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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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I'm not too sure this would be worth it. If you drive on a cold day, the window glass and the skin of the car don't get warmed very much by the heater. Basically the heater just heats the air, which represents a very small amount of heat. So I think that keeping the engine warm is the sensible goal.

I wonder if you could do this with the engine oil? If the car had a dry sump lubricating system then it would be easy to replace the oil reservoir with a thermos. There are racing car suppliers (e.g. Pegasus) that sell the stuff needed to convert a car to a dry sump system. ... yID=OILING
Look at the Accusump stuff and the oil tank heater...
A block heater is a good idea. I have one, not yet installed. But it's a bit of a cheat, isn't it? Supplying extra power from an external source?

I still like the idea of a oil thermos...
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