Powering 12V DC Cooler in PHEV - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Powering 12V DC Cooler in PHEV

I recently purchased a Knox brand electric cooler (48 watts) than can run on a 12V DC power cable in our PHEV. I haven't used the cooler yet, but I did have a question about using it in the car when it's parked while shopping. I'm assuming I can power the cooler when parked, but my concern is will the PHEV's battery management system be up to the task. If I only had one car battery I wouldn't even think about it, but given the PHEV has a huge battery that feeds the smaller battery shouldn't there be sufficient battery power for short periods of time like an hour or two? I don't want to risk harming either of the PHEV's batteries if powering the cooler when parked is going to do that.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 10:20 PM
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I can't speak for the battery in the Niro, but I have a similar cooler that I run in my truck every so often. I wouldn't worry about running it for an hour off a starter battery personally, and not knowing the system but going by what I think makes sense the 12 volt outlets in the car should only be fed by the 12 volt starter battery. (That is, if they even have power with the car shut off. I'm talking out of my ass.) I also wouldn't be too worried about leaving it turned off for a while, it should hold it's temperature well. You can even toss in an ice pack for good measure.



Side note, once those things get down to nice and cool they are a godsend on a long drive.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 08:12 AM
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You will have to leave the car on to run the 12 volt. You can secure it with the mechanical key.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 10:20 PM
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You might be able to get it to work in the "accessory" position, not sure. I'd be a little leery to try this though.



If you have the factory default configuration (Aux Battery Saver is enabled), then you might have noticed occasional alerts when you turn your car on indicating that the aux battery saver charged the 12V battery while the car was off. I see that message two or three times a week, and that's with just the built in parasitic loads, and an occasional "butt dial" of the car alarm (typically only runs for about 10 seconds when that happens - the amount of time I need to pull the key fob from my pocket and hit a button).



One thing you might try is doing this first at home, preferably somewhere that has booster cables handy (in case you need them), and ideally at a time when you will be around the car and might hear something if the aux battery saver is running. That would give you an idea of how long you can run it before the aux battery saver kicks in. The manual says that the battery saver will run a maximum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 10 times. It's ambiguous on the question of whether it's 20 minutes total, or 20 minutes each time, but I suspect it's 20 minutes total.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 08:52 AM
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If this was going to be a constant requirement, You could look to see what is inside the center arm rest. There is a USB charge port there that runs constantly even with the engine off, and USB runs off 5v. But since there is no 5v battery inside the car, I would think there is likely some transformer around the bottom of that port. You could look into removing the usb charger and replacing it with a 12v port that you frige can work off it. That way if you ever need to use the port for a phone, you just put in your own usb charge adaptor.



I guess if you are doing all that sort of work, then you could just run a new plug off an unused fuse port that is on all the time even when the engine is off. It's a simple test with a volt meter.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 12:09 PM
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If the car is not on, all those methods will fail. Power to accessory ports shuts off a few minutes after car is turned off, or when the door is opened after turning car off. If the car is on, the door cannot be locked except via the mechanical key.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. This is why this forum is so valuable. Appreciate it.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 06:53 PM
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in another thread the conclusion was that you could not lock the car while it was running with the remote to permit heaing it up in cold weather and not have to risk someone driving off with it. does this mean you could accomplish this with the mechanical key?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 07:38 PM
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Yes.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawke View Post
I recently purchased a Knox brand electric cooler (48 watts) than can run on a 12V DC power cable in our PHEV. I haven't used the cooler yet, but I did have a question about using it in the car when it's parked while shopping. I'm assuming I can power the cooler when parked, but my concern is will the PHEV's battery management system be up to the task. If I only had one car battery I wouldn't even think about it, but given the PHEV has a huge battery that feeds the smaller battery shouldn't there be sufficient battery power for short periods of time like an hour or two? I don't want to risk harming either of the PHEV's batteries if powering the cooler when parked is going to do that.

My dashcam will kill the battery on the PHEV if left running without starting the car for approximately 1.5 days. It's happened to me twice now, both times needing a jump-start.
The battery-saver does not do a great job at keeping the crappy 12V battery charged, and kicks off after 10 cycles (or randomly since it never givers me a cycle count).
You can run a 12V connection directly from the fuse panel to power the cooler irrelevant of the on-state of the car, but I wouldn't recommend it for too long.

Undoubtedly your cooler is of the peltier variety, highly inefficient and even less so the higher the ambient temperature. If only shopping for a couple of hours, I wouldn't even bother leaving it on. Just get a cup of ice from McDonald's or somewhere and leave it in with your goods. If you do leave it on, it will not only reject heat from the cooler interior, but add a whole bunch of heat in the process, raising the temperature inside the car.

If you run the cooler and kill the battery, then need to jump the car, you can access a positive terminal under the hood around the front-right under a fuse-panel cover (attach the negative clip to a bare-metal part of the frame/engine and the other end of the cable attach both clips directly to the good battery).

The PHEV really needs a beefier 12V battery IMHO, and if I was keeping mine I'd definitely stuff the biggest one I could in there, or maybe even a LiFePO4 battery, since the usable SOC is so much greater without causing damage to the cells.
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