Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hydraulic Heater

Hydraulic heater for instant heat
  (+4, -5)
(+4, -5)
  [vote for,

A hydraulic device that runs as an accesory off the drive/ serpentine belt of the car's motor. The fluid inside would be churned like a loaded torque converter or a hydraulic bike trainer. It would circulate warm fluid into a seperate heater core inside the cabin. Runs on standard DEX/MERC ATF fluid. I heard 1 time that a 10 second brake-torque can make the fluid inside a torque converter 400 deg. F
KineticKill, Mar 06 2008


       Welcome to the HB, Kinetic.   

       Are you talking about a device that runs all the time? If so, wouldn't it waste energy? My understanding is that conventional car heaters just use the waste heat from the engine, whereas this would be a drain on the engine and you'd just have to dissipate more of the engine's waste heat through the radiator.   

       Or does this device only kick in when the brakes are being used? (In which case it's a better idea.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 06 2008

       Much like an A/C compressor it has a electric clutch and is operated by the ECU. The engine idle is stepped up to compensate for the loss of power. It wont run all the time, just when occupant heat demand is greater then the engine coolant can provide at the time. Turns off completely after coolant is warmed to operating temp. Best if used on luxury cars because of added cost.
KineticKill, Mar 06 2008

       Hugely wastefull.
WcW, Mar 06 2008

       //Hugely wasteful// OK, gets a [+] from me then.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 06 2008

       I like it. It could use the liquid itself as the on/off switch. Pump it full, and the liquid gets churned up; drain it out, and the churn just freewheels.   

       You'd not want to kick it in until the engine is a bit warmed up, so as to keep the strain off a cold motor. Then, as you say, turn it off once the coolant is up to temp.   

       Welcome, Kinetic. Expect a bit of folks leaping to the wrong conclusions.
baconbrain, Mar 06 2008

       actually what you want is to have a 2 piece shell and a brake on one of the halves of the shell, this is incredibly wasteful and would draw enormous power to actually heat enough fluid fast enough to do what you want, while the shear forces may cause the LOCAL temp to rise drastically, The volume of fluid being heated to that temp is really quite small so the throughput of the heater will be limited. Further this type of loading on a torque converter is extremely bad for the converter and will lead to rapid failure.
jhomrighaus, Mar 06 2008

       // Expect a bit of folks leaping to the wrong conclusions//
… pouncing and then ripping these wrong conclusions to shreds like packs of rabid wolverines, only to produce more wrong conclusions.
Oh, and may I also offer a warm welcome.
Amos Kito, Mar 06 2008

       I read about a rooftop-mounted wind turbine in NYC that heated water by exactly this method. It offset about 30% of the building's heating load.   

elhigh, Mar 06 2008

       I used a similar technique to start a lube system which was outside: use the pump itself to heat the oil. Since the motor is in the order of 20kW, and the heaters (4kW) barely able to do anything after a cold snap, the pump is run and the relief valve drops the pressure back to the tank. The heat is mostly generated across the relief valve, and the oil isn't burnt.   

       If KineticKill uses a large water pump and relief valve, the same heater core could be used in the passenger compartment. Although I suspect that a belt drive wouldn't be up to the job.
Ling, Mar 06 2008

       Just to be clear- the heating unit is completely separate from the transmission. You don't brake torque anything. Anyone that has used hydraulic equipment has noticed that the lines and reservoir get hot as the hydraulic fluid is used under high pressure, this uses a similar principle but the unit uses energy against itself, not to do any work, which multiplies its heat output. I learned a little about fluid dynamics when in transmission class in Auto tech school (but I don't know everything). This system might work well as a sort of "hybrid" unit which the deceleration of the drive wheels turns the pump instead of the engine, making use of wasted energy. It might be better that using a generator on deceleration and then using an electric heater-
KineticKill, Mar 06 2008

       Output in heat: Fuel burned in the engine. There is no way to get around this. If you really want heat fast put an exchanger in the pre-cat, that gets really hot within a few seconds and that heat comes for free. In the bad old days an air tube ran from the exhaust manifold into the cab and you got hot air pretty immediately. An exhaust heat exchanger would provide free immediate heat without strapping an expensive accesory onto the crank. KISS.
WcW, Mar 06 2008

       "It wont run all the time, just when occupant heat demand is greater then the engine coolant can provide at the time."   

       It would have to be really, really cold, much colder than -40, for the heater requirements to be greater than the waste heat used by conventional car heaters in most cars. If more immediate heat is required at startup, a plug-in block heater works well.
whlanteigne, Mar 09 2008

       This has nothing to do with heat while the engine is at operating temp! just in the first few minutes on cold mornings- people who pay 80k for a lexus or jag or mercedes want fancy crap like that. And they are usually not the people to plug in block heaters. And I know, heat from the engine.. yada, yada, yada- I get it- we all know 1/3 of the energy in the gasoline burnt is going just to heating the coolant- that will warm people when it actually heats up. Maybe best idea is really a pre-cat heat exchanger. That gets really hot right away but makes the whole exhaust manifold more complicated, but hey- its heat for free, no other crap running on the engine-
KineticKill, Mar 09 2008


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