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Old 03-25-2012, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Benefits of Year-Round Engine Block Heater Use

Stumbled across this research paper by two researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden arguing there are benefits to engine block heater use whenever ambient temperatures are below 20 degrees C (68 degrees F).

Thought some of you might find this interesting.

Reduced Air Pollution and Fuel Consumption with Preheated Car Engines

-Bryan
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks! Interesting paper with some good facts to know. Hadn't heard of the chemical heat storage method.
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Clicked on the link and "page not found" but right clicked and saved down the pdf.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AbCaRed00 View Post
Clicked on the link and "page not found" but right clicked and saved down the pdf.
Thanks for the alert. I just fixed the link.

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Last week, the temps at around 4:00am around here were running in the low to mid 60'sF and, with my block heater set to come 4 hours before I left for work, I was seeing coolant temps around 155F and I was getting lean burn from .2-.3 miles from home.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by diamondlarry View Post
Last week, the temps at around 4:00am around here were running in the low to mid 60'sF and, with my block heater set to come 4 hours before I left for work, I was seeing coolant temps around 155F and I was getting lean burn from .2-.3 miles from home.
If one's goal is to minimize total energy consumption, running a several hundred watt engine block heater for 4 hours when ambient temperatures are in the 60's is almost certainly a waste of energy. I.e., more energy was used running the block heater than was saved running a warmer ICE.

The instructions for the 600 watt DEFA engine block heater in my Insight include a graph of ambient temperature (C) vs. block heater run time (minutes) (see attachment). It recommends only 15 minutes use at 10 C (50 F) and a run time of 3 hours at temperatures below -20 C (-4 F). Apparently, at ambient temperatures below -20 C, heat is lost as fast as it is added, especially for the Insight's small aluminum engine block. According to the Swedish research paper, DEFA's recommendations appear to be a bit conservative, so I'll probably shift their temperature axis down by 5 C so that I will turn on my block heater for 15 minutes when ambient temperatures are around 15 C (59 F).
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File Type: jpg Block Heater Run Times.jpg (20.8 KB, 30 views)
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My concern is if there is any thermal protection. Its my under standing its just a 400 or 600 watt heater depending on model and if the ambient temp is x, then you could literally over heat your car or damage something.

I know in 100 degree weather my cold engine light maybe on for a few seconds, then it goes off. In the usual cold here in VA Ive seen it on as long as 7 minutes.


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Old 03-26-2012, 07:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
My concern is if there is any thermal protection. Its my under standing its just a 400 or 600 watt heater depending on model and if the ambient temp is x, then you could literally over heat your car or damage something.

I know in 100 degree weather my cold engine light maybe on for a few seconds, then it goes off. In the usual cold here in VA Ive seen it on as long as 7 minutes.


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400W won't cause any issues. Even with continuous use in our summers in northern IN, I've never seen coolant temps over 170F. It reaches this temperature in just a couple of hours but I plugged it in and let it go on a Saturday and kept an eye on it to see what would happen. So basically in the summer, anything over 2-3 hours is wasting energy.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisbell View Post
If one's goal is to minimize total energy consumption, running a several hundred watt engine block heater for 4 hours when ambient temperatures are in the 60's is almost certainly a waste of energy. I.e., more energy was used running the block heater than was saved running a warmer ICE.

The instructions for the 600 watt DEFA engine block heater in my Insight include a graph of ambient temperature (C) vs. block heater run time (minutes) (see attachment). It recommends only 15 minutes use at 10 C (50 F) and a run time of 3 hours at temperatures below -20 C (-4 F). Apparently, at ambient temperatures below -20 C, heat is lost as fast as it is added, especially for the Insight's small aluminum engine block. According to the Swedish research paper, DEFA's recommendations appear to be a bit conservative, so I'll probably shift their temperature axis down by 5 C so that I will turn on my block heater for 15 minutes when ambient temperatures are around 15 C (59 F).
I am thinking about a block heater for my 01 MT....can you recommend what I should purchase..thanks
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DBASRA99 View Post
I am thinking about a block heater for my 01 MT....can you recommend what I should purchase..thanks
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend a 120 v. block heater because I am in Sweden where I needed a 230 v. block heater. I'm confident that a North American Insight owner will provide the information you need.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There is a lot of discussion about this on here under various topic headings.
Hot Frog is one pre heat system. Try some searches.

Also adding the prius thermos system to a G1 insight has been discussed. I did quite a lot of work on this a few years back and still have the bits for when I eventually get some free time.

You can run the 120v block heater on a 240v supply with a simple 50 cent 600V 6A diode in series with it which cuts the effective AC voltage to the heater in half.
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