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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m in NorCal. Between the fires, heat wave, earthquakes, rolling blackouts and whatever happens next week, its possible to lose power at our house at any time. I can obviously buy a gas/propane generator to help power essentials (like the refrigerator so that everything doesn’t go bad) but it looks like I might be able to use an inverter connected directly to my car battery for 1000 - 2000 watts+ (which should cover any emergency needs and the surge from our refrigerator). Seems easy enough to leave my 2019 Ascent parked in the driveway with the hood up, inverter connected directly to the battery with alligator clips (lower wattage) or bolted to the battery temporarily (seems like this is important for higher wattage inverters for contact area?). I did some searching around this forum and was surprised that I didn’t find a thread discussing this. Seems, theoretically, like an inexpensive way to turn your car into a generator when you need it. Thoughts on this as an emergency solution overall? Any personal examples? Recommendations on brands or installation setup?

Was looking at something like this as my starting point: Krieger 2000 Watts Power Inverter 12V to 110V, Modified Sine Wave Car Inverter, Dual 110 Volt AC Outlets, DC to AC Converter with Installation Kit Included - MET Approved to UL and CSA Standards https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MF4GD1P/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_DcvrFbJ568VKE

Thanks for any insight!
 

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That's drawing a heck of a lot power from the battery. The typical group 35 battery, like the Ascent's, has a reserve capacity of ~100 minutes. That means you can draw 25 A for 100 minutes before the battery reaches the point below which it starts to get damaged. 25A at 12V is 300W. So you can draw 300W for 100 minutes and it def won't be able to start the car at that point. You could draw 1000W for something approaching 30 minutes to get to the same point.

If you wan't to run the car, the alternator might put out something like 30A at idle, and maybe ~120A at 2500 rpm. That's 360W to 1440W... but IDK how how happy the Ascent's charging & electrical system would be with that.
 

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I'll leave the math up to the electronics gurus on this site, but I don't think you'll get anywhere near the run-time from your car battery that you're thinking you'll get. Especially if you have a refrigerator to run. I have a 3000w gas powered inverter and when the refrigerator starts the engine bogs to almost stall before recovering in a second. Standard car batteries don't appreciate that hefty draw. Also, how will you start your car during a power failure that has now drained your car battery? Better off getting a generator, inverter or one of those expensive battery packs that some off-roaders use for silent campouts (nature trackers).
 

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You may be more satisfied with a small, inverter type generator for your need. They are not inexpensive, but they are quiet and put out nice power.
 
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Car off, won't happen because you'd only be working on 12.8V or so. Car on you'd get close to 13.8 to 14.4 depending on idle speed, etc. But as it has been mentioned already, it comes down to current. 2000W/13.8V = 145 Amps. Don't know the Ascent's alternator capacity, but doubt it can do that. 2000W/12.8V = 156Amps.
 
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The alternator is beefy enough, but at idle, only puts out a fraction of it's rated power (which I think was over 100A)

A ordinary generator of 2,000 watts would run a fridge, at half the cost of a same size inverter generator, but twice the volume level. And the small hondas have small gas tanks. Consumer Reports had favorable views of the harbor freight generators a year ago.

if you bolted onto the battery terminals and let the car idle, with the hood open, you should be able to get 3 hours and then be able to shut it all down for 6 hours and keep the fridge door closed. Then another 3 hours to get it cold all over again. Without running the engine, the battery might last 15 minutes.
 

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Don't know the Ascent's alternator capacity,
Max 200 amps. I will see this week if I can glean at what speed.

Idle will hit 14.2V.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is all massively helpful. Thank you all for your insights. I think I'll go for a standalone inverter generator that'll handle any emergency power needs. Propane or dual fuel seems like a good option as far as fuel storage and accessibility goes (everyone has a tank with their BBQ around here), so I'm going to look at those. Thanks!
 

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You'd be far better off getting a small generator. I've got a super quiet and efficient Hyundai 2000watt generator. Has 12v vehicle boost feature as well. Got it years ago for like $350. Just enough juice to run my hobby welder. This reminds me I've got to give it an quick tune up.
 

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How'd you get to that secret screen? lol
It wouldn't be a secret screen, if I told you, lol!!! :ROFLMAO: ;)

(hold home, and tap tune twice)
 

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It wouldn't be a secret screen, if I told you, lol!!! :ROFLMAO: ;)

(hold home, and tap tune twice)
Is there a repository of all the secret shortcuts?

For my RX-8 I had collected dozens of secret ignition key turns, brake pedal presses, odometer reset button presses etc. Armed with the right shortcuts you could reset various sensors, turn on track mode (shut off all nannies and the power steering which was electric) and more. There was even a way to turn the radio display to read out odb codes without plugging in a scanner.
 

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Is there a repository of all the secret shortcuts?

For my RX-8 I had collected dozens of secret ignition key turns, brake pedal presses, odometer reset button presses etc. Armed with the right shortcuts you could reset various sensors, turn on track mode (shut off all nannies and the power steering which was electric) and more. There was even a way to turn the radio display to read out odb codes without plugging in a scanner.
Not that I am aware of. Beyond that one, the ones I know are dangerous, so, I can't share them.
 
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