h a l f b a k e r y
"My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."
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This would be an aftermarket device about the same size as a ac compressor. It would use the same existing brackets on the engine to secure itself in the place the ac compressor occupied. When the season changed, you would swap the ac for the instant heat generator.
The heat comes from a induction
heated piece of stainless steel. The power for said induction comes from a generator built into the heater. The generator, conductive metal, inductive element and the plumbing for the coolant are contained in a small, cylindrical package similar to the original ac compressor. The heat generated is instant. The second the engine turns the fan belt it is creating heat. The heat is transferred to the engines coolant through plastic tubing. Just like the AC compressor the generators pulley will be controlled by a electromagnetic clutch. Because the heat is being applied to the engine block along with the heater core, after some time the device would clutch off. When the engine reached a good temp. The unit would output to the heater core directly, providing instant heat inside the cab.
It may be necessary to gear up the generator to create enough power at idle rpms...
||Some cars (VW I know) already have an electric heater fitted into the coolant circuit which is tripped in until a pre-determined coolant temperature. As this only loads up the alternator, without requiring yet another accessory on the engine and does not require additional pipework I think this approach is the way forward.
||As an aftermarket device, can I suggest something which would be a replacement for the thermostat, including a heater coil in the space underneath the valve. This would be tripped (possibly using a contact on the thermostat coil) to switch off at about 70C and wired into the ignition, so that it switches off when the car's not running.