LOWRACER
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:48 am

DonDakin wrote:Hey lowracer,

That looks like a really good Idea. Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures.

I have a couple of questions about your mod:

Do you have any information about how much it saves in energy or how much hotter the air is coming out of the vents. It looks like the temp is about 84 deg C what was it before the mod ? What was the outside temp when you did this ? Was the car moving in cold air or stopped ?

Looks like a great idea I'm sure it helps. I wonder why they didn't do this at the factory it just makes sense.

Don......




Thanks don!
Of course I've tested it before the insulation mod.
I've lifted the car and removed the plastic cover( fixed with 8pcs M6 bolts and 3 clips).
Then I turned the heater button to the maximum and "PUSH MAX" too.
Ouside temp is 12C°, after 27seconds I've measured a temperature of 63C° with an IR-Thermometer on the bottom of the aluminum PTC-heater element! :roll:
OK, the heater has got a nominal power of 5000Watts....
But this heater plans don't work out, because many KiloWatts are blown away!!! :cry:

The PTC-heater has got around 3cm free space, that's a not disired air blast cooling.
With the 25mm Armaflex(150C° cellfoam) the generated heat stay into the PTC-Heater, the loss is minimized! I was so impressed that I decided me to insulate the hoses to the pump, reservoir and the way back.
Maybe the insulation was Mitsubishi to expensive!

Here my experience over 2weeks in the night(outside temp 11-13C°):
Before the insulation mod, I turned the heater to maximum, the heat was coming very slowly.
The shown possible range went back all minute...
After the insulation mod, I don't need to turn the heater to the maximum, because the air is so hot that you can burn your fingers in front of the grid. The button position "halfway through" is realistic here. The shown possible range go back to 15-25Km! :mrgreen:


The i-MiEV has got 2 different liquide circulations, but you cannot combine both with another!

The first, so cold as possible(<35C°):
Reservoir in the back-> pump-> charger-> controller-> motor-> cooler in the front->

The second, so hot as possible(>80C°):
Reservoir in the front-> pump-> heater element-> heater battery(inside)->

sandange
Posts: 902
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:53 am

Lowracer - where are you located ? Do you have the winter package on your car?
Looks like a good idea to insulate those pipes.
I haven't had a chance to examine the underneath closely for heating system.
How about This - do you think a spray insulating foam could handle the temps and work in this type of application?

Thanks for the link Don, great information especially coming from
Winnipeg often fondly nicknamed Winterpeg!
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
180,xxx miles, 190,xxx km
Previous EVs
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
Total Electric miles driven 221,630 miles (257,000 km)
http://thecordstead.blogspot.ca/

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:47 am

Thanks Don for that article - gives me encouragement that I'll do fine through this winter without the need for a mid day charge. Our averages in the Niagara region in the winter are quite mild with -10c being the lowest we see except on rare days. Which is above the -15c low temp warning in the owners manual.

LowRider - where did your get the armaflex? Is this a HomeDepot/Lowes option? I know the pipe insulation is HomeDepot acquireable, do you know the size you used?

Thanks,

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

LOWRACER
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:10 pm

sandange wrote:Lowracer - where are you located ? Do you have the winter package on your car?
Looks like a good idea to insulate those pipes.
I haven't had a chance to examine the underneath closely for heating system.
How about This - do you think a spray insulating foam could handle the temps and work in this type of application...


I'm from Luxembourg!
Nope, I've aluminum rims with DUNLOP ENASAVE summer tires!
I'll drive the i-MiEV only in spring, summer and autumn.
For the real winter time I've an old Opel Astra, so no "Idiot-Driver" can crash the brandnew i-MiEV, that's much more than precaution of course!!! :lol:

I wouldn't prefer the spray insulating foam, because it expands under pressure very much and it glue on EVERYTHING!
With EVERYTHING I mean also the orange high voltage cables(DANGER), sensor cables and the hoses!
You cannot get it away without acetone! :roll:
Then you'll better use an self adhesive insulating tape!
If you know a DIYer friend with a lifting platform, you can insulate it like shown on the pictures!
For a relax working you'll need about 4hours.
The needed material:
1x PATTEX power glue(contact adhesive)
1x ARMAFLEX cell foam, thickness 25mm
30cm x 47cm(around the heater) & 2pcs 15cm x 7cm(right/left cover)
2m NOMAZIP insulating (inside diameter 25mm, with a zip)
OR 5m self adhesive insulating tape

Take your time, that means no fast "botchery",
if the heater/hoses is completely wrapped in the insulating, you can get nearly 100% boiled water to the heater battery inside the i-MiEV!!!

martinwinlow
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:02 am

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:19 am

Hi (new to list, so please be gentle),

I converted a small petrol van to electric drive 3 years ago (evalbum.com/2092 if you're interested) and drove it very happily for 18 months until it got written off when I was rammed by a looter during the UK riots in August last year. I did nearly 14k miles in it including 2 winters. I always intended to get around to fitting a cabin heater but...

I made do with pre-heating the cabin by mounting a mains fan heater on a piece of board sat on the passenger seat facing forward on the lowest setting and having it come on automatically with a mains socket timer 30 mins before I was due to use it. It had a thermostat built in too so it wouldn't overheat. The board was big and heavy enough to prevent accidents and I had an audible and SMS-based smoke alarm fitted anyway - just in case. This took care of de-misting and heated the cabin nicely.

Unfortunately, the van was rather draughty so I had to resort to using a nice heavy rug too - for when it REALLY cold. Happy days.

The thread title here is about extending the range of the iMiev but it seems to have drifted to how to keep warm in an iMiev. Obviously the 2 are related due to the use of what appears to be a water heater mounted under the car (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that is circulated through the cabin heater in much the same way an ICEV does it. This is a very inefficient way of doing things and the only reason ICEVs use it is because they have so much 'free' heat - wasted by the ICE.

Using a PTC air heater in the cabin would be much more efficient as the path of change from electrical energy to heat is much shorter. The PTC also has the benefit of having an electrical conductivity that is related to the inverse of temperature ie the hotter it gets, the greater its resistance. This is a built-in safety feature.

For DIY conversions, you can use either cannibalised mains ceramic heater elements or buy one specifically designed for the DIY EV market. They are used in place of the ICEV water heater matrix and are fitted relatively simply - tho it usually means removing the dash. One other advantageous feature of these heating elements is that they consist of an array of heating elements which, with a certain degree of cunning, can be wired such that they can be powered by the mains (110 or 240VAC systems) but also directly from the EV battery pack, usually through the use of a suitably rated relay or two. This means they can use mains power directly when plugged in for pre-warming/cooling as well as by the pack when on the move.

Despite having actually bought a used Webasto diesel heater for my van, I never got around to fitting it but this is IMO the best and only really practical solution for climates where the temperature regularly falls below 0C. It is very easy to install as it just plumbs into the coolant pipework that already exists on the iMiev (and most DIY EV conversions) which means you don't have to start tearing out the dash etc. I has its own little 12V self contained circulation pump which draws little current. They are relatively cheap to buy and very cheap to run using around 0.1L of diesel/hour. http://www.webasto-outdoors.com/index.p ... 62cc0b1660 The exhaust is only 20mm in diameter and can terminate pretty much anywhere as the potentially dangerous exhaust output is very small - unlike an ICE.

Best of all, there is a thread on the Land Rover Discovery forum which details a cheap way of remote starting the webasto by mobile phone... http://www.disco3.co.uk/gallery/albums/ ... 20v1-1.pdf

Given that practical use of an EV in extremely cold climes is so dependant on its limited battery pack, by its very nature and unlike most other forms of personal transportation that have come before, I simply find it incredible that Mitsubishi (or any other production EV manufacturer) would sell an EV without at least offering this form of heating as an option. I wonder what they used for heat in the early EVs like the Baker etc?

Insulation has been mentioned in this thread but it seems to me this is a key issue that can have a very significant impact on heat (and A/C) energy drain. Again, with conventional vehicles, this just hasn't been an issue - other than for sound, of course. For EV's, along with so many other important aspects of EV design, people are having to think outside the box. I'm a fan of the foil-backed, bubble-wrap stuff which claims (and my experience backs it up) to offer the equivalent of 50mm (2") of expanded polystyrene insulation in a 6mm (1/4") thickness. It has little sound absorbency though so it would be fine to go under the carpet for example. But I would be inclined to line any vehicle panel with it or even a couple (or more) layers if space permits.

For production EVs I can see double glazed windows becoming common along with built in tints to reflect UV thus preventing the 'greenhouse' cabin warming effect when the vehicle is left parked for hours in the sun (more a cooling issue than heating, I know!). Someone already mentioned the heisted windscreens used by some of the major auto makers - this, again, seems a complete no-brainer to me for production EVs, but who uses them?

Reversible heat pumps are probably the way to go for general (non-extreme) climate control in EVs due to their high efficiency but are a bit expensive for the time being - certainly for the DIY market.

Anyway, I hope some of (all!) that will be useful and it will be fun to see how all these areas of EV design evolve. Interesting times, indeed. MW

DonDakin
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:10 pm

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:31 pm

Hello Lowracer/Martin,

I took a closer look at the heating system tonight and I agree with everything lowracer is saying. There is a lot of hoses and the white resevoir getting very hot with the heat on. I was surprised at the length on hose in the heating loop. I thought it was short but it's very long maybe 4-5 feet. I tried to do some calculations on the heat loss based on 2 square feet of exposed area. I came up with about 750 watts of heat loss at 70 km/hour. If you insulate with 1 inch of foam (R5) you reduce this to 150 watts of heat loss. I'm not sure how accurate this is. Never the less I am proceeding to start insulating the hoses first as that is the easiest first thing to do. I can't find any flat armaflex in my area. I do have lot's of white styrofoam. I was thinking I would "box in the heater in 1 inch of styrofoam and then use some speed tape (aluma tape) to seal it. I'll see how it goes.

Thanks for the tip.

Don.....

LOWRACER
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:31 pm

DonDakin wrote:Hello Lowracer/Martin,

I took a closer look at the heating system tonight and I agree .....


It's working perfect! Now the whole system is insulated...
The reservoir has got a turtleneck pullover now:

Image

Image

sandange
Posts: 902
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:40 am

Lowracer - Great insulating details! I'll be looking into this later with my mechanic. This covers maximizing efficiency of the electric heater pretty well.

A drop in the temperature, got me motivated to move on with my set up of my supplementary propane heater. At this point in time this is an experiment in order to evaluate it's practicality.

Disclaimer - Just want to establish that I am going ahead with this at my own risk and if anyone else decides to try this, they do so at their own risk. I will not be held responsible for their actions.

The additional heater is to help out on those very cold days -13F to -31F (-25 to -35C) we experience up here in our location in Canada
The heater is a Coleman catalytic propane heater, 3,000 BTU, with a built in battery operated Fan.

Heater Secured in Place- slide show

http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Sandange/slideshow/miev/EV%20Propane%20heater

I traced out the cargo area on a cardboard. I wanted the heater base to be wedged in tight using it as a template I cut a 3/4 "plywood
Snugly fitting in key locations - Will follow up after a performance test run.- waiting for a cold snap.
Last edited by sandange on Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:44 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
180,xxx miles, 190,xxx km
Previous EVs
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
Total Electric miles driven 221,630 miles (257,000 km)
http://thecordstead.blogspot.ca/

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:18 am

Sandage - that ought to do the trick. That should be nice and cozy in there in the winter. Now if you could figure out a remote control option for the temp you'd have it all. Probably, a cable operated link to the thermostat.

It's 10c here this morning in Niagara Falls and with the heater on the first step above the green dot, my commute took one more bar than usual to get to Buffalo this morning. I'll be looking into similiar functionality soon.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

dsmall24us
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:58 pm

Re: Practical solutions for extending cold weather range

Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:31 pm

Link to a story on how BMW is working on using infrared to heat their ev's in cold weather.

http://www.torquenews.com/1079/bmw-turn ... ed-heating

Dan

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