Prolong Hybrid Battery Reconditioning

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by The Critic, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    After a lot of research (thank you @Raytheeagle and @JC91006 ), I have made the decision to perform a multi-stage Prolong Hybrid Battery Reconditioning service on my 2011. My car is currently at 170,700 miles and still functions acceptably with no fault codes, but the HV battery has begun to show some signs of deterioration. For instance, driving in-town with heavy a/c use (during hot weather conditions) will cause rapid draining of the battery. The fuel economy has also slowly deteriorated, and when test driven against other Gen-3’s with new or reconditioned battery packs, the acceleration on my vehicle is noticeably weaker.

    Earlier this week, I installed the harness onto the battery and cleaned the HV Battery Fan. The process was fairly straightforward and took about 90 minutes. Some pictures are attached below. @Raytheeagle came by yesterday and delivered the Prolong Equipment that I will be using for the reconditioning. The current plan is to perform either 2 or 3 discharge/recharge cycles. I am budgeting 12 hours for the initial balancing step, 6 hrs for each discharge cycle and 24 hours for each re-charge cycle. At this time, my targeted completion date is Friday (8/3) morning.

    Any tips and experiences on the process are greatly appreciated. I am also interested in hearing any thoughts on performing two discharge/recharge cycles vs. three. I recognize that some folks have warned about the risks of discharging down to 17v and the minimal gains from the third step are not worth the risk?

    I will keep this thread updated throughout the process.
     

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  2. The Critic

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    Initial Balance Step - 7/29/18 - 7:30PM PST.
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. The Critic

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    Initial Balance Step - 241V after 7 hours (7/30/18 - 2:19AM). It has been holding at 241V for at least 1 hour.

    IMG_1382.jpg


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  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Looks good so far;).

    Here’s a link to my thread on the same topic:

    2010 Prius II HV Battery Reconditioning

    How populated is the area around where your car is? The cord across the walkway might be flagged as a tripping hazard. I might try and string it across the fence and gutter then down the other side.

    But so far so good(y).
     
  5. The Critic

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    Not much traffic at all. I suppose I can tape down the cord.

    Charger only gained 1V to 242V after 5 hours so I think we achieved sufficient results on the initial balancing step.

    Discharging to 134V officially started at 8:02AM.

    IMG_1383.jpg
    IMG_1384.jpg


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  6. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Good stuff. I think I am going to do this at some point on our 2010 and 2012.
     
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  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    How did your bus bars and spin nuts look? Any corrosion? In my experience, pulling the battery and pulling the bus bars and cleaning or replacing hardware as well as inspecting the seals where the terminal bolts and plastic of battery module join is worth the time and effort, as well as a good way to get a fresh start.

    Not sure if you want to get lots of data for future reference like us more geeky types... But spending an hour doing a 2 minute load test on each module as per Prolong instructions and putting that data onto a spread sheet for future reference will be helpful many miles down the road. Perhaps once all the benefits of the battery reconditioning process have been completed it would be a good time to get that data? That way you'll have a sense of which of the 14 books to pay attention to via an OBD2 reader and phone app?

    I'm still new to this type of work, but what I'm realizing as more important than anything is that the sooner you identify a bad module & swap it the better. Just one bad battery module can do a huge amount of damage to the other ones if the warning light is ignored. Of course Prolong treatments are going to make that less likely.
     
  8. The Critic

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    Visually, mine were surprisingly clean. Several weeks ago, I installed a new genuine toyota battery onto a 2006, and the failed battery from the 2006 had a ton of corrosion on the bus bars and nuts. In comparison, mine looks like new.

    I am open to the idea of load testing on each module but will have to look into this in the coming weeks.
     
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  9. The Critic

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    IMG_1395.jpg

    Discharge cycle #1 has been completed. Total time was 7 hr and 37 minutes. At the 7.5 hr Mark, I saw the voltage drop to 137V (target is 134V), and when I came back from the restroom several minutes later, the system idle light was on. It appears that the voltage bounce to 153V only takes a min or two to occur.

    Charge cycle #1 has started at 3:40pm on 7/30/18.


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  10. PriusCamper

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    Here's the info when you're ready: Prolong® Battery Module Load Tester User Guide – Hybrid Automotive

    In the past month I've had both the curse and the blessing of repairing my friends hybrid pack incrementally as I learned how to do each step I'd put the battery in the car and hope I did enough because she didn't have enough money to do more and I was giving her a huge discount until I could estimate hours it would take me now that I have the experience. Experience is everything! I can now pull the battery out have it on the work bench with bus bars off and begin load testing in just 20 mins and I think I can get that down to 15 mins...

    Also one round of battery conditioning 28 modules one at a time is something I can now do in 8 hours now that I did all three rounds of discharge and recharge manually without Prolong's help, which I hope to have as soon as I can afford it.

    The best part of doing battery conditioning manually, is you get a ton of data on each of the 28 modules, so you know which ones to keep an eye on. With a few more timers and volt meter, I'm pretty sure I could cut that 8 hour time in half. I love the challenge of not screwing up and draining a battery to its death... Keeps me amped up and vigilant. A huge challenge when it requires so much focus.

    The hardest part in all this work is developing a routine and getting all that frontal lobe thinking out of the way and get it into the middle brain where it's more automatic...
     
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  11. The Critic

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    Thanks!

    Here is some testing that I ran on the pack before performing the reconditioning service. I recognize that there can be a lot of variability in the results depending on the test environment.

    IMG_1266.JPG
     
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  12. The Critic

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    IMG_1402.jpg IMG_1403.jpg

    Charge cycle #1 was stopped at 7:19am on 7/31/18. The voltage was at 239V. The total time elapsed was just under 16 hours. For reference, it was at 228V at 9pm and 232V at 1am. I could have probably ran the charge cycle for a bit longer but I think 239V is probably good enough for the purposes of this cycle.

    Discharge cycle #2 was started at 7:21am. We will be going to 84V this time.
     
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  13. The Critic

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    IMG_1406.jpg

    I took a late lunch today and came home at 1:30pm. The discharger showed complete (system idle light was on) and the discharge current was 0. I am not sure how long it had been done for (the fan was still going fairly strong) but the voltage bounce back had already occurred. Total time was just over 6 hours.

    After consulting with a few folks, based on my battery’s health, the risk vs reward of a 3rd cycle (down to 17v) is not warranted. I have started the final re-charge and will run it for about 24 hours to complete the balancing of the pack.
     
  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The more I see posts similar to this, the more I think the 3rd discharge is best done by hand with the car's headlamps as the voltage drain and doing it one module at a time... The data on how each module is slightly different as the whole module rapidly collapses at the very end of the discharge is way more valuable than doing them all at once and possibly ruining multiple modules rather than just one. What do others think? Sure wish creator of Prolong ---> @jeff652 would come back to Priuschat and participate/help us better understand?
     
    #14 PriusCamper, Aug 1, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  15. The Critic

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    IMG_1416.jpg

    When I left for work at 7:30am, the charger showed 240V.

    As of 12:41pm, the charger only showed 236V, so the voltage may have peaked and then began dropping; I called it done as of 12:41pm. The total charge time for the second recharge cycle was 23 hours and 10 minutes.
     
  16. The Critic

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    I waited 1 hour and made the 3 mile trip back to work. It is too soon to tell, but the engine start/stop operation appears to be slightly smoother and the engine appears to be working less hard.
     
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  17. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    That's precisely why Prolong is a successful product line...
     
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  18. The Critic

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    Placebo effect? ;)
     
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Sounds like a successful session :).

    Keep this tread updates as data is always something we can use;).

    Sorry I was so late today to meet up, job duties called:cool:.

    But glad it worked out(y).
     
  20. GasperG

    GasperG Senior Member

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    Be careful how you measure estimated capacity with Hybrd battery reporter, I have found that you get very different results depending on starting and ending SOC, from 60% to 40% I got really good result, from 78% (full 8 bars) to 40% I got as low as 3.35 Ah estimate.

    What I mean is that SOC measure by the car is not linear and it will readjust on the high and low end of SOC.
     
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