Day 33 – Heating system with coffee maker!

Tested out a rather novel idea…

Used a small 625W coffee maker to heat the heating coil of the del sol – pictures below!

The Donor

The Donor

The initial set up!

The initial set up!

Now the way this coffee maker works, is a small heating element pipe is filled with water, and as it boils, the water boils up the out-line, being blocked by a check-valve on the in-line. It has enough power to pump it through the system (very slowly) might need a bigger setup next time, maybe a 1500W kettle with a resovoir (the kettle itself) and a fish tank pump.

Flushed out some rad fluid left in the system...

Flushed out some rad fluid left in the system...

Now unfortunately, rad fluid boils at a much higher temperature then water – the element couldn’t boil the rad fluid so we flushed it out with more water.



After all the rad fluid was out we had success! The water boiled and went through the entire system. Going in the car we turned the fan on, and there was heat! At the lowest fan setting warm air blew out fairly constantly – but cranking it up to the highest fan setting resulted in hot air for about 30 seconds before cooling down to barely any heat.

If we were to use this system (thinking its fairly ineffective when we could just use a 1500W space heater instead) we will need a much larger heating element (1500W). Another idea is to use a whole kettle as the resovoir. The kettle boils the water, and then a small fish tank pump pumps it around the system. Also, if we have a pump (instead of relying on the boiling of the liquid) we could use radiator fluid (or something safer) to heat to even higher temperatures.

Since it’s going down to -20C tonight, we had to clear the lines of water to save from freezing the pipes. Easiest way to do this was to hook up the air compressor to one hose… Put a little too much air in and I got soaked when the hose sprayed everywhere – cleaned it out good though! Wonder if diluted radiator fluid is bad for you…


~ by James on March 3, 2009.

3 Responses to “Day 33 – Heating system with coffee maker!”

  1. Hey guys, I just saw your web page. Great progress! From an energy conversion stand point, I’d work more toward an in cabin, ceramic heating solution. Alot of energy is needed in the heating of water, especially if the water is cold already, as you have seen with the sub zero weather. Excellent choice of car to convert!

  2. Hi Murphy!


    We have considered a ceramic heating element instead, and we agree… it would be a lot more efficient. What we’re doing here is just making use of the cars original system, which I think is a unique idea (even if not the most effective!)

    We got a 1500W kettle element and are building the reservoir soon – it works a lot better and seems to stay hot.

    We’ll be using rad fluid in the final system so it won’t freeze, and the kettle will feature a plug and a timer relay for when its parked (water will be hot before we leave).

    It’s mostly going to be a summer car anyways, but its illegal in Ontario not to have defrosters – so that’s what its for really.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Engaging info.. hope to definitely come back again.

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