Power Backup

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Timothy, Sep 10, 2018.

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  1. Timothy

    Timothy Active Member

    With hurricane Florence possibly on the way, this seem like a good time to query this groups experience with using the Clarity with a AC inverter.

    We have a small inverter that will plug into the 'lighter' socket. I know we cannot pull much power from it. My real question is how to best set the Clarity up so that it will keep charging the 12 volt battery from the motive battery (preferably without starting the ICE (we don't plan to bring the Clarity below 50% but sometimes the ICE will still start)). Is there an accessory mode that will work?

    Anyway, I would love to hear from folks who have done this or who have theories on how it could best be done. Thanks.
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The following thread was started by a poster looking for a way to turn a Clarity PHEV into an emergency AC power source:

    Honda makes the Power Exporter 9000, which works with the Clarity Fuel Cell and the Japanese Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, but those cars have a CHAdeMO connector that allows power to be exported directly from the car, not through the 12-volt battery. Also, the Power Exporter 9000 costs around $10,000 and outputs 100 volts (the Japanese standard household voltage).

    No one is sure how fast the Clarity's DC-to-DC converter can replenish the car's 12-volt battery, so there's no clear answer to your question at this time. This interesting Prius-inverter link was included in one post in the referenced thread: https://invertersrus.com/prius-power-inverter/
  4. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    The amount of AC power you can use from an inverter plugged into a vehicle DC accessory outlet is so small that it's probably not worth doing. If you need a small amount of power for something like charging a cell phone, just plug it into the DC accessory outlet directly (with a USB converter of course!) while using the car.

    Power from a DC accessory outlet in a vehicle is usually maxed out at around 100-120 watts. That means 1 amp or less at 120 volts AC (volts X amps = watts), which is a tiny amount of power for anything useful. Get a deep cycle battery for your inverter if you have some electrical needs (keeping in mind that most small inverters also put out relatively little power). And, if you anticipate needing more than a few days worth of power from your inverter/battery set up, get a small generator to recharge the deep cycle battery. Just my 2 cents, but based on experience that comes from estimating power needs in an RV; those amps add up quick! And, bonus, you won't have to worry about discharging your car.
    insightman likes this.
  5. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    I have to agree insightman and sandroad - the Clarity isn't like a Leaf that (I think) has a provision for getting AC out. Our Clarity will be safely (I hope) tucked into the garage and charged but I'm not planning on it being any help except for charging phones, tablets or notebooks.


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