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Creating 1500 watts of power in the trunk of my car

  1. Jul 2, 2015 #1
    Good afternoon everyone! I've exhausted my initial ideas for supporting 1500 watts of power in the trunk of my car, for intermittent use with a wall plug connection. My first thought was a simple power inverter, however, ideally I won't be running this power from my car battery. This has proven to be expensive to support the required wattage. I then considered using a portable power station - I have not been able to find one that can run at 1500w with an outlet or converter for a basic wall plug. Another alternative would be a small gas powered generator to keep in my vehicle. If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. Jul 2, 2015 #2


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  4. Jul 2, 2015 #3
    For how long are you gonna use those 1500W of power each day? Does it have to be usable while you are driving? In that case a generator would not be very practical since you can't use it inside a closed car.
  5. Jul 2, 2015 #4


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    How much can you spend? What are you powering?

    Carrying around a second IC engine and alternator seems a waste. You are already carrying an IC engine around and you could upgrade the alternator you already have. The upgrade and wiring cost will probably not be terribly more expensive than a generator.

  6. Jul 2, 2015 #5


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    I would hope the OP doesn't plan to run the generator in the trunk while driving the car.:smile:
    In terms of simplicity, portability, efficiency at low power levels and stability of output a small inverter type generator is hard to beat for intermittent use while not in motion. As the OP said the main alternative for 1000+ watts of power while driving is a battery powered inverter with a separate deep discharge battery bank and charging system powered by the cars engine. That's not something you can just drop in the trunk and drive off with.
  7. Jul 2, 2015 #6
    How about the tesla power wall? That will easily fit in the trunk and stores 7kWh.
  8. Jul 2, 2015 #7
    I don't know why you need a 1.5kW supply to the trunk, but the power does not have to be generated there.
    The vehicle already has a generator which extracts power from the engine.
    It should not be very hard to add additional generators which are powered by the engine, or replace the existing one with a more heavy duty device.
  9. Jul 2, 2015 #8


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    With an older car it was pretty easy to just add a split charger circuit and a leisure deep-cycle battery in addition to the starter battery. Modern cars are just too smart for that with advanced ECU systems that monitor the SOC of the starter battery and reduce voltage to save fuel leaving the other battery flat. If the power requirement was a few hundred watts it would be easy to tie into the existing system but 1.5kW at 12Vdc is a lot of current to supply in a modern car without the ECU thinking something is wrong even if you have a completely separate charging system.
  10. Jul 2, 2015 #9
    Maybe the ECU could be fooled by leaving the existing generator as it is,
    and adding another generator somewhere near the engine's moving parts.
    I'm thinking of some pulleys attached to the radiator pump mechanism or something like that.
    They then provide the mechanical drive for the new generator.
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