Insulation for battery box

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Insulation for battery box

Lee Hart
Hi gang,

I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.

I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v
batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for insulation.

But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it in
the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
insulation to help it.

The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in an
angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
*barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits underneath
(top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more batteries
under the hood of this car.

I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.

My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
fiberglass will absorb and trap water.

Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
(between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
wide rolls.

So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Zeke Yewdall
How about spray foam?  If you made some sort of form of thin sheet
plastic or thin sheet metal, then filled the void between the form and
the box with spray foam, it might work.  Just trying to spray it onto
the outside of the box is likely to have bad results...  in my
experience, it tends to drip off, overexpand, get on EVERYTHING else
near it, etc, unless it's a closed space to hold it.  Even so it will
tend to ooze out the top or the filling holes wherever, but that's
easier to deal with.  Drawback would be that you could not easily
remove it in case you needed to work on anything else -- you'd have to
cut it off, then reform it afterwards.

Z

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Lee Hart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi gang,
>
> I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.
>
> I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v
> batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
> crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for insulation.
>
> But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it in
> the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
> insulation to help it.
>
> The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in an
> angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
> *barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits underneath
> (top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
> they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
> mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more batteries
> under the hood of this car.
>
> I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
> box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
> insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
> brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
> worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.
>
> My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
> protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
> fiberglass will absorb and trap water.
>
> Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
> absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
> fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
> (between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
> anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
> wide rolls.
>
> So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> General EVDL support: http://evdl.org/help/
> Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
> Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
> Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
>

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Esko and Megan
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Two ideas; how about the blue pad material sold at sports stores as sleeping
pads; is there a paint on material (like the foam used to insulate cracks in
a building)?

Esko

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
Of Lee Hart
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 3:44 PM
To: EV list
Subject: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box

Hi gang,

I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.

I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v
batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for insulation.

But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it in
the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
insulation to help it.

The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in an
angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
*barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits underneath
(top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more batteries
under the hood of this car.

I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.

My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
fiberglass will absorb and trap water.

Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
(between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
wide rolls.

So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

_______________________________________________
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Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Steve Peterson-4
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 18:43 -0400, Lee Hart wrote:

> Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
> absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
> fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
> (between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
> anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
> wide rolls.
>
> So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?

How about something like:

http://www.rei.com/product/374059

Dunno if this fits the budget, but it's definitely closed cell, water
resistant, flexible. You can find them at other places cheaper, I'm
sure.

--Steve

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Roland Wiench
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Hello Lee,

Go to a place that does vinyl tops for vehicles and pick up that water proof
foam padding that is 1/4 thick that has some type of plastic film on both
sides. This stuff comes about 5 foot wide and any length you want.

I use this on my first EV that had aluminum boxes. I then went to a
upholstery shop to get some exterior vinyl material that I cover the foam on
both sides.  I cut the vinyl larger then foam piece where it would overlap
the foam sheets about 4 inches on all sides.

I use one of the 3-M spray adhesives on the vinyl lap edges.  I pick up some
button type metal snaps and place them on the lap edges.  I made up 6 panels
for each box.  I had such a tight fit and had to bridge the battery box
supports by cutting V or U sections out off the flaps that over lap.

Full glue the bottom panel on the bottom, because when I first left it un
glue, I had condensation building up in the bottom panel.  I then install a
grommet in the center of the bottom panel to let the water out.  I then
latter glue the panel to the box.

The 1/4 of foam is only go give you 1.25 R factor where if you could use two
layers which will give you 2.50 R Factor

You can calculated the heat loss by this formula:

Btu's = SF x u x TD

SF = the total exterior of the fox in square foot
u  = u factor which is equal to 1/R-Factor
TD = Temperature Different between the inside of the battery box and
     ambient temperature.



My total battery box area was about 50 square feet and using 1/2 of foam a
2.5 R-factor at a 100 degree difference between 30 below to 70 degree above
becomes:

Btu's 50 SF x 1/2.5 x 100 TD = 2000 Btu's loss at 30 below

If 1000 watts = 3412 Btus, then it will take 586 watts to maintain 70
degrees inside the battery box setting outside at 30 below.

Roland


----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Hart" <[hidden email]>
To: "EV list" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 3:43 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box


> Hi gang,
>
> I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.
>
> I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v
> batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
> crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for
> insulation.
>
> But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it in
> the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
> insulation to help it.
>
> The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in an
> angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
> *barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits underneath
> (top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
> they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
> mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more batteries
> under the hood of this car.
>
> I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
> box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
> insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
> brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
> worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.
>
> My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
> protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
> fiberglass will absorb and trap water.
>
> Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
> absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
> fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
> (between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
> anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
> wide rolls.
>
> So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> General EVDL support: http://evdl.org/help/
> Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
> Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
> Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
>

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Rush Dougherty
In reply to this post by Zeke Yewdall
Zeke wrote

>How about spray foam?  If you made some sort of form of thin sheet
>plastic or thin sheet metal, then filled the void between the form and
>the box with spray foam, it might work.  Just trying to spray it onto
>the outside of the box is likely to have bad results...  in my
>experience, it tends to drip off, overexpand, get on EVERYTHING else
>near it, etc, unless it's a closed space to hold it.  Even so it will
>tend to ooze out the top or the filling holes wherever, but that's
>easier to deal with.  Drawback would be that you could not easily
>remove it in case you needed to work on anything else -- you'd have to
>cut it off, then reform it afterwards.

Expanding on Zeke's idea (pun) - construct a cardboard protective structure
around the 'exterior' of the vehicle components and lay some polyethylene
film on top of it to make a mold/form.  Make sure that the cardboard
structure does not undercut the components. You can make it in parts, such
as a stature is molded in various parts, so that you can remove it when
needed. Take some expandable foam with good R value, such as urethane, and
foam it in place between the Battery box sides and the cardboard mold with
the polyethylene skin.

There are also soy based expanding foams with good R value from the 'green'
building community that can be used instead of the urethane.

Rush
Tucson AZ


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Re: Insulation for battery box

Dennis at e v school
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Lee, there are a number of fair solutions to your box  insulation problem. I
have tried unsuccessfully with several of them.   Three worked well and were
easier than the others. In order of my success: First  was Styrofoam panels in
4x8 sheets, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch thick are  available, with foil facing on
both sides.  cuts with a sharp knife,  foil sticks to "Construction Adhesive" and
"Duct Tape seals the edges.   Second is pressed fiberglass boards with
reinforced foil facing on one side. The  A. C. guys use it for plenums and junction
boxes instead of sheet  metal. Cuts with a sharp knife or hand saw. This is a
very durable  material. and again you seal the edges with "Duct Tape."  
Thirdly is a  thinner material that looks like 1/8 inch thick cardboard with white
paint on  one side and foil on the other. It to cuts with a knife, it is called
 "Thermo-ply"and the price is under $4 for a 4x8 ft sheet. You might use more
 than one layer! This is a strong material and might make a good covering to  
protect the Styrofoam board from environmental damage after installation. I
put  a scrap over a damaged spot outside on the side of my shed and it is still
in  good condition after 9 years in the weather.  Fourth, I have no luck  
with the spray foam, a very strong form is required to contain it, 1/2 inch  
plywood supported by 2x4 lumber is needed to control it, IMHO.
Best Wishes, Dennis Miles, Director of "EVtrainingCenter" in  Lakeland, Fl.
to be opening in 2009!
 
 
In a message dated 4/8/2009 7:46:35 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

Hi  gang,

I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.

I bit  the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v  
batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant  
crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for  insulation.

But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to  drive it in
the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive  without
insulation to help it.

The front box is 1/4" polyethylene;  five sides and a lid. It sits in an
angle iron rack. The rack stands on  four legs a few inches high, so it
*barely* clears the highest points of  various mechanical bits underneath
(top of the steering rack, transaxle,  etc.). Likewise for the sides;
they have a couple inches to spare, but  *barely* clear a number of
mechanical items. It don't think it's possible  to squeeze more batteries
under the hood of this car.

I'm trying to  think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
box, including  the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
insulation will  have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
brake master  cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
worse; the angle  iron rack creates a very irregular surface.

My first thought was  fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
protection. But Tim was  worried that under the hood of a car, the
fiberglass will absorb and trap  water.

Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It  won't
absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed  to
fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation  
(between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find  
anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"  
wide rolls.

So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do  it?
--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect  offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets  in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th  Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,  leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: Insulation for battery box

david woolard
In reply to this post by Lee Hart

you should try to find some 'thinsulate' cloth, made by 3M. It is a v good insulator and being a fibre wadding it will conform to some strange shapes or compress in tight spots. I have sourced some from a boat builders before - it's often used in the cabin walls.

Cheers
Dave


     

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Jeff Shanab
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
> Hi gang,
>
> I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.
>
> I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve
> 12v batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
> crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for
> insulation.
>
> But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it
> in the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
> insulation to help it.
>
> The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in
> an angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so
> it *barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits
> underneath (top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for
> the sides; they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a
> number of mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze
> more batteries under the hood of this car.
>
> I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the
> polyethylene box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are
> smooth, but the insulation will have to fit around irregular
> mechanical parts like the brake master cylinder and steering column.
> Underneath the box is even worse; the angle iron rack creates a very
> irregular surface.
>
> My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
> protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
> fiberglass will absorb and trap water.
>
> Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
> absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
> fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill
> insulation (between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I
> can't find anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16"
> thick by 6" wide rolls.
>
> So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

I tried that expandable foam in a can and found it to be a messy hard to
control substance to work with. It made a great foam and the extended
nozzle allowed me to start injection at the bottom between 2 batteries
and work my way to the top. So If it would be possible to get a second
PP sheet spaced a 1/4 inch away then inject foam. It will probably work
as a glue between the two sheets.

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Roger Heuckeroth
In reply to this post by Lee Hart

On Apr 8, 2009, at 6:43 PM, Lee Hart wrote:

> Hi gang,
>
> I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.
>
> I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve  
> 12v
> batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
> crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for  
> insulation.
>
> But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it  
> in
> the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
> insulation to help it.
>
> The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in  
> an
> angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
> *barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits  
> underneath
> (top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
> they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
> mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more  
> batteries
> under the hood of this car.
>
> I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the  
> polyethylene
> box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but  
> the
> insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
> brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
> worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.
>
> My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
> protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
> fiberglass will absorb and trap water.
>
> Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
> absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
> fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill  
> insulation
> (between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
> anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
> wide rolls.
>
> So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?


Lee,

How about duct insulation.  Its used to insulate the outsides of HVAC  
duct.  It comes on rolls of various widths and thickneses.  You cut it  
to size and then join together with aluminum tape.  The R value is  
about 8-10, and it is very thin and flexible.  It normally has dual  
heat reflective surfaces and a air bubble type center.  Lowes sells  
small roles of it, but you can get larger roles from an HVAC supplier.

See:  http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=13357-56291-BP24025&lpage=none

Roger

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Rick Beebe
In reply to this post by Dennis at e v school
[hidden email] wrote:
> Lee, there are a number of fair solutions to your box  insulation problem. I
> have tried unsuccessfully with several of them.   Three worked well and were
> easier than the others. In order of my success: First  was Styrofoam panels in
> 4x8 sheets, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch thick are  available, with foil facing on
> both sides.  cuts with a sharp knife,  foil sticks to "Construction Adhesive" and
> "Duct Tape seals the edges.

Since the battery box is polyethylene and you're not really worried
about air infiltration, it's probably overkill to tape all the seams. If
you do, use metal foil tape, not grey duct tape. In my experience, the
foam in the panels with foil on both sides (I think it's
polyisocyanurate rather than styrofoam) isn't very durable. I'd be
inclined to just go with the pink styrofoam and glue that on the outside.

> Second is pressed fiberglass boards with
> reinforced foil facing on one side. The  A. C. guys use it for plenums and junction
> boxes instead of sheet  metal. Cuts with a sharp knife or hand saw. This is a
> very durable  material. and again you seal the edges with "Duct Tape."  

I'd worry about moisture getting trapped in the fiberglass. Maybe not
really a big deal. OTOH, mice stealing it for nesting might be.

> Fourth, I have no luck  
> with the spray foam, a very strong form is required to contain it, 1/2 inch  
> plywood supported by 2x4 lumber is needed to control it,

You need to use the minimally expanding type. If you glue bits of
styrofoam to the outside of the battery boxes, you might consider using
spray foam to fill in the gaps around obstructions.

--Rick

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Frank John
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
My batteries are also a tight fit; I used blue foam glued to the outside of some of the boxes with adequate relief to miss shocks, steering box, etc., then covered those with 1/4" louan plywood for some physical protection.  Not as good as it could be but much better than nothing and serves well here in Maine.

Frank




________________________________
From: Lee Hart <[hidden email]>
To: EV list <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:43:43 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box

<So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?>


     
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Re: Insulation for battery box

Evan Tuer
In reply to this post by Jeff Shanab
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 2:35 PM, Jeff Shanab <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I tried that expandable foam in a can and found it to be a messy hard to
> control substance to work with. It made a great foam and the extended
> nozzle allowed me to start injection at the bottom between 2 batteries
> and work my way to the top. So If it would be possible to get a second
> PP sheet spaced a 1/4 inch away then inject foam. It will probably work
> as a glue between the two sheets.

It is pretty horrible stuff but I've used it to insulate a battery
pack in a similar situation that was tight for space - I just placed a
"bin liner" (trash bag to you guys) around the underside of the box,
taping it at the top where possible, squirted a load of foam in and
then sort of molded it by hand as it expanded.  The end result didn't
look too professional but it's quick to do, waterproof and probably
more effective than trying to wrap the box in sheet material or
fibreglass - you can be sure there are no air gaps.

I made a "custom shaped" insert between the batteries and the box lid
with the same method - just make sure to allow a hole for excess foam
to escape while it's expanding.. and don't get any on you..

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Scott G-2
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
What about some type of spray on foam?  You protect the things that can't be coated and spray away.  They use it to insulate steel beams in buildings and it is pretty tuff.  Don't knw that would work or not but thought I would throw it out.

I appologize if this has already been discussed.  Not having a lot of time to read mail, I delete a lot before actually reading from the list.

Scott




________________________________
From: Lee Hart <[hidden email]>
To: EV list <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 5:43:43 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box

Hi gang,

I've got a problem, and am looking for some ideas.

I bit the bullet and finally replaced the 10-year-old pack of twelve 12v
batteries in my LeCar EV with fifteen 8v floodeds. This has meant
crowding them tightly in the battery boxes, leaving no room for insulation.

But here in Minnesota, insulation is virtually mandatory to drive it in
the winter. The wattage needed by a heater is excessive without
insulation to help it.

The front box is 1/4" polyethylene; five sides and a lid. It sits in an
angle iron rack. The rack stands on four legs a few inches high, so it
*barely* clears the highest points of various mechanical bits underneath
(top of the steering rack, transaxle, etc.). Likewise for the sides;
they have a couple inches to spare, but *barely* clear a number of
mechanical items. It don't think it's possible to squeeze more batteries
under the hood of this car.

I'm trying to think of a way to insulate the outside of the polyethylene
box, including the rack it is sitting on. The sides are smooth, but the
insulation will have to fit around irregular mechanical parts like the
brake master cylinder and steering column. Underneath the box is even
worse; the angle iron rack creates a very irregular surface.

My first thought was fiberglass batts, perhaps inside plastic bags for
protection. But Tim was worried that under the hood of a car, the
fiberglass will absorb and trap water.

Next thought was to use closed cell polyethylene foam sheets. It won't
absorb water, and is flexible so it could be conformed and trimmed to
fit. I see it used for packaging, under floors, and for sill insulation
(between the floor joists and cement foundation. But, I can't find
anyone who has it in anything except little 1/8" or 3/16" thick by 6"
wide rolls.

So, what other ideas do folks have? How would you do it?
--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Mark Fowler-3
I see that everyone is thinking outside the box here, but you've all
missed the most obvious answer.

Lee, just move somewhere warm.

:-)

Mark

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Lee Hart
Mark Fowler wrote:
> I see that everyone is thinking outside the box here, but you've all
> missed the most obvious answer.
>
> Lee, just move somewhere warm.

Naa... the cold up here weeds out the fools. Up here we have geniuses
like Sven and Ole, while down south they have Bubba and... wait a
minute, that's not right.

Only kidding! :-)

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Roger Heuckeroth
Ha, ha.  Hope I don't offend anyone, but my theory is that motivation  
is inversely proportional to temperature.  I made that up back in  
college when the nice spring weather would come rolling in.  Who wants  
to sit at a desk and work when it so nice outside.  Then after college  
when I saw the pace that work would get done on projects down south,  
it confirmed that theory.  The slowest workers I ever dealt with were  
in Saudi Arabia.  I was there overseeing an installation,  What should  
have taken one week took eight.  But to be fair 115-120 deg heat is  
pretty stifling.  The work days would be 6AM-10AM, break, 5PM-9PM for  
anyone that worked outside.

On Apr 9, 2009, at 8:42 PM, Lee Hart wrote:

> Mark Fowler wrote:
>> I see that everyone is thinking outside the box here, but you've all
>> missed the most obvious answer.
>>
>> Lee, just move somewhere warm.
>
> Naa... the cold up here weeds out the fools. Up here we have geniuses
> like Sven and Ole, while down south they have Bubba and... wait a
> minute, that's not right.
>
> Only kidding! :-)
>
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,  
> leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> General EVDL support: http://evdl.org/help/
> Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
> Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
> Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by Evan Tuer
Thanks for all the suggestions, gang! This list is a great resource. I
think I'll try a combination of these ideas.

Foam is an attractive option for insulating irregular surfaces. I agree
that the instant foam cans are horribly messy. So, I ordered an
"Instapak" kit from Sealed Air. This has the foam in plastic bags, with
premeasured amounts of the foaming agents inside. Break the inner
container, and it fills the bag with foam without getting it on
anything. It's normally used for packaging delicate items for shipment.

With some difficulty, I located a roll of 1/4" polyethylene foam
insulation about 3 feet wide. For my front box, I'm going to try making
an outer box around the outside of battery box with this foam sheet, and
then use the instapak bags to fill the irregular space in between them.

My rear box is a lot more straightforward. I can use the polyethylene
foam as a liner for the box before putting the batteries in, and add
more insulation on the outside.

My battery box heater are assembled on a sheet of aluminum that sits
under the batteries. I disassembled a couple 60 watt battery heating
blankets to get the roughly 16 foot long heating wire inside. I attached
this wire to the aluminum sheet with double-sided carpet tape, spread
roughly evenly over the surface. A sheet of aluminum foil is placed over
the wire, to provide a safety ground. The AC line cord's ground wire is
connected to the foil and aluminum sheet.

A piece of the 1/4" polyethylene foam will go in the bottom of the
battery box first. The aluminum heating plate goes in next, with the
wire side down. The foam acts as insulation, and prevents the battery
weight from crushing the wire insulation. The aluminum plate provides a
heat spreader and smooth surface to transfer heat to the batteries evenly.

The last issue is to arrange the ventilation. I have about 1" around the
top edge for the air intake and exhaust holes. So, I'm looking for a
small blower that has something close to a 1" hose for its inlet.
--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: Insulation for battery box

Mike Willmon-3
Hey Lee, question because I don't remember your circumstances.  Do you park the car in the garage at night?  Do you run battery
heaters of any sorts?

One thing you should carefully consider is not to go overboard insulating them.  In my Mitsubishi I built 1 full rectangle bed box
that housed all 16 Dekas (at the time).  This box consists of 2" of EPS bead board in between inner and outer walls of 3/8" CDX.  It
is like this on all sides. Except on the lid I can remove the insulation board.

I had done all the calcs on it to not allow more than a 10 degree drop with the truck parked outside at work for 10 hours in 0*F
temperatures.  Well it worked fine in the winter, too fine actually.  On heavy use days driving 15 miles would put 6*F to 8*F in the
batteries, charging them at night would out about 4*F to 6*F in them.  But they would only lose 10* during the day on average 0*F
days.  So sometimes when temps were above average I had to keep the box lid propped open a couple inches.  That's not too much of a
problem and works fairly OK.  

The problem comes in the summer when the assumptions for my calculations were all wrong.  With that much insulation I could not keep
the batteries cool enough, even driving around without the lid at all.  I even reverted to parking outside at night (even though the
sun is still shining up here).  I went back at one point to figure out what R-value I should drop to make it break even (for my
routine) in 0*F temps.  It was something like I only needed 3/4" to 1"  of the EPS beadboard (I get R=0.75 just from the plywood).
And even then the summer problem is still there.  If I rebuild the box I will make it so I can either remove the insulation panels
in the summer, or somehow funnel air from under the cab into the battery box.

Just a thought before you foam it all up tight.

Mike

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Lee Hart
> Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 8:12 PM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box
>
> Thanks for all the suggestions, gang! This list is a great resource. I
> think I'll try a combination of these ideas.
>
> Foam is an attractive option for insulating irregular surfaces. I agree
> that the instant foam cans are horribly messy. So, I ordered an
> "Instapak" kit from Sealed Air. This has the foam in plastic bags, with
> premeasured amounts of the foaming agents inside. Break the inner
> container, and it fills the bag with foam without getting it on
> anything. It's normally used for packaging delicate items for shipment.
>
> With some difficulty, I located a roll of 1/4" polyethylene foam
> insulation about 3 feet wide. For my front box, I'm going to try making
> an outer box around the outside of battery box with this foam sheet, and
> then use the instapak bags to fill the irregular space in between them.
>
> My rear box is a lot more straightforward. I can use the polyethylene
> foam as a liner for the box before putting the batteries in, and add
> more insulation on the outside.
>
> My battery box heater are assembled on a sheet of aluminum that sits
> under the batteries. I disassembled a couple 60 watt battery heating
> blankets to get the roughly 16 foot long heating wire inside. I attached
> this wire to the aluminum sheet with double-sided carpet tape, spread
> roughly evenly over the surface. A sheet of aluminum foil is placed over
> the wire, to provide a safety ground. The AC line cord's ground wire is
> connected to the foil and aluminum sheet.
>
> A piece of the 1/4" polyethylene foam will go in the bottom of the
> battery box first. The aluminum heating plate goes in next, with the
> wire side down. The foam acts as insulation, and prevents the battery
> weight from crushing the wire insulation. The aluminum plate provides a
> heat spreader and smooth surface to transfer heat to the batteries evenly.
>
> The last issue is to arrange the ventilation. I have about 1" around the
> top edge for the air intake and exhaust holes. So, I'm looking for a
> small blower that has something close to a 1" hose for its inlet.
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> General EVDL support: http://evdl.org/help/
> Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
> Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
> Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Re: 1" outlet cooling fan, was- Insulation for battery box

James R. Parish
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Try the fuel injector cooling fan off a '87 FORD F-150 Pickup.  It's
designed to run after the truck shuts down to cool off the injectors.  I
have the truck and it's a nifty fan.

> The last issue is to arrange the ventilation. I have about 1" around
> the
> top edge for the air intake and exhaust holes. So, I'm looking for a
> small blower that has something close to a 1" hose for its inlet.
> --

Solar Source University Instructor
Photovoltaic & Solar Thermo Systems
www.solarsourceuniversity.org







> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Lee Hart
> Sent: 04/12/2009 12:12 AM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] Insulation for battery box
>
> Thanks for all the suggestions, gang! This list is a great resource. I
> think I'll try a combination of these ideas.
>
> Foam is an attractive option for insulating irregular surfaces. I
agree
> that the instant foam cans are horribly messy. So, I ordered an
> "Instapak" kit from Sealed Air. This has the foam in plastic bags,
with
> premeasured amounts of the foaming agents inside. Break the inner
> container, and it fills the bag with foam without getting it on
> anything. It's normally used for packaging delicate items for
shipment.
>
> With some difficulty, I located a roll of 1/4" polyethylene foam
> insulation about 3 feet wide. For my front box, I'm going to try
making
> an outer box around the outside of battery box with this foam sheet,
> and
> then use the instapak bags to fill the irregular space in between
them.

>
> My rear box is a lot more straightforward. I can use the polyethylene
> foam as a liner for the box before putting the batteries in, and add
> more insulation on the outside.
>
> My battery box heater are assembled on a sheet of aluminum that sits
> under the batteries. I disassembled a couple 60 watt battery heating
> blankets to get the roughly 16 foot long heating wire inside. I
> attached
> this wire to the aluminum sheet with double-sided carpet tape, spread
> roughly evenly over the surface. A sheet of aluminum foil is placed
> over
> the wire, to provide a safety ground. The AC line cord's ground wire
is
> connected to the foil and aluminum sheet.
>
> A piece of the 1/4" polyethylene foam will go in the bottom of the
> battery box first. The aluminum heating plate goes in next, with the
> wire side down. The foam acts as insulation, and prevents the battery
> weight from crushing the wire insulation. The aluminum plate provides
a

> heat spreader and smooth surface to transfer heat to the batteries
> evenly.
>
> The last issue is to arrange the ventilation. I have about 1" around
> the
> top edge for the air intake and exhaust holes. So, I'm looking for a
> small blower that has something close to a 1" hose for its inlet.
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,
leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> General EVDL support: http://evdl.org/help/
> Usage guidelines: http://evdl.org/help/index.html#conv
> Archives: http://evdl.org/archive/
> Subscription options: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev



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12