most recent MPG with new plug-in pack from Plug-in Supply

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by 4CornersRJC, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. 4CornersRJC

    4CornersRJC New Member

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    I have the very first 4kw system from Plug-in Supply in my 2004 Prius. Since I filled up my car in mid-May I had been getting 99.9 MPG, but not really knowing how much. Well 921 miles later on 8.5 gallons it's about 108 MPG. Not too bad. Of course this is probably the best I'll do. When it starts getting cold again, it will drop off. But averaging what I got this past winter and then this summer, it comes out to about 90 MPG. I can live with that.
    I'm still trying to solve the winter drop off problem though. I don't have a garage, so the car is out in the cold all winter. I don't want to have to use a bunch more energy trying to get the batteries warmed up so they will perform better, but I'm not sure there's any other way. Any suggestions?
     
  2. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    can you plug your car into an 120volt outlet? near your parking spot? if so, then you could put this in your car:

    NewAir AH-400 W Best Compact Portable Electric Space Heater Oil Filled- NEW 689076930703 | eBay

    buy a 15 amp timer for the heater so it's not heating your car all night

    here's the timer:
    Intermatic TN311 15 Amp Heavy Duty Grounded Timer - Amazon.com

    here's the extension cord you may need:
    25' 12 Gauge Pink W Green Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Extension Cord with Lighted End | eBay
     
  3. dan2l

    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    Hi 4Corners,
    First cords with lighted ends are not good for high curents. They use 12awg becuase that attracts the customer but the lighted end will burn up if you do 15a continous. I had 2 of them fail on me. Get a cord with a 20a rated female end.

    Where are you located? How cold does it get?

    Also get a IBH and do grill blocking. 2-3 hours on the IBH before driving will save a bunch on the warm up.

    The best way to warm the batteries is to do a top off charge. Do a full charge at night and then do about 15 minutes more before driving. That last 15minutes will put heat inside the cells where it will do the most good.

    This advice is for nights around freezing. If you get down into the teens or below, then you need to add heaters to your pack. In that case I would suggest talking with the installer in Minneapolis. www.regoelectric.com


    Thanks,
    Dan Lander
     
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  4. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    good to know! thanx
     
  5. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    can I chop off the lighted end and put 20a female on it?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    okay with me.:)
     
  7. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    lol.....u everywhere!:eek:
     
  8. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Hi 4Corners.

    You don't describe your commute; it would help us understand your results better. Knowing your location would help too.

    I've got a PIS 4kwh kit installed and as of this morning's commute I'm getting 209 mpg on the current tank (1342 miles on 6.41 gallons of gas. 4 pips left on the guess gauge). But I'm using OOG mode (use at your own risk) and traveling on secondary roads, no significant hills: max speed 45mph; ave speed 35mph; distance one way is ~17 miles...can charge at work. This morning in the rain I came VERY close to depleting the pack.

    Consider getting a ScangaugeII. Set it to display SOC and GPH at a minimum. Also consider displaying fWT if you don't use OOG mode.

    My parking situation seems similar to yours: outside overnight in the cold...Michigan winters are a big unanswered question. My kit was installed as of early July, so I have no cold weather experience with it at all. I plan to try a space heater on its lowest setting warming the car interior with a small fan blowing into the Prius battery vent by the rear seat. I'll monitor electric usage with a Kill-O-Watt meter. If I end up using too much juice to heat and/or the battery capacity goes too low, I may just pull the batteries out until spring. No sense lugging around dead weight.
     
  9. 4CornersRJC

    4CornersRJC New Member

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    Hi MJFrog,

    Good to know there's another situation out there like mine. My MPG sounds pitiful compared to yours, but I do have hills and live at 6000' elevation (4 corners area, SW Colorado). My commute is much shorter than yours, 3.5 miles one way. I can and do charge at work, but both myself and my employer are photovoltaic powered, so using a bunch of electricity to keep the plug-in pack fully charged or to heat the batteries is hard for me to justify. I do what I think is reasonable and live with the results. I've been pretty happy with the PIS 4kw system except that I had it installed in winter last year and was very disappointed the first few cold months. Then about March things started getting better. I now can see that this will be a yearly average and that's just the nature of batteries.

    4CornersRJC
     
  10. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    Part of it is the batteries, but with that short a commute the engine warm-up cycle is probably killing you too. A block heater might actually help you more than a battery/cabin heater. Alternatively, if you can handle the speed limitation you could definitely do OOG (out of gas) mode even if the battery range is low due to temps, though a finishing charge to bring up battery temp is probably a good idea too. At that short a distance you really shouldn't be having to use the ICE at all ideally.

    Rob
     
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  11. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    I agree the short trips are an mpg killer, but the hills in that area are a big factor too. I doubt if he could successfully run OOG mod on tall hills. I'd also be concerned about how many amps would be pulled out of the pack. Too many at once and the battery life goes in the dumper.

    A block heater for winter is a must to get decent mpg there.
     
  12. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    That seems like a very valid concern. Might be worth getting a scan gauge or similar and trying the normal commute route once in a manually induced OOG to chart the amps. Might be ok if speed is low, but as you say could get into big amps fast and that is tough on the battery.

    Rob
     
  13. 4CornersRJC

    4CornersRJC New Member

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    Thanks you two (MJFrog and miscrms) for the input. Yeah the shorts trips are probably a problem. I don't use the OOG mode when pulling big hills, or when the pack is cold. I use it on my mostly downhill commute to work and then just the blended mode on the way home. On commutes longer than the range of the pack, I use only the blended mode, especially on hills, thinking this is helping with the MPG overall. Maybe I should rethink that, but the batteries are definitely warmed up by then. I'll look into the block heater suggestion and see if I can swing that.

    4CornersRJC
     
  14. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Get seat heaters and don't use the heater in the car!
     
  15. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Kinda talking to myself, but of interest to the subject of the thread...

    Today was the first REALLY cold overnight since I installed the pack. I filled the gas tank yesterday, so these stats are not colored by averaging over a long tank. Overnight low last night was about 33-34F and both the Prius and the PIS batteries got a good chilling.

    Watching the Prius battery SOC, it was all over the place! Up to 81% at one point and down to 38.2% at another. There were two times I had to shut off the PIS kit because the SOC reading was so far out of line the car couldn't handle it. I had to run on gas for a lot more than I wanted. Plus, I've only got 3 slats of my grill blocked for the season...will need a full block soonest if the temps don't go up somewhat.

    Just finished charging, and the Kill-O-Watt meter says I put 2.37 kwh into the pack (includes charging overhead). I normally put in 3.2 to 3.4 kwhs after my morning commute. I initially tried to run OOG mode, but had to give up in less than 3 miles. Unfortunately, that means that I don't have accurate stats for the drive.

    For the tank so far (I drove 19 miles yesterday after filling), I've used .36 gallons over 35.9 miles. That gives a measly 99.7 mpg compared to the 231 mpg I got for the previous tank. Not looking good for outside parking in the cold with an aftermarket PHEV kit. I'll try the space heater fix tonight and see how things go.
     
  16. Gun owning Prius driver

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    What's out of gas mode?
     
  17. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    It's when you 'trick' the Prius into thinking it is out of gas so it will use battery power only. It's done using a switch to disable the fuel pump or by manually pulling the EFI fuse and reinserting it. Either way, you have to have some method of clearing the codes (i.e. Scangauge) so you can run without a bunch of lights and beeping alarms. It's dangerous and basically useless if you don't have a PHEV kit.
     
  18. Gun owning Prius driver

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    Yea sounds like too much work, I'm def thinking about investing in a 4 kwh pis system. The already made systems.
     
  19. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    As I think Frog has illustrated, OOG mode is a bit messy but is one of the keys to getting the most out of a kit like the PIS (200mpg+ rather than ~100mpg). Theoretically PIS has an add on board that will make this unnecessary, but as far as I know we've still yet to actually see this board in the wild despite it being hyped for a long time.

    Rob
     
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  20. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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