Submitted by cirlan_vlad on October 31, 2014
I have seen this crazy idea of cooling and heating some time ago, and applied it on my own heat pump systems for heating and cooling and i want to share it with the community. 4 years ago i have stumbled upon an "Ice Pole" heat pump from a Swedish company named Octopus Energy. They call it "Ice Stick", but it`s actually a pole-type heat exchange unit.As we know, when ice forms, there are small bubbles of air in it so that is why most of the air conditioning units fail to work during winter time.(Air is one of the best thermal insulating materials) From what i have established, the secret of exchanging heat with the air is to have a transfer surface made as uniform as possible. So what i did, was to create a cooling tower with a wide space (about 1") between the fins so that the ice will lay on it as uniformly as possible. This way, the transfer surface(the ice) is as uniform as possible and there are fewer bubbles on it than on a normal water/refrigerant to air heat exchanger.What i can tell from experience is that the system works flawlessly in -28C temperature at the seaside, where i live.(I`m using R22 and R290 refrigerants and they all work with the same system) What i was thinking for Tesla was something similar, but more of a plate below the car. So you have a hollow plate blow the car, through which you can run the cooling/heating liquid for the air conditioning system. You have a large uniform surface where the ice can form during the winter and during the summer while you drive along it is passively cooled.You can also use a normal heat exchanger for the summer time.
Of course there would have to be a strong material for the hollow plate, because as we know the underside of the car will be hit by various things, but this can be worked out.(you could make a certain part of the underside of the car the heat exchanger and put it higher that the rest of the car parts so that it doesn`t hit the ground)
There`s also the issue of the weight of the ice which is easely eliminated by the fact that while you drive the car shakes some of the ice off, or use a classic defrost system as the AC-s have but only when you really need it.Even using this system without any defrost will assure a minimum operating temperature of -28 or -30 C without any need for a standard heating solution.
Regardless, i think this system could save a lot more energy than what currently is used for heating in a Tesla so i`m available if anyone wants to discuss this even further.Someone should try simulating this and see what the results are and give us a feedback.(I don`t have the simulation software for this.)