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Gasoline heater for Winter driving?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by RDoc, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Some trucks, boats and airplanes use a separate gasoline or diesel heater such as the Espar for preheating the engine and for cabin heat.

    My guess is that about 8kw (~25k BTU) would be needed for the battery and cabin heat at 15F and 60 mph, that's roughly 135 w/mi extra which would burn about 1 liter or .25 gal/hr to heat the battery and the cabin while driving. With a timer it would eliminate the overnight range loss and have the car completely preheated in the morning while using very little battery power and fuel.

    I'm not sure what the additional cost would be, probably somewhat more than a second charger, but between overnight losses, battery heating, and cabin comfort, it could add well over 70 miles of range in cold weather.

    Other than a heater, I'm not sure what options Tesla has for cold climate driving. People aren't going to be happy driving for hours with the heat off at 55 mph, or stopping every 3 hours for over an hour and a half to recharge, even if there were enough Superchargers. Once the X becomes available and more people start wanting to drive to Grandma's with young kids in the car it's going to be even less acceptable.
     
  2. CarbonTax

    CarbonTax Member

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    feel your pain/chill!
    heated floor mats (my trademark pending :biggrin:) would be a nice intermediary
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #3 doug, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Hmm... I'm blanking on which manufacturer it was now, but I believe one had suggested a Webasto type heater running on ethanol (or some such) in an otherwise pure EV.

    Webasto - Parking Heaters for Automobiles

     
  4. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    I read that Volvo's C30 EV had such a heater for the winter climates. I could run on natural gas to save the battery.

    Who other then Volvo would come up with something like that? I don't think it's a really weird idea. Burning a gas gives you a lot of heat with a very high efficiency.
     
  5. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    #5 sp4rk, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    They've been doing this for decades with high end motorhomes ... and long distance trucks?
    There's another company companies like Prevost converters and Newell Coach use ... not Webasto ... er ...
    Aqua-Hot Heating Systems for RV, UTV, RTV

    Provides hot water for bathrooms too if I recall correctly?
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Yeah, I'm not saying a Webasto type heater is anything new. Just that in recent news Volvo (thanks widodh), for example, is doing something like that in a car that is otherwise pure EV apparently using E85.

    Volvo plans an EV - Page 4
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Umm, the PSA EVs of yesteryear also did it.

    Opel also programmed the Ampera to do it.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I believe 10-12 kW are required for full cabin and pack heat (judging by the somewhat hard-to-read-precisely power gauge).

    But maintaining temperature once things are warmed up doesn't take anywhere near that. Maybe 1-2 kW. So I'm not certain how useful this would be in the real world. Better to simply warm up the car prior to unplugging.
     
  9. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    It is already on the market. Called the Volt.
     
  10. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    Thanks for that video!

    Now since my post is not only C30 I'm posting it here.

    In really cold climates where it goes well below freezing I get that this would be nice. Pumping 10kW of power into the cabin is pretty easy by burning a fuel.

    How? Do they run the engine for it or is there actually a dedicated heater?
     
  11. Laumb

    Laumb smrtass.

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    Putting a gasoline heater In the futuristic electric car is just stalling the development. Who really wants to chase better Technologies to solve the heating problem if the customers Are happy with a little bit of cheap, ancient technology?

    Its a bit like quitting smoking, but then do heroin a little tiny bit to get off the nicotine rush. Its not gonna get you there.


    _____
    Tapatalkin' from iTalatut.
     
  12. lmore

    lmore Member

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    I would like such a heater, even for my Roadster. Need it for emergency use, if stuck in cold weather, but also sometimes to maximize range.
    Did anyone install or plan to install such a system in a Model S? Roadster?

    I know a 2 kWh diesel-fueled cabin air-blower has been installed in a Leaf, but I haven't heard of anyone that has installed a non-electric system that heats the battery.

    How should a system that heats the battery be installed in a Model S/Roadster?
    I guess since the temperature of the battery is liquid-controlled (unlike the Leaf) one could use the heater to heat the liquid. But what's the best way of doing that?
    I guess warranty will be void, but the warranty of my Roadster is expired.
     
  13. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    IMO a 7kW E85 heater would not "taint a pure EV" or be "ancient technology". Instead it's a very cost effective way, far cheaper than adding 3.5kWh to the battery pack for a 30 minute heating run. A must for EVs in northern countries at current battery prices. Hell, even our test driver Mr Broder from NYT would have greatly benefited from a pre-heated Model S-85 with only 8 miles of range loss due to vampire drain :tongue:
     
  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    If the purpose is to produce heat, combustion is rather efficient way to do it. I expect that natural gas heating is more efficient than using natural gas to produce electricity at the power plant and then running it through a resistive heater.

    If there were an auxiliary heater in an EV, I'd prefer it ran on something clean burning like propane rather than gasoline (how common is E85?). You could just periodically exchange the cylinder.

    PC16OZONDEMAND-2.jpg
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I believe the Ampera just runs the ICE as needed for extra heat. I suppose a Webasto type heater could be useful to reduce the cold start wear on the ICE in a PHEV.
     
  16. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    My 2012 Volt runs the ICE of outdoor temp less than 25 degrees F.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Is that to warm the battery as well as the cabin?
     
  18. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    mh12c_big.jpg

    And if it's really cold

    mh12t.jpg

    Of course you are now driving a hybrid :wink:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Except that 3.5kWh of extra battery would also give you extra range in warmer weather.
     
  19. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    It's and EVAH = Electric Vehicle Auxiliary Heat
     
  20. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Depending on where you get your electricity, amazingly it's a hybrid that's more efficient than a pure EV.

    Except that you might not need or want to pay for that extra capacity. Obviously if batteries are cheap and don't weigh anything, then the sky's the limit.
     

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