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FAQ

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.

PLUG-OUT KITS:

What are the differences between the Basic and Island products?
The Basic system is for less than 1000 watts [1kw] of aggregate wattage requirements. The Basic  systems allow surge currents of 100% greater than the Rated Power. So, the 1kw unit can sustain a short [10sec] surge power need of 2kw.  It gets connected to the car’s 12v battery by the user each time it is used. As a 12v system, the Basic Plug-Out system can work on any car or truck, but works best with Toyota Synergy Hybrids where the 12v battery is in the trunk [set unit on the trunk floor], where there is >1000watt power feed from the engine to the 12v battery, and where there is start-stop engine operation while the car is On and in Park. The Basic unit is inexpensive and easily portable, so could be kept in the car for adhoc uses.
The Island systems are for specific hybrids only [see list] and where aggregate wattage requirements can be greater than 1k watts. Current Plug-Out Island products come in 2 and 3kva 120v versions, and 3 and 5kva 240/120v split phase versions.  The input cable comes in 2 halves, one get connected permanently to the Hybrid traction battery and should be installed by a trained and experienced hybrid mechanic. The other half cable is connected to the Plug-Out box and the two can be connected easily by the customer each time it is used. The 2-3kw units can be lifted into the hybrid trunk area for use, or, they can be left on the garage floor/shelf and connected to the car by an optional longer input cable.
Both the Basic and Island systems are designed for manual setup and OFF-GRID operation, and should NOT be connected to live power wires; or, damage to the wires, power source or Plug-Out unit may result. Connection to house wiring, as with any generator, should only be designed/installed by certified electricians.
The 2-3-5kva Island units are rated at 1.6-2.4-4kw, with surge rating 50% higher equals 2.4-3.6-4kw.

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 2-3kw 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 at 3 and 5kva.
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 [3-4x 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 Basic kit can easily be installed by the customer for each use. See the Plug-Out Basic Setup Instructions.
The Island kit 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?
Again, you should consult the Plug-Out Basic and Island Set-Up Instructions for house/site connections and power measurements. 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. Pre-wired connection to a house should only be designed/installed by a certified electrician.

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.