Archive for November 2010

Heat!

November 30, 2010

This past weekend I installed a 1500 watt heater in the Fastback.  Last night we tried it out on a rainy night and it worked great!  Instant heat.  I’ve got it plumbed into the defroster ducts at the moment, since seeing where you’re going is a priority.  I may later add some ducting so it will warm the passengers as well.

In most EV conversions, the heater core is replaced with a ceramic heating element and everything else is left stock.  Since older VW’s don’t have heater cores, a complete heater is needed.  Fortunately, Canadian EV offers just such a thing and they are a great company to do business with.  Here is a photo of the installed unit.

Heater installed

The black box with “240” written on it is the heater itself, with a fan housing below it.  You can see one of the two ducts on the right, going to the defroster tube.  There is a contactor behind that tube – this is a switch that turns on the 288 volt power supply when the heater switch is flipped.  By using a contactor wired into the heater fan switch, there is no risk of creating heat without air movement, which could cause a fire.  The orange, yellow and red wires are for the various fan speeds – they go to the dashboard switch.

The entire unit is mounted to the front cab wall beneath the dash.  In the Fastback, this spot is occupied by a fresh air blower which I removed.  The fresh air inlet is now covered with a piece of ABS plastic which I cut to match the profile of the removed blower housing.  A rubber seal is caulked in place to prevent any water from getting in.  It all works fine – we’ve had a lot of rain lately and everything is dry.

The heater is controlled with one switch which I mounted in a hole where the fresh air controls once sat.

Dash with Heater Switch

The entire job took about four hours, including removing the fresh air blower.

My conversion project is essentially done.  There is still some BMS work needed, but I have been able to successfully charge and balance the batteries without the BMS.  I still want to get it working right, but at least the car is a reliable all-weather driver now.