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Old 10-10-2019, 11:49 AM   #53 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Texas
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Where to do the thermal storage?

First thing I can think of is how to store the heat energy from a car in such a way it can both be captured without leaking heat and will not weigh so much (think: huge seal and outer foam insulated water container) it would kill the car's fuel economy, thus largely defeating the point.

The other thing is how does running a car engine for heat compare to running, say, an heat exchanger / A/C in reverse for heating?

One idea, wind some sort of water filled coil around the area near the pistons/explosions and exhaust and use that to drive a steam engine that charges a battery and then have the gas recondense on part of the coil that hangs outside the car in the cold. Maybe even have it directly recharge the 12v battery, reducing the amount of power the alternator needs to take from the engine to run accessories.

Then again, I own all electric vehicles that have no such heat loss and, in the greater scheme of things, would recommend just dumping all the complexity and getting a solar charged EV setup like I have at home or, depending on the location, perhaps hydrothermal, wind, or another non-wood based renewable energy source and skip the initial problem altogether. And/or at least just plain old build, say, such a steam engine generator into remaining natural gas electricity generation plants, if they don't have such already, and power the EV through those as a second option as they don't have the thermal storage mass issues a car would for such a setup.
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