Hybrid Toyota Prius Used To Power Up a Refrigerator and More
It turns out Hybrid vehicles do more than just save gas. In times of crisis such as power outages due to severe weather (ice storms or hurricanes) a Hybrid vehicle which produces and stores electricity in its battery can be converted into a generator and used to power up a home. It's true. In fact, it has already been done a few times.
The most recent news of a hybrid used as a generator to power up a home comes from Harvard, Massachusetts. In Harvard Massachusetts, an electrical engineer named John Sweeney used his Toyota Prius, and five gallons of gas to power up parts of his home. For 3 days last month he powered his refrigerator, TV, woodstove fan and several lights in his home during a long power outage caused by an ice storm that hit December 12th. To do this he found an inverter and wired it into his Prius then converted the DC power from his car into AC power for his house.
If you're wondering why more people haven't tried this instead of buying an expensive generator its because not just anyone can to do this. As Ned Hibberd from Fox 26 news put it, there is nothing in the owner's manual to tell you how to do it so you really have to know what you're doing before converting your hybrid into a generator. Like a regular generator, for safety, you can't leave your car running in enclosed spaces.
John Sweeny definitely knew what he was doing. He is an electrical engineer who has been following hybrid technology since his college years (1970s). Read his detailed explanation in The Harvard Press online of why and how he converted his car into a generator.
If you would like to know more about hybrid vehicles and How Hybrid Cars Work visit How Stuff Works