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Adding an inverter to an EV for V2L?

  • 13-05-2021 11:41am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    I know a couple of people have added inverters to their EVs so they can have AC power

    I'd like to do the same to my ID.4 when it eventually arrives

    I haven't found anyone who has done this for any ID series cars but there seems to be plenty of articles out there for other cars

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations?

    I've a few questions as well if anyone has answers
    1. What output power did you go for? Looking at the ID.4 specs it has a 3kW DC-DC, so I'm hoping I'll be able to power a 2kW interter
    2. My plan would be to wire the inverter to the positive battery terminal and the ground pin, as these are the recommendation for jump starting. Does anyone have any other thoughts
    3. Did you bring the AC output into the cabin via an extension cable?
    4. I would be wiring the positive wire through a fuse and an isolator switch. Is there any other precations I should take?
    5. Do you leave the inverter in the car, or disconnect and remove it when not using it?


Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,639 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    For a start you can plug an inverter into a 12v socket so no need for battery hook up and cables everywhere. Load will depend on inverter. Plenty to see on Amazon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,999 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    slave1 wrote: »
    For a start you can plug an inverter into a 12v socket so no need for battery hook up and cables everywhere. Load will depend on inverter. Plenty to see on Amazon.

    You'll not get near 2kW from a 12V socket.
    Hardly get 100W from it.

    OP, best bet is to buy some kit and get it installed professionally.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    You'll not get near 2kW from a 12V socket.
    Hardly get 100W from it.

    OP, best bet is to buy some kit and get it installed professionally.

    True, I'm looking to power things like a hot plate and a microwave (not at the same time)

    So I'll need a bit more power than I'd be happy pulling from the 12V socket


  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭ kesey


    True, I'm looking to power things like a hot plate and a microwave (not at the same time)

    So I'll need a bit more power than I'd be happy pulling from the 12V socket

    Inverters are regularly installed in boats, and for the kind of output you are talking about. It might be worth a call to a couple of the bigger sales agents to get a referral to some of the guys who do the installations.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,639 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    You'll not get near 2kW from a 12V socket.
    Hardly get 100W from it.

    OP, best bet is to buy some kit and get it installed professionally.

    Just offering an option in case OP was looking for lower draw devices, my small inverter gives 150W and 300W peak from the 12v socket, all depends on the device you buy.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭ kanuseeme


    Get a pure sine wave inverter, more expensive but they produce the same wave form as mains electricity, you could get any size you want but its the draw on your 12 v that will be the limiting factor, if its as you say 3 kW then any thing smaller should be ok, if me I would get 1500 w inverter as some equipment would pull twice that on start up and most inverters will handle that doubling for a few seconds.

    I bought a 1000w, 5 years ago when I bought my honda hybrid, used it two times in work during outages, never needed it for home, ran the submersible pump off it, great little gadget.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,639 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    LOL, power cut today for an hour, first time in years, hooked up my little inverter to Leaf battery for 1,000w so I would power on pc and monitor (priorities) only to realise the router was down also (of course) and I couldn't be arsed running another extenstion lead to it.
    Ah well, an hour in the garden it was!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    I think I must have jinxed it starting this thread. Had a power cut today for around 5 hours, managed to hit the perfect storm of the Leaf being low on charge as well so it wouldn't have been much use even if it had an inverter :(

    We were dying for a cup of tea after a while, I probably would have been willing to sacrifice some precious charge in the car to boil a kettle full and fill a thermos of I could

    In the end I went to the airport to top up the car as it's our only means of transport at the moment and I don't like leaving it on a low SoC in case of emergencies

    Of course shortly after I got back the power came back, but at least I was able to get some coffee while I was out :)


  • Moderators Posts: 11,943 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    I think I must have jinxed it starting this thread. Had a power cut today for around 5 hours, managed to hit the perfect storm of the Leaf being low on charge as well so it wouldn't have been much use even if it had an inverter :(

    We were dying for a cup of tea after a while, I probably would have been willing to sacrifice some precious charge in the car to boil a kettle full and fill a thermos of I could

    In the end I went to the airport to top up the car as it's our only means of transport at the moment and I don't like leaving it on a low SoC in case of emergencies

    Of course shortly after I got back the power came back, but at least I was able to get some coffee while I was out :)

    Gas burner. Pot of water. Tea made. Kettles pull big current, and ours over 2kW so you'd want a beefy inverter to boil a kettle


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Gas burner. Pot of water. Tea made. Kettles pull big current, and ours over 2kW so you'd want a beefy inverter to boil a kettle

    I'd probably use a microwave on low power rather than a kettle, bit less exact but peak power is a lot lower

    I was tempted to break out the trangia stove, if the outage had gone on longer I'd probably have been heating up some beans on it

    Not a great fan of gas, I'm very distrustful of it and since I've got the meths stove I prefer to use that

    Having a microwave is very handy with kids though. They tend to get hangry very suddenly and at inconvenient times, so being able to warm some food up for them in a short time is very useful


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  • Moderators Posts: 11,943 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    I'd probably use a microwave on low power rather than a kettle, bit less exact but peak power is a lot lower

    I was tempted to break out the trangia stove, if the outage had gone on longer I'd probably have been heating up some beans on it

    Not a great fan of gas, I'm very distrustful of it and since I've got the meths stove I prefer to use that

    Having a microwave is very handy with kids though. They tend to get hangry very suddenly and at inconvenient times, so being able to warm some food up for them in a short time is very useful

    Gas BBQ, gas pizza oven, gas camping burner for backup from years gone by.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,451 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    I think I must have jinxed it starting this thread. Had a power cut today for around 5 hours, managed to hit the perfect storm of the Leaf being low on charge as well so it wouldn't have been much use even if it had an inverter :(

    You'll be better prepared next time. We had a (very unusual) power cut recently in Lucan that lasted a few hours. I was well prepared as I had:

    -my home made powerwall. When fully charged it has about 4kWh usable and it is connected through my battery inverter to an EPS giving me 3kW of power (as long as my battery lasts). Didn't work this time though, it did last time we had a power cut. I must test check my systems more often :o

    -my eBike battery plus a 48V inverter. Worked great, powered my airfryer and the microwave oven. Made us diner :D Capacity not great though so you don't want to rely on it for more than an hour or so

    -my EV. I built in a 600W pure sine wave inverter as soon as I got the car really. Would power the essentials of my home for a week or two in a power cut. For the win.
    Looking at the ID.4 specs it has a 3kW DC-DC, so I'm hoping I'll be able to power a 2kW interter

    It's not that simple. The power will still come through your ancient tech 12V lead acid battery. It won't take that well. And if your car is not programmed to monitor the aux battery voltage VERY closely at sharp intervals, your lead acid well be dead in no time

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    unkel wrote: »
    It's not that simple. The power will still come through your ancient tech 12V lead acid battery. It won't take that well. And if your car is not programmed to monitor the aux battery voltage VERY closely at sharp intervals, your lead acid well be dead in no time

    Ah I get you, because the inverter draw from the battery that's the limiting factor on how much power you can draw

    Definitely something to consider. I see on the Leaf forums that people have connected 1500W inverters without issue as long as the car is powered on

    I wonder what they're doing differently, perhaps they've connected the inverter to the DC-DC instead or something


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,999 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    unkel wrote: »

    It's not that simple. The power will still come through your ancient tech 12V lead acid battery. It won't take that well. And if your car is not programmed to monitor the aux battery voltage VERY closely at sharp intervals, your lead acid well be dead in no time

    Does VTL come through the 12V battery? As in, the HV battery charges the 12V, which in turn powers the inverter?

    I though there were special sockets for VTL


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Does VTL come through the 12V battery? As in, the HV battery charges the 12V, which in turn powers the inverter?

    I though there were special sockets for VTL

    Some cars have them built in, the Ioniq 5 and Honda E being 2 examples

    Others have retrofitted it to existing EVs

    I think as long as the car is 'on' it will draw power from the HV battery so the 12v should be safe

    The difficulty can be in keeping the car on, the Leaf is fairly simple, you just turn it on in drive mode and it'll stay on

    The ID.4 is a bit trickier, it'll generally switch off if the driver leaves the seat. You can trick it to stay on by leaving the key in the car and switching it on via the button

    I'm starting to swing towards getting an inverter for the Leaf. Even though it has a lower power DC-DC, there's more examples out there and it's well understood

    I think I'll let someone else be the pioneer for the ID.4 :)

    EDIT: Also I own the Leaf, whereas the ID.4 is on finance and VW mightn't be happy with me making mods :)


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,639 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Does VTL come through the 12V battery? As in, the HV battery charges the 12V, which in turn powers the inverter?

    I though there were special sockets for VTL

    The great - lost - advantage of CHAdeMo fast charging connector is that it is two way, Nissan developed direct V2G CHAdeMO usage years back


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    slave1 wrote: »
    The great - lost - advantage of CHAdeMo fast charging connector is that it is two way, Nissan developed direct V2G CHAdeMO usage years back

    Yeah Chademo had a lot going for it but the basic problem with DC V2G is that you're spending thousands on a wallbox which might never pay for itself

    That's why I think AC V2G is better, locating the inverter in the car essentially gives you a mobile power station and makes it much simpler and cheaper to get power from an EV

    The fact that most EVs have onboard inverters for the motor anyway should make it easy, it's possible they could put the output through a transformer to make it suitable for appliances


  • Moderators Posts: 11,943 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    Some cars have them built in, the Ioniq 5 and Honda E being 2 examples

    Others have retrofitted it to existing EVs

    I think as long as the car is 'on' it will draw power from the HV battery so the 12v should be safe

    The difficulty can be in keeping the car on, the Leaf is fairly simple, you just turn it on in drive mode and it'll stay on

    The ID.4 is a bit trickier, it'll generally switch off if the driver leaves the seat. You can trick it to stay on by leaving the key in the car and switching it on via the button

    I'm starting to swing towards getting an inverter for the Leaf. Even though it has a lower power DC-DC, there's more examples out there and it's well understood

    I think I'll let someone else be the pioneer for the ID.4 :)

    EDIT: Also I own the Leaf, whereas the ID.4 is on finance and VW mightn't be happy with me making mods :)

    ID4, plug the seat belt in before you exit the car. It'll stay on then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    ID4, plug the seat belt in before you exit the car. It'll stay on then.

    For half an hour, Bjorn did a trick where if you put some weights (about 15kg) on the drivers seat it'll stay on forever


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,999 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    Some cars have them built in, the Ioniq 5 and Honda E being 2 examples

    Others have retrofitted it to existing EVs

    I think as long as the car is 'on' it will draw power from the HV battery so the 12v should be safe
    Ah right!

    It would be horribly inefficient to transform 400 odd volt DC to 12VDC then back to 230AC.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Ah right!

    It would be horribly inefficient to transform 400 odd volt DC to 12VDC then back to 230AC.

    DC-DC converters are typically very efficient, over 90%, and inverters up to 98% efficiency can be found, albeit at extra cost

    Probably your biggest loss would be heat, 1.5kW at 12V is 125A!

    Going from AC to DC is actually pretty inefficient, a rectifier circuit has a maximum efficiency of something like 85%. Maybe they've squeezed a bit more out of newer designs, but I think they still can't get above 90%


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus


    Ioniq 5 does that out the box I think? Making adjustments to the power system by wiring is not recommended on finance. It could compromise your contract and you will need to check with dealer. Could also affect servicing. They may well refuse to work on car with unknown modifications to power system. You need to ask about this with them.


  • Moderators Posts: 11,943 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight




  • Registered Users Posts: 11,036 ✭✭✭✭ KCross



    Not sure I'd chance my electroncis on it though.... "modified sine wave".... thats usually a red flag there.


  • Moderators Posts: 11,943 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    KCross wrote: »
    Not sure I'd chance my electroncis on it though.... "modified sine wave".... thats usually a red flag there.

    They're not great listeners. Be grand on a few crucial devices, but you're right. Pure sine wave ftw


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,467 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    KCross wrote: »
    Not sure I'd chance my electroncis on it though.... "modified sine wave".... thats usually a red flag there.

    600W as well, not nearly enough for my air fryer :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,755 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Firstly I would be worried about damaging the cars inverter by overload or accident.
    Secondly the power and wiring needed is very heavy gauge and the inverter is pretty large. It would be safer to use gas etc. Another option is a slave 12 volt battery like used on boats and trickle charge that like on boats. Even if the cars inverter is capable of 2000W things like a microwave may cause a surge or the wiring to the battery may not be capable of the load. If lights or rear window demister is turned on or resistive cabin heating these could add up to car damage.

    It might be better to just power the inverter from a jumper pack or spare 12 volt battery. Also pure sine wave is also often modified sine wave in reality and I have damaged items powering then off inverters, particularly when turning on or off. There may be massive spikes during these glitches.


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