Hymotion L5 240V Charging?

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by bennelson, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. bennelson

    bennelson New to Prius

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    Hello!

    I have a 2004 Prius with a Hymotion L5 system in it. We bought the car used, with the Hymotion already installed (along with tinted windows, upgraded suspension, and a heated driver's seat.)

    I'm wondering if anyone can tell me about the CHARGER inside the Hymotion box. It seems to me that so many power supplies and chargers are 120V/240V universal, that I'm wondering if the charger inside the L5 is ALREADY compatible with 240V charging.

    If so, it would be really handy for these Level-2-Only public charging stations.

    Just to be clear here, I am NOT concerned with the physical size and shape of the electrical connector on the car, but rather if the charger CAN take 240V to charge from. I know of lots of people who have built physical adapter boxes for J1772 to whatever connection happens to be used on their homebuilt EV.

    If anyone has photos of the L5 with the lid off showing the charger, that would be great, as would any links to more info on this. Thanks!
     
  2. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    The DC/DC converter in the Hymotion pack acts as both the step-up converter during driving, and the charge controller during charging. It can indeed operate off either 120 or 240V. A dozen or so packs were sold in Europe and were always charged with 240V.

    My understanding is that all of the parts in the Hymotion pack were rated for 240V, but the pack collectively was never validated at 240. As you noted in my J1772 adapter thread, I am charging off 240V when using the adapter. I also occasionally use 240 at home on weekends, when I'm doing a lot of trips around town to get the most out of the battery.

    I do not recommend charging at 240V when ambient temperature is above 90 F or so. There was a guy in Ohio who was using a pack and really pushing it to the limit and experienced IGBT failures in the DC/DC. He was running the car in OOG mode, causing the Hymotion pack to deliver more current than designed for in the first place, AND charging at 240V. After a ride on a very hot day (~105 F), he came home, plugged right in to 240 and about 15 minutes later had a garage full of smoke from burnt electronics. All of that overstress put together (I believe) led to a big solder nugget inside one of the IGBT's melting (this was confirmed by part teardown at the IGBT mfg.) and leading to destruction of the IGBT. Pushing your luck in this sort of way seems to be the only risk in charging at the higher voltage from a pack-wellness standpoint. I've charged at least three different Hymotion cars at 240 on several occasions and never had a problem, but I do avoid doing so when it's really hot out.

    The pack does charge roughly twice as fast at 240V. This can be convenient, but it's easier on the batteries (and most times perfectly adequate) to charge at 120V, so that's what I do 95% of the time. I generally use charge stations only when that is the only option available.
     
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