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Discussion Starter #1
It would be cool (heh) if there was a mode that powered the AC compressor directly from regenerative braking energy, and only spooled up the compressor when going down hills.

Drive in the mountains and stay frosty all day!
 

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Make the AC operation terrain dependent? So going uphill or sitting in traffic you get to sweat? The AC is already electrically driven and can use the energy captured by regeneration. This "summer mode" sounds like an unnecessary complication of little practical value.
 

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Oh great, create a new mode that causes people to slam onto their brakes or pull the regen paddle to get AC. No thank you. I roll down the windows in nice weather and use the AC as soon as the temps get anywhere close to causing me to sweat. Seriously, the fact you own a volt over any ice vehicle is saving you tons of fuel. No need to nitpick this last detail.

Plus in flat IL, there are no hills to get these long regen runs.
 

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The nature of the HV electrical system is that any energy from regen is going to any HV device and any leftover goes to the battery.
It's not regen -> battery -> AC/motor/heater/whatever, but rather regen -> AC -> excess to battery

This is why the engine runs only when needed instead of constantly running at a lower rate to keep battery up.
It's slightly more efficient to use gasoline generated electricity on the fly instead of automatically dumping it into the battery and taking as needed afterwards. No energy loss in charging/discharging battery if you use the electrons in the motor immediately and skip the battery altogether.

So you can mimic your desired mode by turning your AC to 'fan only' on the uphill and comfort AC on the downhill. It should have the same effect.

And that effect will be minimal at best. If it's a steep hill and you're regening several kW... the AC compressor only does 1.5-2kW IIRC... still vast majority going to the battery in the end.
 

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What if our Volt had a driver’s side vent window to open for ventilation for those of us who grew up with a father that didn’t think a/c was worth the price?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Oh great, create a new mode that causes people to slam onto their brakes or pull the regen paddle to get AC. No thank you. I roll down the windows in nice weather and use the AC as soon as the temps get anywhere close to causing me to sweat. Seriously, the fact you own a volt over any ice vehicle is saving you tons of fuel. No need to nitpick this last detail.

Plus in flat IL, there are no hills to get these long regen runs.
Sounds like a great idea to me! Maybe it would encourage people not to tailgate. Slow down or sweat. Too bad every car doesn't do this...

I wasn't aware that it used the HV regen electricty on an "as needed" basis instead of sending all of it to the battery and then pulling it from there. It seems like it would significantly complicate the power electronics, but then again I'm not a power electronics enginer. I'm still trying to figure out the optimal AC setting that will keep me cool on warm days if I'm sitting in my car while charging, but not pull all the juice coming in from the box. "Eco 3" seems to work pretty well. It would be kind of neat if there was a "swamp cooler" mode.

I suppose I'll have to file this with my idea for a DC fast charging option that involes putting the Volt on a motoring dynamometer, engaging regenerative braking and spinning the wheels in reverse. Needs work...
 

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I wasn't aware that it used the HV regen electricty on an "as needed" basis instead of sending all of it to the battery and then pulling it from there. It seems like it would significantly complicate the power electronics, but then again I'm not a power electronics enginer.
It's the basis of electricity - it takes the shortest path

Perhaps a similar arrangement that might be easier to understand.
If you have a solar panel on the roof, with an inverter that feeds the grid, electrons you generate are more likely to be used by your own house's input feed than go all the way through the grid and return back to go somewhere else.
But if your house is not drawing electricity, those electrons will go along their way down the grid to the next place that does need them.

In the volt's case, the A/C is your home and the battery is the grid (or next house down the grid), with the solar panel being your regen energy.
 

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Sounds like a great idea to me! Maybe it would encourage people not to tailgate. Slow down or sweat. Too bad every car doesn't do this...

. It would be kind of neat if there was a "swamp cooler" mode.

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No it would not. They work with water and evaporative cooling. Might help where it's hot and dry, but pretty useless where it's hot and humid.
 
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