Battery Conditioning as Preventive Maint

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by The Critic, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    3,109
    2,185
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
  2. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    3,109
    2,185
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    $1299 is the proposed cost. I think we may be seeing the next-generation of "wallet flushing."

    http://www.autoresearchanddesign.com/FILE%20ASSETS/articles/MTD%20Cover%20Contents%20and%20CAS%20Green%20Article%20March%202013.pdf

    Also, the developer stated that scan tools are of little value:

    Hybrid high voltage battery pack testing and analysis | Search Autoparts

    Lastly, he mentioned seeing a 11-14mpg increase on his fleet vehicles after performing this service:


    Tire Review - Curry's Launches Hybrid Vehicle Battery Service Program


    (n)
     
    Britprius likes this.
  3. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    5,194
    1,861
    0
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I agree with the above. while I can see the possible advantages of balancing the battery modules before failure, but at that price you may as well wait for the failure if it happens.

    John (Britprius)
     
  4. szgabor

    szgabor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    993
    175
    0
    Location:
    Oceanside NY
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two


    Undisclosed Location has better Warranty ??? I am moving there too :) :D
     
  5. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    5,194
    1,861
    0
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    The OP states in post 12 that in his location the HV battery is guaranteed for 10 years 150,000 miles, so must live in a CARB state, and he is therefore in a better position than most.:rolleyes:

    John (Britprius)
     
  6. szgabor

    szgabor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    993
    175
    0
    Location:
    Oceanside NY
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I got it and I am in a CARB state too I think. not undisclosed :)

    So when you wrote this I went to check the location :-(
     
  7. minkus

    minkus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    365
    124
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two

    Do you have more details about this? It sounds wonderful but it's the first I've heard of it, and Google isn't helping.
     
  8. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    5,194
    1,861
    0
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    At the moment I believe this is a UK/EU thing only. My dealer knows nothing of it, but I Emailed "Toyota UK" concerning the HV battery extended guarantee, and they confirmed it.

    John (Britprius)
     
    Mysticcat and minkus like this.
  9. minkus

    minkus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    365
    124
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Ah, ok, thanks. Hopefully it'll spread to the US, because it sounds like a great idea, especially concerning many peoples' battery fears prevent them from buying hybrids.
     
    Mysticcat likes this.
  10. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    5,194
    1,861
    0
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I agree although to a very large degree the fears are based on misinformation, and I'm afraid to say BBC TV programs like Top Gear being taken seriously. Clarkson has a lot to answer for.

    John (Britprius)
     
    Robert Holt and minkus like this.
  11. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    1,174
    287
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    At first glance the UK/EU thing sounds like a good deal however it may be rather limited in what it will provide. If you have a battery that is going to fail in year 11 and its poor condition is detected in year 10 you get no advantage. If your battery is going to fail in year 12 and its poor condition is detected in year 11, again no advantage. Of course if your battery is going to fail in year 12 but is its poor condition is not detected until its year 12 failure then it is a good deal. A really good deal if the guarantee is for full replacement, not so much if it is a pro-rated guarantee.
     
  12. minkus

    minkus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    365
    124
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    But if the tests indicate that performance is dropping, that could be a sign of failing cells that could somehow be rehabbed/replaced before they cause more damage or performance drops.
     
  13. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    1,174
    287
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I expect Toyota will not do a "repair" of the battery. The skills involved and possibility of complications are probably not worth their effort.
     
  14. minkus

    minkus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    365
    124
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I assumed not, at least at first. I expect more and more companies will fix them, and those companies will eventually offer a yearly battery monitoring/maintenance package.
     
  15. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    1,174
    287
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I can see where that might be a reasonable business. However, what do you think Toyota would have to say regarding the warranty if the battery is "repaired" by a third party within the warranty period?
     
    minkus likes this.
  16. minkus

    minkus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    365
    124
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Ah, I see your point! I guess Toyota would have to offer repair within the warranty period, then, or people would have to weigh the chances of complete failure within the warranty period vs. getting it fixed right away for long-term good. I'd think Toyota would eventually have to offer repair, otherwise they're effectively preventing people from fixing the battery until the warranty is up, even if they can see it progressively getting worse.
     
  17. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    1,174
    287
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Might this be a way to check battery condition? Measurements made with a ScanGauge II and Kill-A-Watt meter for last night's charging. Odometer miles 2015.

    Starting SOC 19.6% (4 bars on the HSI for HV)
    Full SOC 85.0%
    Difference SOC 65.4%
    Charge energy 3.23 kWh
    Assume efficiency 90%
    Calculated Battery Capacity 4.44 kWh

    After a year or 2 or 10 this may change.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    42,028
    30,121
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I like Re-Involt's concept better: don't get too attached to "your" battery.

    Accept that it will deteriorate over time, and when that happens swap it for a refurbished battery. They take your old battery, refurbish it, and so on.

    The car manufacturers should get involved in this, make the process more accessible, design the battery to be easily swappable.
     
  19. Matt Curry

    Matt Curry New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    3
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Hello everyone and thanks for starting this thread. I know there is a ton of incorrect and misinformation out there on this subject so I will try to clear up the myths from the facts. Yes, we can "condition" hybrids NiMH batteries and get them back to between 90-95% of their original Power, Energy and Capacity. Everything we do is based in scientific fact and we are able to give real data with before and after results of the battery. Our technology comes from Dr. Mark Quarto, PhD, EE, who worked for GM for 28 years, 26 of those as a lead hybrid and alternative fuels technologist. Mark is one the country's foremost experts in hybrid technology. The nature of NiMH is that is can be "conditioned" many, many times so you can bring back the power and energy of the battery many, many times. This does not shorten the life of the battery, it increases it. This fact in NOT debated in the scientific community, this is fact, ask any scientist. The OEM's even recognize this fact, but prefer to replace instead of condition batteries at this point. We have provable, data driven results and we are saving our customers THOUSANDS of dollars over battery replacement and our technology is environmentally friendly as no resources are being used to build a new battery and nothing enters the waste stream.


    Here is a recent press release that should help clear things up. My cell is 703-909-1819 if you have any questions please feel free to call me, thanks!

    Here is one customer testimonial, we have many others.



    History

    We purchased our Prius new in the summer of 2005. Then we were consistently getting between 45 and 48 mpg. Eight years later we currently get 33 to 36 mpg. The drop has been gradual over time, but more dramatic in the last 3 years.

    The initial acceleration has also diminished. I remember when we purchased the vehicle, being surprise how much zip it had for a 4-cylinder hybrid. Now, and for the last 3-4 years, the car hesitates slightly when you step on the accelerator. The acceleration is no longer immediate.

    After Service

    After the hybrid battery service, my wife and I both noticed the improved acceleration (the zip was back). The gas mileage was greatly improved as well, back in the 40s.

    We have driven our Prius in-town for about a month now since the service. I just filled up the car and calculated the millage.

    Start ODO: 126090

    End ODO: 126600

    Difference: 510 miles

    Gallons: 11.1

    Current Fuel Efficiency: 45.9 mpg

    Needless to say we are very satisfied with the hybrid battery service performed a Good Works.

    Brian Bonner

     
  20. Matt Curry

    Matt Curry New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    3
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Here is a recent press release that should help bring even some more clarity to the subject.


    Curry’s Auto Service Highlights the Scientific Methods and Experienced Teams Supporting the Services Performed on Hybrid Vehicles by Hybrid Shop Dealers
    The area’s leading auto service provider sets the record straight about its process and innovative approaches to hybrid vehicle repair, battery services, testing, and maintenance.
    Gainesville, VA – May XX, 2013 – Curry’s Auto Service, one of the largest independent auto service and repair shops in the Washington, DC, area, highlights their official position about its proprietary and innovative battery conditioning and rebuilding processes for hybrid vehicles on behalf of The Hybrid Shop (THS) and Automotive Research and Design (AR&D).

    THS and AR&D’s methodology, relating to servicing hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) systems, is firmly rooted in sound technical methodologies, proven testing and diagnostic processes (that reflect standards utilized by the battery industry). In addition to upholding applicable industry standards, AR&D’s 26 years of technical experience is focused on supporting hybrid electric vehicle systems and battery technology. These activities are led by AR&D Chief Technical Officer and recognized expert in hybrid vehicle technology. Dr. Mark Quarto, a hybrid vehicle systems technologist and Electrical Engineer, has over 28 years of experience in hybrid and electric vehicle propulsion and energy systems. Dr. Quarto’s professional and vast field experience includes numerous technical contributions and management of research labs, service engineering, as well as practical experience resolving field product performance concerns. In addition, Dr. Quarto is a patent holder in electric vehicle drive systems, a hardware and software developer, as well as a curriculum developer and technical instructor. His long standing professional memberships include SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), along with The Scientific Research Society (Sigma Xi).

    The THS team is composed of experienced technicians, professionally trained and certified in hybrid battery conditioning. Our environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution to HEV battery “conditioning” gives customers an alternative to costly battery replacement. Through scientific methods and by appropriately cycling the battery modules we can achieve up to 95% of its original energy (capacity) and power that results in extending the overall service life of the battery, thereby benefiting the customer.

    It is the Electro-Chemical nature of a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery to experience apparent capacity loss (ACL) which can significantly affect capacity and power during its service life. The aggressiveness and severity of ACL is influenced by geographic area (terrain), ambient temperature, drive cycle (highway vs. city vs. blended), frequency in which a car is driven, and the individual drivers style. Battery power can be affected by battery capacity and/or internal resistance, which is also tested and measured as part of the conditioning process. As a result, these batteries can lose capacity and power that can eventually cause drivability issues including loss of horsepower, torque, and reduced fuel economy. Therefore capacity and/or power will likely diminish in most NiMH battery cells over its service life. Similar to Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) technology, this is a well-known phenomenon with nickel-based batteries in the electro-chemical community; (many consumers have experienced this occurrence with cell phones, radio-controlled hobbies, power screwdriver tools, and other electrical/electronic devices). However, this is not well understood today in the automotive community, when applying nickel based electro-chemical performance to HEV technology. In summary, for most nickel based batteries to maintain proper balance, capacity, and power during its service life the process of conditioning the battery cell (conditioning = cycling with the proper process) will ensure that the battery will regain (most of) its DESIGNED operating performance. It is a well-known fact that NiMH can sustain 500+ cycles (conditioning) to regain its capacity and power with the proviso that the batteries do not have electrolyte loss, have not performed in sustained periods of internal or external over-temperature conditions or, been operated in an unbalanced or nearly discharged state.


    The Hybrid Shop at Curry’s Auto Service offers a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. Whenever the driver experiences reduced performance, a check engine light (MIL), or, significant reduction in fuel economy, the battery conditioning process should be considered. However, this process should only occur after the basic vehicle systems have been eliminated as the cause for the symptom (e.g. proper engine operation, tire pressure, etc.). Based on the history of nickel based battery products, and how it can affect vehicle performance, battery conditioning should be considered as a maintenance procedure every 5-7 years (on average) to restore the vehicle performance as close to the OEM’s stated vehicle performance parameters as when the vehicle was purchased new if the vehicle is having any performance or significant fuel economy issues.

    The Hybrid Shop at Curry’s Auto Service can perform a comprehensive State of Health (SOH) check for approximately $499, which applies toward battery conditioning if needed. This SOH check includes:

    · A complete vehicle Performance inspection
    · Power and Energy Testing of battery modules
    · Testing the Electric Transmission (Motor Generator Unit) for electrical and magnetic integrity, and aging (winding and insulation deterioration)
    · Testing Power Invertor (motor control) system – wave form analysis and the current control regulation system
    · DC to DC convertor output test (dc-dc component replaces traditional belt driven alternator).

    It is THS’ position that if a car is under warranty and the customer is not experiencing any problems, the vehicle likely does not need service. If the MIL illuminates and the car is under warranty the customer should go back to the OEM dealer and secure a warranty repair. If the car is out of warranty or a customer has an issue with a reduction of fuel economy, performance or drivability, THS can often service the vehicle, if necessary, for much less than a complete battery pack replacement. Also, if the customer requests status of the battery pack SOH (capacity and power), testing can be performed, documented, and resulting data provided to the customer. For fleet customers (especially those with new vehicle warranties that may be significantly less than the normal consumer warranty period) THS offers a proactive predictive maintenance service program. This program monitors the SOH of hybrid high voltage system components, saving fleets costly down-time by trending and documenting the overall condition of these systems at periodic service intervals.

    It is the official position of THS and AR&D that a majority of the out of warranty hybrid vehicle battery population can be serviced to restore battery capacity/power utilizing the conditioning (or rebuilding) process - as necessary - to extend the service life and performance of the hybrid system. This service can save customers 60-70% when compared to the cost of a new battery pack replacement and up to 50% when compared to purchasing a rebuilt battery pack. This positions THS as a service leader in Green Technology by reducing overall battery waste through a proactive, experienced, scientific approach to service and maintenance.

    About Curry’s Auto Service
    Founded by Matt and Judy Curry in 1997, Curry’s Auto Service was named “2010 Top Shop” by Motor Age Magazine. In June 2010, Curry’s Auto Service was chosen by the readers of Northern Virginia Magazine as “Best Auto Repair Shop” in Northern Virginia. In addition, Curry’s has received the highest AAA ratings in the country for customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Gainesville, Virginia, Curry’s Auto Service is one of the largest independent auto service and repair shops in the Washington, DC, area, with nine locations in Northern Virginia and one in Maryland. Curry’s services more than 4500 customers each month at its shops in Alexandria, Arlington, Chantilly, Dulles, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Gainesville, Gaithersburg and Great Falls/Reston.

    About Automotive Research and Design (AR&D)
    Founded in 1987, AR&D is one of the leading automotive aftermarket technology firms in the field supporting Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Systems with specialized diagnostic equipment and credentialed technical training. Other services and product offerings include project management, consulting, instructor and student classroom materials and custom curriculum development. As a leader in HEV Systems within the automotive aftermarket, AR&D strives to provide products that support scientifically-backed and technically sound solutions to educators, OEMs, technicians, fleets, and other automotive professionals. The company utilizes a wide range of partnerships, including but not limited to The Hybrid Shop, SAE International, Educational Industries, providing a full scope of products and services to the aftermarket.

     
Loading...