January 18, 2009

It's more than just a car

The Prius has long been praised as an excellent car, having won the Car of the Year in 2004 for it's hybrid technology, ultra-low greenhouse gas emissions and comfortable ride. However, it turns out the Prius can be used as an emergency backup generator when the power goes out.

Around the corner at Madigan Lane, John Sweeney, a member of the town’s conservation-minded Heat Advisory Committee, took a characteristically green approach to powering his home during the storm. He reported his achievement in an e-mail, saying it was no big deal, but that his wife thought it an impressive tale worth sharing: Sweeney ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan, and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.

“When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius…These inverters are available for about $100 many places online,” he wrote.

The device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.

Via Brad DeLong.

Posted by Mary at January 18, 2009 05:18 PM | Energy | Technorati links |