reconditioning hybrid battery

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by misterdean, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    my hybrid battery is starting to fail. i have a friend who can handle it. i just need to gather information and present him with the plan. i've read a few posts and watched a few videos. i know a little bit, but not enough. hoping you guys can provide some tips or share a trusted guide. gonna throw out some random info to make sure what i've learned so far is accurate.

    can be charged with a standard charger
    target voltage 7.8-7.9
    max capacity 6500
    acceptable capacity 5200+
    max charge current 6.5a
    safe charge and discharge current 5.0a
    should be discharged/charged a few times to determine final capacity
     
    #1 misterdean, Dec 14, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    If you mean a standard charger for 12 V automotive batteries......that is absolutely wrong.

    AND.....if the battery is 14 years old and is showing signs of failing.....you likely have waited too long for "reconditioning" to really help much.....or any.
     
  3. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    i've seen plenty of people balancing 200-250K mile cars with success. mine is only 125K. i'm still getting 40mpg, i'm just not getting 50mpg any more. want to handle it before it dips any lower.

    this is what i'm looking at for charging.

    amazon.com/Tenergy-Touchscreen-Intelligent-Balance-Charger/dp/B078XMW8TQ/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=Tenergy+charger&qid=1608046695&sr=8-9
     
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  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Are you looking to charge each module separately or the pack as a whole? If the former, it could take many days or even weeks to fully recondition all 28 modules three times with one charger. And that's if they all pass. If one or more fails during the process, then replacing those and balancing again would mean even more time.

    Mileage (use) is important to life expectancy but age is a more critical factor in this scenario.

    FWIW

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  5. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    i haven't seen enough information to determine if i want to charge them individually or as a whole. i'm assuming it's quicker to do them together but better to do them individually? better in what way? i just found out they made chargers that can charge 4 packs at a time so gonna pick up something like this unless you guys have a better option.

    amazon.com/Discharger-Multi-Function-Independent-Intelligent-Batteries/dp/B087216GMB/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=quad+charger&qid=1608055498&sr=8-3
     
    #5 misterdean, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    How much is time worth? If the car can sit for days or weeks at a time, cheaper is a viable option. If you need it done over a long weekend, then a pack charger (prolong, maxxvolts, etc) is the way to go. Or get a new battery and not worry about it for 10+ more years.
     
  7. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    that's a difficult question to answer. i got plenty of time, my buddy doesn't have as much. either way it looks like i will buy him a nice charger as compensation for doing this so i want to get him a nice charger. buying a new battery is not something i'm interested in. this is something we want to do.

    i looked on amazon and ebay for prolong and maxxvolts chargers but can't find any. got a model number?
     
    #7 misterdean, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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  9. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    MaxxVolts listing=a sucker born every minute. Top charging, alone, will do little to help a battery. Unless of course, you believe the hype they have in their ad about it curing all the worlds problems.

    If that were the case, then every HV battery that has the RTOD would fix itself, since they typically run the cooling fan non-stop and the engine runs continuously, staying in charge mode....
     
  10. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    how are these chargers better? i'm assuming i can charge the whole pack at once? is time the only benefit or is there more to this? can he use these to charge other things or only hybrid batteries?
     
    #10 misterdean, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  11. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    do you think both of those chargers are a bad buy or only maxx volts? whats the difference between top charging and balancing?
     
  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Battery pack get out of balance at the top and bottom of the charge. If you only top charge, you're only addressing half the problem. Prolong also has a discharger that you use multiple times alternating with the charger to lower the bottom of the charge a little at a time. Done right, on a battery that doesn't have any failed cells, it greatly extends a battery's capacity.
     
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  13. AlexTG3EV

    AlexTG3EV New Member

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    Maxx Volts system is awesome. I own their charger and pro discharger. Just used it on my Prius C that Dr Prius said was down to like 30% before use. I made a video of the process and results on my car I will upload when I get done editing it. They get a thumbs up from me.
     
  14. AlexTG3EV

    AlexTG3EV New Member

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    I got the Maxx Volts Pro Discharger from their direct website at maxx-volts com. Your post makes it sounds like you didn't know they have this tool available. FYI.
     
  15. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    i've been reading about maxx volts and prolong. maxx volts is basically a hacked PC power supply for twice the price of a hobby charger and it doesn't discharge. prolong seems to have a better rep but the charger and discharger is 8 times the price of a hobby charger. neither of these systems require removing the hybrid battery. i guess for most people that would be a good thing, but i think removing the battery provides a better end result. all the videos i see show people testing individual packs, spreadsheets with data for each packs cycle, replacing packs that are not balanced, replacing bus bars. it's a more thorough process. buying these fancy chargers seems like paying more and getting less or sacrificing quality for convenience. i understand top charging only being half of the equation, but can't a quality hobby charger do the same thing as prolong for less money?
     
  16. AlexTG3EV

    AlexTG3EV New Member

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    I think you're confused on several levels. I own the maxx volts systems and even their least expensive model charger is discharge ready out of the box and is not made of plastic that melts from heat as I have read about elsewhere which happens on the prolong. I also own their Pro Discharger that does not have the voltage step limitations of the prolong. Apparently the prolong was ruining a number of batteries so they added "forced discharge" steps in their design to take the ability for the user to determine at what level to discharge to away from the user. For me, I don't need some company micromanaging how I want to complete the reconditioning process as it is not cookie cutter and not all batteries are the same age or condition.

    Paying more and getting less? A hobby charger is like $28 bucks on ebay. The maxx volts system reconditions the packs of all 28 modules AT THE SAME TIME. So in order to accomplish the same with hobby chargers, you would need 28x chargers=$784.00 and to remove the entire battery from the vehicle, leaving it inoperable for a undetermined amount of time.

    So say you want to try using 1x hobby charger to do it anyhow, how long would it take to cycle a module a few times in between your work schedule, having no car in the interim and pending there's no issues with the charger process (which is extremely common timeouts/aborts/thresholds exceeded)? 3-5 days? Now multiple this time 28x= 3-4 months (140 days?) .

    Even if you were able to pull this much off, Nickel Metal Hydride is a self-discharging battery chemistry so the modules you finished 3 months ago, now have self discharged and or have reversed cells etc and the entire pack is way out of balance and cannot be utilized in a vehicle without codes. So you now have to remove all the modules and flip them around to wire them in parallel in order to try and balance the voltage as a whole from module to module? How long should you need to keep them connected? Another few days? Then what? You have to take out all the modules again and flip them around - + -+ -+ so they are back in order again spend countless hours of wasted time hoping that the modules are still within a few 0.1-0.2v from each other before putting the entire pack back in the vehicle again after 3-4 months and hoping your 12v battery isn't also dead or failed now due to not operating the vehicle for so long.

    There's a hundred reasons why using a hobby charger is a stupid idea and a few of them from personal experience are listed above. There's a reason why these grid chargers are so popular, as they allow everyone from a hobbyist to a used car dealer to quickly connect a wiring harness to the hybrid battery in series and interface a WHOLE PACK charger and or discharger on an as needed basis to balance and recondition the entire pack in the least amount of downtime with the lowest amount of pain, suffering and anguish trying to reinvent the wheel.
     
  17. misterdean

    misterdean Junior Member

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    i've read other posts that state maxx volts does not discharge. maybe outdated info? IDK. what i do know is i have one member saying maxx volts is for suckers and another confirming it only top charges. both of them being senior forum members with hefty amounts of rep. i've also seen a moderator in another hybrid forum talking against it. i will do my research and form my own conclusion. the biggest thing they have going for them is not having to remove the battery. i see the merits in that, but i am not convinced that is the best way to do this. i think pulling the battery and testing each pack and replacing any that don't balance well is the right way to do this. i know it's more work, but that's ok. my buddy is capable and willing to pull the battery and i don't work so i have time to cycle the packs. i agree charging one pack at a time will take too long but if a $150 hobby charger can cycle 4 at a time there has to be something else of higher quality that can get the job done. i know this will be challenging but we can handle this. i just need the right information and a plan.
     
    #17 misterdean, Dec 16, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
  18. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    You've likely read some of this thread already, and possibly this posting by @Phildo which suggests some charger options.

    The hobby charger below is one of the best for the least, and will also require a power supply and better cables.

    Charsoon antimatter dc 4x300w 20a synchronous balance charger discharger for lipo/life/nicd/pb battery Sale - Banggood.com

    Banggood at one time had the quickest shipping at the lowest price, if you find a better deal please share it here for others.

    The CQ3 is usable, and @TMR-JWAP has experience with this charger. It may have some firmware issues, and he would know.

    For a simple DIY grid charger, grab a Meanwell HV power supply or an "Electrophoresis Power Supply" for under 100.

    Examples of either might include :

    LPC-100-350 MEAN WELL USA Inc. | Power Supplies - External/Internal (Off-Board) | DigiKey

    BIO-RAD PowerPac 300 Electrophoresis Power Supply | eBay

    No known affordable HV dischargers, but do post here is you find something useful.
     
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  19. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Alex,

    The first sentence you wrote applies to some of the items you posted also. So, how balanced is that OEM battery after doing the Grid Charge procedure? Are you sure? How do you know? Does it provide capacity data on 28 individual modules? Are there some 6800mah modules in that battery mixed with some 2000 mah modules? Maybe some 1000mah modules? Are you sure? How do you know? If you have a module that self discharges in 3 months to a level it is no longer useful, then guess what? That module shouldn't be in the battery to start with. You think more than 0.2v difference between modules will make the battery automatically code out? Are you sure about that?

    There's advantages and disadvantages to both methods. It all depends on what the owner is trying to accomplish.

    Are you one of these craigslist refurbishers? Grab a battery, swap any module that reads 5 or 6 volts, hit it with the grid charger and sell it to the next sucker with a 30 day warranty? Because if you think hitting a Prius Battery with a grid charger system is the solution to all the worlds problems, you are also "confused on several levels"
     
  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    According to Maxx Volts' website's product page, they make a charger and a discharger. They are sold separately.

    The deal breaker for me, unless I missed something, is that the entry level charger has no means of running the battery fan during charging. On the other hand, the advanced claims that it runs the battery fan after charging is complete, which is a nice touch although I can't see in the pictures any wires that would reach to the fan wiring of a Gen 2.

    It's interesting to me that their entry level charger looks exactly like my first generation Prolong charger except for lacking a way to run the battery fan.
     
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