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Heat on short trips

heat hvac

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127 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:49 AM

We managed 29.9 MPGe on a recent trip of 3.4 miles due to the really confusing way the heat works. It was about 30 outside and my wife set the heat to 75. The ICE kicked on, but the battery level kept dropping too, indicating to me that it was trying to heat with both. Naturally it didn't really start blowing until halfway through the trip since nothing was really warm yet.

 

Is there any way to avoid this wasteful situation where it's using both systems to heat? Is EV Now mode reasonable? I would be OK with it ignoring the battery energy and just using the ICE for the trip, which should at least get 35-40 MPG, but using both seems just ridiculous.









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#2 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 05:17 AM

If you have heated seats, (hopefully you do), this helps alleviate the energy use. EV later* is another good option because the battery has less usable capacity when it itself is cold. It may take longer to warm the cabin though. If you have a level 2 charger and leave the car connected overnight then you can leave the AC settings as you want them and precondition the car as well.

 

*  Oops, put now instead of later originally...


Edited by jzchen, 19 December 2017 - 07:08 AM.


#3 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 05:25 AM

Lower the temp initially and then if you want it warmer, gradually turn it up as the climate electric load drops. The problem is at somewhat higher temps (I've seen the ICE kick on with climate temp set at 68f and being around 30f outside) it will attempt to get to that temp ASAP and turn on the ICE if needed. If in Auto mode with available battery charge, it will actively drain the battery per normal for both climate and accel while mixing in ICE usage for heat. Unlike hybrid/EV later, it is going to recharge the battery much less or at all while doing this.

 

With it being around 25-35f here lately and my 4mi commute, I've usually kept the climate set to 65f and its kept the ICE from kicking on. In most cases I leave it there as combined with a jacket and heated seats it is comfortable.

 

Another point of consideration is to use recirc mode barring windows fogging up. Greatly reduces the electric load as the system is only maintaining the cabin air temp and not trying to heat up the air coming in from outside.


Edited by cr08, 19 December 2017 - 05:26 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   stolenmoment

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 05:34 AM

tl;dr: Don't use battery for heat; it's horribly inefficient.  Warm up the engine with EV later, set the left screen to show you the engine temp, turn on the heat when the engine temp comes up to the tickmark.  Heated seats are a big help.

 

Battery for heat is horrible because it uses resistance to heat up the engine coolant around the heater core.

 

I *really* want both engine temp and energy draw gauges visible at the same time.  I know how, I'm just cheap and lazy.



#5 OFFLINE   komondor

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:03 AM

Use the preheat feature of the car or do what I do and place a small heater on a board in the back seat turn it on about 30 minutes before you are ready to leave car will be nice and toasty when you get in.


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#6 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:11 AM

The issue is with a very short trip such as this, the engine is barely going to get up to efficient running temps and the mileage is going to tank. Especially if it is stop and go and the engine is largely idling at stop lights while coming up to temp (I do believe it does put SOME load on the engine in these cases to help but cant confirm).

 

In my own case with my 4mi commute I have to deal with about a dozen lights (granted not hitting every single one. Some days are good, others are painful). In my own use case I've found relying on the battery for heat at ambient temps of 25f or above with recirc on is still pretty efficient and gets me to and from work with a quick lunch run on a full charge. I usually see around 85-90mpge in these cases. Alternatively on the same trip using the ICE I've had it drop as low as 25mpg and I'm lucky to top out at 35-38.

 

There's also the added issue of repeated short cold runs of the engine like this is likely to trigger an oil maintenance mode sooner which will definitely kill your mileage as it is going to run the ICE 100% of the time until it is comfortable it has been run hot enough for long enough to burn off all the condensation in the oil. I've already had it come up once so far this season early on and it took about 3 solid 15mi highway runs to finish in addition to in-town trips.



#7 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:17 AM

I do preheat the car using Go Times whenever possible but there isn't an L2 charger at any of my destinations, of course. Three little kids in the back seat, so seat heaters don't really solve the problem we're trying to fix. I will try these things:

1. Recirculating the air

2. EV Now for a short trip, EV Later for a long one

3. Not getting too worked up about it because it's just an oddity of the car



#8 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:30 AM

I *really* want both engine temp and energy draw gauges visible at the same time.  I know how, I'm just cheap and lazy.

Also on this point it is definitely doable on the MyView pane. It's what I've left mine on this entire season so far.

 

https://imgur.com/N0RdxVP



#9 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:49 AM

Man for 3 miles don't even bother with the heat.  You can use heated seats if you want they will just be getting warm by the time your trip is ending.

 

Doesn't make sense to start the engine and electric heat just puts alot of load on the battery and is not good from the start, its better to maintain the heat with the battery once warm in between engine cycles in city traffic but to warm up from cold is very inefficient.

 

My plan was to just learn to drive in a cold car as if I'm outside walking around town in the cold.  Dress warm and its not so bad if the sun is shining open the sun shade on top if you have the skylight.

 

-=>Raja.



#10 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 07:19 AM

We managed 29.9 MPGe on a recent trip of 3.4 miles due to the really confusing way the heat works. It was about 30 outside and my wife set the heat to 75. The ICE kicked on, but the battery level kept dropping too, indicating to me that it was trying to heat with both. Naturally it didn't really start blowing until halfway through the trip since nothing was really warm yet.

 

Is there any way to avoid this wasteful situation where it's using both systems to heat? Is EV Now mode reasonable? I would be OK with it ignoring the battery energy and just using the ICE for the trip, which should at least get 35-40 MPG, but using both seems just ridiculous.

 

 

From my standpoint you've got a few options/methods to think about...  And as always these can be impacted by what your later travel plans are as well...

 

1) Leave the heat off.  Depending on how long in time your 3 miles are, you're not going to get much anyway.

 

2) Put it in EV Now mode and be careful with how much heat you ask for as well as how cold it is.  And don't ask for defrost.  Then you should be able to just suck up a bunch of battery and never start the ICE.  You should get a bit of heat before the trip is over.

 

3) Put it in EV Later and it should suck down battery and gas, but this should be about the fastest way to get heat(though I'd still say you're not going to get a whole heck of a lot depending on actual time involved in this trip).  But, at least the ICE will be put to use replenishing the battery it's using for the electric heater as well.

 

 

The biggest issue I see is just trying to let the car sort it out itself in Auto.  There are plenty of times when it seems just SUPER stupid...  Basically it fires up the engine cause for heat because it's reached whatever the degrees inside or out that it's programmed to do that.  And THEN it decides to still use the battery basically as much as possible.  So...  I get like 30MPG out of the gas burner which is essentially just wasting gas, *maybe* providing a little heat, but at the same time it's sucking down the main battery at max rate since it's still getting used for heating and about 90% of the power to the wheels.

 

So, generally it seems better to either choose EV Now or Later depending on how/when you want to allocate your resources...  I only switch to auto at times like when I've been in EV Later and it's already warmed up and we're on a downhill or in town where I'm just creeping around and the ICE will actually shut off again.



#11 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:18 AM

I personally would just use the seat heater and/or deal with it for 3 miles, but with kids in the car (a 4yo and 1yo twins) this is an unacceptable solution to my wife even though they're well-bundled.

 

I'm glad everybody has the same experience that the way it handles heat in EV Auto is just stupid.


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#12 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:01 PM

If it is a set time, I would definitely recommend trying to get a 240V charger installed and make use of Go Times to help out. I understand the children aspect and this would go a long way towards getting the car warmed up before they even get in the car and reduce battery/ICE usage once on the road while also waiting for probably half that trip to warm up.

 

Sadly for our house with an already loaded breaker panel its going to require a replacement to get more open slots, possibly getting the power company in to increase the incoming feed (I don't know the current capacity offhand but our house is full electric, no gas. Heat is primarily heat pump with resistive backup and I think the furnace has a 60A breaker), and then finding how to route a feed to the garage. So I definitely want to have money saved up ahead of time in preparation for all that work.



#13 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:07 PM

Yes, seat heaters and Go times are definite items to use.  You don't even really need that much prior knowledge of the time you're leaving.  I have random times I leave every morning, but I just get to a guess of around 15-20 minutes from when I'll be leaving, set the go time for that time and it helps considerably.  But yes, that does require 15amps@240V.  I'd still to it on 120V, but at that level it's lucky to even feel that it's less cold in the car.



#14 OFFLINE   komondor

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 05:22 PM

For the kids maybe something like this would work?

 

https://www.amazon.c...t/dp/B000V8QVX6

 

71zM1px2qsL._SL1000_.jpg



#15 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:45 AM

For the kids maybe something like this would work?

 

https://www.amazon.c...t/dp/B000V8QVX6

 

We keep some blankets in the back of the Focus Electric for the kids (not heated but still)... although these days I have GO Times set up on the L2 which do the job just fine.  However during the ~40mi drive to the school, my wife likes to turn off the heat to save power, so the blankets come in handy then.



#16 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:47 AM

 I would be OK with it ignoring the battery energy and just using the ICE for the trip, which should at least get 35-40 MPG, but using both seems just ridiculous.

 

I would try using EV LATER to hopefully avoid battery use as much as possible.  35-40mpg isn't likely on such a short trip since the ICE spends most of its time in its least efficient phase, the warmup cycle.  The longer the drive/trip, the lower the effect on overall fuel efficiency.  Our Prius is currently driven on very short trips (typically under 2 miles) and is lucky to reach 30mpg PER TANK.  Plug-in's can avoid these by pre-conditioning on wall power beforehand.

 

I select kW usage on My View to monitor electrical load.  With the HVAC in auto mode, it is easy to see electricity use spike and react accordingly.   My daughter used a small heating pad in the rear seat which she came to love.  Plug-in's should have steering wheel and all seats heaters as standard equipment or at the very least as a cheap option.


Edited by fotomoto, 20 December 2017 - 06:53 AM.


#17 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:37 AM

I'm surprised that no one thought about  "How to Improve Winter MPG" thread; http://fordcmaxenerg...e-winter-mpgs/ By using ICE Oil Pan/ Block Heaters/ Grill Covers you can quickly heat up ICE and improve MPG's. :smile2: 

 

Paul 



#18 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:41 AM

Question about GO Times-

 

When the car pre-heats the heater coolant to warm the interior during the GO Time preconditioning, does this also pre-warm the engine coolant as well (so the engine is partially "pre-heated"?)



#19 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:47 AM

It shouldn't based on existing documentation. Essentially the car is able to isolate the coolant loop between just the cabin heater core and an auxillary coolant pump vs the full engine/radiator coolant loop and the primary water pump. The electric coolant heater is part of the cabin heating loop. When in EV mode including using Go Times, it should be keeping that isolated. It is DEFINITELY a big energy waste trying to use electricity to heat up the entire loop including what is in the radiator.



#20 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:48 AM

Question about GO Times-

 

When the car pre-heats the heater coolant to warm the interior during the GO Time preconditioning, does this also pre-warm the engine coolant as well (so the engine is partially "pre-heated"?)

 

I think the simplest answer is : "partially".  It certainly doesn't(or at least I hope not) heat up the radiator and all of the coolant.  But you can see the temperature rise on the coolant temp gauge, so it seems it's probably heating up the head of the engine to some degree.  

 

Not exactly the most efficient for just trying to warm the cabin, but yeah it shouldn't be as bad if the ICE is going to fire up in the cold...

 

Don't get the wrong idea though, even with the electric heat on and the engine started up, it can still take quite some time(if at all) to get the ICE up to it's supposed ideal operating temp.  The most realistic help for this is most likely to go check out ptjones' post above for the grill blockers.  Still amazes me that we have "active shutters" yet they don't seem to be able to block the cold air so that the car actually warms up like it should...  (oh wait, and then the fans run full time under certain conditions like when the ac is on, right?  Like when the defrost might be selected?)


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