Possible to replace charger with higher amp version?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Jimbo69ny, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Active Member

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    I just had a thought, is it possible to replace the charger that is in our PIP with one that charges at a higher amperage? I am getting a Rav4 EV soon and I like that it can charge at 40 amps. If we could do that with the PIP it would be done in minutes instead of hours.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    absolutely, i would love to get charging down to 30 minutes, let us know how it goes!(y)
     
  3. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    According to Tesla, rapid-charging is not harmful to the battery. Whether their lithium battery is equivalent to either the lithium-based or the nickel-based batteries used in Toyota's hybrids, I'm not sure. Regenerative braking can charge the battery very rapidly as well.

    The significant problem is the charging circuit, which is designed for specific charge rates. Some sort of special equipment would be required.
     
  4. JBumps

    JBumps Member

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    A 6.6kw charger like that in the Leaf would greatly improve the utility of the PiP's small pack. If 10 minutes would give half of the usable range, I'd be tempted to stop and to it off more often to greatly reduce my need for gas.
     
  5. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    No possible, the charging rate is determined by the Prius PiP Internal charger [email protected] 240/208 VAC and 25 Amps is limited to 1.35 hs. You can provide a 40 Amp or 100 Amp circuit (at the above AC voltage) and will be the same charging time.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed, it's going to take some serious technical expertise. we have the people here, but do we have the desire needed to pull it off?
     
  7. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    Certainly I will not call it a need but a greed ( with certain exceptions)
    .......and the more important constraint will be, this of modification or improvement will impair 100% the manufacturer's warranty.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, that's always going to be an issue when fiddling with stock technology. you have to want it badly.
     
  9. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Active Member

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    I agree! Its out of my realm of expertise but Im sure someone could figure it out. If it was too expensive it would be a worthwhile mod
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    peer could do it. i wonder if he would be interested in adding this to his bag o' tricks?
     
  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I would think that replacing the charger in the car would be serious engineering work, and would likely require some sort of control software update. I'm not saying that there aren't some engineers around here who could pull it off, but it's not clear to me how anyone outside of Toyota engineering could do that, with all the interdependencies. Even something that one would think of as mundane, such as the air conditioner, involves working with a dedicated inverter and control circuitry.
     
  12. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I'm sure it can be done, but the risks of doing so are far beyond my comfort zone.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like a car fire waiting to happen.
     
  14. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    You would probably need to replace the existing on-board charging equipment bodily. It is only designed to work at 13 amps, trying to run more amps through it would tend to melt the existing wires and destroy the existing relays - they're all closely designed around that 13 amp load.

    After replacing the on board charger you would have the issue of how hot the cells would get when you run through that much power in that short a time. We don't know if they are internally capable of charging faster. You might need to upgrade the cooling, or it might not be possible to keep the battery cool without major rebuilding.

    Once you had it working mechanically, electrically, and thermally, you would need to accept that this work would utterly destroy any warranty on the battery.

    All in all I would say it might be possible, but you would need someone who is prepared to sacrifice a two year old car in the name of science. (Right now I don't believe there is any pip over two years old.)
     
    #14 kenmce, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  15. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Without the benefit of long-term and rigorous and extensive testing, such as the manufacturers' perform, any jury-rigged, home-built contraption is just running on luck until it's visited by the inevitable unforeseen circumstances.
     
    #15 GregP507, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  16. -1-

    -1- Don

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    :)Who wouldn't want faster charging? Charging level 2 at home and work still isn't always fast enough, some times. Based on everything written above, best to wait for the next BIG thing.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    peef, where are you?:(
     
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  18. drees

    drees Senior Member

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  19. Jerry Liebler

    Jerry Liebler Member

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    Point #1 Yes you would need to Replace the charging box, (where the spare should be) &, probably the charger port connector and harness to the charger and redesign the relay module (located in the battery pack) because the relays that connect the charger and the bus bars that connect
    them to the main contactors are too small, and fabricate new wires between charger and relay module.
    Point # 2 This is a non issue as the pack sees much higher charge currents during regenerative braking.
    Point #4 ( not mentioned) You wold need to re program several of the car's computers which actually control the charging process.
    My conclusion is #4 would be VERY difficult as Toyota doesn't want it done!!
     
  20. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Active Member

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    What happened to point #3? haha
     
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