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Old 05-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JacobAziza View Post
I've been running sans alternator for about 2 months.
Its easier for me, since I have a diesel truck
(no ignition system to power, large dual batteries came stock; step 3 in the instructable Vehicle efficiency upgrades (Go 50-100% farther on a tank of fuel)),
but I suspect if you found a place to install a large deepcycle (RV style) battery you could get away with it too. Put in a battery switch so you can keep the old starting battery from discharging (so you don't accidentally get stranded) and then just run off the deepcycle.

At the end of the day recharge with outlet power.

I also added a 5w solar panel which helps, but not very much.

I don't think you can get much useable energy from waste heat with current technology without spending a whole lot of money, but I did just see a write up on a DIY project on that very topic: Charge Your Cellphone Using Wasted Heat (and Build a Steampunk Wall-E)


I looked into this and i've revised my energy availability projections. I also have a bit of a cost estimate. For every watt of power produced, expect to pay around $5 for JUST the peltier devices. After that you still have to mount the things to the exhuast, and find GOOD heat sinks. I'm doing this calcuation based on an average exhuast-side junction temperature of 150C, and cold side temp of 50C. I think solar power would be cheaper.

I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.

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Old 05-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stevey_frac View Post
I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.
I have no idea the watt draw of the ignition system, but for me 2-3 hours of driving is no problem, as long as I don't need the headlights and leave my (excessive, 360w) stereo system off.
Also, I have the alternator on a switch. If battery voltage does drop below 11v I just turn the alternator on for a few minutes, (the field switch lead between alternator and regulator, when it's disconnected the alternator freewheels)
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have no idea the watt draw of the ignition system, but for me 2-3 hours of driving is no problem, as long as I don't need the headlights and leave my (excessive, 360w) stereo system off.
Also, I have the alternator on a switch. If battery voltage does drop below 11v I just turn the alternator on for a few minutes, (the field switch lead between alternator and regulator, when it's disconnected the alternator freewheels)
By law, all cars in Canada are required to have running lights on at all times (you know it's dark 11 months of the year here?). That's gonna be a significant draw. I'm sure the computers don't use to much juice. The ignition system.. i have no idea. It's high voltage, and no amperage. I don't normally run the stero... Bah, i don't know. If we could quantify that the juice required to run the car normally with accessories off was low enough...
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevey_frac View Post
By law, all cars in Canada are required to have running lights on at all times...

If we could quantify that the juice required to run the car normally with accessories off was low enough...
1 Watt DLRs for $10(US): Product Listing - CAR

Come to think of it, it would be easy to measure:
Start the engine, disconnect battery positive and put an ampmeter inline between the battery post and the cable, then disconnect the alternator, and read the meter.
It should tell you exactly how much power is being drawn.
Check it at idle and at highway speed RPMs, with what ever acc. you commonly use on. Use whichever reading is the highest, multiply by number of hours you drive a day and you know the size in amp/hours of the battery you would need. (or multiply again by 12volts to get watt-hours for solar recharge need)
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobAziza View Post
1 Watt DLRs for $10(US): Product Listing - CAR

Come to think of it, it would be easy to measure:
Start the engine, disconnect battery positive and put an ampmeter inline between the battery post and the cable, then disconnect the alternator, and read the meter.
It should tell you exactly how much power is being drawn.
Check it at idle and at highway speed RPMs, with what ever acc. you commonly use on. Use whichever reading is the highest, multiply by number of hours you drive a day and you know the size in amp/hours of the battery you would need. (or multiply again by 12volts to get watt-hours for solar recharge need)
Are all DRL's made equal? like.. i could definitely put them into my car and they'd fit?? (if so.. i may be placing an order)

I don't have an ammeter rated for higher then 10 amp. And at 10 amp, you only allowed to have it connected for 10 seconds... I'm almost certain that 10 AMP wouldn't cut it.

-Steve
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevey_frac View Post
Are all DRL's made equal? like.. i could definitely put them into my car and they'd fit?? (if so.. i may be placing an order)

I don't have an ammeter rated for higher then 10 amp. And at 10 amp, you only allowed to have it connected for 10 seconds... I'm almost certain that 10 AMP wouldn't cut it.

-Steve
They are not all equal, but that site has 7 different designs, plus other auto style bulbs, so you could probably find something that fit (some cost a little more)

You're right, a standard multimeter probably couldn't handle it.
You could try using progressively smaller rated fuses, the first one that blows, the last one was about the current draw.

Here's a simpler idea from google: WikiAnswers - How do you test for current draw in a car using a volt meter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stevey_frac View Post
I looked into this and i've revised my energy availability projections. I also have a bit of a cost estimate. For every watt of power produced, expect to pay around $5 for JUST the peltier devices. After that you still have to mount the things to the exhuast, and find GOOD heat sinks. I'm doing this calcuation based on an average exhuast-side junction temperature of 150C, and cold side temp of 50C. I think solar power would be cheaper.

I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.
Check this:

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehicles...eer_kushch.pdf

I think even if you only generated say, 50 watts on the highway, you'd extend the drive time of your deep cycle batteries by a large margin. This based on Daox and MetroMPG recent testing.

-Steve

EDIT: If i had a bit of extra cash.. i'd be building something fo sho. Perhaps after i move into my new house. I'm totally qualified to build something like this!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Ok, so running 5 TEC's in series would give you 17.5 volts at no current. As you draw more current, the voltage drops. You have to be above the battery voltage to produce any current at all.

Most TECs are the type to used cool things. These don't allow very high operating temperatures, and their efficiency as power generators is very low. You would have to find a company that manufactured modules specifically for power generation. I think what i would do would be to put the hot side on the exhuast, and cool the cold side with engine coolant. You'd probably want to insulate the exhaust system ahead of the power generation pack to ensure temps were higher. It would also work well in combination with a warm air intake, as it would boost exhaust temperatures.

You wouldn't need much coolant to keep the cold side at more or less coolant temperature, as it take a phenomenal amount of heat to heat any significant flow of engine coolant.

I think 50w would be totally doable. That's just a little over 4 amp at 12v.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have done some quick browsing on this a while back. I didn't find any TECs that could handle that kind of heat. Have you found some?
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have done some quick browsing on this a while back. I didn't find any TECs that could handle that kind of heat. Have you found some?
POWER GENERATION TEG - HIGH TEMP THERMOELECTRIC PELTIER on eBay.ca (item 310135519982 end time 12-Jul-09 17:42:12 EDT)

Those claim they are power generation TECs but they are not. They're regular TEC's with higher temp solder. Even still they are good to operate up to 225 Degrees. What kind of exhuast temps does a car typically see? That's one i'm not sure of. I think true high temp TECs are good up to about 250 degrees. and you'd be able to keep the cold side down at 85-90 degrees with the cooling system.

Truthfully, you'd almost be better to make your own cooling system separately for it... It would add size, weight, cost and complexity, but imagine in the winter! Cold side... -10. Hot side... +200! I'd be able to run my heated seats!

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