a lot of stuff as long as the refrigerator is not plugged in. I needed it only for emergencies and that solves my problem. My guess is you inverter is not cutting it. Good luck!
 

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^^^
My Samlex 1000W 12VDC to 120VAC Pure Sine Inverter | PST-1000-12 (PST-1000-12) can run my fridge, some lights (CFL and LED), charge my laptop, phone, and my 7 camera NVR system all together just fine.

As the manual at https://www.samlexamerica.com/documents/manuals/11001-PST-1000-12-24_0220_Hrez.pdf points out (like on pages 10 and 14), there's the issue of surge power needed to startup some appliances like fridges and about you can do is guess.
I just got a Samlex 1500W for my Bolt and the difference between it and the other 2 cheap inverters I tried is like night and day. The Samlex is a quality unit in every way, including documentation that is so complete and well-written it is like a text book for this type of equipment. I tried a pure sine wave LVYUAN 1500W and a WZRELB 3000W inverter and neither one could handle the loads that the Samlex can. You also need a multi-meter that can record max inrush AC current to properly size your inverter if you are planning on powering induction-type loads (like a refrigerator).
 

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Xpeng!

 

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Just a quick note here because a lot of folk have used the Volts as an emergency backup, and while you can do the same with the Bolt EV, the two cars' run times in Park are very different. I can't speak to the Gen 2 Volt as I don't have any experience with it; however, the Gen 1 Volt will stay on for ~2.5 hours in Park. That is significantly longer than the ~1 hour the Bolt EV will stay on in Park.

Because of that constraint, it's not really worth it to me to pursue a home backup system using the Bolt EV. I might put together a small solar travel system for my Bolt EV that could also be used for home backup, but that's a story for another day.
 

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Is there a reason you have to leave it in Park? Are you "parked" on a steep slope? Otherwise, if using a Bolt, leave it in Neutral with the parking brake on (and use wheel chocks for extra safety) and exit through the passenger door. I haven't timed it exactly yet, but I think I've gotten 3 hours or more from ours.
 

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Is there a reason you have to leave it in Park? Are you "parked" on a steep slope? Otherwise, if using a Bolt, leave it in Neutral with the parking brake on (and use wheel chocks for extra safety) and exit through the passenger door. I haven't timed it exactly yet, but I think I've gotten 3 hours or more from ours.
Safety is the exact reason, yes. Perhaps in a prolonged outage, I might be willing to leave it in neutral, but not for an emergency backup. Also, I believe you can open the driver door, put it in N, exit, and then shut the door.
 

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Safety is the exact reason, yes. Perhaps in a prolonged outage, I might be willing to leave it in neutral, but not for an emergency backup. Also, I believe you can open the driver door, put it in N, exit, and then shut the door.
Are you concerned that the parking brake and wheel chocks are going to fail and the car is going to roll away?
 

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I've installed a Xantrex Prowatt 2000 inverter in my garage. It works well, so thank you to all the people who have posted on this topic. My question is this: can I plug it into an outlet and power the house? My plan is 1) turn off the main breaker so the current from the inverter doesn't feed back into the grid and surprise a lineman somewhere, 2) turn off all 220 circuits, and 3) use only as many circuits at a time as the inverter and Bolt can support. The main advantage for me is only that I don't have to run extension cords all over the house. Can anything think of a reason why this setup wouldn't work? Thanks.
 

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I've installed a Xantrex Prowatt 2000 inverter in my garage. It works well, so thank you to all the people who have posted on this topic. My question is this: can I plug it into an outlet and power the house? My plan is 1) turn off the main breaker so the current from the inverter doesn't feed back into the grid and surprise a lineman somewhere, 2) turn off all 220 circuits, and 3) use only as many circuits at a time as the inverter and Bolt can support. The main advantage for me is only that I don't have to run extension cords all over the house. Can anything think of a reason why this setup wouldn't work? Thanks.
So officially, definitely do not do that. Unofficially, one of my neighbors who was retired from PG&E showed me his setup when the power was out: It was a 3500 watt generator plugged into a 20 A wall socket with the main breaker flipped off.
 
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