Retrofitting heat pumps?

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bje
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Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by bje »

Has anyone looked at the possibility of retrofitting a genuine Hyundai Kona heat pump into an existing FY19 car? It seems like it should be possible to just put in whatever genuine parts are necessary to make it look like a European Kona (w/ heat pump). It drives me nuts that the Australian models only have resistive heating. Adding a heat pump should cost less than the $,000s extra to get a Highlander with heated seats and steering wheel. Rather than resort to personal heating devices, an efficient heat pump seems more desirable for the benefit of everyone in the car.

I did a bit of Googling, but nothing really popped up.
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brendon_m
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by brendon_m »

The heat pump system would be quite different to the standard a/c I suspect. Extra valves to be sure but possibly also different evaporators, condenser, compressor, bunch of different pipes,Control module software, control module itself.
I'd say the project would be $x,000's and an absolute PITA but I might be wrong. Hyundai may have made the systems easily interchangeable, though I suspect if there were only minor differences then hyundai wouldn't spend the extra money on fitting a resistive heater and just send them all out with the heat pump.
Historically hyundai had been pretty good at not sitting on tech and fitting it into every model they can get away with even if it's not the best idea economically
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Bryce
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

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I would put it into the major PITA category, as well as overkill given the overall small saving of electrical energy it would acheive in the lifetime of the car. Given the large battery in the Kona, and the percentage of the car's use it will have the heater on for - it may only be in the few hundreds of kWh of savings. In the Kona, that is not going to mean you run short in a trip. (Unlike in my 2011 Leaf, or my previous 2 conversions, which all had resistive elements and 100km or less ranges!)

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Last edited by Bryce on Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 13:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Bryce
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by Bryce »

P.S. to above post: anyone care to do an approx kWh saving calculation for resistive vs heat pump heating in the Kona? ;-)

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Bryce
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by Bryce »

P.P.S. What REALLY baffles me is why did they fit two different heating systems at all?
(Smacks of a low production-run mentality to me: in small orders, the heat-pump system would probably be much more expensive. Surely, if they had ever planned to build them in the hundreds of thousands a year, it would be cheaper to just use one type and get an economy of scale price for the heat pump!)
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bje
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by bje »

Bryce wrote: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 13:13 P.S. to above post: anyone care to do an approx kWh saving calculation for resistive vs heat pump heating in the Kona? ;-)
It's not about the kWhs to my mind. It's about the value of each marginal km in range. On a winter's day on the highway, losing 80 km of range due to having the heater running hard is a major inconvenience. It means it becomes more difficult to travel between charging stations. I would not have bought a Kona with 350km range if that was on offer.
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Bryce
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by Bryce »

Hi there - worst I've done is Albury to Canberra in cold weather at 110km/hr. Just planned to head off with a 100% charge from the Albury tip. (This was before any other DC chargers existed between Albury and Canberra. (FYI: Albury tip is a really exciting spot to wait whilst doing a 100% recharge ... not!)
Range estimate dropped to 380-ish, but I got there without stinting the horses or heater.

Also done Bairnsdale to Myrtleford in winter through the snow (definitely didn't spare the heater then - outside temp was 0 and below in parts!) and pulled 21 kWh/100km at times - but still made it with 100km of range left.

Otherwise I generally get 420km plus on the highway, and up to 520km beetling about town.

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Peter C in Canberra
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by Peter C in Canberra »

bje wrote: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 17:43
Bryce wrote: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 13:13 P.S. to above post: anyone care to do an approx kWh saving calculation for resistive vs heat pump heating in the Kona? ;-)
It's not about the kWhs to my mind. It's about the value of each marginal km in range. On a winter's day on the highway, losing 80 km of range due to having the heater running hard is a major inconvenience. It means it becomes more difficult to travel between charging stations. I would not have bought a Kona with 350km range if that was on offer.
That's why I got the Highlander with the heated seats and heated steering wheel. I hardly ever use the cabin heater and I live in the same cold winter area as bje. My parents' old family car had something wrong with its heater. They just left a blanket on the back seat for the kids to use if they were cold.
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brunohill
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by brunohill »

They just need a heated windscreen for demisting though. I put a switch in my LEAF to turn the heating element off so that I could just blow air to demist the window. A towel over the windscreen would stop the ice from frost forming, but when it is 0'C (+/- 5 'C) blowing cold moist air just doesn't work. I would have stayed at that job and working night shift if they would let me plug my LEAF in. I was told that I was stupid for buying an electric car and that electric car charging at that company was never, ever, going to happen.
Peter C in Canberra
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Re: Retrofitting heat pumps?

Post by Peter C in Canberra »

I agree it is annoying not to just have a heat pump heater as a matter of course since we already have a heat pump cooler fitted and it would need not much more than a reversing valve for the fluid flow to make it a heater as well.
The only reason I can think of for a separate cooler and heater is that windscreen defogging is more effective with the air first dried by condensation on the air conditioner, then reheated with a separate heater. Even that arrangement could be made more efficient by having a reverse cycle heater/cooler and a separate dehumidifier.
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