Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Can I use Model X battery to power my tools?

tdave22

New Member
Sep 18, 2019
1
0
95134
Hi All,

I've been working on building a small cabin on a piece of land I own and have been thinking about purchasing a Model X. The land is about 10 miles away from my house. and I usually lug a generator back and forth to power my tools, but it occurred to me: Couldn't I just use the Tesla battery pack and an inverter for power and leave the generator at home?

I'm not sure if the Tesla Battery pack is accessible (battery terminals or something), to be able to hook up an inverter and then would the Tesla freak out - I've heard they're smart ;) - if the battery pack is being drained without the car being on? What could I reasonably power with the car if I was able to hook up an inverter? I figure I could power a drill no-problem, but what about something like a table saw?

It would definitely save me from stupidly burning gas while my electric vehicle sits there with it's grid power untapped.

Any thoughts?
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,492
1,106
Tampa, FL
The main battery is approx 400 volts, so you don't want to hook up to that. You can hook a 2500 watt inverter to the 12 volt battery. The main battery pack will periodically top off the 12 volt battery through the dc to dc converter. If the table saw is normally plugged into a 120 volt 15 amp circuit, it should work with a 2500 watt inverter.

This might void your warranty, though. It specifically prohibits using the car as a stationary power source.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: Xenoilphobe

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
601
476
New England, USA
Tippy is right - you can't really use the Tesla as a power source, but it would be a great idea.

If you are just using light weight power, such as charging Li batteries for a battery drill or a LED work light, one can use an inverter plugged into the cigarette/power outlet. It certainly won't run a table saw. I assume the 12V charger is light duty, and not built for continuous high amperage loads, and the 12V battery is pretty small.

I do use a power outlet charger a lot for running computers and charging cell phones, but that is rarely much over a 100 or so watts. I think my inverter is 1kw or less.
 

arnis

Member
Apr 13, 2015
920
596
Estonia
You can't use the battery but you can use energy from battery to power your tools.
If you correctly hook up 12V inverter you can definitely get things done.
If you want to go really hard core you can connect up to 2000W inverter to the 12V battery terminals.
Onboard 12V supply can give up to 2500W but vehicle needs some simultaneously. Can go above 2000W for a moment.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: GSP

DukeofURL

Member
Apr 1, 2016
468
531
North NJ
As the others have said, you COULD but you probably shouldn't - unless you absolutely need to. The pickup truck slated to be announced not long from now specifically states having a power outlet to run tools off of, but unfortunately I think it'll be years before we see that in a showroom.
 

Blup85

Member
Oct 26, 2016
792
665
Chico
If I setup 2 large 110Ah 12v batteries in parrallel and plugged in
My MS 12v battery in parallel to ease the constant load, does it seem plausible to power 1kw from the step down DC to DC converter in an "emergency", warranty be damned?
Asking for a friend that lives in Northern CA and looking for solutions.
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,492
1,106
Tampa, FL
If I setup 2 large 110Ah 12v batteries in parrallel and plugged in
My MS 12v battery in parallel to ease the constant load, does it seem plausible to power 1kw from the step down DC to DC converter in an "emergency", warranty be damned?
Asking for a friend that lives in Northern CA and looking for solutions.

You wouldn't need the external batteries. The car's 12 volts battery can supply 460 cold cranking amps for surges (5600 watts), and the dc-dc converter can provide 2400 watts continuously.
 

arnis

Member
Apr 13, 2015
920
596
Estonia
18-20% for non-walmart $199 clearance sale generators.
They are not as efficient because they are too small for optimal results.
Ideally each cylinder should be 500cc and there should be 3 of those. They usually don't have turbocharger, wasting energy even more.
 
Last edited:

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,492
1,106
Tampa, FL
A gallon of gas contains about 36 kwh of energy. If we're generous, the generator will extract 0.15 x 36 kwh, or 5.4 kwh. Here in Florida, I pay about $0.11 per kwh. So that's $0.59 for moving electrons compared to $2.40 a gallon for gas.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,330
15,240
New Mexico
Wow that's bad (I was thinking 10% inefficient).

A gallon of gas contains about 36 kwh of energy. If we're generous, the generator will extract 0.15 x 36 kwh, or 5.4 kwh. Here in Florida, I pay about $0.11 per kwh. So that's $0.59 for moving electrons compared to $2.40 a gallon for gas.

Yamaha is known for making the highest efficiency portable generators.
This one
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator Review - Generator Guide
provides 4.4 kWh from 1.1 gallons of fuel, so about 11.9% efficiency
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,492
1,106
Tampa, FL
Yamaha is known for making the highest efficiency portable generators.
This one
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator Review - Generator Guide
provides 4.4 kWh from 1.1 gallons of fuel, so about 11.9% efficiency

That includes the conversion from mechanical to electrical energy, too. To be equitable, we would have to include the losses in charging the battery and operating the inverter. If the generator is 85 % efficient in converting mechanical energy, the extraction of useful energy from the fuel is about 11.9 / 0.85, or 14%.

Charging the battery is about 96% efficient and running the inverter is around 90%, so about 85% overall.
 
Last edited:

ambudriver03

Member
Oct 26, 2019
182
116
Downey or Scottsdale
If I setup 2 large 110Ah 12v batteries in parrallel and plugged in
My MS 12v battery in parallel to ease the constant load, does it seem plausible to power 1kw from the step down DC to DC converter in an "emergency", warranty be damned?
Asking for a friend that lives in Northern CA and looking for solutions.

Did your friend do this?

I have a 2000w inverter that I can hook up to the twin SLA batteries in my truck

Has 140 amp alternator plus the two batteries. Should be able to power it at full bore... The cables are super thick though.

Luckily down in Los Angeles we hardly ever lose power for an extended period.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top