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Old 07-18-2009, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
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Prius C - '12 Toyota Prius C
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You have an OE compressor lying around. That's going to outperform a 12V system, plain and simple. Alternator at 50% efficiency * 12VDC A/C motor at 70% efficiency draws three times the power of the belt-driven arrangement.

But to address the problem you posed, I can think of two smartass solutions:

One, find a large enough 12V motor, and attach its shaft right to the shaft of your factory A/C compressor. Mount the assembly anywhere in the car, but preferably close to the alternator. Attach the factory A/C clutch switch to a solenoid that drives the 12V motor.

Two, find a home window A/C unit with relatively low amperage draw. Hack it apart and mount it anywhere in the car. Plug it in to a large inverter. Install a cooling fan on the inverter.

Either way, you'll need an alternator upgrade.
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