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Old 12-23-2011, 02:03 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Ken I like your Zing too; I just don't think the genset idea would be the best layout for my usage patterns.
Like the Volt / Ampera wouldn't be the best lay-out for my usage pattern - I'd be using its ICE far too often.

At least on the Zing one isn't dragging errrr ... 3 clutches and 1400 cc of ICE along as a generator.

I like Ken's Zing as well, maybe he could do a flat black Batman-edition with the angular PoC shape

Too bad it would fail Belgium's 3-wheeler requirements.

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Old 12-23-2011, 06:48 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
If you're looking for a nice little engine... this one is great:

Oops, I'm apparently not allowed to post links, but a Google search for "13hp honda water cooled engine" returns a pic as the first result.
Sam
Yes, that would be about ideal. However, I think they are no longer in production, and even on the first four cars, I want to use the same engine that I'll use in scaled-up production -- so it needs to be current production.

Your points re water cooling are all good ones, but I plan to go with air cooling nevertheless, because I'm stubborn. Er, no that's not it. Actually it has to do with simplicity and cost. With an air-cooled engine, if the engine is turning, the cooling is working. Pumps, antifreeze, radiator, radiator blower, hoses, etc all become unnecessary. Hydraulic lifters deal with the valve clearance issues, and fuel injection can deal with emission issues that can occur with variable engine temperatures -- at least for the motorcycle market. (In the car world, it would be hard to meet current emissions standards with an air-cooled engine.)

But the twin cylinders would be really nice... and the quiet of water cooling...

Pretty amazing tractor. By coincidence, today I noticed a Honda lawn tractor for sale, and stopped to look, thinking it could be one of the water-cooled ones. It was about the same vintage, but bigger deck and four wheel drive and four wheel steering -- quite a machine. Air cooled, though.

But in any case thanks... great suggestion... very nice engine.

Last edited by Ken Fry; 12-23-2011 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:04 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Ken,

Here's an easily implemented and very efficient heating solution: motorcycle heated vests. Put them on under your winter coat, and plug it in -- it heats your torso directly.

The defroster is more of a challenge...
Good suggestions. Hard to beat the efficiency of the vest. An update on car blankets (from the 1930's) would be interesting: throw one over you lap, and plug in for a heat boost.

Instaclear was the trademark for the windshield heat. Never caught on all that well here, but it is still offered in Europe. Early ones were conductive film, later ones tiny embedded wires. Apparently it interferes with radio signals, so EZ Pass (drive-through tolls) and some similar things don't work as well.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:15 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by deathtrain View Post
paint it black and put on a batman suit. LOL but seriously I would drive it. and maybe buy one if the price was right.
I've got two production slots left for 2012 -- I'd be happy to build you one. The price is right, I think, at $17,995.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Why would the electric car manufacturers and home builders not utilise the heat created by the battery pack and electric motor to provide "free" heat in the passenger compartment, at least when it was available?

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Mech
Batteries are like people: they like to be warm but not too warm. Like people, they get warm from working.

So when it's cold you may need to heat them, and when its warm you may need to cool them. If you pre-warm them in the winter (while charging) then they will stay warm as they discharge... but you can't extract any heat, because you want them warm. In the summer they are happy sitting around at 100 degrees, but once you start driving you need to cool them. However, taking that excess heat and putting it into the passenger compartment would make the passengers unhappy.

Often, the temperature of the batteries is not a concern, and just passive air cooling is all that is needed (or in the north, maybe a heating pad under the batteries). But routing cabin air exhaust out through the batteries is simple, and that serves to cool them when they are likely to be too hot, and warm them when they are likely to be too cold. In the winter, on a long uphill stretch, the batteries could get too warm potentially -- but "too warm" is 130-140 degrees, so then even the heated cabin air can be used for cooling the batteries. In a simple system, blowing past the batteries and into the cabin would be unwise (due to the safety issues from gases venting from batteries). In a more complicated system (with water cooled batteries, for instance) perhaps battery heat could be re-routed to do some good, but it is very rare on a cold day that the batteries are hot enough to produce useful heat.)

The motor will eventually become warm, and in the winter that warmth could be used for cabin heat. The amount of heat available is small (if the motor is efficient) so it could be hard to cost justify the ducting and safety devices (for example, to avoid having an overheated motor emitting toxic fumes into the cabin, etc.) If the motor is already water cooled, then using the warm water for cabin heat would be relatively easy and would make sense. It might not make economic sense, because electric heaters are so cheap -- you'd almost have to have a heater radiator already in the cabin -- and most EV's would not.

In some cases, manufacturers do some of these optimizations. The Prius has all sorts of clever ideas to do things like recycle heat. In other cases, these things cannot be cost justified, especially if the vehicle is already efficient: there is just not much waste heat to be had.

Good question though -- it makes sense, but is hard to cost justify.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:20 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
The Zing production version has 40 electric HP.
Thanks for the information.

I have a tandem 2-seater in my sketchbook, with 20-25 hp (peak) pancake motors at each wheel (reverse trike and 4-wheeler). Good to know that I'm in the same ballpark hp wise. Actually a bit over, but my body shell I imagine to be F1 style and very strong but heavier compared to composite or fiberglass shell construction..

There is something Burt Rutan-ish about the Zing, I mean that as a complement.

Good to know that it will be 5 inches taller and with a back seat.

In my "dream machine" it would eventually have a bio-Diesel mini turbine generator for longer trips. I can dream, can't I?
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:30 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
Good points. The cabin is small, and I plan to use about 750 watts, and insulate pretty well. That's equal to one HP -- and you're right, that is a large percentage of the HP used at low speeds.

Thanks, Ken
I was just going to say insulate (composite construction?) and with a low internal volume your body heat will do most of the work. Just have to defrost the windscreen and ventilate out the moisture (moist breath).

EDIT: FYI; A cool vintage Fiat page.
http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/fiat/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
In a simple system, blowing past the batteries and into the cabin would be unwise (due to the safety issues from gases venting from batteries).
That is where my mind first went when I read that suggestion. There might be a way to jacket it, but I would never trust it.
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Last edited by kach22i; 12-24-2011 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:20 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Ken -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
Good suggestions. Hard to beat the efficiency of the vest. An update on car blankets (from the 1930's) would be interesting: throw one over you lap, and plug in for a heat boost.

...
If you don't want to plug-in to the drivetrain and don't like hot water bottles, you can use this :

Snuggle Safe | Snugglesafe | Heated Pet Beds
Quote:
Snuggle Safe Microwave Heat Pad is great for heating pet beds. Up to 12 hours of long-lasting warmth! Your pets will love the warmth of Snuggle Safe Thermapool at home or traveling. Heat in microwave for only 5 minutes (*depending on power of microwave) and then pop it under your pet's bedding.

6 minutes in 800 watt microwave provides all the heat of a regular hot water bottle for up to 12 hours.
Up to 12 hours of warmth
Quick and safe
No wires
Bite Resistant
Perfect travel companion
Ideal for newborn, convalescing and eldery pets.
FREE cover included
You can't sit *on* it, but you can keep it on your lap. Not a perfect/professional solution, but it helps.

CarloSW2
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:22 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kach22i View Post
Thanks for the information.

There is something Burt Rutan-ish about the Zing, I mean that as a complement...

In my "dream machine" it would eventually have a bio-Diesel mini turbine generator for longer trips. I can dream, can't I?
Thanks, the Rutans have done some great stuff!

I agree about the mini-turbine. The lack of vibration would be a huge asset, and bio-diesel is pretty sound from several environmental perspectives.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:46 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kach22i View Post
I really enjoyed that page. Fiat, Abarth, and Ferrari have come up with some pretty neat stuff. I love all the little Abarths -- double bubble, etc, and the Fiat Dino was something of a bargain exotic. The Ferrari 206 was a bargain briefly, and would have been a great investment, if purchased just after depreciation. The Hemmings page had a Mondial for $11,750 when I looked, which could be a pretty good investment car (for someone, unlike me, who has the space, the time, etc., etc.).

Thanks,
Ken

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