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Insight Thermos

3262 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Dougie
Had a flash of insight :wink: just now as I got into my frigid Insight for the test drive.
Everytime we get home from our commute, the car is warm. the block, coolant, transmission, gas?, batteries, are all good and hot. By next morning it is all cold again. (except for the people that heat their garages)
What if we saved that heat overnight by building a super insulated foil faced foam garage for the insight, so the heat is retained, the other end of you commute is still a problem, but this takes care of the overnight.
I have made solar heat storage drums that are insulated with a 2" wall version of this box, and it works quite well. The construction plan below would allow 4" of insulation on all sides, with 2" on the floor. Thats some serious insulation, it should retain much of the heat in the car, and could be suplimented with a small electric RV heater.

1. Start by making two wood ramps wide enough for the front and back wheels of the insight with maybe 6"extra width wide planks of 2X12's or whatever to make up the necessary width. The thermal pod will be 8 feet wide and just long enough to fit the car, or the full 16' for more room.

2" thick foil faced hard foam insulation is our building material. For extra insulation and strength, make it two layers thick or 4" total, bridging the seams for rigidity.
Stand up one sheet, and attach it to the roof, then to another wall. 4 feet wide, 8 ' tall, and 8 ' wide. The joints are taped with foil tape. A big U, Tape two 4X8 panels to the outside of the U, to form a box.
Make 3 more of these three panel U and attach them to thelbuilding. to make a rectangular insulated box. 8X16 X 8 tall. Room to sparefor the Insight
Have the open end of the box held on with bungy cords.
The car is in a thermal storage unit. I would estimate it would be >70 in the box by morning, even on a real cold night.

Conserve that thermal energy :wink:
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The Prius only warms the coolant. I want to retain the heat in the whole car.
We paid to warm it up, it seems a shame to let it cool off overnight when a couple of hundred bucks of foam insulation could keep the whole car warm.
This would only work inside of a garage of course.
I know that this idea is a bit out there, but I have been working with this foam board with my solar storage drums for a couple of years now, and was impressed with how well it works. A 4"thickwall and celing in a box that is 16X8X8 feet, should retain most of the heat..
The block, radiator, batteries,MPI and inside of the car we can assume will be warm when you drive in, the metal body will be colder. If the box is airtight when closed, the equilibration temp would be about 70f to my estimation? Want more, throw in a 100W bulb.
I could be way off on my estimation? only way to know is to try it.
It is cheaper than insulating and heating the whole garage thats for sure.
On the Prius thermos.
What happens to the 2 gal of warm antifreeze when it hits frozen motor that has 20 or more times the thermal mass. At best I would expect 5-10 degrees temperature rise.
Maybe this is Just another crazy idea! :roll:
James has the right idea, I even have the glass wall above the garage, for the collector, but in the 15 years the garage has been up, I have not even managed to find time to get the junk out, let alone insulate. :wink:
That would work if the commuting was done at night, but most people commute in the morning, after the car sits in the cold place, so we start off with a frozen car. The car weighs 1800 lbs, the motor and batteries weigh no more that 300 lbs, so the ratio of cold stuff to hot stuff in the thermos would likely balance out to the cold side. A block heater is begining to be a more logical way to go. :wink:
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