Heather’s Innovation and New Technologies Blog

No Power? Not a Problem With a Prius


   In observance of Blog Action Day (nod to fellow blogger Jordan Lee for informing me of this), I am joining bloggers across the country to discuss some ways that we can help the environment.  Although I’m not as environmentally conscious as I should be, I still like to do what I can to promote eco-friendly products and innovations.  We should all strive to protect the planet God has given us, so finding ways to conserve energy is definitely a plus.  Many people know that one of the ways we can conserve energy is by driving hybrid vehicles, but there is another use for these vehicles that some might not be aware of.  The next time you find yourself without electricity in your house, just hook it up…to your Prius.  That’s right.  An article in the New York Times highlights how the Toyota Prius can actually run power to your home.  Although no automaker is currently selling a plug-in hybrid vehicle, some people are choosing to make their own.  Here’s how it works: Just plug your Prius into your home’s backup uninterruptible power supply (or U.P.S. for short).  The battery pack keeps the U.P.S. online and the pack itself is recharged by the gasoline engine, which cycles on and off as needed.  The direct current electricity from the batteries is converted to household alternating current by the U.P.S. inverter.  This inverter also regulates the voltage.  As long as you keep gas in the tank, the Prius can easily produce enough power to maintain most of the basic functions of your home.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  You’re probably saying to yourself: “What?! It just sits there burning all that fuel?!  I thought this post was supposed to be about helping the environment, not polluting it!”  But get this: During one man’s recent power failure, his plug-in Prius used less than a gallon of gasoline in six hours.  Most of us use more than that making our daily runs to Starbucks (I don’t drink coffee, but hey, you gotta love the Toffee Almond Bar).  So when you put it into perspective, it doesn’t seem that bad. 

   Overall, I think the concept of running power to your house through your hybrid car is pretty interesting.  It allows people to be able to communicate and stay connected to one another even when the power is out for long periods of time, such as in locations that have a lot of hurricanes.  Many experts say that these types of vehicles could be very useful by being recharged at night when the demand for power is lower.  This means that less energy would be consumed during the hottest parts of the day, which could help avoid blackouts in some areas.  Some automakers are exploring the possibility of making this kind of plug-in more available to the general public.  Until then, maybe you could look into buying a hybrid and rig one up for yourself.  However, I’d say the best strategy for most of us is to just conserve energy by using a little less power in our homes and decrease pollution by driving less often.  Perhaps we can just cut our Starbucks trips down to every couple of days.  C’mon, you can go without that Caramel Macchiato a little more if it means saving the planet, right? 😉  




Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Environmetal action can be everyday… « Eternal Sunshine of the Innovative Mind pingbacked on 10 years, 1 month ago


  1. * jordanwlee says:

    High five for Blog Action Day.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago

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