The Effect of Exhaust-to-Coolant Heat Transfer on Warm-up Time and Fuel Consumption of Two Automobile Engines 860363

A 1977 Buick V-6 engine and a 1981 Ford Granada automobile were equipped with heat exchangers to transfer energy from the exhaust gases to the cooling water after cold starts in order to shorten engine warm-up periods and improve fuel economy. A parallel concern was the time required to reach satisfactory heat delivery to the passenger compartment.The Buick engine was investigated in the laboratory. The Ford automobile was tested during driving over a 12.4 km length of freeway and over an 8.6 km test route including both in-town and highway segments. Prior to each test run the engines were exposed to ambient air for at least 8 hours at temperatures ranging from −26° C to + 2° C.The use of the heat exchangers resulted in average reductions of fuel consumption of 2.8% during a 7 minute warm-up period for the engine, and of 2.2% for the autombile when tested on the above test routes. The corresponding times for the coolant in the automobile compartment heater to reach maximum temperature were reduced by 16% and 7%. While fuel savings were achieved, their economic value is questionable, particularly in light of a possible retrofit of an existing automobile with an exhaust-to-coolant heat exchanger and the necessary control equipment.


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