Look at your engine compartment, there's a belt going from the end of the engine to the AC compressor and water pump. It's an engine driven compressor. So yes I'm sure there' s a way you could do it, but nothing currently exists, so you'd have to fabricate and machine a lot of custom parts.
I am interested in seeing what Honda has done with the Accord as far as their engine or electric AC system. Is it two separate compressors or some sort of double AC clutch system that allows a separate motor to drive the single compressor. To me this approach seems much better than a single AC drive because it will be inherently less efficient to burn gas to turn a motor to generate electricity to turn a ac motor compared to burning gas to turn a engine that turns a compressor and the cars wheels.
I'd be curious to see how efficient each is. Considering GM's 2nd gen EV's had a AC system big enough to freeze you out of the vehicle if you didn't turn the temp way up, and also big enough to adequately cool the entire battery pack. They only drew about 3 amps from the 312 volt pack. In theory a Prius AC with a 200 volt pack should take less than 5 amps.
A/C draws alot of power, that's why we can feel the engine get weaker when it kicks in.
With the size of the Insight's battery it makes more sense to run the A/C through a clutch attached to the gas engine, it's a lot more efficient this way. The load on the battery pack of an electrical A/C would be like driving with assist all the time, battery would drain in minutes.
We only need assist to accelerate and/or climb hills but the A/C needs to stay on most of the time to be affective.
Since the Prius is designed to be driven on 100% battery mode during stop and go city driving speeds it makes sense that they allowed A/C to function during that time.
For the ultimate in fuel efficiency gasoline powered car, mechanically drawing the power to run the A/C from the gas engine makes more sense because of the losses involved in recharging a battery pack.
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