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Prius as backup generator with midnight classic as voltage converter possible?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by travissand View Post

    I already spoke of what you're suggesting and explained why I don't want to do that unless you have a way of doing it without the transfer delay and added cost.
    I don't know how midnite classic output works but you may be able to connect the PSU output in parallel with it through blocking diodes to your inverter. As for added cost, your original post seemed to suggest you are considering buying midnite classic for $250 but I may have misunderstood. Used 3KW/48V PSU cost~$50.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by solardreamer View Post

      I don't know how midnite classic output works but you may be able to connect the PSU output in parallel with it through blocking diodes to your inverter. As for added cost, your original post seemed to suggest you are considering buying midnite classic for $250 but I may have misunderstood. Used 3KW/48V PSU cost~$50.
      to my knowledge the power supply isn't variable though. It would be hard to have the power supply power my inverter if it's voltage was less than the batteries voltage. or is there a turn dial on it where I can adjust the output voltage? you see I'll approach every evening with a different voltage need depending on the state of charge, voltage, and actual overall health of my batteries. The midnight classic is very easy to adjust the voltage output, even daily. I'm looking at power supplies
      https://www.ebay.com/itm/200867137833 but haven't found as cheap as you mentioned. I have large doubts that they will be completely satisfying.

      If you can point me to 5kw inverter capable of the Prius high voltage input that can work on an incoming 60v to 250v and also be under $300 shipped to Hawaii let me know. If you can do that I'll ditch my house inverter in favor of the recommended one.

      Personally I'm not too happy with a 48 volt battery Bank. I'd rather have a 160 volt battery Bank. But my current hardware and the high dollars I have invested and the fact that they're not mass-produced keeps me where I'm at.

      I appreciate all the suggestions here and hope somebody will have a definitive answer before I test it out and and possibly blow up a midnight.
      Last edited by travissand; 12-19-2019, 09:09 PM.

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      • #18
        there's possibly another inverter charger that will work to turn the Prius into a backup generator. It's a SolarCity H6. but it appears to be part of a Tesla powerwall or something and I'm not sure it's customizable enough. Its a well made grid tie and off grid capable 6000 watt inverter for only $700. They also have two built in mppt charge controllers at 4500 watts each. The charge controllers step 225 volts from the panels up to a 450v battery. I doubt they have complicated custom controlled mppt sweep settings like the midnight classics. The manual of this inverters like a hundred and fifty Pages. Check it out https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-WG...w?usp=drivesdk

        I'm tempted to try it because I ordered a ginormous 240kwh lithium battery Bank capable of plenty of voltage like 500v+ & both series and parallel capable and configurable in 12 volt increments with all balancers and safety circuits included. I could sell my current inverters for more than the cost of three of these discounted inverters. That would leave me plenty of room for future solar expansion.

        Theoretically I would never need to use the Prius as a generator ever again but dang I'd really like to know if this worked. This high-voltage stuff is so much more efficient and easier & cheaper hook up if you like to barbecue.
        Last edited by travissand; 01-23-2020, 01:48 PM.

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        • #19
          The Prius consumes over 300 watts when it's on and ready to start its internal combustion engine. And if I'm only using 250w all night that means I'm wasting a huge percentage. So why not program a raspberry or something to push the start button for you when it's time to start the internal combustion engine and then push it again after the engine shuts down? people who are using the Prius as a backup generator are reporting that it uses the same amount of fuel as a Honda eu2000 so with this modification it would double its efficiency.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by travissand View Post
            there's possibly another inverter charger that will work to turn the Prius into a backup generator. Its a well made grid tie and off grid capable 6000 watt inverter for only $700. They also have two built in mppt charge controllers at 4500 watts each. The charge controllers step 225 volts from the panels up to a 450v battery. I doubt they have complicated custom controlled mppt sweep settings like the midnight classics. The manual of this inverters like a hundred and fifty Pages. Check it out https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-WG...w?usp=drivesdk

            I'm tempted to try it because I ordered a ginormous 240kwh lithium battery Bank capable of plenty of voltage like 500v+ & both series and parallel capable and configurable in 12 volt increments with all balancers and safety circuits included. I could sell my current inverters for more than the cost of three of these discounted inverters. That would leave me plenty of room for future solar expansion.

            Theoretically I would never need to use the Prius as a generator ever again but dang I'd really like to know if this worked. This high-voltage stuff is so much more efficient and easier & cheaper hook up if you like to barbecue.
            Regarding "...I ordered a ginormous 240kwh lithium battery Bank..." I'd like to know more details. To put into perspective, that kWh is 10x the nameplate capacity of the used Nissan Leaf car packs available and 3x or so the average Tesla on the road. Besides cost/watt, environment (is it heated/cooled?), packaging (prismatic cell?), and other obvious questions, is it in a container? Is it complete? Are more available? What's the intended use? On and on...

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            • #21
              Originally posted by HollySprings View Post

              Regarding "...I ordered a ginormous 240kwh lithium battery Bank..." I'd like to know more details. To put into perspective, that kWh is 10x the nameplate capacity of the used Nissan Leaf car packs available and 3x or so the average Tesla on the road. Besides cost/watt, environment (is it heated/cooled?), packaging (prismatic cell?), and other obvious questions, is it in a container? Is it complete? Are more available? What's the intended use? On and on...
              They're used Valence u27-12xp lithiumm magnesium iron phosphate 12.8 volt batteries. 1.7kwh each A friend snaged them at an auction for a good price. I know it's larger than I need but it was an all-or-nothing deal. They are shipping now and don'treally know the truths about the details until they arrive. Supposedly They have internal cell balancers and an external BMS that communicates to all the 12v batteries to keep them balanced to each other and connects or disconnects the load and charger as needed for protection. 12 volt batteries that have lower capacity can limit their output intelligently as commanded by the master BMS and pass higher power through themselves from neighboring batteries. This enables them to be stacked in series parallel or any combination you desire without worrying.
              There's a lot going on there that's hard for me to believe it's going to take me awhile to verify they're real world behaviors.

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              • #22
                So you got 141 batteries like that?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by extrafu View Post
                  So you got 141 batteries like that?
                  That's no typo. Anyway I've been looking into this inverter more it looks like this is basically a Tesla brand inverter and most of the people that have this type of system seem to be brain-dead Tesla fans and I don't have much faith in Tesla's tech support representatives knowledge. I doubt any of them will have a clue to answer any of these questions.

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                  • #24
                    If this is an inverter from a Tesla PowerWall I think you are correct that tech support will ne nonexistant. I have followed the PowerWall evolution since its first iteration and I am not aware of anyone who has hacked just the inverter. There are plenty of cases of people who have used a Tesla drivetrains in EV conversions. There is no tech support for those either.

                    One issue that occurs to me is that the UL certification for the PowerWall is for the entire system including the gateway. I doubt that the inverter alone would have a UL certification if that matters to you.

                    NOTE:
                    I couldI't get the link in this thread to work. I did notice a similar post on another forum that refers to a Solar City H6 inverter. I also think tech support will be non existant for that inverter. The cost of $700 is compelling versus a hybrid inverter costing 5 to 10 times that.
                    Last edited by Ampster; 01-23-2020, 01:28 PM.
                    9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                      If this is an inverter from a Tesla PowerWall I think you are correct that tech support will ne nonexistant. I have followed the PowerWall evolution since its first iteration and I am not aware of anyone who has hacked just the inverter. There are plenty of cases of people who have used a Tesla drivetrains in EV conversions. There is no tech support for those either.

                      One issue that occurs to me is that the UL certification for the PowerWall is for the entire system including the gateway. I doubt that the inverter alone would have a UL certification if that matters to you.

                      NOTE:
                      I couldI't get the link in this thread to work. I did notice a similar post on another forum that refers to a Solar City H6 inverter. I also think tech support will be non existant for that inverter. The cost of $700 is compelling versus a hybrid inverter costing 5 to 10 times that.
                      Awesome thanks for your response. both of those posts are from me and they're both speaking of the Solar City h6. That link should work now because it was just a copy and paste of a truncated version before.
                      Last edited by travissand; 01-23-2020, 01:48 PM.

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                      • #26
                        I ordered a midnight today to hook to the Prius. Looks like no one has the answers so I'll have to test it out and watch for smoke

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                        • #27
                          The midnight was $250 directly from manufacturer. + $50 shipping to Hawaii + $9 credit card fee. So $309 total.

                          I'm testing to see how much the voltage drops when I pull 2500 watts out of the HV battery while driving. So I went for a test drive and with a tiny bit of throttle I pull 2500 watts out of the high-voltage battery the voltage drops about 10 volts. Depending on whether the engine is running, state of charge, & how many watts im pulling there is anywhere from 2% to 6% voltage drop on the HV battery. Got all my wire size calculations done and read about the "U-Set VOC%" setting on the midnight. I'll set the percentage at 100% first for safety and adjust little by little down to the 6% less (or 94%) mark. I will also set the max output amperage down really low like 20 amps or something just for starters then slowly turn things up and put a larger load on the midnight until I'm comfortable. Running the wires now.

                          I stumbled on some other people using the regular solar mode on a midnight to transfer from a 24 volt battery Bank down to a 12 volt battery Bank with the kid. They had good results so why shouldn't I?
                          Fire extinguisher standing by...
                          Last edited by travissand; 02-02-2020, 01:48 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Okay surprise the u-set mode I'm trying to use only lets me choose from 30% up to 100%. Is it safe to assume 100% won't drive the incoming volts down at all? And 30% will drag the voltage down 70% during the mppt sweep? I wasn't quite sure so I hooked up 120 volts of solar panels on the input instead of the Prius. Then I played with the % settings and it's inconclusive. And the relay clicks and cycles every second and the cycling seems unaffected by changing the sweep interval which is adjustable in 1 minute increments. Shutting off output resting turning on output charging and back and forth like that. It's output was in bulk.

                            I tried changing the percentage to the maximum, minimum & at random points in between. It seemed to drag the voltage down further than 40% at all tries so I'm leaning towards this setting not having the tolerance I need. Although it wouldn't make sense that way because if they're going to exclude one end or the other they would exclude the 0 volt side not the one hundred percent volt side. But maybe I need to adjust it outside of the allowable range from 30 to 100 clear down to 10% or below? I don't know something's not adding up here!!!

                            It's possible my problem was that it was approaching sunset and I was only gathering a small percentage of the rated solar array. So maybe it was going to rest as if the sun had gone down? Strange though because it was bringing in 70 Watts it seems to me like that should be enough to keep the unit on. When this MidNite 250 and my MidNite 150s are getting close to sunset in the Solar mode they'll go clear down to 15 watts before there's any chance of clicking that relay & going to sleep. I'll look into making a custom graph on the wind mode.

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                            • #29
                              The U-set voltage is what the Classic will load the power source (PV panels, wind turd, Prius battery) for MPPT conversion. For any battery, I'd leave it at 100% and see how that works.
                              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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                              • #30
                                Well the more I thought about it the more I thought creating a custom graph on the wind mode would be the best accept my MidNite classic 250 seems to be defective. When I'm looking at the graph on the midnight trying to make adjustments it just looks like garbally goo. Here's a short video of what my display is doing https://youtu.be/uqm63K5njxc

                                I could have the cut in at 205 volts with a small amount of output amperage and slowly step it up to the maximum 58 amps output as the voltage rises up to 220v. And then I would hold the maximum 58 amperage all the way up through 250v The specs say maximum 63amps output for the 250 CP but my display will only let me go up to 58 amps.

                                Maybe I can create a custom graph on my laptop and then load it into the midnight? I'll start googling around.

                                Which mode do you think is best? The custom wind graph or the U-Set % of voltage open circuit???

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