Instant Car Heat

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by LED Man, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. LED Man

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2008
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    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if its possible to get your car heat instantly hot in the winter. I hate waiting for it to warm up for like 10 minutes. Would this type of thing be electrically possible? Thanks
     
  2. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
    1
    That's a thermodynamics problem. It's nearly the same as asking, "Can you boil a pot of water in 30 seconds, rather than 2 minutes?" If you increase the power of the heating element, increase area of contact, then it shouldn't be a big issue. It's mainly a function of thermal mass of the heater along with everything else that is robbing the heat from the source.

    I'm not sure if it is feasible to 'jerry rig' up a heater and more fans, it wouldn't be simple anyways.

    Steve
     
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    For significant heat, no. Cars are not well insulated and take a lot of heat to warm up. A 1000 watt heater might make a dent, but look at the load on the electrical system. To make 1000 watts of heat with a 12 volt system would take 83.33 amps of current. The poor alternator may not be rated much above 100 amps, and it will also be trying to supply the lights and whatever loads are active, as well as recharge the battery after the big starting surge.

    It was common not that long ago to wear clothing suited to the weather - heavy coats, gloves, hats, etc. Modern practice is to ignore cold and wear those comfy shorts and t shirts. Perhaps this is not really comfortable after all.
     
  4. LED Man

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    62
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    Haha, thanks for that. I guess it would probably take a scientific breakthrough or something to fix this issue huh?
     
  5. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
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    It is more a question of power. Increasing the power of the heater will increase the temperature and heating speed for the same amount of material to be heated. Of course it depends on other factors. As Scubasteve said, this is a thermodynamics problem.
     
  6. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    9,411
    896
    Light a bonfire inside your car. Pour gasoline on it. Then it will heat quickly.
     
  7. lightingman

    Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2007
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    Hi...There was and maybe still is a device Made by kenlowe called a hotstart, we used it on our big standby generators and I had one on my car... It is fitted in the heater cirduit and is basicaly a small 3 Kw heater and circulating pump all in one small unit....When I bought my last one about 10 years ago it was 79.00 GBP...You just plug the unit in about 30 mins before you set of and that's it (don't forget to un-plug before you drive off). I had mine on a timer....Hope this helps...Daniel.
     
  8. LED Man

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2008
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    That's pretty interesting.

    Aside from that though, do you guys think it would be possible to fit a car with some sort of electrical heating element that heats up really fast and can blow hot air a few seconds after starting the car, and then after the engine heats up enough, the system can phase in to the normal heating method of cars with the heater core, etc.?
     
  9. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Where is thousands of Watts of electrically made heat going to come from?
     
  10. LED Man

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    62
    0
    What if you're heating something that doesn't take too much power to heat up and heats up very hot very quickly?
     
  11. lightingman

    Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    374
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    Yes exactly.... 3 Kw @ 240v = 12.5 Amps.... 3 Kw @ 12v = 250 Amps, and it takes about 30 mins to heat a small engine (mine was a Mini "A" series 1275 cc unit)... Think about it !!!!.... Daniel.
     
  12. Ron H

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    The rate of temperature rise is going to be proportional to the amount of power dissipated. There ain't no way of cheating on physics.:eek: Try lighting a candle in your car. It gets very hot very quickly. See how long it takes to heat your car.:(
     
  13. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    You should always dress appropriately for the weather, and never rely on the vehicles heater. It costs dozens of people their lives every winter. Cold weather is rough on cars, the fail. Icy roads aren't just fun, they are very dangerous. Even if you are the best driver in the world, most of the other people on the road aren't.

    Climbing into a refrigerator early in the morning to go to work isn't a problem here in Florida, but I remember the winters in Oregon well...
     
  14. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
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    Where I currently live (Thunder Bay) there isn't a parking spot without a plug in for a block heater. I would have to second the notion, just dress for the occasion :)

    Steve
     
  15. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    There is the Alaskan solution - you let the car idle while you're not driving it all winter long. At least, that's how they did it back in the carburetor days. Not only instant heat, but uninterrupted heat!

    Just recalled Corvairs. They had gasoline heaters. A bit dangerous, but very fast to produce hot air.
     
  16. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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    Try storing the car in a heated garage.
     
  17. nomurphy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 8, 2005
    567
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  18. techroomt

    Senior Member

    May 19, 2004
    198
    1
    you can buy small car heaters that plug into the cigar lighter and offer some heat while you're waiting for the engine to warm up. go out and start the car several minutes before you need to drive, good for the engine anyway, bad for fuel economy.
     
  19. lightingman

    Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    374
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    Ah !!!...It is actualy bad for the engine..... When you start a car from cold, it is on choke. during this time there is more fuel than normal entering the combustion chamber. This extra fuel washes the thin film of oil that is needed on the bore around the pistons. this oil is normaly supplied by splash from the crankshaft, but because the engine is only idling, the quantity of oil is also reduced... And the engine will stay on choke longer as it is not doing enough work to heat up fast..... If you do it too often it will wear the bores...Daniel.
     
  20. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
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    Then this thing must have a small thermal mass, and perhaps is not too efficient radiating heat as well.

    P.S.:Thermal mass is the mass of the object combined with the heat capacity of the substance that is made from.
     
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