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Old 01-14-2006, 02:16 PM   #21
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a few more thoughts on the

a few more thoughts on the strictly financial cost-benefit analysis of block heaters, if that's your main motivation -

one key factor is whether using one changes your behaviour:

if it leads you to idle the car *less* to warm it up after a cold start (which, granted, you probably don't do if you're concerned about fuel economy), the cost-benefit outcome will be significantly better than in a comparson that strictly measures the fuel consumption of a pre-heated vs. a cold engine over the first N km of driving.

another consideration is trip length:

the financial benefit of using a block heater is inversely proportional to trip length. it has a greater impact on total short trip fuel consumption than long trip fuel consumption. (this applies to any technique or technology which only improves warm-up fuel economy.)
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:43 AM   #22
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Ordered One

So, I ordered the factory-spec engine block heater from my Acura dealer -- apparently it bolts into the block on the front by the exhaust manifold. The 'teg takes forever to warm-up, so I'm guessing that open-loop is going on for a while. We'll see what happens.

Now back to the solar panels. I park at the airport for extended periods of time (2-4 days max). That's where I need the heated coolant, since I'm on the highway almost immediately from the car park.

*If an array is placed in the sunroof area, how much voltage and wattage can be produced from something that size?

*Understandably, a battery would probably be needed to store energy.

*Second idea -- would the car's battery (or another battery hooked to the block heater) have enough juice to heat up the block in the matter of 15-minutes? Some remote car starters have cell-phone trigger capability. This could be applied to quickly warm up coolant -- not to start the car, but to activate the heater circuit. I know I'm working with a DC system on an AC device -- so electrical engineers out there...?

RH77
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:04 PM   #23
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Re: Ordered One

you'll like the block heater.

i can answer some of your questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
The 'teg takes forever to warm-up, so I'm guessing that open-loop is going on for a while.
i did a "cold" start today on the firefly - inintentionally (the cord wasn't plugged in all the way). immediately after starting, at -18C / 0F, the scangauge indicated the car was consuming fuel at a rate of 2.0L per hour at idle (cold/elevated idle). at normal operating temps it wavers between .4/.5 Lph at idle. the car runs so noticeably nicer when pre-warmed, i cringe when i have to start it cold (or accidentally start it cold).

Quote:
*If an array is placed in the sunroof area, how much voltage and wattage can be produced from something that size?
the 3 sq ft pv panel i use to maintain/charge the batteries on my sailboat puts out around 1amp @ 18v under ideal conditions: summer sun, panel angled directly at it. not too much juice, when you consider a 110v "trickle" charger usually puts out 2A at a similar voltage.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:22 PM   #24
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Google Ad

The Google Ad at the top directed me to this:

Google Ad Link

It looks like a device that runs on a small amount of gasoline, that pre-heats and circulates the coolant, where an electrical source is not available. It comes with a timer and/or remote fob.

Any thoughts/experiences?

RH77


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Old 01-16-2006, 01:27 PM   #25
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HOLY CRAP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
The Google Ad at the top directed me to this:

Google Ad Link

It looks like a device that runs on a small amount of gasoline, that pre-heats and circulates the coolant, where an electrical source is not available. It comes with a timer and/or remote fob.

Any thoughts/experiences?

RH77
Nevermind -- after further research, I found it's $1600 installed. Holy crap. What about a similarly designed device that runs on propane?

RH77
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:45 PM   #26
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Quote:Cold weather driving?

Quote:
Cold weather driving? Use a block heater when the winter temperature drops to -20C or below. A block heater keeps your engine oil and coolant warm, which makes the vehicle easier to start and can reduce winter fuel consumption by as much as 10%. Use a timer to switch on the block heater one or two hours before you plan to drive.
http://eartheasy.com/live_fuel_efficient_driving.htm

Sounds a little bloated, but I think they're talking mainly about short trips, even if it was all cold engine driving versus all warm engine with the 10% gain, 10% is a lot of difference.


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For me it all depends on the traffic lights. My total avg mpg for the trip to work over 10 miles, remains about 5 mpg min better with the block heater.
Some prius chat.
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:29 PM   #27
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better block heater

Hey guys think hybrid - run the heater off a 12 volt battery in the vehicle on a timer or remote control relay from the house to preheat. Now you are asking how is a 12 volt battery going to help me when I have to charge it . . . charge it with a switch connecting it into the vehicle charging circuit when you are going down hill or braking - wire it into the brake circuit with a relay then you dump extra energy into the warmer battery from the alternator when you are slowing down or idling thus reclaiming the energy. Plus you have the block heater with you should you park somewhere with no plug during the day and need to keep it warm.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG
unless you live in dawson city, plugging in for that length of time is completely unnecessary. and unless you have a giant heat sink of an engine block, 700 watts is also overkill.

i plug my 300 watt block heater in for 1.5 hrs (sometimes 2) and it does its job, warming the engine around 30-50F above ambient.

at $.08/kw-hr that costs $0.036 or 3.6 cents.



my external element style heater cost around $50, but i got OEM and therefore it was more expensive. you can get the frost plug style heaters for much less. it probably weighs no more than a pound with the cord.

external element style example:

Would the block heater work when the lows are only mid 70's? You said 30-50F above ambient. Would that mean it could warm it to 130 on a warm day?
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:43 AM   #29
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I've been using my block heater fairly regularly this summer. I haven't recorded any temp deltas, but do recall seeing 105F on the SG at startup in 80F ambient. I don't recall how long it was plugged in that time.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG
I've been using my block heater fairly regularly this summer. I haven't recorded any temp deltas, but do recall seeing 105F on the SG at startup in 80F ambient. I don't recall how long it was plugged in that time.
Was it a hard install on the fireflea? I'm leaning real hard at doing this. Thanks METRO.
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