Smidge204
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:09 am

BetterLeaf wrote:I did a quick experiment. Preheated the car for about 10 mins. Outside temp was around 26F.

Here are some pictures that I took with a thermal imaging camera. All from the driver's side perspective.
Good stuff! I think the problem is the LEAF's liquid heating system was based on a traditional ICEv's heating system, where heat is an abundant waste product, so insulation is neglected for cost reasons.

I haven't been as active/attentive as I used to be but I believe the MY2013 LEAFs have done away with the liquid system entirely in favor of a heat pump + direct to air resistance heat, so this problem ought to be solved. Still, for current LEAFers this looks like a way to potentially increase the efficiency of their heating system, if only just a tiny bit, for negligible cost and effort.
=Smidge=

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:44 pm

insulation might be a cost issue to Nissan but it aint for me. will be getting some pipe insulation today. wont be perfect, but betting its better than nothing!
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QueenBee
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:40 pm

Thanks for figuring this out! I've been wondering for a while if there might be an easy way to disable the heater with a simple switch. My use case is for preconditioning the car in the summer when my garage may not have warmed up to outside ambient temperature yet, this will often result in coming to a hot steamy car instead of a nice cool car with a fuller battery.

I also have wondered why exactly Nissan has their hot water flowing "all over" the engine bay without insulation. Will be interesting to see the before and after FLIR images :)

chortle
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:34 pm

I just used my laser temp reader to confirm the temperatures shown in the thermal imaging camera.

No doubt about it, the heat loss is huge!

Nissan, should be ashamed of themselves.

It looks like we need a plan to insulate this system and save the heat!

Bill Matley
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aminorjourney
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:23 am

How about something like this?

http://www.pipelagging.com/c0tape-class ... tAodyBAA0g" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I also wonder if it's worth investigating if modifying the Leaf heating system to include a vacuum flask would help? Sure, it would increase the volume of water in the system, but wouldn't a larger body of water (some of which would be in the flask) stay warm for longer, helping reduce energy wastage when you stop for half an hour at the store or whatever?

I know the Prius has a flask to help the engine coolant stay warm between short stops. That reduces engine warmup time and improves energy efficiency.

Basic physics says that keeping something at a constant temperature is less energy than warming it up. So if we can minimize heat loss, we can improve efficiency, right? :)
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BetterLeaf
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:37 am

aminorjourney wrote:How about something like this?
http://www.pipelagging.com/c0tape-class ... tAodyBAA0g" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not bad, but I think it is too thin. The thermal conductivity is per meter and it is only 3 mm thick. So the thicker the better.

I'm thinking a self adhesive insulation sheet like this would better:
http://www.pipelagging.com/armaflex-cla ... -p-54.html

Cut it into strips and patches that can be easily applied. You need to cover both pipes in places. Some areas are hard to get to so you can only slap it on to prevent exposure to cold air. Where there is space two layers can be wrapped around.
aminorjourney wrote:I also wonder if it's worth investigating if modifying the Leaf heating system to include a vacuum flask would help?
That's definitely not for me. Too many short trips with too much time to cool off. It takes more energy and time to heat more water.

I would have preferred if Nissan had used a solution without any water. Just put the PTC heater in the airflow. That's what many cars with diesel engines are using in areas with harsh winters.

Instant heat, no pump to break down, no fluid that can leak or evaporate.

GlennD
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:17 pm

I have received an email request for the 4016B schematic. Let me be clear, The idea was Betterleaf's. I just implemented his suggestion. The input filter is his. I removed the voltage divider and I depend on the installed circuit for input termination.

I mounted the circuit on a scrap of perf board. The connecting wires are #30 wire wrap wire. This wire fits through the PCB vias perfectly. I think it made a clean installation.

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SmilingWhenSailing
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:01 am

Nice thermal pictures! A lot of Leaf owners here in Norway, eventually also me, have insulated the expansion tank and parts of the tubing. It definitely helps to save some energy, but accessing all the tubing is difficult, therefore I haven't done any more about this. However, last winter constant use of the heater did seem to reduce my range by about 10-20 km more than it does now at temperatures around -10 degrees C. However, I remember that I sometimes had 3 battery bars last winter, so far this winter it always has been 4 bars and battery temperature is certainly not affected by the insulation of the expansion tank or tubing and therefore might account for some of the range difference since the battery simply stores more energy this year than last year. I am sure that the insulation job I did helps, but still I suspect that the main heat loss is probably the heater itself, and I haven't found the heater because it seems to be hidden from the view. Would be interesting to have a thermal picture of the heater itself... In the winter time I don't need to regulate the heat element, but it will be nice to implement the possibility to switch of the heater next summer.

BetterLeaf
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:59 am

Thanks! Very useful information!

What kind of insulation did you use?

The PTC heater is located under the battery and is fully accessible if you remove the drivers' side front wheel and the front fender protector. To remove that the front under cover also needs to be removed.

If I remember correctly then you can at least see the heater without removing the wheel if you follow the user manuals instructions on how to change the fog lights/daylight running lights. That also explains how to remove these covers. Don't know if that's enough to put on some insulation. And careful, this thing is connected to the 400V battery.

Here are some interesting pictures:
Underneath the Beast; a Tour of the Dark Side
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3896

This one shows the PTC heater. (Incorrectly labeled as "Cooling fluid goes in this. Maybe the coolant pump?")

Image

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TomT
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Re: Easy Climate Control Fan-Only Solution - 5 cents, 5 mins

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:24 am

Hi Glenn,

Just curious about one thing on your version. There is a note on your schematic about a 10M resister but I can't quite decipher it. Could you elaborate?

I used the discrete component on vector board method since I had them all here already, but I installed mine on the component side of the board since it looked neater and I had more clearance...

Nice idea on using the 4016!

Thanks!
GlennD wrote:I have received an email request for the 4016B schematic. Let me be clear, The idea was Betterleaf's. I just implemented his suggestion. The input filter is his. I removed the voltage divider and I depend on the installed circuit for input termination.
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