Using A Prius As An Emergency Generator

I’ve been in Brookline, Massachusetts sleeping on my brother’s couch for the past few days and one of the things I noticed that was distinctly different from my New Jersey surroundings was all the snow and ice.

Well apparently last week there was a bit of a nasty ice storm around these parts and with the ice storm, power was lost. So given my location, and my consumption of Digg posted content, it’s no surprise one such article caught my attention.

From the Harvard Press, I read about Harvard native John Sweeney, a member of the town’s conservation-minded Heat Advisory Committee, who took a “characteristically green approach to powering his home during the storm”.

According to the article, John had 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 Toyota 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.

Now THAT’s innovation!

I ended up doing a few Google searches and there’s an entire community of people already doing this. For more on how to turn your Prius into a generator, click here.

Article credit: Harvard Press

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