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Old 10-12-2009, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
Gen II Prianista
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Gen II Prius ICE Radiant Heat Reflector

I've got a piece of "super insulation/radiant barrier," made up of heavy duty
aluminum foil bonded to both sides of 1/4 inch thick plastic foam. The piece
is about 36 in. by 48 in. I'm thinking about using it as a radiant heat
reflector/thermal blanket over the top of the ICE in my Gen II. The goal is
to help retain heat as the temps drop and help keep FE/MPGs up.

I won't cover the electronics package/DC to DC converter, as I don't
want/need it kept warm. By cutting the sheet in half, I can extend the
blanket about halfway down between the ICE and the radiator and keep well
away from the serpentine belt on the far passenger side of the ICE. By
feeling over the top and behind the ICE, I can cover it, and maybe extend
the insulation /barrier half way down the back side.

I can work the two pieces of insulation around the various bits of piping and
wiring at the front of the ICE, and between the ICE and electrical boxes
going to the rear.

As I'm not going to try to mold the insulation tightly to the block/head,
there will still be an airspace and some moving air between the
insulation/barrier and the block. I expect that the only real contribution to
heat retention will be to reflect radiant heat back to the block. I'm thinking
the insulation/barrier will stay in place due the many bends and curves
created in working it into place.

I use grill blocking already. I'm using a ScanGaugeII, so I can monitor ICE

My questions are:
* Has anyone experimented with something like this?
* If so, did you see any noticeable/measurable FE/MPG results?
* Did you encounter any problems, or incur any damage?

I welcome constructive comments, suggestions, concerns, etc.

(I know what you're thinking....
No, there isn't enough left over foil/foam/foil to make an insulated
aluminum foil hat. )

A tip o' the hat to Frank Lee and SeanT whose threads got me thinking
along these lines:

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure someone has made an engine blanket that wraps around the entire engine on either the Prius II or Insight I. I can't remember though. He was definitely running in in winter, not sure weather he was running it in summer though.

I'm seriously thinking about adding some insulation to the Prius. The coolant temps drop fast enough in summer with the engine off as much as it is. In winter, it'll definitely be beneficial to insulate.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here it is:


Good reading. Be sure not to miss this imbedded link, you're gonna
love it:

Randall's Insight - MIMA Honda Insight Modified Integrated Motor Assist

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Old 10-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Time for a preliminary assessment of this proposed cold weather
thermal retention enhancement.

I've been doing my regular ~28 mi. round trip commute and weekend
errands runs with the radiant barrier in place on my Gen II for 13 days
now. Temps have been between 43 and 63 degF. I'm also running a
full upper grill block, and all but the lowest slot on the lower grill

The radiant barrier seems to be having a positive FE/MPG effect.

On my commutes, I'm seeing an apparent 2-3 MPG gain. On the stop,
park, and go weekend errand runs, the gain may be as much as 5
MPG. In addition, I am seeing an apparent 5-10 degF higher coolant
temps across the board.

I am being intentionally fuzzy about the possible gains. What with
driving safely and using hyper-mileing tactics, I haven't been able to
record hard coolant temp data despite having a ScanGauge to read
coolant temps and get trip and daily MPG numbers. I have made
numerous runs over very familiar routes, and I am seeing both MPG
numbers and coolant temps that are higher than I would have
expected to see without the barrier.

And that is about as good as I can do.

I'd like to encourage others, not just Prius drivers, who have the more
sophisticated monitoring gear and data recording capabilities -- or maybe
it's just more patience than I have -- to give the barrier a try and get some
good, hard numbers so it can be determned whether this is worth adding to
the established list of cold weather thermal retention enhancements.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No doubt it helps and should be added (even though I have no "numbers" to share).


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