Main Battery - Lithium - thinking about the future....

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Steelerfan2018, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Steelerfan2018

    Steelerfan2018 Junior Member

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    Hi all,
    Some background:
    - Covid hit me hard financially - money is now an issue and will be for a while, so I am planning on "stretching" everything I can. Covid also hit me hard medically, but that is another story (complete with long-haul).

    I have a 2011 that is in great shape. I bought it in May and my mechanic did a thorough check and said that the car is in excellent shape and was obviously garage-kept. I then took it to a hybrid shop to get the prolong system installed, and the hybrid shop there said the same thing - that I got a car in great shape etc. The hybrid shop did the prolong treatment so I am assuming the battery is OK (I believe it to be anyway). I have an OBD sensor, so sometime soon I will do the dr. prius thing to check the battery.

    Anyway - the point of the post - is that sometime in the future the main battery will go, and it is wise to plan for it. I looked at green bean etc, and then came across the Prius Gen2, Gen3, CT200h Lithium upgrade pack - 14 blocks– NexPower Energy lithium battery. Seems like an upgraded battery for roughly $2000. Seems to weigh less, have more amps and be an all-around better battery than the NIMH ones.

    Has anyone actually done something like this? How does it perform in real life? Any info greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    I have asked repeatedly, and every time the response has been poor.

    There are no codes to indicate the health of the drive battery.

    There are no on-board diagnostics to determine if your battery has gone through 10% of its life span, or 20%, or 50%.

    There will come a time when 5% of the individual cells will fail, and at that time there will not be any error codes.

    As time goes by, there will come a time when 10% of the individual cells will have failed, and at that time there still will not be any error codes.

    As time continues to go by, there will come a time when 50% of the individual cells will have failed, and at that time there still will not be any error codes. 50% of your drive battery could be dead, and there will not be any error codes to indicate this.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that is not correct. no module in the battery can fail without throwing a trouble code. not sure where you're asking, or who's answering.
    once a module drops below the set parameter, bang- Christmas tree of trouble lights, and codes to be read.
    dr. prius will give you a reasonable percentage of battery life left.

    there are a few threads here on aftermarket lithium replacement modules, and lots of people are using them around the world. so many that there is a production shortage.

    that being said, they are fairly new, and longevity is unknown compared to a new oem nimh for the same price, or 'newpriusbatteries' for $1,600.
     
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  4. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    Computer modules are a different story.

    I have spoken with the maintenance managers at two dealerships. Both of them have told me there are no codes for the cells of the drive battery.
     
  5. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    There may not be code to tell you which cell has failed but there is a code to say that the battery has failed. Since the cells are wired in series, if one cell fails completely, the entire battery can become inoperative and throw a code.
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    And there are in fact codes to tell you which block of twelve cells has failed. They get discussed on PriusChat all the time.

    As you can only replace them in modules of six cells anyway, there wouldn't be much benefit in knowing which of the battery's 168 cells may have failed. Knowing the failing block narrows it down to two modules, which is fairly practical.

    Or was the post about how there aren't any codes to report any failure somehow talking specifically about the aftermarket lithium batteries?
     
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  7. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    If a cell when 'open' I suppose you might be correct. That entire string would go 'open'. But in this universe that is not how cells usually go bad.

    In this universe, when a call goes bad, they gradually stop holding a charge.

    As I already stated, if 10% of the cells stopped holding a charge, the resulting code would be?

    Wait for it, ...

    The resulting code would be, nada.

    If 20% of the cells failed [ie, stopped holding a charge] the code would be nada.

    The overall health of a battery, in most all other contexts, is usually discussed in terms of what percentage of the cells are still working perfectly. So you would say that 90% of the cells are working fine, or 80% of the cells are working fine. But with the drive battery of a Prius, the codes do not work in that manner. You can not get the 'health' of the drive battery from a code.
     
  8. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    I'm sorry that Covid has impacted you in this way!

    So.
    I'll answer the question.
    No.
    I haven't tried it.
    HOWEVER (comma!)
    If I were price sensitive, I would take the advice mentioned above and go with a reputable seller that offers a little bit better warranty - or spend just a little bit more and do a lift-and-lay with an OEM replacement.

    I'd go for a company that offers a 36m/unlimited mileage warranty - which is what the OEM packs are warrantied for - albeit for about $400 more.

    Your call.

    Remember.....the traction battery might not be the biggest threat vector for your COVID-depleted wallet!!!

    If you're not ABSOLUTELY sure about the maintenance history for this 10-year-old car I might be looking at some other things like coolant replacement and the all-to-familiar EGR circuit.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    And yet, if at any time during power consumption or regen, any block of 12 cells happens to differ from other blocks by a third of a volt, boom, there's your code.

    A NiMH cell has a nominal capacity of 1.2 volts.

    How are you picturing the failure of 10% or 20% or 50% of those cells while somehow evading detection?
     
  10. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    My 2004 Prius traction battery failed at 195k miles. One module (6 cells in series) had failed and was 1.2 volts lower in voltage than the other 27 modules. My Prius lit up like a Christmas tree and made the failure obvious and the code narrowed the failure to a two module block. I verified the problem by measuring all 28 modules. with a digital voltmeter. The other 27 modules were still in reasonable condition.

    JeffD
     
  11. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Here is a link to a long thread about it, happy reading: Rainbow Prius Hybrid Powered by Lithium! | PriusChat

    Those who have been testers of it have made very positive reports. Since it is very new, no one knows about long term reliability.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    perhaps you are thinking of overall capacity? if all the cells degraded at the same rate, you would get a code until they dropped below the threshold.
    but that is still pretty high since the battery needs enough juice to continually spin the motor,
    and dr. prius or tech stream can tell you the level at any time.
     
  13. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    On the contrary. The code, once one block dropped below the voltage delta limit compared to the other blocks, would be P0A80. And there would be another code to identify the weak block such as P3021. There'd also be a P3000 saying there is a hybrid control problem. Such as when our battery failed a few years ago:
    Screen Shot 2021-08-16 at 2.24.33 PM-A.jpg
     
  14. Steelerfan2018

    Steelerfan2018 Junior Member

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    Hi all,
    I seem to have "struck a nerve" with mentioning the Dr. Prius app, so I would like to look past it (I haven't even tried it yet).

    I have the prolong system set up - so every 6 months I will recondition the battery as recommended. (or should I do it more often? Any thoughts?). In short, my goal is to get as much out of this battery before I have to replace it. So I hope (knock on wood) that this should at least be a few years...

    The lithium battery - from what I can tell from the info I found googling, is that it is a pretty good replacement. I would expect to get a few years out of it, and by then the car itself will probably be near "end of life." knock on wood... at this final stage I will be driving it until the car and/or battery dies... and if it costs $2000 or so to get a few years, so much the better.

    So I ask is there anyone that has first hand knowledge of this lithium replacement/upgrade and what do they think of it?

    Thanks again!
    Rob
     
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  15. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    There's all kinds of ways you can test and recondition your battery pack to extend its lifespan. Some can be inspired by lights and error codes, some can be inspired by pulling the pack and building a spread sheet of test data. And when you're dealing with cells wired in series you only need one bad cell for the system to fail, so your percentages of individual cells that will fail isn't relevant.
     
  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I've had a NexPower Energy pack in my gen2 since October. Way better performance than even a brand new Toyota OEM pack.
     
  17. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Active Member

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  18. Steelerfan2018

    Steelerfan2018 Junior Member

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    Priuscamper and Azusaprius - thanks for your replies.

    Can you tell me a little bit more about your experiences with lithium? Like - effect on MPG? Acceleration? Effect on EV mode? Does the battery stay charged longer?

    Thanks again,
    Rob
     
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  19. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Member

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    Are these links other vendors for the lithium batteries? I clicked one or two and got lost. Thanks.
     
  20. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Do you have this test in a thread somewhere. I'd be interested in reading about it.
     
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