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Discussion Starter · #223 ·
Minor update. Went back to the junkyard for straggling bits of the Prius.

Most importantly, the A/C system.

What's nice about the Prius A/C system, much like the power steering, is that it's entirely electrical. It's not driven off of the engine, it has a built-in 3 phase motor. And, one of the things inside the Gen 2 inverter is a separate inverter that controls the AC Motor/pump. This lets you do interesting things like, run it at variable speed rather than bogging your AC on/off only.

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But... one odd thing. There's only 2 of those big orange power wires going to it. It's a 3 phase motor. Why aren't there 3?

Well, the Prius Gen 2 inverter has a separate inverter that controls the AC motor, with 3-phase motor power output. But the Prius Gen 3 (junkyard car) does not have that inverter inside the main electronics block. It just takes the high voltage DC from the battery right to the pump (2 wires, positive and negative), and has an onboard inverter instead. That's probably good for keeping down the electronic noise.

No one's reverse engineered this yet, but it's likely to be pretty simple. That said, the pump surely still has 3 wires inside that go to the motor, and I could just tap those 3 directly to force the motor to move. I have 2 A/C motor inverters, so the luxury of choosing either.

If you look inside the refridgerant port, you can see the exposed motor windings. At first I thought that odd, but that's no different than a refridgerator has, the coolant cools the motor.



Also went back and finished yanking the main battery cables that run the length of the car. They might be too light for me, but, they've got weatherproof ends and I can just run heavier wire inside the loom if I want.



Went back one last time and tried to grab the AC condensor. Had to destroy the whole dash to get to it, but I finally got to it and... couldn't figure out how to get it out of the plastic.

No matter, grabbed the whole plastic enclosure with it ($22?), the heater core and the blower motor and enclosure too ($24?). And grabbed all the AC lines. And cut the remaining motor wire off at the motor (couldn't get to it still). And grabbed a lower stub of the steering column where it enters the rack. Hopefully that's everything.



So, the only part of the AC system I left on the car was the evaporator, which I'm hoping is at least somewhat standardized for fittings, so that I can fit whatever one makes sense on my vehicle at a later time.

And, that's all she wrote. I'm sure the car has met the crusher by now.

Still stumped on why the inverter isn't getting signal properly, that's the next roadblock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #225 ·
The condenser is in the dash? that seems strange
Y'know, I used to work in HVAC for a summer and I still get these backwards constantly. I think I meant the evaporator, the condensor gets hot and is in front of the radiator to bleed off heat, the evaporator gets cold? Well, whichever. The part that makes things cold is under the dash next to the heater core, and the part that gets hot at the front of the vehicle I didn't get.

Actually, almost all A/C systems are nearly reversible with a slight mod, to turn them into a heat pump, which in most conditions is more efficient than just a resistive heater. So, ideally my heater and cooler will both be the A/C unit, with a backup resisitive heater for when it's really cold. That exists as a single unified system, Teslas have them, maybe some other vehicles, I just don't know enough about whether I want them or not.

Gordo's dash rebuild shows off that you can fit a lot of stuff under the dash area if you want your own HVAC system, but I think I want to leave the dash looking factory. I don't think I could ever make anything good looking (I'm bad with cosmetic stuff). So, maybe I'll weld up my own heater/cooler box, or I'll figure out a way to plumb the AC into the existing assembly above the passenger's knees in the glove slot.

Lots to still decide.
 
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