Worst Mileage Yet, Block Heater Dreams - Page 3
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Thread: Worst Mileage Yet, Block Heater Dreams

  1. #21
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    Blue Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickD View Post
    Air cooled aircraft engines use a heat exchanger as part of the exhaust system. All stainless steel, no blower motor, the prop doubles at that. Even in -20*F weather with the rapid heat buildup of the exhaust, started getting heat in seconds.
    This would make a lot of sense from a "quick heat" point of view. The unit could be mounted after the catalytic converter so it did not affect cold start emissions. In that location it might take a few extra seconds to start producing heat compared to it's aviation born relative, but it would still be a heck of a lot quicker than waiting for hot engine coolant.

    Unfortunately, it would cost too much to implement when only a small percentage of the customers would benefit. It would be interesting to see it offered as an option to those who wanted it, but the cost of development and "red tape cutting" would likely keep it from making any financial sense.
    '12 ECO MT

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  3. #22
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    If I can go back to the 60's, long lines of skilled craftsman were hand grinding crankshafts as just one small insignificant example. Today, automated machines are spitting these things out faster than you can see them.

    What drastically increased over the years is red tape.

  4. #23
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    Here's a quote from an article about one of the exhaust driven energy sources that BMW is currently working on:

    "The first step taken by engineers was to integrate a thermoelectric generator in the exhaust system to generate electrical current. The first such system was shown to the public in 2008 and delivered a maximum of 200 watts, which was relatively low in terms of power efficiency. But the use of new materials and improvements in the weight and size of the TEGs led to rapid new developments, so that the latest generation of TEGs installed in the exhaust are capable of generating 600 watts of electrical power, and it will not be long before the goal of 1,000 watts is reached as research progresses. The current prototype – a BMW X6 – was built as part of a development project funded by the US Department of Energy.

    Then in 2009, the BMW Group unveiled an alternative development in this project. Rather than installing the TEG as a separate module in the exhaust system underneath the vehicle, engineers decided to integrate the TEG in the radiator of the exhaust gas recirculation system. In this configuration, customer testing has shown that 250 watts can be generated while CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are reduced by 2 percent at the same time.

    What's more, this energy recovery system offers some interesting added benefits, such as supplying the engine or passenger compartment heating with additional warmth during cold starts. And the thermoelectric generator is the ideal counterpart for BMW EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration. While the brakes generate energy during deceleration and stopping, the TEG functions at its best when driving is really exciting – namely during acceleration. Researchers forecast that TEGs will lead to fuel consumption savings of up to 5 percent under real everyday driving conditions in the future."

    Here's the link to the whole article:

    BMW Turbosteamer and Thermoelectric Generator Projects Aim to Harness Heat Energy - BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum - E90Post.com

    Between the Turbosteamer and Thermoelectric Generator (TEG), can you imagine how much red tape will need to be cut? The Turbosteamer concept was revealed to the public in 2005, so they had been working on it for quite some time at that point, and they predicted to have it production ready after another 10 years. 10 years! Seems like a lengthy process to produce what boils down to (pun intended) nothing more than a mini version of a steam generating plant. Steam is nothing new, we should be pretty good at it by now you'd think.
    DrVette and jblackburn like this.
    '12 ECO MT

  5. #24
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    I never considered the size of the engine and how it would deal with the cold. Unfortunately, with a turbo, they use a very small engine and it just takes a long time for the engine to warm up. It's been a really cold week here in NY. 10 degrees F in the morning with highs of about 20. I hit the parkway within 5 minutes of driving and it takes about 15 - 20 minutes for the temperature gauge to go the normal (almost center) position. I will say that it has one of the best heaters when the engine reaches normal operating temperatures. Almost too warm - even in 15 degrees. But you have to be patient while waiting for the engine to warm up.

    Also, a funny thing happened the other day. The temperature gauge was at the normal position when I exited the highway. I was waiting at a traffic light and the temperature gauge dropped to the quarter mark. I did increase the fan speed by 1 level, but I can't believe that would cause the engine to cool down by that much. I think that the thermostat finally opened after about 20 minutes and when the coolant started circulating, the engine cooled down quite a bit. It started heating up almost immediately. I've never had a car where the temperature went down after running for 20 minutes - even in cold conditions.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
    My gauge cluster was iced over enough that it was difficult to read my mileage, not to mention the LCD displays take 3-4 seconds to react to a change in this kind of cold.
    I have the 7 in touch screen and I noticed it took a second or 2 for it to react to commands when the car was really cold. It also made a wierd sound the other day when it was really cold. Almost like a bleeping sound. That only happened once though. And they engine power is greatly reduced when the engine is cold. I don't push it until it warms up a bit. I almost let it run on its own power. And my fuel economy has dropped since this cold spell has hit - by a about a mile or 2 a gallon. I'm only getting about 23 MPG with mixed city and highway driving. I usually get over 25 MPG.

  7. #26
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    Last Wed. morning, when I saw the temperature on my outside thermometer at -39C, I figured I had better try blocking the radiator for my 35 min. drive north to the mine where I work. So I attached some cardboard with thin copper wire to the grill. Between my house & work the temp on the display showed anywhere from -38 to -41C. If the cardboard made a difference or not, I'm not sure. It still took about 10-12 min. to start getting any heat, and with the fan on 4, by the time I got to work, my side windows & edges of my windshield were so iced up that I couldn't see to the sides. It would definitely be nice to get a block heater in this engine!
    Last edited by sheleb1; 01-26-2013 at 11:44 AM.

  8. #27
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    It's too bad that corporations stamp out the inventive spirit.
    2012 Gold Mist ECO m/t
    1st yr. 27,000 mi @ 48mpg

    In the interest of National security and corporate profits,
    the environment, health, well being and financial security of the American citizen is of no concern.

  9. #28
    1st Gear DrVette's Avatar
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    Here's my posting re block heaters. Some threaded, and freeze plug type.

    http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/10-en...k-heaters.html
    2012 Gold Mist ECO m/t
    1st yr. 27,000 mi @ 48mpg

    In the interest of National security and corporate profits,
    the environment, health, well being and financial security of the American citizen is of no concern.

  10. #29
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    This past week in the teens-low 20's, mine has had trouble warming up, even with highway driving thrown in the mix. Granted, I start the heater on fan speed 3 once the car hits 130F, and then turn it up to 4 when I get on the highway til I'm nice and toasty :3

    As soon as I got off the highway, the warming up slowed down a lot (I was shifting at around 2000 RPM), and it took it about 30 minutes to hit 200.
    2012 Cruze 1LT 6M


  11. #30
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    Sure miss my thermocouple they were using in older HVAC systems, with an electrical failure, far more common than a natural gas failure, least you can get some heat.

    But with an idiotic congress, God these guys are complete idiots, of all things for energy savings, pick on that quarter inch high pilot light. They would cycle frequently because the blower motor wouldn't work, but at least would get enough heat so your water pipes wouldn't freeze up.

    So what did they replace that pilot with? A way overpriced POS made in China electronic ignition system, friend's went out, cost him over 600 bucks to replace it. With mine, I removed the cover that said not to, the reason they have that label is because they don't want you to see that sh!t they installed inside. Redesigned it so it would be far more reliable. Still have some solid state components that were made here before our EPA kicked them out of our country. EPA doesn't solve pollution problems, just fines you and kicks you out of the county, what a worthless governmental agency.

    Converted my wood burning fireplace to gas logs intensionally using an electric free thermocouple as opposed to using an electric remote controlled unit. In the interest of conserving energy, don't keep that pilot light running, use what they call a match to light it when I need it.

    Same thing when I had to replace my hot water heater, these force ventilation units only come with a six year tank warranty and one year on the electronics. First obstacle was our building code, while okay to install a force ventilated in my basement, not permitted to install a forced ventilated hot water heater. Would have to install that in the middle of my living room. Don't ask me why. Second, depends on electricity to operate, not considered in the energy savings. So just got an old fashion well insulated thermocouple unit. Energy savings were minimum with the forced ventilated type.

    During the summer months when the furnace is off, subtracting those fixed charges, meter reading charge, contribution to those that can't afford to pay their gas bill, costing me 23 cents per day to get all the hot water I need.

    Automotive started off with an external combustion engine, had to use coal or wood, start a fire to boil water for a steam operated engine. For convenience, the IC engine was developed. But that is ancient history, the IC engine is not.

    Today we can make a heat chamber using a wide variety of low octane fuels, heat a refrigerant to get 500 psi of driving pressure, to control and engine like used in these air compressor vehicles except that refrigerant would be cycled using the heat pump technology to heat or cool are vehicles instantly. And get more than 180 mpg with far less pollution.

    So why aren't we doing this? Clean burning natural gas or methane would be a far better alternative available domestically. Cutting down are need for wars. An external combustion engine is the only way to do this. So why aren't we doing this? With 500 psi on even a five inch single piston, 10,000 force would be available eliminating the need for a transmission. Reversing technology already exist, plus that huge fortune in emission controls would be eliminated. Start up time would be reduced to seconds.

    We could do this with the proper leadership.

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