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Prius Electrical System

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Posted by Just Me on January 12, 2008, 2:52 pm
Here's a thought...
I have a gadget that is supposed to help jumpstart regular cars.  You plug
one end into your cigarette lighter and the other into the outlet of the
"dead" vehicle.  It is supposed to supply current to the battery like jumper
cables would.  Then after some time, you are supposed to be able to start
the "dead" vehicle after the battery gets some amount of charge.  IF this
would work on a Prius, what if I were to take my solar charger that plugs
into the lighter?  Would that charge the batteries in the Prius?

I'm thinking the answer would be no or they would be advertising this
already and selling the $0 solar charger for $50 with some hot-shot super
cool name.  Any thoughts?


Posted by Ike on January 12, 2008, 3:51 pm
When I first received my '04 (in October '03, days after
they became available), it seemed to make sense to
prepare for the eventuality of a dead 12V battery. It's
the high-voltage battery that starts the engine, but the
electronics have to be running from a little power
provided by a modest 12V source. I already had an
adequate solar panel with the correct output, and made
up a small battery pack using NiMH cells. With a
switchable isolation circuit, the car keeps that battery
pack charged, and at the airport the solar panel went on
the dash to keep it charged.

The idea was that if the car's 12V lead-acid battery
were to die, I could use the little battery pack to kick
off the electronics and get the car started. I felt very

Well, more than four years have passed. There's never
been a problem, even with the car remaining dormant for
many weeks, things left on overnight, etc.

In fact, there's never been any problem of any sort,
other than an odd beeping when the door is open,
ignition OFF and lights OFF.

Just Me wrote:

Posted by Stan on January 12, 2008, 4:04 pm

I believe the 12v aux outlet on the Prius is not even connected to the
electrical system until the car is "on", so this would not work unless the
outlet is rewired. Coastaletech.com sells a kit to do this for the 1G

Posted by Walter Morris on January 12, 2008, 4:04 pm
 Just Me wrote:

This won't work for one simple reason - the lighter power sockets aren't
'live' unless the car is on.

Walt Morris

Posted by Mr. G on January 12, 2008, 4:55 pm
 When the Prius is off, the high-voltage battery is physically
disconnected from the rest of the system by a relay, so you'd have to
connect the charging point between the battery and that solenoid.  Also,
since the HV system runs close to 300V, connecting a charger like that
directly to it would probably cause some interesting results.

@comcast.net says...

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