Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

A week in chilly Alaska

hot_rod
hot_rod Member Posts: 16,572
gathering with some of the best hydronicians in the land. Thanks all.

A hearty bunch they are, -35F greeted me Sunday in Fairbanks. How do you even hold tools that are -35°?

I was surprised how many pickups never get shut off. Lunch breaks, dinner breaks, sometimes all day long!
Other start an hour before quitting time.

Thinking how that energy could be collected and stored, then plugged into your home when days end. Some sort of super insulated energy storage cell to fit in the pickup beds. How many BTUs get idled away from 5 liter V8 during the course of a day in FB?


Christmas shopping pic from a local Anchorage paper.
Bob "hot rod" Rohr
trainer for Caleffi NA
Living the hydronic dream
kcopp

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,829
    On that waste heat subject, In the late 70's-80's I was a subscriber to The Mother Earth News and also Alternate Sources of Energy. (Still have the issues)
    These publications always had articles submitted by readers. One had nearly an hour commute to work every day. He equipped his vehicle with large insulated water tank. He cooled his gas engine with that water tank. Upon getting home he would connect that tank to a maybe car radiator with fan to help heat the house. He implied that it was a good savings for home heating.

    So if he had 100 gallons (800 pounds) of water on board at say 190 degrees. You can crunch the numbers for btu gain for the house. Of course he was hauling that 800 lbs round trip.
    Don't know the ROI. But he felt green about doing it and I felt green for him reading about it. I was stoking my wood furnace at that time feeling green for myself.

    Looking back he must have lived in a fairly temperate climate as without glycol his motor cooling system may have froze up,
    Perhaps he took the car radiator out of the system for this propose.

    Lot of weight, but there may be some phase change solution that would be lighter and absorb more BTU. FWIW
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    edited December 2016
    I'm a big fan of colder weather, but that is probably too cold for me. It's crazy they run their vehicles all day like that. I would assume fuel is not cheap either. On top of having high heating bills you now have high fuel bills for your vehicles.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,224
    Nah, you just pull up beside the pipeline & open the drain cock to fill your tank—they're every 100' or so.

    :smiley:

    njtommy
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    You get the award for extreme weather exposures within a one month period Bob. Alaska to Hawaii. Stay warm and stay away from the moose. They like to dance on peoples heads.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,378
    If you need a break,come on down to Homer and I can set you up in a nice vacation rental! Weather is getting warmer and winter sunrises and sunsets are great now.
    I was hoping to make it up to Anchorage for your class, but have been sick all week and am now way behind. I hate to miss any class where someone is willing to come up here and teach us anything. Maybe next time.
    P.S. Did you notice at the big stores like Fred Meyer and such that they have plugins for all the car heaters in all the parking places? I wonder what the budget is for that?
    Rick
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,572

    If you need a break,come on down to Homer and I can set you up in a nice vacation rental! Weather is getting warmer and winter sunrises and sunsets are great now.
    I was hoping to make it up to Anchorage for your class, but have been sick all week and am now way behind. I hate to miss any class where someone is willing to come up here and teach us anything. Maybe next time.
    P.S. Did you notice at the big stores like Fred Meyer and such that they have plugins for all the car heaters in all the parking places? I wonder what the budget is for that?

    Sorry you couldn't make it. I get up at least once a year, we will connect some day. Northern lights must be wonderful in your area?


    I may do some training in Wasilla come spring, counter day barbecues and such.

    I stay at that funky old hotel, Sophies in Fairbanks, they have dozen of plug ins in the lot and rental cars all have extension cords. It must be in the room rate, that is a lot of KW heating the great outdoors.

    You would enjoy the Cold Climate Housing Research lab there in Fairbanks, we hold the class there.
    They do a lot of work in remote villages to keep energy cost down and homes heated as economically as possible.


    http://www.cchrc.org

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • I met a couple in the hotel pool in Colorado Springs, who came from Winnipeg. They said they have three electric heaters in their cars to plug in in winter: battery, car interior, and engine block.
    In spite of the bad rap diesel has been getting lately worldwide, those engines can idle on very little fuel, keeping everything warm. The only downside is that they probably have to idle all winter long in those temperatures!--NBC
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713
    Sounds similar to Sudbury, ON, where I used to live. The parking lots for INCO employees always had receptacles throughout on posts, as well as an outdoor plug near the driveway of just about everyone's home. I thought it was normal. The engine block heater is awesome, easy to start a car when the oil hasn't turned to taffy. When I moved south and wanted to plug my car in one winter, I got the strangest looks. No one did that.
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 402
    I lived in Alaska for 20 years and spend some time in interior Alaska and worked in many remote villages as a balancer.. It got to -55 a couple of times. One time was in Kotzebue, so we went out and peed in the snow to see if it would freeze and spat in the wind, the spit certainly froze! I had a friend up there who lived north of Fairbanks in 1989 and it got down to I think, it was 89 degrees below zero. They almost all died in that village. They were burning all their furniture any stick they could find anything that would burn and just barely survived. All heating was fuel oil and that all froze. One time in Fairbanks they rented me some 3 cylinder aluminum block engine car. I was working doing balancing work at the base there I can remember what it's called now , Eielson I think and also at Fort Knox I let that thing run all day. It was -42 - 45 I ran out from the building jumped in my car the end of the day and it was like a jumping on a pile of cement blocks! Thing made NO heat unless high rpm s! . I took that car right back to the airport and they told me it wasn't even supposed to be rented if it was below I think it was plus 20 degrees outside lol.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,572
    3 cylinder? Was it a Saab? They even made a 2 cycle version of that 3 cylinder years ago.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    My first new car, 1963 SAAB 1 quart to 8 gallons. No oil in the engine it turned over as fast at -20 as + 70. The engine wouldn't warm up unless it was under load there was a shade behind the grill with a long nylon cord that came out on the dash you would pull it out and hook a knot in a slot. It was FAST had 5 more HP than a beetle. Good friend had an oil painting made from a photo of the dashboard you can see my keys in the ignition ,on the key ring is a radiator key, it's still on my keyring.
    bob
    rick in Alaska
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 402
    Cool story about the saab. Was the shade to modulate the cooling air over the engine? Also, what does 1 quart to 8 gallons mean?

    I can't remember the brand car I rented in Fairbanks. Maybe a Yugo? Lol
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713
    1 quart of oil for every 8 gallons of gas. I'm guessing it was a 2 stroke engine
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
    icy78
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,162
    Yes, they were two stroke with I believe a 4 speed on the collum. Sounded cool too!!
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,312
    I remember 3 cylinder Renaut's in the 50's, 2 stroke engines. A guy across the street had one and he had a spare engine for it. He would be rebuilding one engine in the cellar while using the other in the car.

    In Korea we had an early 50's deuce and a half that would not start in sub zero temperatures. That truck was started in mid December and ran till the end of March anytime really cold weather was expected. We had block heaters for standby generators but not the trucks. At base camp the temperature didn't get all that bad but up on the mountain it hit -40 several times a month in the winter. I used to have to report the weather conditions when I called in the morning report.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,572

    Yes, they were two stroke with I believe a 4 speed on the collum. Sounded cool too!!

    Stinky little buggers also, those two stroke.

    My brother in law had a Saab Sonett, they came with either a 3 cylinder or a Ford V-4.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    I spent a couple years at a military base near Seoul Korea...way back when...Motor pool guys were very busy....the village homes were heated with ondol an under the floor heating system....Every year a few Gis would die from CO....We also had Mobil lights run by Diesel on the flight line lots of us would crawl into them to keep warm....not a good idea.....winters were long but I loved it
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,500
    When I worked as a mechanic, installing block heaters was the norm. Remove a frost plug in the engine block...get antifreeze all over everything and install (usually 1000-1500watt) heater in the hole of said removed frost plug.

    Worked with a guy who lived in Alaska, his truck had 3 heaters. Engine, transmission pan, and rear differential. He said if you didn't heat the differential, the oil would fly off the ring gear and guys would burn up the ring and pinion sets. Synthetic oil was birthed for Alaskan drilling equipment. Just so they could shut off the engine once and awhile.....

    I had an 82 VW which I ran the block heater AND let it idle at the same time to get heat to warm it up. When it's -20 below or colder the heater core in a car will dissipate more heat than an idling engine can produce. That car would throw great heat once moving, but park for any amount of time and the engine temp would drop quickly just idling.

    There is something about having the hair in your nose freeze when you inhale that helps you think clearly :#

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,312
    @ja Remember the diesel stoves they heated the Quonset huts with? It's lucky we didn't have more fires with those.

    There was a small village about 500 ft below our radio site, 15 huts and a few oxen. The undol underfloor heating was great in those huts - mud floor and walls with a thatched roof. I've been in hooches at night with -40 degrees outside and the floor was always warm at least until the fire went out.

    I spent a few weeks in Seoul but the headed south to Salem where I was 26 miles from the nearest officer. We saw the Stratcom CO once a month when he had to come up to pay the civilian workers. That was great duty, as long as we kept the microwaves up and working they didn't much care what we did - and we didn't tell them what we were up to either.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    j a_2
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,572

    When I worked as a mechanic, installing block heaters was the norm. Remove a frost plug in the engine block...get antifreeze all over everything and install (usually 1000-1500watt) heater in the hole of said removed frost plug.



    Worked with a guy who lived in Alaska, his truck had 3 heaters. Engine, transmission pan, and rear differential. He said if you didn't heat the differential, the oil would fly off the ring gear and guys would burn up the ring and pinion sets. Synthetic oil was birthed for Alaskan drilling equipment. Just so they could shut off the engine once and awhile.....



    I had an 82 VW which I ran the block heater AND let it idle at the same time to get heat to warm it up. When it's -20 below or colder the heater core in a car will dissipate more heat than an idling engine can produce. That car would throw great heat once moving, but park for any amount of time and the engine temp would drop quickly just idling.



    There is something about having the hair in your nose freeze when you inhale that helps you think clearly :#



    Taylor

    An air cooled VW that gave adequate heat? In the winter time :)

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    BobC said:

    @ja Remember the diesel stoves they heated the Quonset huts with? It's lucky we didn't have more fires with those.

    There was a small village about 500 ft below our radio site, 15 huts and a few oxen. The undol underfloor heating was great in those huts - mud floor and walls with a thatched roof. I've been in hooches at night with -40 degrees outside and the floor was always warm at least until the fire went out.

    I spent a few weeks in Seoul but the headed south to Salem where I was 26 miles from the nearest officer. We saw the Stratcom CO once a month when he had to come up to pay the civilian workers. That was great duty, as long as we kept the microwaves up and working they didn't much care what we did - and we didn't tell them what we were up to either.

    Bob

    Yes it was interesting duty to say the least....the cold coming off the Yellow Sea was nasty....The ROK army was as tuff as they get...they still had some rorory engine aircraft and had to drain the lower cylinders, jugs if you will, prior to starting the engine...If not it blew the cylinder....Oil does not compress....as you know....THE FIGHTER PILOTS HAD BALLS OF STEEL....
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,500
    @hot rod no the last air cooled VW sold in the US were in 1977. By 82 all were water cooled, FWD. Some transverse engined, and some longitudinal.

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • MikeG
    MikeG Member Posts: 169
    Spent some limited time in Alaska training while in the Army with the 1ST Ranger BN Left Ft Stewart GA Jan 6, 1976 and parachuted in to Wainwright Army Airfield at -30. Two weeks later did another jump farther north on an operation it was only -20. It is definitely a diffferent way of life in that temp to di even simple tasks. Loved every minute of it.