DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to this site and find there is a lot of good information and resources here.
I have a electric car that I drive to work and am looking into putting a heater in it. Since the car runs on 48 volts, I am wondering if/how I can "rewire" a 110 volt AC heater to 48 volt DC. Is this possible? With the little bit of electrical experience I have, I am thinking that the problem would be witht the switches on the heater.
Anyone have any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
4yoursafety said:
Hello,
I am new to this site and find there is a lot of good information and resources here.
I have a electric car that I drive to work and am looking into putting a heater in it. Since the car runs on 48 volts, I am wondering if/how I can "rewire" a 110 volt AC heater to 48 volt DC. Is this possible? With the little bit of electrical experience I have, I am thinking that the problem would be witht the switches on the heater.
Anyone have any ideas?
I'd be careful talk to the manufacturer first
 

·
flipping slumlord
Joined
·
5,116 Posts
I'd be careful talk to the manufacturer first
What he said^^.

If your new electric car doesn't have heat...
I'm sure they have investigated how to deal with it.

The solution will likely involve a higher output alternator...
(and some relays and fuses and controls ... oh my!)
 

·
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
Electric cars lack heat because heating things with electricity uses a LOT of power - close to as much power as the car uses to drive. In a gas vehicle, there's plenty of spare heat available that is wasted if it's not used to heat the car. In an electric vehicle, there is no spare energy to tap for that purpose. Any heating will decrease your range substantially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
This ia a "electric" vehicle. No alternator, one seater. I realize that installing a heater will reduce the range on my battery pack and can deal with it. I am looking for ways "if posible" to run a 110 volt Ac heater on 48 volt DC.
 

·
" Euro " electrician
Joined
·
5,369 Posts
What the electric car manufacter it is ? or a homemade one ?

Merci.
Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
This ia a "electric" vehicle. No alternator, one seater. I realize that installing a heater will reduce the range on my battery pack and can deal with it. I am looking for ways "if posible" to run a 110 volt Ac heater on 48 volt DC.
This seems like a lot of work.....but:

Being that it's pure resistance the heater itself could run off of 48 volts with no modifications, it just wouldn't produce as much heat. If you are lucky you may be able to find a heater that you could rewire into a parallel arrangement for close to full output. Also, Nichrome wire is not too hard to find and you could "roll your own" so to speak. You could swap out the AC fan motor with two 24 volt DC muffin fans wired in series.
 

·
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
I realize that installing a heater will reduce the range on my battery pack and can deal with it. I am looking for ways "if posible" to run a 110 volt Ac heater on 48 volt DC.
A big inverter is about the only good way to run a 120V heater from a 48V source. Rewiring the heater would likely be more difficult than starting from scratch. However, you could look for surplus electric heating devices intended for use in aircraft. Most aircraft use 24V systems, and some military aircraft use quite a bit of 48V equipment as well. Two identical 24V heaters could be used in series on a 48V supply.

With that said, I think it bears repeating that this will totally kill your vehicle's range. What is the total capacity of the vehicle's batteries, in watt-hours or amp-hours?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This little rig is called a Gizmo. Factory made in Eugene Oregon. They were made from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. You can read more on them at www.nevco-ev.com or my blog at www.bubsstuff.blogspot.com .
I do not think the drain on the battery pack will be that much of a issue since my range is roughly 20+/- miles and my trip to work is only 5 miles. I have plenty of capacity for what I am using it for and it is so small inside I will not have to run the heater very much to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Zappa,
You said "it's pure resistance the heater itself could run off of 48 volts with no modifications, it just wouldn't produce as much heat"
I agree with the lack of heat running it on 48 volts but thought there might be a problem putting DC through AC switches.
They do make and have found 48 volt heaters but they run $200.00 or more. I am trying to save some money and also get some satifaction on making something work in a manner that it was not designed to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
I agree with the lack of heat running it on 48 volts but thought there might be a problem putting DC through AC switches.
There would be no problems with the switches. The AC fan would be the only issue. You could disconnect the fan and hook up a standard heater just to see how much heat it puts out.

I was just at a truck stop and saw inexpensive 12 volt heaters on the shelf. Four of those in series could be another idea. Get on e-bay and search around. I find that e-bay will give you a good cross section of what is out there for sale and you can pick up some great ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
no offense intended,but,from looking at the website,it appears that you'd be safer driving to work in a "golf cart" AND you've got room for a passenger.:eek:

tnx,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,156 Posts
Three questions.......
1. is that street legal?
2. Do you plug it in every night?
3. Is there an outlet where you work to plug it in?

If 2 and 3 are yes,l could you just take a small electric heater and heat it up when it's parked? (overheat it actually) I'm sure that in 5 miles it could stay warm enough for you....since you only seem to use it for a single purpose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
analogmusicman,
No offence taken. I am not sure if a golf cart would be safer and I would probably look just as goofy driving a golf cart through town as I do the Gizmo. I still enjoy driving my truck but it hurts a little when I have to pump $90.00+ of fuel into it compared to the 1.5 cents per mile (computes to about 240 mpg) the Gizmo gets.
Missouri Bound,
Yes it is street legal and registers as a motocycle.
I plug it in every night or any chance I have to plug it in. It is always better to keep the pack topped off.
I do at times plug it in at work but normaly would only do that if I had other things to do around town before I got home.
I park in the garage at home and so it is actually fairly warm when I get in it in the morning. This morning it was 23 degree's when I left and it was actually not that bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
you know,in actuality,one of the previous posters was on to something. instead of something draining your car battery, you'd be better off doing something like they did several hundred years ago where they'd put a "brick" in the oven for several hours then put the brick under the covers on the bed. the brick retains heat very well. they were "toasty" for lots of hours.
in your case,you could heat up a brick in any suitable manner then put it in your vehicle with a cheap battery powered fan blowing air over it. this would warm up your feet for your 5 mi. drive.
is this a crazy idea or what? the arabs sure got us in a pickle,huh?

tnx,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
You know that is an option. I am still going to play with the heater modification for a while, but there maybe something like one of those gel stadium cushions things you but in a microwave and heat up. I do have a fan in the dash that blows air across the windshield. If I put one of these gel units in the nose of the Gizmo, and then turned on my fan, it may work fairly well.
I geuss we will find out.
 

·
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
A web search suggests that the standard battery pack for that vehicle is eight T105 batteries. That's 225AH at 48V at 20-hour discharge rate. But the 5-hour rate (still optimistic) is only 185AH, and you can only use about 60% of that without risking damage from over-discharge. So the usable capacity is about 111AH or 5328 watt-hours. That would power a normal plug-in space heater (1200W) for about 4 and a half hours. That's if you're not driving the vehicle at all.

If I were dead set on having electric heat in that thing and didn't want to spend the $250 or so on a 48V heater, I'd probably just use four truck stop heaters in series.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top