Cold Weather?
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Thread: Cold Weather?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    26

    Default Cold Weather?

    My experience with Lithium-ion batteries is they don't handle cold very well. Does anyone know how GM plans to deal with this problem in Northern Climates?

    With a 40 miles range at "normal" temperate what will that convert to at -30 Fahrenheit? Will the engine need to be run continually to keep the batteries warn if not plugged in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    184

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    First, the batteries GM is considering are supposed to have a better cold response than your normal Li-ion batteries. They seem to be doing some testing, from the Motortrend article:
    "Then we peeked inside an environmental cell where batteries supplied by competing supplier A123/Continental were undergoing hot- (176 degrees F) and cold- (-22 degrees F) climate testing. Such testing helps develop the battery pack's thermal management system (they're liquid cooled), and the hot tests accelerate the life-cycle testing."

    I think that in cold weather, the coolant becomes a warming fluid, to keep the batteries at a reasonable temperature. They might even run the ICE for a short while to get the coolant warmed up.

    BTW, I was thinking the other day that having a gasoline burner in the Volt might be a way of keeping the car warm even on cold days. That would keep the electricity for driving. Nothing you could do for hot days, but use the heatpump. My heatpump at home also has a secondary heating element for the cold days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Indian Harbour Beach, FL
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    Default

    Worst case, you would just be running the ICE continuously, to warm and charge the batteries.

    I suspect, that the vehicle, if plugged in, would maintain battery temps within an operating range, so that they would be warmed on extremely cold nights, etc. Heat from the ICE would also be transferred to the batteries.

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  6. #4

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    I'm new, so please excuse me but how is this vehicle going to provide heat in the winter, never mind get range from the batteries? It goes to -35F here during December - January. How does the AC system work?

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    1,453

    Default Engineering controls

    My understanding from the Volt Nation event is that GM may use some electric power while the batteries are plugged in to keep them "warm". An electrical heating system that is also coupled to the ICE waste heat will also be used to keep the batteries in the desired range of operating temperatures.

    I'm just guessing, but I suspect that if the car is not plugged in and the batteries are too cold, the car will operate on the generator until the batteries are heated up by a combination of the electrical heater and engine waste heat.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pdt View Post
    My understanding from the Volt Nation event is that GM may use some electric power while the batteries are plugged in to keep them "warm". An electrical heating system that is also coupled to the ICE waste heat will also be used to keep the batteries in the desired range of operating temperatures.

    I'm just guessing, but I suspect that if the car is not plugged in and the batteries are too cold, the car will operate on the generator until the batteries are heated up by a combination of the electrical heater and engine waste heat.
    I just hope they think this out, even a V-6 takes a long time to warm up at -35F. I would hope you will be able to use the engine to power to run heating coils otherwise its going to be one cold drive for the first 20 minutes.

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