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Whats the largest Power Inverter you can use in a Tesla?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Toasty, Nov 26, 2016.

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Whats the largest Power Inverter you can use in a Tesla?

  1. 200 watts

    9 vote(s)
    25.7%
  2. 400 watts

    3 vote(s)
    8.6%
  3. 500 watts

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. 1000 watts

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  5. 1500 watts+

    20 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    Shouldn't have a problem, since the MacBook Air doesn't use that much power. I have a 150W inverter that I use with a Surface, no problem. It uses a similar amount of power to your Air.
     
  2. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Tesla has a service bulletin for properly tapping into the 12V supply circuit for auxiliary devices.
     
  3. appleguru

    appleguru Member

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    Indeed, but it still only gets you a 15A circuit. So if you need more than ~ 150W you'll want to hook up the 12V battery directly.
     
  4. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    charge another Tesla using an inverter???
     
    • Funny x 1
  5. Drone Flyer

    Drone Flyer Active Member

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    Can you plug your charger cable in it? LOL!
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I hooked up a projector to my 12V plug while waiting in the Model 3 line. Not enough amps to keep it from powering down in a few seconds though. :(
     
    • Like x 1
  7. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    So what is the conclusion , is it ok to wire a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter straight to the battery without voiding teslas high voltage battery warranty ?
     
  8. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Green1, thanks for the information ... can you post a few photos of your installation? :cool:
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    • Helpful x 2
    • Informative x 1
  10. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Mine is not a pure sine inverter, it's a 1000w inverter, I can't remember the brand (and would have to take a wheel off to check) It was something I picked up at Canadian Tire (large all-purpose hardware/housewares/automotive supply chain here)
    I used 4 AWG wire directly to the 12V battery posts with a 100A fuse on the positive terminal, and replaced the switch on the inverter with a relay that's only live when the car is "on" (fed from the fuse box relay that controls the 12v centre console outlet)

    On the downside, the location I mounted it in in the passenger fender isn't quite as weatherproof as I'd like, and it obviously is subject to occasional road spray when the roads are really sloppy out (I get occasional error beeps from that fender, but only in bad weather). I'm going to work on better weatherproofing for it in a few weeks when I'm changing over to my winter wheels and have the wheel off anyway.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. graphyphoto

    graphyphoto New Member

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    I'm curious as to the real world uses for the inverter. This mod sounds great for a SHTF scenario. What have you guys plugged into the 120V socket?
     
  13. adamzcy

    adamzcy New Member

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    I have purchased a 2000w (peak 4000w) inverter earlier on without considering the cable size and the car's DC-DC inverter capacity.

    While still at the design stage of the setup, I myself have a few factors to consider that I would like to share.

    1. The intention is to install the inverter in my 2014 MS's frunk.

    2. For a 2000w inverter I will probably need cables and fuse rated 200 Amp or even higher. Such cable would be rather thick and difficult to run. I will probably need to drill two holes on the frunk enclosure in order for the cables to enter.

    3. Considering the high current drain and the relatively small capacity of the 12v battery (33Ah), I will have to keep the car power on whole the inverter is in use.

    4. My original need was to plug in a high pressure car washer (rated 1500w), since my parking lot is too far to run cable from my house. If the setup can be built successfully, I suppose other purpose can be explored, such as connecting to portable fridge, or powering up a projector for camping.

    Please share your concerns or suggestions if any. Cheers.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. n2mb_racing

    n2mb_racing Member

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    You probably want 2 awg wire, keep the runs short. You'll want a higher amp fuse to allow for surge current when starting large motors. Check what the inverter manual recommends.

    I don't know if you need to keep the car on. I believe the car will monitor the battery voltage while it is off and kick on the DC/DC whenever needed. But, it might cycle a lot, adding wear on your contactors. So, keeping it on if you only use it for a short while might be better.

    I was thinking of a similar setup for emergency house power, but that would be continuous use, at lower current.
     
  15. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    I would keep the car on while you are using it at a load. Otherwise you will be cycling the low voltage battery like mad, and may suffer low voltage cutoff on the inverter. Otherwise it should be very similar to a stereo amplifier install.

    If you are planning to use this for home backup power, know that it is cause for voiding of your battery warranty.
     
  16. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I wouldn't run a power washer off my Tesla...
     
  17. lymex2018

    lymex2018 Member

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    There is a current sensor monitoring the output of the DC-DC converter which can be viewed by apps such as Scan my Tesla.
    Screenshot_20180107-101454p.png
    I believe if the car sees continuous draw of certain current say greater than 7A (or if the DC-DC output power exceeds certain level), the DC-DC converter won't turn off even if the car is in sleeping mode. If that is the case, there is no worry about the cycling of the 12V battery.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    "Warranty Limitations

    This New Vehicle Limited Warranty does not cover any vehicle damage or malfunction directly or indirectly caused by, due to or resulting from normal wear or deterioration, abuse, misuse, negligence, accident, improper maintenance, operation, storage or transport, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
    (...)
    • Using the vehicle as a stationary power source;"
     
    • Helpful x 1
  19. adamzcy

    adamzcy New Member

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    I wonder how does Tesla define 'stationary power source'.

    There are many ways that power can be drawn from a Tesla car. Some examples are:
    1. Charging your mobile phone using the USB socket.
    2. Connecting a USB charger using a cigarette lighter socket to USB adapter.
    3. Connecting a power inverter (150W or less) to the cigarette lighter socket.
    4. Connecting a inverter to draw power directly from the 12V battery.
    5. Drawing power direct from the main battery.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. adamzcy

    adamzcy New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I probably enjoy the process of designing and building the setup more than the actual utility of having the system itself.
     

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