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Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:08 pm
by Stunt822
I love my car to be toasty, but even in Oregon - being warm in Winter in Leaf - means cutting mileage in half. So i'm dreaming about adding a coolant heater that is used on diesel cars. Size seems ok, and there is space inside front fenders (in front of wheels), or possibly - in front of radiator.
Since cabin heater is driven by old school coolant filled core - adding coolant heater technically is a 2+2 operation.
Leaf will shut off it's electric heater based on coolant temperature.

Any thoughts?

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:40 am
by Herm
It would work if you could tap into the heater coolant loop, in the Volt it also circulates into the battery so you have higher chances of finding an exposed coolant hose.. definitely lots of toasty heat!

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:03 am
by KJD
On of the locals here used one in a homebuilt EV. I would avoid the diesel heater if possible. They are really expensive and I hate the smell of those things. They would also be difficult to install in a Leaf.

Does your car have seat heaters, if not you might want to add them to the car. There is lots of information on how to install them here on MNL. The amount of electricity that a seat heater uses is very small, so no problem there.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6810" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:05 am
by jimtubbs
There is a Blue Heat? module from Europe that might work

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:37 am
by jimtubbs
Blue Heat Motors in Phoenix Ar has a device from Europe that might work.

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:24 am
by LEAFer
jimtubbs wrote:Blue Heat Motors in Phoenix Ar has a device from Europe that might work.
They need HEATers in Phoenix ???!! :lol:

(Sorry ... irresistable ...)

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:47 am
by edatoakrun
I've considered the option of using a RV propane water heater instead, and adding a heat exchanger to the existing "heatant" loop.

Parts are cheap and off the shelf.

Propane is widely available in different cylinder sizes.

It just never gets much below ~25 F here, so the payback didn't seem worth the effort.

I think it would be extremely useful for cold-climate LEAFs which need the "rang extension" in winter.

Much cheaper and lighter than trying to get cabin heat from battery storage, obviously.

I've tried to get some propane equipment suppliers interested in selling a purpose-built design for BEVs, with no luck so far.

You might find some more info in a search of old threads on the subject.

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
by jimtubbs
Retired Priest who wants to stay warm in my Leaf. After freezing last year in the Leaf last winter while substituting for 55 miles to a church I began looking for a way to do something to heat the car. I found this company who has a inline heater. Since I am not knowledgeable enough to understand if this would boost the heat with a additional fluid holding tank to add to the existing heater. http://www.electriccarpartscompany.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; look for the inline heater oprions available. Thank You Jim Tubbs

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:30 pm
by edatoakrun
jimtubbs wrote:Retired Priest who wants to stay warm in my Leaf. After freezing last year in the Leaf last winter while substituting for 55 miles to a church I began looking for a way to do something to heat the car. I found this company who has a inline heater. Since I am not knowledgeable enough to understand if this would boost the heat with a additional fluid holding tank to add to the existing heater. http://www.electriccarpartscompany.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; look for the inline heater oprions available. Thank You Jim Tubbs
Sorry, but I don't see how those electric heaters would help you.

The main problem with the LEAFs resistance heater is not insufficient capacity.

The problem is, using the LEAFs electric heater just uses too much battery power.

I remember calculating how many Wh you could leave in the battery, by adding a larger heatant tank, and preheating it from the wall at home before a trip. IIRC, I figured another 5 gallon tank could save you close to 1 kWh of battery power.

You actually could probably get the heat more efficiently by filling a large container from your home water heater, and putting it in the passenger seat before you begin your drive. A Hot water bottle, for the road, if you will.

A slightly more practical suggestion might be an aftermarket seat-heater (if you don't already have heated seats) that plugs into your 12 V dash outlet.

It is not any more efficient than the car's heater, but it puts the heat where it counts...

Re: Install diesel coolant heater?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:06 pm
by Stunt822
KJD wrote: On of the locals here used one in a homebuilt EV. I would avoid the diesel heater if possible. They are really expensive and I hate the smell of those things. They would also be difficult to install in a Leaf.

Does your car have seat heaters, if not you might want to add them to the car. There is lots of information on how to install them here on MNL. The amount of electricity that a seat heater uses is very small, so no problem there.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6810" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
surpised you think they smell - range rovers have them by default in cold markets - no problem. Just need clean install - there is 0% chance for smell.

Space permits . Hoses expposed - heat circulation pump is exactly under front bumper (not super smart location)


Thanks for heated seats link - check mine out, i think turned out very nice.
But it's a different beast http://youtu.be/jdNdUx6-Sx8