DIY Grid Reconditioning Charger

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Abarnabe, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    I use a led driver to recondition my HV battery, so far with no issues.
    It has a constant 350 mA current and 257v dc output.
    I used 10 (1n4007) diodes in series to lover the voltage from 257v to 250v.
    For who's interested It's a Mean Well HLG-80H-C350A available on ebay for less than 90 dollars.
    In the black box I have placed the diodes.
    It can be used for gen3 and gen2 prius.
     

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    #1 Abarnabe, Sep 13, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  2. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I believe this will only charge the battery, not recondition it?
    How do you keep the fan running? I know it's low amperage so the battery wouldn't
    really get hot.
    How do you discharge the battery?

     
  3. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    I use a 12v 5a battery charger to run the battery blower, the pinout is available on prius chat, I can't post links, but you can search for gen 3 battery fan pinout.
    To discharge the battery I use bulbs by following the Prolong procedure, basically I start with 400 w bulbs, then decrease the current by loosing some of them as the voltage drops.
     

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  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Well, good luck. Seems like it works for you.
     
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  5. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    That power supply looks like a good basis for your DIY charger. Does it get very hot?
    Are you measuring and logging current and voltage while charging?
    I think that is unnecessary as long as the power supply is limiting the current to around 350 mA. But I'm no electrical expert, so EEs please chime in.

    I like your collection of light bulbs and sockets on the discharger.
     
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  6. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Fred_H , the charger has an aluminum case, it becomes warm, but never hot. I measure the voltage while charging with a meter and
    the current is constant according to the manifacturer, so I haven't monitored that.
    It is possible to change the current with a screw and the max output is 350mA. For the discharger I recycled a lot of trash I found in my attic :) Never throw away anything.
    I'm very interested about the max voltage feedback, that's the bit I was mostly uncertain about so I have tried to stay as close as possible to the Prolong charger specs.
     
    #6 Abarnabe, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  7. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    I performed 3 deep cycles, I've followed the prolong balance procedure and after 14 hours the peak voltage was 238.6, then after 10 hours it slowly dropped to 236v is this expected?
    I can confirm the battery capacity improved, before reconditioning it went from 4 to 3 bars in seconds, while now it takes a minute or more.
     
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  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Maybe this:

    "Once the battery becomes ‘full’ the balancing process will begin. During the ‘balancing’ phase you will most likely see a steady voltage reading or a very slow oscillation of voltage – perhaps a 1-3 volt swing over several minutes. This means the battery is in the balancing phase"

    Prolong Hybrid Automotive Battery Charger User Guide | Hybrid Automotive
     
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  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Mine did the exact same thing when I did my first reconditioning with a prolong. I discharged down to 80 volts and then started charging. Charged it for about 30 hours. It was at 236 volts.

    3 years later after another discharge and multiple charges it never got above 236 volts again. It ran really well for 3 years and still had not failed or thrown a RTOD when I finally just recently bought a NPB system and swapped those cylindrical cells into the box.

    So i would say don't worry about it and I applaud your bench skills. But 14 hours may be not enough time try 30 hours then it will get a nice balance phase. I was using 14 hours and the 30 hours was a marked improvement after i was advised here to extend that time. 356 ma is very low for that big pack. Takes a long time.

    And I just sold my old G2 battery's for $100.
     
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  10. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    I will try a 30 hours charge thanks for the tip edthefox5. I wanted to recondition the battery after I noticed a sudden capacity drop in August during my holidays.
    I came down a very steep and long alpine pass in Austria the Gerloss pass, the battery was at 9 bars ( 8 + the 2 tips on top), I parked the car in full sun on a lake, than after 2 hours I went up a very steep road in reverse and fully loaded with bagage and 5 persons, the ice didn' t kick in to help as it usually does, strange I thought.
    I drove a few km and the battery went back to 6 bars, but then after many km downhill I've never managed to get 9 bars anymore and it went from 4 to 2 bars in seconds, I thought I killed it.

    Leaving a cold battery fully charged in the sun and then squize it to full load is really bad and I was fearing there was no way back, until 2 days ago the reconditioning reversed the capacity issue.

    I still have to test if it goes back to 9 bars, but for that I have to wait until I drive back to an alpine road next month.
     
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  11. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    WHY would you drive UP a hill in reverse? The engine doesn't charge the battery when you're in reverse.
     
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  12. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    I did it just for 5 meters to get out of the parking, but it was a really steep off road parking spot.
     
  13. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Oh, you made it sound like it was miles or so... :)
     
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  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I don't own a G3 so not sure can you power brake the car and charge the battery like in a G2?

    Put it in D foot on brake and then push the gas down until you see the charging battery arrow going into the battery on the energy monitor. Not much past idle really. I was doing that for a long time to prop up my battery. It helps.

    I think I remember something about you can no longer do that on G3. I was doing that at almost every light towards the end there.
     
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  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    The parking brake police gonna come and getcha.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Maybe obvious to all present, but anyway: driving in reverse only uses the battery for motivation.
     
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  18. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    Are the diodes necessary? Would the extra 7 VDC (257 vs 250) be problematic? It’s such a small difference.
    < 3%
     
  19. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    probably not.
     
    #19 Abarnabe, Sep 19, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  20. Abarnabe

    Abarnabe Member

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    Probably not a biggie. According to wiki nimh cells need between 1.4 and 1.6v , the higher the current the higher the voltage, and 257v is between those values, but I' going to remove half of them and see how it goes, not all of them, because last time I did a 24 hour charge i have noticed some swelling which scared me a lot . After an hour the swell went away, is it expected?
    I did 2 load tests on each module with a 12v 115 w bulb for 1 minute before the reconditioning and found that 2 and 12 were consistently the weakest, because the voltage drop was 0.30v on top of the others, but some modules gave inconsistent results.
    Instead I would like to measure internal resistance of each module, deep cycle only the ones with the highest resistance and leave alone the other ones, this should bring more balance.
     
    #20 Abarnabe, Sep 19, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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