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    DBusch New Member

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    I am thinking of purchasing a 4kwh Plug in Supply kit for my 2008 Prius. Does anyone have any first hand experience with the kit or Plug in Supply? Specifically does the kit deliver the suggested 15 miles EV? Is it plug and go, or is there the endless tinkering that Enginer users experience - I had one of those and sent it back. How is the customer support? Robb has responded well to my inquiry, but I'd like an objective reference.

    Thanks,
    David
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    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    The 4kwh kit is a newly introduced product in the last 3 months. Not sure you'll find anyone who has had it that long, but if you get it, I'll be interested to hear your feedback.

    Before you buy any of these PHEV systems you need to understand that it will not be perfect. Seriously. If you want perfect, then you need to stop pursuing any of these systems right now. Otherwise, you'll only create frustration for yourself.

    While I doubt there will be endless tinkering, I am certain there may be some tinkering at times. They are at the mercy of their suppliers and if they are given a bad set of components, it may not always be caught before they are installed in customer vehicles. None of these systems are tested as much or as long as what the OEM's can do, so in essence you are there to report any issues that arise in the field.

    Customer support is variable but the people behind the product are good people. PIS will help as much as they can via their support people but you may have to wait. Patience is required with any of these aftermarket PHEV systems. None of them have huge staff. If you have a local person who can do the install or be there to support you locally, that would be a great asset.

    Oh, and feel free to call me to discuss ideas any time. 608-729-4082
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    scottsim New Member

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    PIS has been good to me and my 10KWh conversion, see my blog for more, still need to get the latest upgrade, but much is about how well your dealer/installer will take care of you.

    Scott
    Scott's Plug-in Pruis Blog | Converting my 2009 Pruis into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
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    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Scott,
    Has your system been 100% usable while you've had it installed?
    Have you ever had to have any items replaced/upgraded/tweaked?
    If so, was the system unusable for a period of time, and about how long did it take to get things up and going again. (Days, weeks, months?)

    I want people to have realistic expectations and one of the best ways to do this is by hearing from owners like you.
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    scottsim New Member

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    It has always (20 months) been useable and has been tweaked often along the way to run better, software upgrades, etc. All at no charge thus far...initially there may have been a few days without function, but PIS was on it.
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    DBusch New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm on the fence having had a lackluster experience with Enginer and I can't make sense of the Plug in Supply - Plug in Solution argument. Jack at Enginer was great....sometimes, and that is not an indicator that the same thing would happen again. I am mechanical, but not really electrical - meaning I can install the kit but would be challenged as to trouble shooting it. There appear to be no local installers in the Hudson Valley area of NY. I embrace the idea, but am proceeding cautiously. Any other thoughts are appreciated.
    David
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    banshee08 Member

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    It looks like Plug In Supply now supports the Gen3 Prius also. I am very interested in the 4kW system also since my last working converter just kicked the bucket in 2 year old enginer kit.
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    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    Hello,
    I had communicated with Paul at 3prong about this a few months ago. Paul installs the 10kwhr system and is very happy with that. I suggest contacting him with questions if you have them.

    At the time that I communicated with Paul, he indicated that he had questions about the 4kwhr system. He stated, "I have yet to see one working."

    Anyway, the details of a system do not always scale down when you go to a smaller battery pack. In the case of Enginer the 4kwhr system is OK and the 8kwhr systems seemed to work very well, but I have heard nothing but complaints about the 2kwhr system.

    Again, as Eric asked. Has anyone seen a 4kwhr PIS system working?

    Thanks,
    Dan
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    does plugin supply have a support forum like enginer. I talked to the PIS guys at green drive expo. they seem to have their act together. judging from their system, I don't see any components that can fail prematurely. the batteries are rated at 10C discharge. at 16AH, that's 160 amps. PIS has shown that at 65mph the battery draws 100 amps. they have inhouse BMS. they design their own ECU. The only thing I can see that can go wrong is the charger. their warranty for the electronic components are 3 years, batteries are 2 years, and 1 year for the charger.
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    banshee08 Member

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    Been looking for a user forum also but had no luck. Now need to look for a new 3000W converter to purchase...
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    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    I wish i could find more info about the PIS kit with gen3. Looking at some pictures it looks like the stock HV battery remains, and the lithium is in parallel. But i don't know how it integrates into the car (does the EV mode button let me do 70mph? do i need to repace HV ECU? or is there some spoofer for the HV battery signals?) and can i have more than 4kwh in gen3? (i want about 8kwh). What cells are they using?
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I saw the Gen III PIS kit in person. It's a second pack added in the trunk. It works just like the Enginer kit except it pumps up to 160 amps to the HV battery instead of 16 amps and will regen back into the PIS pack. There's an ON-OFF switch that switches on the contactor to connect the PIS battery pack to the HV battery pack. The EV button does not get modified. If you activate the EV button, it kicks you out of EV when you hit the OEM EV speed limit. In order to drive on EV only you must limit your acceleration. Enginer kicks you out of EV acceleration when you go pass 50% ECO HSI. PIS kicks you out of EV acceleration when you go pass 75% of ECO HSI. I was able to accelerate at 70% ECO HSI on Enginer kit only once. It can maintain stealth mode for longer distance and at faster speed than Enginer. The ICE fires up using gasoline to spin the engine once you accelerate pass the 45MPH mark in EV then cuts off the fuel while the ICE spins to protect the MG1. PIS engineers have not found a way to use the MG1 to spin up the ICE without using fuel. I don't think it can accelerate as fast as the OEM PHEV in EV mode but it'll be faster than Enginer. I still think it's hard to drive it as EV only without ICE assistance for acceleration. It would be more like how Enginer drives except with even more electric assist. The PIS guys said that you can drive it normally without any kind of fuel saving technique and still able to get about 130mpg. Last time I got 130mpg on my Enginer kit, I had to drive like a great great grandma. Average speed was 16mph for 900 miles with half tank left. I used between .04 to .1 US gallon of fuel for 11.5 mile one way trip to and from work.
    The PIS 4KW kit uses 76 headway's 40160S cells in series. These cells are 16AH and are rated at 10C. They can discharge at 160 amps continuously. As for higher capacity than 4KW, you could use 2X38140S parallel per series for 6KW or 2X 40160S parallel per series for 8KW. You'd have to redesign the enclosure and rearrange the battery positions within the enclosure. You'd have to manually balance each cell so you'll get he maximum capacity for the pack. I don't know if PIS will sell the kit without batteries. The batteries are warrantied for 2 years by PIS. PIS has their own ECU integration so that the hybrid system can accept the additional power from the PIS pack without throwing any kind of codes or warning lights.
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    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    I see, so it brings the voltage of the HV battery up to ~240V, then will discharge with use down to ~220V, at which point the car just goes back to regular hybrid mode. Does the lithium pack then disconnect, or remain in parallel while in regular hybrid mode?
    Any idea how they achieve the ECU changes? sounds like they would need to spoof SOC and CCL for this to work right. Or do they actually not modify the ECU at all, and allow the real (increased) SOC be reported to the HV ECU, and the normal mode it uses (when SOC is ~75%) is active - like you i have occasionally been able to use 75% of the HSI in EV mode when at 8 bars using the enginer kit.
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    lopezjm2001 Test guinea pig #9

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    PIS is using Dimitri's (info@cleanpowerauto.com) distributed miniBMS modules, you can see them in the video on the PIS website with the headway cells. Dimitri is also a dealer/supplier of PIS kits. He informed me that PIS now supply a 4 kwh DIY kit to international customers without batteries.

    PIS system does the same thing as BMSPlus, it sends fake SOC value onto CAN bus, while boosting OEM pack from plugin pack. Plugin pack is connected such that it bypasses OEM hall effect sensor, so Prius does not see the current from plugin pack to OEM pack, hence not causing any alerts in OEM BCU. The main difference is that BMSplus is designed to be used with extra NiMH packs and PIS is designed to be used with extra Lithium packs and BMSplus cannot be used with Gen3 but PIS can.

    Dimitri was inferring that PIS still use the original battery ECU but I suspect that maybe they can reprogram it instead of replacing it. By reprogramming the orignal battery ECU you can change the parameters to accomodate both NiMH and Lithium. This would explain how they can use a 76 cell lithium pack as this would not work with BMSplus. The normal OEM battery ECU has a problem with seeing a battery voltage of 240V+ for an extended period hence that is why the BMSplus only uses 70 lithium cells.
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    PIS told me that they don't use minibms modules. It's only for the prototype. The production versions use inhouse BMS.
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    lopezjm2001 Test guinea pig #9

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    Maybe you are correct as I have not seen a PIS kit but this is a direct quotation from an email he sent me below:

    DISCLAIMER: I am PIS dealer/installer and I supply BMS boards for their kit, but the reason I support them is I believe in their system’s technical superiority.

    P.S. PIS kit uses my distributed boards rather than centralized, because of less wiring involved and less chance of board damage, which would require replacement/repair of entire 16 channel board, rather than single small board, which can be bought as spares. Although I supply Centralized BMS in any size, the larger it gets, the more difficult it is to wire, as you can imagine, and risk of install failures goes up. Have you seen the video of PIS latest 4kWh kit? You can spot my boards sitting atop of Headway pack. Video is on the front page here http://pluginsupply.com/
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    kiettyyyy Plug-In Supply Engineer

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    Okay.. I think it's time a Plug-In Supply engineer came along to clarify questions about the kit.

    The video that was featured was a prototype 4kWh pack. For some reason, the camera man refused to shoot our latest pack with our own inhouse BMS. We're currently working on setting up a large supply chain for the new BMS that we've developed. It's a digital/analog BMS(microprocessor is on board each cell board, but, connected to n cells via optoisolator. Signal is interpreted on our rear controller as "discharge enable/discharge disable and charge enable/charge disable").

    As for how we communicate to the car... We do include another board that communicates to the vehicle via CAN, but, since the work I did was proprietary, I can't really disclose the black magic that was involved. I'll give one hint... I didn't spoof.

    Regarding the comment about spinning MG1... We've completed this on our Gen 2 conversion units, allowing EV up to 74 MPH. I've recently completed a test on our Gen 3 to do the same, but, there is still a lot of room for development.

    I've received quite a few questions about "early adopters and upgrades"... Customers who purchase a Gen 3 system from us will be able to receive electronics and software upgrades for free if the upgrade will drastically change the performance of the vehicle. In this case, an upgrade would consist of a new load of firmware for our front controller and the addition of an additional ECU.

    Sorry for not coming on these forums as often as I used to.. We've been busy deploying and improving our line of products for the Gen 3 Prius as well as the Ford Escape Hybrid.. If you guys have any specific technical questions and implementation of our conversion kit, please feel free to email me at kiet@pluginsupply.com

    Cheers!
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    lopezjm2001 Test guinea pig #9

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    Toyota never designed MG1 or MG2 to run in EV mode up to 74MPH in normal everyday driving. It was only intended on the odd occasion if the driver ran out of gas. As good as the Toyota Prius reliability is I would be very reluctant to drive at 74MPG in EV mode on a regular basis. You would have to ask yourself wether MG1 or MG2 can take it and for how long before it wears out or breakdown even of you get the ice spin for lubrication at these high EV speeds. I like the idea of having a EV but there are other issues to deal with from excessive EV use such as petrol in the sump oil and the exhaust system rusting away from lack of heating. I support any kind of PHEV conversion but this one is a bit extreme for my liking.
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    The GenIII MG1 is capable of freeway speed. The PiP uses the same motor. My GenIII have done 76MPH in EV before where the ICE spins at idle speed while the MPG pegged at 9999mpg. It was not burning any gas and the ICE spun to protect the electric motors. It was after coming down a long hill and the battery at 8 bars fully charged. PIS is capable of EV at much higher speed than Enginer because it's able to supply the massive current required at higher speed. Also driving at freeway speed using only electric motor draws alot of power. The 4KW quickly gets depleted. Besides, if you work the gas pedal correctly, you can drive in blended mode at freeway speed while still getting close to 100mpg. Hopefully my little nav override project goes well so I can replace my Enginer with PIS system soon.
    SynEco@eVehicle.co.nz likes this.

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