Vehicle: Car: Alternate Use
Emergency Heat   (+4, -3)  [vote for, against]
Emergency Home Heat Source From Your Car

I propose the marketing of a device which permits the use of a car's coolant heat to be used to provide emergency heat to a room in a home. The coolant would be transported via insulated hoses from the car (via quick connect ports) to a heat exchanger in the affected room. Control of the car could be accomplished via a remote starter. Power for the fan on the heat exchanger would come from the car.
-- BMCCUE, Sep 28 2005

Long Johns http://www.answers....opic/long-underwear
Like, dude, put some clothes on. [ConsulFlaminicus, Sep 29 2005]

The Very Product http://www.4disaste...heater/phk1800.html
An Example [BMCCUE, Jan 31 2006]

So, um, you want to heat the home using only waste heat from the car's engine?

Hard to think of a more inefficient mechanism (unless, of course, this is a mobile home being towed behind said car).
-- DrCurry, Sep 28 2005

Emergency Heat Source only. I live in the North East and if the power were to go out, my furnace would be useless. With an emergency source (albeit temporary), heat could be provided to a room via this process. The overall method is identical to the existing heat method in the car except that it moves the exchanger to the inside of one's home.
-- BMCCUE, Sep 28 2005

So, what is a car AC unit's power consumption? I would venture to geuss less than 3,000 watts - the waste heat would be less than 2,000 watts, and that's a compleatly useless amount.

In the situation where the power went out for a extended period, the gas in your car might be better utilized making the car go somewhere, than allowing you not to where a coat indoors.

If you are fixed appon not wearing a coat, it'd be better to get a battery bank to operate your furnace (assuming it's an electric fan that's the problem - if you have electric heat, this is pointless), or buy a wood-burning stove.
-- my-nep, Sep 28 2005

Clarification - Emergency heat only while car is outside (along with its CO). Warmed coolant from engine circulates through insulated pipes into the room to be heated. This idea has absolutely nothing to do with a car's A/C. Rather than placing my family of 4 inside an idling a car, they would be safely inside the house while a raging blizzard was going on outside.
-- BMCCUE, Sep 28 2005

Couldn't you syphon the gasoline and put it in the furnace? Then at least you'd be using all the energy in the fuel, not a small portion. Or maybe hook the car engine up to a power generator.
-- DrCurry, Sep 28 2005

An automotive water pump is designed to handle a 3 to 5 gallons of coolant going through 15 to 20 feet of hoses, compartments and chambers throughout the engine. Because the water pump sits at a central height location on the engine, it does not have to pump the coolant any higher than 12 to 18 inches from the bottom of the radiator to the top.

To apply the use of this same pump to heat one room in a house, the room would have to be directly beside the car. Any further distance or height (like on the 2nd floor) would be impossible for the water pump to adequately provide heated coolant where it is needed.

It would probably make more sense to just get in the car and drive around if you want to stay warm.
-- Jscotty, Sep 29 2005

OK, we'll add a supplemntary 12 volt water circulation pump similar to the one used in off grid solar hot water systems. The reason for not utilizing the gasoline in the furnace (boom!) is that the furnace isn't functioning due to perhaps a power outage.
-- BMCCUE, Sep 29 2005

//I live in the North East//
So do I. We're almost neighbours.
-- angel, Sep 29 2005


I did construct such a device and it works. I was not able to find the quick disconnect device I mentioned, so I used standard hose connections with 2 valves (a "jumper" hose bypasses the heater when not required)

The device adds an amazing amount of heat into the room. I did not use the suggested pump because the vehicle is almost at the same level as the house. I do agree that the pump would probably make things even better.
-- BMCCUE, Oct 17 2005

A car does put out plenty of heat, so this would work. However, in this case, I would suggest a more low-tech solution: A properly installed wood-burning fireplace, or one of those newfangled corn-burning fireplace.

I know burning corn seems pretty ridiculous, but until they change the laws to stop subsidizing rampant overproduction of corn, it's a pretty good deal.

I think they have stove models that can take mixed fuel loads, anything from corn to wood to maybe even charcoal. And if they don't, I think market forces will eventually dictate the need for one.
-- Madai, Oct 17 2005

i don't see anything wrong with the idea [+].
-- vedarshi, Oct 17 2005

You would want to bypass the car's radiator, as you don't want to lose most of your heat to the outside air. A logical choice for the inside heat exchanger would be another car radiator, with electric fan. Or remove the car's existing radiator and fan, carry it inside and reconnect it with extra long hoses and 12V fan wiring.

I don't think height difference would be that big a problem. Aren't most radiator systems sealed and pressurised? You would want non-collapsable tubing.

//not a small portion// A quick search suggests that car engine efficiency is at most 25%, so at least 75% of the fuel's energy is released as waste heat. Given that most (figures?) of a car engine's heat is dissipated via the radiator the overall efficiency might not be all that low.

Burning high-grade fuel to produce low-grade heat is wasteful in itself, but we do that anyway. People. Go figure.
-- spidermother, Feb 01 2006

You live in the North East of where? This is an international site and most of it, and many of the bakers herein, are not American.
-- Minimal, Feb 01 2006

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