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Thread: Gasoline heater for Winter driving?

  1. #31
    Senior Member JRP3's Avatar
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    If that's true then wouldn't it take less than 3.5 kWh of pack energy to deliver 3.5 kWh of heat?

  2. #32
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    Well I believe the data for how much power it takes to heat the car and battery comes from actual owners' experience. Given that, whatever the method is of delivering the heat, the amount needed seem to be in the range of 6-7 kW. My understanding is that they use a heat pump, but that only works if they've got heat to pump. I believe they use the drive train waste heat as the source, but I've not heard that they try to use sub-freezing ambient air and am a bit doubtful that would work very well.

  3. #33
    Senior Member stopcrazypp's Avatar
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    Heat pump efficiency approaches 1 at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). I also remember reading that they do use coolant from the drive-train as a heat source (similar to how an ICE does it).

    I think we have to keep in mind the Model S is heating both the cabin and the battery pack, whereas EVs like the 2012 Leaf is heating only the cabin.
    Because there are tons of crazy people in this world...

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmore View Post
    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.
    At my work we are installing Espar Airtronic diesel fueled cabin heaters for our Canadian customers. I am considering installing one of these in my model S. I think this would be a valuable feature for extreme cold conditions like we have been having this winter. I wouldn't need 99% of the time, except for when I need to push every bit of range from my car on road trips. Sure, having more superchargers would solve the issue, but at this point they are still not on my way up north. These heaters are very efficient, and can run almost 24 hours on 1 gallon of diesel. So for me, in the winter I have the choice of burning 20 gallons of diesel to use my truck, burning half a gallon or less of diesel with this device in my Tesla, or burning nothing but freezing my a$$ off and foggy windows without it. I recently read an article in InsideEV of someone doing this in their Mitsubishi EV. I think for a select few like my self, this is a worthy feature. To experiment I am trying to make this a modular/removable system (the footwell in the back trunk) so I don't void my tesla warranty. Just need to find a way to run the exhaust out of the car. Anyone else try this on their Tesla Model S yet?

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  5. #35
    Senior Member mknox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glhs272 View Post
    At my work we are installing Espar Airtronic diesel fueled cabin heaters for our Canadian customers. I am considering installing one of these in my model S.
    My sense is that the big hit comes from heating the battery, not the cabin. The battery is a big, broad sheet under the car that is constantly radiating any internal heat to the atmosphere.
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  6. #36
    Heart of the Alaska Range AudubonB's Avatar
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    I'm writing this with a bit of remorse, as I do not advocate the direction of this thread. That aside:

    one feature of trucks - both semis and pickups - that run to/from the Arctic Ocean midwinter is to have insulation on every bit of exposed undercarriage items they can, and most especially their fuel tanks. Even though they are, of course, running diesel #1, and even though a constantly running diesel returns excess, engine-warmed diesel back to the tank, thus heating the remaining fuel, it is cheap protection to insulate that tank.

    The analogous protection would be to insulate the Tesla's exposed battery bank. Someone wishing to go this route might consider affixing velcro "A" as perimeter strips on the battery case, plus a few in the middle, and "B" along an appropriately-sized patch of the kind of aluminized bubble-wrap insulation you can buy for garage doors, etc. I have a superinsulation that is laminate foil-foam-foil that has better insulative qualities than that material, but it's back in AK and I don't recall its name.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknox View Post
    My sense is that the big hit comes from heating the battery, not the cabin. The battery is a big, broad sheet under the car that is constantly radiating any internal heat to the atmosphere.
    No doubt the battery takes a big chunk of energy. Not much you can do about that, short of installing a second hydronic heater in the battery coolant loop. However, I have found the cabin heat takes a large chunk of energy too. Obviously on these long road trips I have been preheating as much as possible. When I get going I switch to range mode (hoping this reduces battery heating after preheat). The battery heating message usually goes away anyway. Then the heat generated from driving maintains the heat in the battery (or so the theory goes). I have found that when I turn the cabin heat off the power meter zeros out (not sure if the power meter captures battery heater load), so it definitely captures cabin heating. The regen limit doesn't come on so either the drivetrain heat is adequate or the battery heater still comes on without any way of telling.

    I guess to boil it down, to get from the Mauston, WI supercharger to my destination in Rhinelander, WI (177 miles) turning off the cabin heat makes the difference of making there vs. not making it. It gets really hairy past Stevens Point as there are no public charging options available (it's a charging desert in northern Wisconsin). When I make this run with heat turned off, I usually make it with about 6 to 8 miles of rated range remaining (0 to 12*F). I dress like I am going snowmobiling so I don't get too cold, but keeping the windows from fogging is usually the most difficult part.

    On Tesla's supercharger map they are planning on a Wausau supercharger this year. So once that is running this would really make this whole system moot in that particular case. But there are situations where it still might help.

    - - - Updated - - -

    [QUOTE=AudubonB;599258]I'm writing this with a bit of remorse, as I do not advocate the direction of this thread. QUOTE]

    yeah I know, seems like an anathema to electric vehicles to be putting some kind of fuel burner on it. But burning something to for heat is much more efficient than burning something to make it move. I still have to burn natural gas to heat my house unfortunately.
    Last edited by glhs272; 03-06-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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  8. #38
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    You americans have never heard of sth thats called insulation? We in Germany do this with our houses. It is forbidden to not insulate if you are building a new house.
    A new house here only needs 4MWh of heat in Winter. There are even some that dont need any heat at all in winter.
    Insulating a Tesla would be very easy and energy saving. You dont need to cool in summer or heat in winter.

  9. #39
    Senior Member JRP3's Avatar
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    You can't really put 6 inches or more of insulation in a car, though I'm sure the insulation could be improved. You would still need heating and cooling, remember your house doesn't travel down the road at 75+ mph on a regular basis. Think massive wind chill.

  10. #40
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    @ JRP3 thank you......... thats right. 1cm of insulation would be already great.
    http://www.u-wert.net/berechnung/u-wert-rechner/ Here you can put in your material parameters to calculate thermal transmittance but independent of distance travelled.
    So you would also have to calculate how much air surface is flowing around your car within a second.
    The glass is certainly the biggest problem. Does the Model S use waste heat for heating? Would be convenient.

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