Prolong charge with battery out of vehicle?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by app-o-matix, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    Based on OBD app readings and simple multimeter voltage testing, I currently have the battery out of the car and have replaced two bad modules. I was hoping to do one complete charge before load testing all of the modules to see if any additional modules need replacing.

    So I was wondering if the Prolong battery charger and discharger can be used without the battery being installed in the vehicle? If so, is there a diagram for wiring it up because I’ve only seen it hooked up with the battery installed? If not, will I be able to remove the bus bars while installed to do my load test? Is an initial charge recommended before load testing?

    Basically, I’m trying to find out if I can do what I want to do without uninstalling and installing the battery multiple times, especially if the load tests reveal additional weak/bad modules.
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Here's how I did it... Of course there are other ways to get the fan blowing beyond depending on an expensive wiring harness from Prolong. If you Google search you'll find lots of info, especially in the eary Honda Insight forums, like Insight Central.

    PXL_20201212_220617869.jpg
     
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  3. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    Thanks for the response! If I have the case top off and the battery elevated, i.e. airflow possible underneath, do you think a room fan would be sufficient for cooling? Does the charger need to recognize a connected fan in order to run? Also, do happen to have any pics of your wire connections?
     
  4. ozmatt

    ozmatt Active Member

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    while maybe not ideal, i do this quite often with camry batteries (at twice the rate of your prolong charger) as camry packs do not fit on my purpose built prius cooling dock charging station! i have a "tower fan" that sits directly on top of the top of the pack and covers it nicely

    just carefully monitor how warm the pack is getting particularly towards the end of the charge, heat tends to rise once you get above about 80%

    if you ever felt how hot a failed pack can be when pulled from a car after driving it, those modules can actually be really quite warm, much warmer than you will get it with 350ma if you stick to guideline charge times
     
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  5. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Active Member

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    What you can also try is to have the modules assembled in their compression frame- with everything sitting on the case bottom plate. Then take that black air duct and fit to the bottom slot (block the far end of the cooling slot). Connect a fan to the duct and now you have air blowing into the bottom of the pack, and up between all the modules.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Key point is what time of year you're doing it and how hot your local climate... Up here in PNW 45 degrees fahrenheit for 8-9 months of the year makes keeping things cool real easy. But if I lived in a hotter place like Southern California it'd be much more limited. Also my friend who rebuilds lots of battery packs in Eastern Oregon in the high desert only works on pack with fans when the temp is below 90 degrees.
     
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  7. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    Thanks for the response and feedback. I have not felt a warm pack pulled from a car but I will definitely monitor the heat.
     
  8. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    Thanks for the response. The modules are in their compression frame. You feel a fan ducted to the battery will keep it cooler than having a room fan blow on the entire uncovered pack? The battery is in a closed garage with outside ambient temps running from lows in the high 40’s to highs in the low 70’s. Will certainly be cooler in the garage.
     
  9. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    I am in SoCal. Temps not a concern at the moment, but certainly something I’ll need to take into consideration when doing future maintenance reconditionings.
     
  10. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    This is the setup I ended up with:
    3CAFFAC2-FAEB-4FA6-8B0D-7EA90BA0AC56.jpeg
    Battery is elevated on top of angled metal on top of ceramic floor tile, enabling airflow under the battery. Garage is 68F and fan is running on high. It’s been charging a bit over 5 hours. Started at 222V, is currently at 235V. Everything is cool to the touch.
     
    #10 app-o-matix, Feb 2, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  11. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The only issue you'll have is that the sides of the modules seal against each other, so there is no gap for air to flow between them, if air is supplied from the side. Some cooling will occur from the air blowing across the top of the modules, but that area isn't where the true heat is generated. The air flow that will pass under the metal case will do nothing for cooling the modules. There's about 1.25" of gap between the bottom of the case and the bottom of the modules (the inlet plenum).

    If you can blow air onto the pack assembly from the top, some air would be able to flow downward through the cooling gaps and out the bottom which is the normal path for Gen 2.
    If you're able to duct air into the bottom plenum then that would allow air to push upward through the cooling channels which is the normal path for Gen 3.

    In the big picture, will a prolong overheat the modules using a 1/3 amp charge rate? Most likely not.
     
    #11 TMR-JWAP, Feb 3, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  12. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    Thanks! I already have the duct and the fan out of the car. I will try to rig it up to provide airflow into the plenum for all subsequent charges and discharges.
     
  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Your fan is too small and too far away to be much use, especially for a Southern California climate. Probably the most responsible way to handle this situation is to buy or borrow a thermal camera so you can monitor how things develop. And on a healthy pack in winter there might not be too much of an issue. But if you have a cell that goes bad and starts to heat up, things could go in the wrong direction real quick, especially once you've been charging and balancing for 24 hours.
     
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  14. app-o-matix

    app-o-matix New Member

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    High tech!!!
    46154B09-030F-4CE5-8173-505A8404D459.jpeg
     
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  15. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    That will wok perfectly. (y)

    wok? I love a good wok, but perhaps 'work' fits 'more better', lol.
     
    #15 TMR-JWAP, Feb 4, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Though I might add that if I'm working on individual modules due to likely needing to replace one or more, taking the pack off the chassis provides way more access to the outside surfaces of the pack and temps stay way lower when you put a fan on it. I only use the vehicles battery cooling system when I'm charging and balancing.
     
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