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Old 10-31-2015, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine suplementary heating - Reduced comsumption/emissions/interior heating

Just wondering if any of the ecomoder fellas here have designed a standalone engine heater. I'm not talking about a plug in block heater, as I wont be able to use it in urban areas.

Since i upgraded my OH diesel from IDI to DI diesel engine, the car only gets to 60C after 7 miles of driving and it does not normally reach temperature, unless we're on the motorway. This decreases my economy in about 1l/100KM.

The electric is even worse. We're talking about 2-4KW in heating alone. A big hit on the 8KW battery pack, whose capacity already goes to 60-80% below -10C.

I've been looking into the webasto series of diesel heaters, although I don't think these will fit my needs exactly. Being a diesel heater start and stop are not instant and I will likely need some sort of water accumulator to smooth out the temperature. I also don't trust units with 15+ years of use.

Ideally I would like to use some LPG based heater. like those used to heat water at home. These are pretty instant and clean (no diesel smell/leak) and require no electrical supply other than the circulating pump. As an advantage flame intensity can be controlled to match demand.

Just wondering if this was something discussed in the past or anyone has further ideas that could be useful.

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Old 10-31-2015, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe you have a thermostat that has failed in the open position.

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Old 10-31-2015, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thermostat is fine. No coolant flow below 78C. All modern diesels come with supplementary heating, often electric. But this is pointless in a fuel saving situation or where one wants to demist the windscreen without idling the car for 15 min.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Grille block, insulated engine bay, insulated oil pan - I assume you've tried all of these?

There are also diesels (VW and Peugeot/Citroen, for example) which have a 12V coolant heater made out of 1-4 glowplugs. Yes, these add an electrical load, but the extra load on the engine helps it heat up faster. Increases fuel consumption, but in the long run may turn out to be cheaper than a stand alone engine heater - depends on the fuel you will use.

Another option is the gen II Prius thermos - will keep coolant warm overnight, so even if you do not get full warm up now, then you have a head start next time. Check out Heat storage system (Prius-like insulated coolant reservoir).
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[Old] Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Grille block, insulated engine bay, insulated oil pan - I assume you've tried all of these?

There are also diesels (VW and Peugeot/Citroen, for example) which have a 12V coolant heater made out of 1-4 glowplugs. Yes, these add an electrical load, but the extra load on the engine helps it heat up faster. Increases fuel consumption, but in the long run may turn out to be cheaper than a stand alone engine heater - depends on the fuel you will use.

Another option is the gen II Prius thermos - will keep coolant warm overnight, so even if you do not get full warm up now, then you have a head start next time. Check out Heat storage system (Prius-like insulated coolant reservoir).
I'm not really looking for any other mods, other than quickly pre-heating the engine as required. Electrically this poses a problem as I don't always have electricity available or I don't want to run down my traction pack on the EV.

I could store coolant, but to be of any real use I would need at least 30liters storage and that's a bit to carry around.

So the only practical way I've found was with the use of fuel burning auxiliary heaters, hence my question on possible experiences with them.

I'm surprised if no one has used them before, as many cars such as BMW/Jaguar/others use them since the late 90's.
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Drain your oil to the MIN mark, made a huge difference on my TDI. Used to take 10km to get to temp, with the oil on MIN it behaved almost like a petrol car.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know how you can get a ton of free heat to keep the engine warm in winter.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ger-29085.html
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I know how you can get a ton of free heat to keep the engine warm in winter.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ger-29085.html
That works nicely on a petrol, since the exhaust temperature is fairly constant. On a diesel, exhaust depends on engine loading as the air supply is unthrottled. These low exhaust temperatures are what causes exhausts to clog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
Drain your oil to the MIN mark, made a huge difference on my TDI. Used to take 10km to get to temp, with the oil on MIN it behaved almost like a petrol car.
That's odd..? I would have thought that the energy needed to heat up 1 or 2l of oil would be residual when one first needs to heat up 80KG of metal? Could it be your temperature gauge is measuring the oil temperature, rather than the coolant?

I ordered some of these diesel heaters, so ill keep some updates on this. For the diesel its a case of plug and forget. It should run to the set temperature for a few minutes and shut off, with the engine maintaining until the car goes off again.

For the electric I think the simplest option is to let the coolant reach 80C, and use an external thermostat to divert excess heat outside. This ensures the heater runs continuously and efficiently at its lowest setting (2KW at 0.3l/H).

I like the tank idea in the sense I could pre-charge the tank and/or keep the car warm when plugged in, I'm just having trouble finding a well insulated tank I could fit in the engine bay. Ideas?
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cts_casemod View Post
That's odd..? I would have thought that the energy needed to heat up 1 or 2l of oil would be residual when one first needs to heat up 80KG of metal? Could it be your temperature gauge is measuring the oil temperature, rather than the coolant?
No, it was purely a coolant gauge, not the only time it's been a success. I had a little Suzuki 1.3 where the oil hadn't been changed in years. It also refused to warm up. Changed the oil and back to normal with impressively short warm ups. Oil quantity and quality are critical to warm up times. I never run any cars oil level over the half way mark now.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You might look at Jeep Liberty diesels- they have a small friction heater that is activated at low temperatures. It uses a clutch very similar to an A/C compressor and is belt driven. Just an idea.

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