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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Chevy Volt as a field generator
01-09-2013 05:27 AM  7 years ago
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Makiedog

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Minneapolis

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Chevy Volt as a field generator
Just got a Volt, wonder if I can use the 12v cigarette output to power my iCharger in order to charge large lipo packs such as 2x 5s5800mah? Anyone drives one?
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01-09-2013 05:42 AM  7 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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You could have saved about $38,000 and bought a Honda 2000W generator.

If you try it, have the cord between the lighter socket and the iCharger long enough to get the whole works out and away from the vehicle. It doesn't take much for an inexpensive LiPo to roast any car to a crisp. Of course that also means you will need some fairly large gauge wire to reduce the IR drop in longer lengths.

And by 2X 5800 mah packs, is it your intent to charge at higher than the 1C rate of 5.8 amps? Parallel charge? What charging current do you wish to use? How many watts of charging are you expecting to try? And what is the watt rating on the cigarette lighter socket and wiring?

My guess is that it's not really something you'd want to try on a regular basis.
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01-09-2013 05:58 AM  7 years ago
Makiedog

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Minneapolis

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I want to avoid hauling a generator to the field if the car can handle it. I normally parallel charge them at 1c, or 12 amp.

Don't know the output rating of the 12v plug, that's why I asked.
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01-09-2013 06:30 AM  7 years ago
Rudy

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Houston TX/Bend OR

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That 12volt plug is not going to handle the current needed by your icharger.Rudy Ackerman Houston TX/Bend OR
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01-09-2013 06:40 AM  7 years ago
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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Like Rudy said, not even close from the 12 V plug inside the car. However, doing a quick Google search revealed that the Volt's 12 V system can provide 80 A continuous.

- John
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01-09-2013 06:48 AM  7 years ago
BladeStrikes

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Shelby TWP,Mi

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Makiedog I want to avoid hauling a generator to the field if the car can handle it. I normally parallel charge them at 1c, or 12 amp.

Don't know the output rating of the 12v plug, that's why I asked.
You'll need a gen and 24V power supply forsure or 2 deep cycle batterys.Even if it would work,its not worth the risk of burning your car down..Its MUCH cheaper to buy field equipment than another car..
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01-09-2013 01:00 PM  7 years ago
6cuda6

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Ontario, Canada

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I suspect it would void your warranty if something went wrong.....
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01-09-2013 10:57 PM  7 years ago
Makiedog

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Minneapolis

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Well, I did some research and concluded that it is possible. The Volt has a large 360V 16Kwh Li battery that steps down to 12-15 V to charge a small 12V battery, which powers the accessories in the car. The IC engine automatically turns on to charge the large Li when it falls below certain charge level.

Apparently many have successfully used the 12V source to power a 1800W, 120v AC inverter, using it as an emergency generator for the house, drawing 60-70 amps continuously for hours.

This requires hooking it up directly to the small 12V battery terminals, not the cigarette lighter or the built-in AC outlets.

The IC engine's role has always been that of a generator for charging the 360V Li and/or drive the electrical motor (like in locomotive propulsion), it never directly drives the wheels. That is why I think it makes no sense to buy another portable generator to charge my heli at the field if I can help it.
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01-09-2013 11:34 PM  7 years ago
MartyH

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USA

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I think you have a plan.
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01-09-2013 11:49 PM  7 years ago
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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360V 16Kwh Li battery
Holy crip, that certainly could fry your brains.
I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?
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01-10-2013 02:44 AM  7 years ago
halburn

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Powell, Ohio

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The question will be, which will catch fire first?
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01-10-2013 03:36 AM  7 years ago
Santiago P

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Dayton

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volt
The question will be, which will catch fire first?
ROTFL

was thinking the same thing...
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01-10-2013 03:45 PM  7 years ago
jschenck

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La Vista, NE.

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I think I first read about this guy's project 10+ years ago

http://priups.com/misc/intro.htm
This site is dedicated to that "other side" of the hybrid. Don't think of it as "a car," think of it as a power plant.
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01-10-2013 05:49 PM  7 years ago
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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Sounds like there is potential there but if anything is done incorrectly there could be a crispy Volt as a result.Signature
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01-10-2013 05:56 PM  7 years ago
Dood

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Wescanson

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I'll let these pictures and video speak for themselves. Three separate incidents, ALL involved charging lipos inside the car at an RC flying field.

Watch at YouTube

  ▲
▲ ▲
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01-10-2013 06:36 PM  7 years ago
steph280

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Irvine, California

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You guys are so pessimistic, probably late adopters to lipo technology, too. I can recall when Charlie Wang of Thunder Power first demonstrated the use of Lipo batteries at midwinter electric a decade ago, I can hear many naysayers commenting "that thing is a flying fire hazard."

Surely there's a fire risk, but if he knows what he's doing, it certainly is a good alternative power source. Who knows, if the Volt's implementation of "hybrid" takes off, we may all be charging our batteries this way in the future. Remember, there is a first step in anything.

Makiedog, keep exploring this possibility. I for one would love to hear about your success. A Volt may certainly be my next car if proved useable in this case.
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01-10-2013 06:50 PM  7 years ago
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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Then don't charge the batteries in the car... Use cables to seperate the charging operation from the car.

I had the same idea when I got my Prius. It works in a very similar manner. Just like the Volt, there is a DC-DC converter that supplies 12 V from the high-voltage battery and the ICE will come on to charge the high-voltage battery.

I tried it for a while and it worked. However, the car always acted a bit differently after doing it. I decided the risk just wasn't worth it.

Also, consider the life-cycle of the battery. Every bit you use it for purposes other than driving the vehicle is less driving you will get out of the battery. With the replacement cost of the battery, it may not be worth it. A nice generator is way cheaper.

- John
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01-10-2013 06:55 PM  7 years ago
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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You guys are so pessimistic
No, just trying to guide people not to charge inside your car. Just an extra safety measure.
I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?
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01-10-2013 07:22 PM  7 years ago
cessna151

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Missouri... Originally Indiana

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This requires hooking it up directly to the small 12V battery terminals, not the cigarette lighter or the built-in AC outlets.
Correct. If you use the cigarette lighter then you are limited by the amp rating of its fuse.
--Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!--
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01-10-2013 11:09 PM  7 years ago
Makiedog

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Minneapolis

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No, I definitely am not planning to charge it inside the car.

JKos, the Prius has a much smaller battery, I believe it is NiMh whereas the Volt has a much bigger Li Ion pack that can power the car for 35-50 miles, I'm getting 37 in the winter. Perhaps it overdrains the NiMh? May explains why it could cause problem.

The Volt's 360V main pack will always top off the small 12V in the background. As long as I leave the main switch on, the IC engine will kick in every now and then to keep the main pack from falling under a 25% threshold until it runs out of gas. This can go on for hours.

Since my iCharger has a max charge rate of 20A, using 12V directly from the Volt, I can theoretically parallel charge my 2x 5S5800 mAh packs in about 40 minutes right? Or do you think I need to go with an inverter and power supply? Seems inefficient to convert to AC then back to DC again.
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