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Old 02-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #8
autostaretx
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Default Re: What to expect from the auxiliary heater?

Quote:
For example: Ambient temp 32F
after 15 minutes: what is the coolant temp?
after how many minutes does the coolant reach 180F? Does it ever reach 180F or what is the max temp that you can get?
Exactly how i used to run it (before i retired)... i'd dash out and punch the red button 15 minutes before leaving for work.
I'd do this any day the air temp was below 40F, so my "tests" were usually in the 28F to 35F range.
By the time i went outdoors, the frost/ice on the window would be softened enough for easy "push" off instead of hard scraping.
Water temp was probably 110F or so (i didn't bother to scangauge it... should'a).
Five minutes of in-city driving later (at a traffic light) i'd see that the temp was exceeding 150F, and the cabin air blast was fairly warm.
That's when i would turn OFF the Aux Heater.
If outside air temp was below 32F, the water temperature would start to drop a bit for the next 5 minutes of mostly-level 30 mph driving.

The *real* test i gave the heater was one overnight camping in sub-freezing Coquitlam BC (20 to 25F?).
We'd get up every two hours or so and punch the button to restart it.
It kept the entire cargo area (except the lowest "foot above the floor" zone) about 45 to 50F or higher (warmer near roof, heat rises).
Since we have a passenger wagon, the sides are all glass... lots of heat-loss. They stayed fog-free.
We've also removed the pretty dress wall panels, so we have less "insulation" than a normal wagon.

As a comparison, we've kind'a duplicated that situation, but with a 600 watt 120vac oil-filled electric radiant heater running all night in the van.
(thermostat knob 2 feet off floor set to "3" out of 9, but i don't recall if it ever cycled or just ran "on" all night)
The "test" nights haven't been quite as cold (30 to 32 F) as that clear night in Coquitlam, so the electric heater hasn't had to work as hard. We have a curtain separating the cargo/bed from the front cabin.
Results were similar.... definite thermocline about 1 foot off the floor (wheel well height?), then "warm enough" from there on up.
50F on a thermometer mounted on the rear door pillar about 2 feet off the floor.

The Espar is 5000 watts at "full toot", and 2500 watts at idle. Our in-cabin electric heater isn't dealing with the engine or the inefficiency of trying to have the front air ducts heat the rear cargo area (thus lots of losses through the sky-facing windshield and front windows)

The Espar definitely helps on 25F days, it can reach 180F water temperature during in-city driving (those days i left it on for 15 minutes of driving after the 15 minute warm-ups... and i think it did it even if i didn't do the pre-warmups.

--dick
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2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
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((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))

Last edited by autostaretx; 02-17-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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