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Fuel Consumption Variance Full A/C vs Cooled Seats


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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Scott Carlton Windell

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:34 AM

I am a Chemical engineer who has spent the last 11 years spread sheeting and characterizing my two Honda hybrid cars.  It helps to have a 200 mile daily commute to work and back..

But I never found a way to defeat the A/C MPG HIT, short of not using it.  Passenger windows down 1 inch provides excellent circulation and reasonable comfort and can be the difference between 50 and 42 mpg.

March 2014 I ordered the FFHyTi and selected the cooled seat option.  I am curious if any one of you has characterized the fuel efficiency delta of using the seat cooling only vs the cabin A/C?

 


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#2 OFFLINE   SteveB_TX

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:53 AM

Calling hybridbear!  :lurk:


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#3 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:10 AM

I am a Chemical engineer who has spent the last 11 years spread sheeting and characterizing my two Honda hybrid cars.  It helps to have a 200 mile daily commute to work and back..
But I never found a way to defeat the A/C MPG HIT, short of not using it.  Passenger windows down 1 inch provides excellent circulation and reasonable comfort and can be the difference between 50 and 42 mpg.
March 2014 I ordered the FFHyTi and selected the cooled seat option.  I am curious if any one of you has characterized the fuel efficiency delta of using the seat cooling only vs the cabin A/C?
 

Congrats and welcome! Very few people so far have gotten the cooled seats option, so no one has charted any data about it.

With your engineering background, I am very curious to see what you can come up with and I'm sure that you will add a lot of value with your observations.
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#4 OFFLINE   kuzzi

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:28 AM

I can say cooled seats are amazing however I've only experienced them in the dead heat of a Texas summer with the windows down and AC still on full blast in a massive deluxe Ram 1500 while using a lead foot on the Hemi. Got about 8 mpg that trip but it was so totally worth it for how much fun that day was.
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#5 OFFLINE   Scott Carlton Windell

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:10 PM

While I have only a vin I am optimistic ford will get my car to me in early May. I will put some work into characterizing the car and post the data.
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#6 OFFLINE   B25Nut

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

Scott, you're a great addition to the Forum.  I look forward to you sharing your expert knowledge on batteries.


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#7 OFFLINE   jediboytj

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:11 PM

I have a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which has the cooled seats standard.

 

From what I understand, the cooled seats are just a fan in the seat blowing from a "cool plate". Its the same fan that is used for the heated seats. There is no direct connection to the a/c. I believe the only additional fuel consumption would come from the tiny amount of power used to spin the fan in the seat. And unless they changed the system for the new style, I'm sure it'll be the same as what is in mine. I've noticed that the system works best when the a/c has already been running through the car and its essentially just a fan for the already cool cabin air to go through the seat bottom and back. You wont really feel anything for a while if the car was sitting in the hot sun, I find myself waiting about 3-4 mins after driving to turn the cooled seat on, seems to get the fullest effect.

 

Lately thanks to the cooler weather in FL, I find myself riding with the windows down, and whether I have the cooled seat on or off, I dont notice any difference in fuel economy.

 

One thing I did do, was on my last drive I looked at the "ACCS" bar on the EmPower screen, and I noticed that turning on or off the cooled seat had pretty much zero effect on it (it was maybe the same as turning on a light, if that), while turning on the a/c caused it to jump 3-4 bars.

 

Thats the best info I can give, hope it helps a little bit.


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#8 OFFLINE   Riggo

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:50 PM

The cooled and heated seats do have the fan running in the 2014 fusion titanium. I assume it has to be the same system you're talking about. With the heated only seats in the fusion titanium you don't hear any fan.

#9 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:03 PM

Heated only dont use a fan. In fact I dont hear a fan in the MKT when heating, only when in cooling.


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#10 OFFLINE   Riggo

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

There is definitely a fan in the Fusion heated/cooled seats when in heat mode. It must be a different system than the MKT.

#11 OFFLINE   jediboytj

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:44 PM

Heated only dont use a fan. In fact I dont hear a fan in the MKT when heating, only when in cooling.

Yeah there is most definitely a fan running with heat on in my MKZ. The main difference I noticed was that it kinda "fades" on and off, rather than running continuously like for cooled seats.

 

I'm guessing the MKT uses more of a heating pad system.


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#12 OFFLINE   Riggo

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:54 PM

I agree that the fan kind of fades on and off for the heated seats.

#13 OFFLINE   Scott Carlton Windell

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:52 PM

I have completed 8000 miles in 5 weeks and will concur, the cooled seats have virtually no effect on the fuel economy.   I am surprised actually to see how little effect running the AC has on the numbers.  Not near the hit in my Honda's.

 

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#14 OFFLINE   Eddie Sessum

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:07 PM

Cooled seats pull air from the rear ac ducts. So other than running the small fan which might be 10-15watts I wouldnt see a reason it would effect MPG.

 

Heated seats on our cars are the newer style which is a small little heating element, its why the heated seat fan goes on and off. It heats the elements and once they cool off the fan turns off to heat the elements again. Think of it as an extremely tiny portable bathroom heater. The older style heating pads like the MKT and non perferated seats use do the job well but use more power and depending on the car they can cause minor skin burns, which i believe is why many company have been getting away from them. 

 

Scott, part of what your seeing on the MPG hit honda vs fusion could be how the fusion can pull alot more energy from brake regen vs the honda. Even compared to the 12 ffh ive read ford made large improvements in this part, only comparable to toyota. 


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#15 OFFLINE   Ryan Goodlett

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:38 PM

Cooled seats pull air from the rear ac ducts. So other than running the small fan which might be 10-15watts I wouldnt see a reason it would effect MPG.

 

 

Maybe I am misreading this.  Are you saying our cooled seats come form the A/C air flowing out of the rear ducts?


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#16 OFFLINE   SteveB_TX

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:21 PM

No.  The cooled seats DO NOT draw air from the rear ducts.  You can use the cooled seats with the A/C turned off or on.  The cooled seats use a heat exchanger (peltier device) with its own little fan to blow the air through the holes in the seat. 


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#17 OFFLINE   Eddie Sessum

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:30 PM

No.  The cooled seats DO NOT draw air from the rear ducts.  You can use the cooled seats with the A/C turned off or on.  The cooled seats use a heat exchanger (peltier device) with its own little fan to blow the air through the holes in the seat. 


Mine will be ice cold and if I turn off the ac and leave the seat on it gets hot. Its why certain times I'll leave the ac on all the way down with the windows open so I can get the cool air on my back.

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