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Mark's PriUPS

There is substantial information about the development of Prius UPS systems on the Northern Arizona Wind and Sun Forum. Quite a nice forum for anything related to solar energy - on or off grid.  I have used information from this forum with the intent of eventually getting rid of my dinosaur 6500 watt gasoline generator that is the backup power for my solar system. My handle is MarkC.on the forum.

In Summary:

  • The basic equipment is a Gen II 2009 Prius, an APC SURT 5000 or 6000 VA Smart UPS (I have both), and a SURT 003 isolation transformer to provide the needed 240 volt split phase power to my solar sub-panel.
  • The SURT 5000 was purchased for parts - connectors mainly - but upon installing good battery packs (16 SLAs), it works fine - so it is my "test" UPS.  If something goes wrong, not too much of a loss.
  • Current status is that the installation of the needed Prius battery connections are complete.  The cable to the SURTs use Anderson connectors as shown in this picture.   The short cable from the battery connections will be stored inside the spare tire well.
  • I have run one test on the SURT 5000 using a 1800 watt hair dryer - the results are on the forum, but I've attached a better PDF.
  • The plan is for all the components to be moved to a rural cabin that is a family "retreat" - especially if something goes really wrong in Houston, TX (like another big hurricane) that also wipes out the southeast Texas grid system.  Already been through that at the cabin that luckily did not wipe out the grid at the cabin (but certainly did in Houston - weeks for some).
  • The SURTS will be actually stacked on a "dolly" inside the Solar Shed at the rural property.  Attached is a picture of the shed and solar panels and also the on/off grid solar system panel inside the shed.  You can see the "dolly" below the solar equipment panel.
  • The Prius will be driven up next to the shed, the 8 AWG cable attached to the SURT (likely the 6000), a traditional 30 amp 240 volt split phase connection made between the subpanel and SURT 003 - and I'm off and running to supply the well pump and small A/C unit and efficient refrigerator with power - hopefully as long as needed.  I hopefully will be testing the overall system after the holidays.

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