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Electric Heating Elements for those cold mornings

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by FireEngineer, May 21, 2009.

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  1. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    The 2010 also has the PTC heating element like the Iconic Prius had. They are located above the heater core. There are 3 different circuit connections going to the PTC element. The PTC element will operate when;

    1) The engine coolant temp is less than 149F (65C) AND

    2) The setting on the climate controls is MAX HOT AND

    3) The outside temperature is less than 50F (10C)

    The climate setting can be any combination of defrost/vent/foot/bi-level.

    Also the output to the heaters is dependent on the available power from the 12 volt converter of the inverter, so when more of the 12 volt output is used by lights, radio, seat heaters, etc. the less heat will be produced from the PTC elements.

    Wayne
  2. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    ...but the 2010 recoups waste heat going out the exhaust, making it 20% better for heating in the winter.

    I gave up on my 2006 G2 Prius and use a 500w 'cube' heater connected to the house with an outdoor timer. So for the first 10 mins of driving, I leave the heater of the car off completely.

    Next step is to also add the engine block heater, which I've procrastinated to do. They should offer it at the dealer ALL THE TIME and not just for the hybrids.
  3. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    Try going to a Toyota dealership in most of the U.S. and asking for an engine block heater! It is a Toyota Canada part, and the dealerships around here don't even know it is available.
  4. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator Staff Member

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    MAX HOT can be triggered by the setpoint being substantially higher than ambient. Forcing to MAX HOT shouldn't be required (at least that isn't the case in the current gen).

    In other words, the system is set it and forget it - the PTC's will kick in when needed.
  5. prius2x

    prius2x New Member

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    I'm newer around here, and notice all the abbreviated terms that folks use. Some seem more obvious than others... Can you tell me what "PTC" is?

    Thanks
  6. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator Staff Member

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    While the acronym escapes me, it's basically an electric heater within the A/C system to help warm the air somewhat until the engine heat takes over. They're designed to only get "so hot".
  7. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    PTC stands for Positive Temperature Coefficient. The PTC heater has a PTC element, an aluminum fin and a brass plate attached to one side of the heater core.

    Wayne
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  8. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry EPA MPG #'s killer

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    Is the block heater for the '10 the same one as it is for an '07?
  9. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Yes.

    Wayne
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Positive Temperature Coefficient means that the resistance of the device goes up as its temperature rises. This is true for all normal resistive heaters and incandescent lamps.

    Tom
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  11. swich2mac

    swich2mac Go Hard or Go Home!

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    Why do those of you who have block heaters use them? I mean, what is the real advantage of having to plug-in the heater over night? Especially, if you have a garage? This reminds me of "old school" diesels having to be plugged-in overnight so they would start in the morning! :) Just curious so please don't flame my question!
  12. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    There are a number of threads discussing the advantages in the Classic and Iconic Prius. The new one is unknown, although from the info seen it will help until the exhaust heat recovery system fully contributes.

    It gets your coolant about 50F above ambient outside temp. Since the Prius uses the coolant as a factor in deciding when to allow full hybrid operation, by starting off warmer you get into full hybrid mode faster. Usually only 3 hour of pre-heat is necessary before starting, more if the ambient is below 20F. Depending on your electric rates it either makes sense or is a wash economically. Environmentally it is a no brainer win-win.

    Wayne
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