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Frequently Asked Questions for PLUG-IN and PLUG-OUT KITS:

What is a Plug-Out kit?
The Plug-Out kit is an electronic power module added to a hybrid car to provide emergency grid-like power output [as an emergency power generator] to power household appliances.

Will the Vehicle’s Warranty be affected?
According to Federal Law the answer is No. Adding an "aftermarket" part to your car will not void the factory warranty. The applicable law is called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The quick explanation is that the Original Manufacturer cannot void its product warranty, in whole or part, when an aftermarket product is added, except where the problem at hand can be proved by the Manufacturer/dealer to be caused by the aftermarket product[s] [burden of proof on the manufacturer]. ConVerdant has access to the same manufacturers’ tech/service bulletins as the dealers, so we may be of help in talking with the dealer about any problem. Do a web search to learn more.
Most Manufacturers and Dealers will automatically tell you “Yes, you will void the warranty”, and will say adding any parts to their cars voids the warranty. The car dealers don't want to violate Federal Law, they often don't know it, and they sell OEM cars and parts. If you do find an obstinate dealer who won't work on your car, go to another dealer or independent hybrid service garage or call us for help.  As a last resort you might use small claims court to resolve your issue. We make it easy for you to disable-disconnect your kit so the car is in OEM condition. Customers/Dealers may call us to ask how to disable the system so you can get your warranty repair work done.


What size Plug-Out device should I get?

The first step is to inventory and prioritize your desired appliances and devices to be supported in emergency situations. Next step is to find out the wattages [voltage and current] for each appliance then total them up. There is a wattage list for typical appliances here.
Most suburban houses will want to heat the house [non-electric heat], run the refrigerator[s], lights, TV, battery chargers, computers and the house network. This is usually OK with the 1kw-1.5kw-3kva units. 120v heavy users like sump pumps, air conditioners, space heaters, hair dryers, and microwaves [typically >1kw each] should be excluded, or used under manual control to prevent overload damage. High-load central appliances like central-electric-heat, electric dryers, electric stoves, deep well pumps, etc, need 240 volts so require the 240/120v split phase units of 3kva [2.4kw] or 5kva [4kw].
Rural homes with automated well and/or sump pumps, need to know if those pumps work with 120v or 240v and to size the Plug-Out system with enough power capacity to handle the larger random startup and interval power requirements for those pumps. Worksite use with power tools can require large startup and interval power of 3-4x the device rating. Most electronic appliances have surge rating of 2x.  So, be sure to buy enough excess power capacity to prevent burnouts from inadvertent overlap of device use.
All Motors [pumps, power tools, etc] typically have a large surge current at startup [3-5x normal rating, for 0-1 second], then settle to a “continuous” power level for the rest of the use interval. Pumps/motors with Slow-start, or smart-start operation typically will ramp up speed gradually over time in a way that minimizes the start-up surge requirements to under 50% greater than the continuous rating. Battery operated power tools have low 120v power needs that are specified at the charger.

How do I install the Plug-Out Kits to the car? 

The 1kw and 1.5kw Basic kits can be manually attached to the 12v battery terminals by the customer as needed.  There are alligator clips on the cables, as in "jumping" any car, to attach to the 12v battery terminals.  Note:  that the size Basic Plug-Out compatible with an electric car is easily spotted by the size of the largest 12v battery fuse.  If the fuse is >100a, the the 1kw is a good fit.  If the fuse is greater than 150a, then the 1.5kw Plug-Out can be attached.  If the fuse is <100a {ex: honda Insight, Prius C] then the Plug-Out inverter is not recommended. 

The Island kit 3-5kva [2.4-4kw] requires installation of the car-connection cable by a trained and experienced hybrid mechanic [maybe 1 hour time], then the customer can easily connect/disconnect the unit for each use by him/herself.  See Plug-Out Island Set-Up Instructions. The trained mechanic is needed for initial setup to ensure safety, as the connection is made to the hybrid’s high voltage traction battery, whose voltages are dangerous and life-threatening. 

How do I setup the 120v or 240/120v power distribution to the house/site? 

Note:  The Plug-Out systems are for OFF_GRID use only.  The AC power connections to AC appliances should NEVER be connected to [flow to] the Utility Grid, for the safety of Utility workers trying to restore grid power over the "dead" lines.  AC appliances should only connect to the Plug-Out inverters in one of the two styles described below.
Again, you should consult the Plug-Out Island Set-Up Instruction for house/site connections and power measurements. An Adhoc setup is usually done with standard extension cords, power strips and a power meter[s], from the Plug-Out kit to the various connected appliances. Household wiring is not used.
A Pre-wired connection to a house should only be designed/installed by a certified electrician.  Typically, you'll need a 4-prong generator socket on the house [the same as for any generator] wired to a transfer switch and maybe a sub-panel near the house electric panel.  The Plug-Out [AC power] connects to the generator socket with a 4-wire [240/120v] or 3-wire [120v] cable that has a 4-prong connector on the house side.  The generator socket also connects to the transfer switch and subpanel.  The transfer switch connects only the geenerator OR the grid to the panel/subpanel.  Adding a subpanel allows varous needed household circuits to be wired to it so that the generator can [automatically] only feed the subpanel circuits when power goes out.  If the transfer switch is on the main panel, you'll have to turn off the non essentail circuit breakers by hand.  Again, please consult a certified electrician to help design and install the needed house circuits.

How much fuel does the Plug-Out use?
Fuel use is directly dependant on average power use.  Results are similar for any of the Plug-Out products, obviously some models can handle higher top loads than others, but all are similar at loads below their rating.  The following data are for average power use.  Your results may vary some.
Load:  400w   Engine Duty Cycle: 15%    Fuel Use:  .1gal/hr    Tank [9.9gal] Time:  100hrs
Load: 1000w                             18%                    .122g/h                                   81hrs
Load: 2000w                             35%                    .245g/h                                   40hrs
Load: 3000w                             48%                    .4g/h                                       25hrs
Note: If all car systems are off [except ignition] the Prius systems uses about 200-400w, and the inverter has about 10% loss.

The Plug-Out Island and Prius combination operate at about 8kwh per gallon almost regardless of power use level.  Most Mechanical generators operate at about 4 up to 6kwh per gallon.  And depending on your cost of gasoline [assume $4/gal] Plug-Out Priuses generate electricity at about 50cents/kwh.  This very high level of fuel efficiency is just one of many reasons the Plug-Out Prius stands above store bought generators.

What do all these acronyms mean? •EV: Electric Vehicle •HEV: Hybrid Electric Vehicle •PHEV: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle •LiFePO4: Lithium Iron Phosphate •kW-hr: Kilowatt-Hour

Does ConVerdant have a Priacy Policy?
  Yes.  see Our Privacy Policy Statement.