Results from Hybrid Automotive Grid charger, 2 batteries.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by freshedie92, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    Hello all,

    First off I just want everyone to know that I paid full price for my grid charger, and I am just your average consumer, im trying to make this as objective as possible.


    Old Battery:


    So after having used Hybrid Automotive's grid charger I can say at this point, imo it was worth the money. Whenever I had issues with the battery SOC fluctuating rapidly I would go home ASAP and charge it overnight. The battery was by no means fixed, I would say it does a good job at rebalancing. Problem is it can not repair a cell that has expired, or is incompatible. It is really nice because you can balance the battery in the very quickly ~1 day. The downside is you get very little feedback, one module could be toast but you will likely never know.

    Before using the grid charger my batteries SOC would fluctuate, on fwy exits the battery would "overcharge" and burn off excess. After charging/dishcharging the battery was performing better, including holding the charge from the fwy exit much better. Driving my car frequently also helped a great deal, eventually I was able to get a really good charge from the exit and drive almost entirely electric for 1.8 mi (6 min), ~6 lights mostly flat & slight downgrade.

    The reason I decided to switch the battery is: the battery would still burn off excess energy on the long fwy exit, and when the car sat over the weekend I would get a CEL and fluctuating SOC.

    When I took the battery out and looked at it all the cells my dad noticed that only a single module had different markings than the rest, this module had much higher voltage than the rest, while the others were mostly balanced.


    New Battery:


    I was fortunate enough to have met someone who is parting out their car in Fontana Ca, he sold me his problem Battery at a bargain (link to his ad at the bottom). His is an 08 with alleged 50k mi, I swapped out suspect modules with modules from my old battery. Charged it up for 24 hrs and I am still having issues, it is driveable however. Soon after start-up the battery SOC goes down to 1 bar, before I hit the freeway (5 min) the battery is all the way up to green. The battery would be normal on the fwy, on a long exit the battery would get to 8 bars, and begin to burn off excess energy. It will only drive a very short distance before the motor kicks on, and the battery will return to normal state quickly. It can only drive short distances on electric on parking lots. I am currently going to charge/disharge the battery to see how it affects performance. I will post back with results on monday when I am done.


    Data:

    I am going to upload my handwritten notes with an explanation because I am busy.

    Conclusion:

    I plan on seeing how much the new battery will improve to provide more data on the grid charger. But if this battery is not perfect what do you guys think I should to get a good battery?



    notes: I got shocked a few times while working with the battery, the worst was at the full voltage side with the orange plug inside, 1 Hand, it hurt but no burns scars etc. I found out you can check voltage "safely" with the battery in full series. Just check one module at a time and you only read that module. If you go from one end to the other opposite end you get the 200+ volts.
     
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  2. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    20150213_144527.jpg Left most numbers are Voltage readings after 2x200w bulbs, middle numbers are the module number, to the right of that is initial V. The small numbers are the V difference. Follow that convention and a the rest should make sense. 20150213_144541.jpg Same convention, this is a second discharge following the first. 20150213_144612.jpg The large numbers are V after another discharge, the small numbers are the V increase after removing the load.
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    Keep up the good work. I would strongly recommend investing in the mini VCI, as it will give you a good idea of which are the outlying modules, and which are stronger. Internal resistance readings taken while driving are as crucial as any other data.
     
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm thinking there are two conclusions you could draw from that....
    1. "Hey, now I know it only hurts a little, no big deal!"
    2. "Gee, I was lucky to have such a mild reminder that I need to step up my safety game big time."
    I'm hoping you'll go with 2.

    Cheers,
    -Chap
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    high voltage gloves, we don't want to lose any members! thanks for the write up, well done! i'll be interested to see what jeff has to say.(y)
     
  6. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    I havent put windows on my mac yet, i have been kind of busy lately, but that is definitely something i want to do. If there is a member within 1 hour drive of san bernardino that has the equipment i would love to see what the results are. I also have access to torque, I read a little bit about custom PID's but a little lost on how to actually program that in.

    It was definitely not fun, and i feel foolish for having that happen to me. Nonetheless, I wanted to share my experience because I don't think anyone has ever done that. Gloves are something that I should have, but it don't. I will likely grab some next time i dig into the battery.

    It looks like my Grid charger might want to take a break, it wont charge past 199V. But Jeff is being a good sport and helping me out, it might need a repair. Might not have results this week, sorry guys.
     
  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, the longtime PriusChat presence, hobbit, did post a write-up of the Prius battery back in 2009, that included a serious discussion (look for the zorchy skeleton about 1/3 of the way down) intended to counter the exaggerated fear that sometimes gets spread about working on it. It seems pretty levelheaded, though it's possible he was mistaken in thinking the risk of muscle lock-up is greater for DC than AC; every source I can find attributes the can't-let-go effect to specific frequencies of AC. (I mentioned that to him today, so for future readers he might have fixed it.)

    Even in that article, hobbit does a lot of generalizing from things he personally has escaped serious injury doing, and while he mentioned a difference can be made by details of position, humidity, sweat, skin integrity, and so on, he might be underestimating how much difference. In one of the sources below, broken skin is reported to decrease skin resistance by a factor of a hundred. (I know the skin on my hands doesn't always stay unbroken during mechanical projects....)

    So while nobody needs exaggerated fear of working on the battery, it's probably best to avoid exaggerated confidence also. To form a wise estimate of the risk, instead of generalizing from a few people's personal experiences, it's probably better to look to known figures compiled from statistically useful numbers of incidents:

    Medscape article

    CCNY article focused on low-voltage hazard (in a scheme where "high voltage" is defined as over 600 or 1000 volts, a Prius battery ends up considered "low")

    -Chap
     
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  8. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Does your 2006 have more than 150K miles? HV battery warranty would expire in 2016/150,000 miles, assuming it was originally purchased and maintained vehicle registration in a CARB State.

    Washington State doesn't count, as they are worthless-CARB; adoption of CARB emissions, but not beneficial longer warranty of 10yr/150K miles.
     
  9. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to put up a preliminary post, I was able to get the battery drained and charged 3x this weekend. I can't report numbers at this time, but so far my daily commute "feels better". The battery is reporting similar start mpg and "regen cars" on the dash from my old battery. I paid close attention to my long fwy exit braking, and I am fairly certain that I heard the car starting to burn excess energy halfway down.

    I had an issue before where if I keep the gas pedal depressed only enough to use electric the car stutters, without me moving my foot the battery goes into intervals of "power" followed by "neutral". It still did it today, even after getting a decent charge from the fwy exit. I did not experience this with my old battery, does anyone have input?

    At this point I can say that the battery has improved, but not sufficient enough for me to keep it, the old performed far better. The strange thing is this battery is allegedly from an 08 with 50k mi. I did swap 2 cells, but they were low V, and I figured they would be problematic. The owner did tell me that the battery was having issues.


    Does anyone have recommendations for me? When I took my old battery apart it appeared all cells were in balance but one (which a hybrid shop had installed). That cell was far higher in V than all the rest, I am thinking of restoring my "old battery", and replacing that high V cell with one from the "new battery". But, I plan to drive the "new battery", around for about a month to see if there is any improvement.
     
  10. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    So while nobody needs exaggerated fear of working on the battery, it's probably best to avoid exaggerated confidence also. To form a wise estimate of the risk, instead of generalizing from a few people's personal experiences, it's probably better to look to known figures compiled from statistically useful numbers of incidents:


    -Chap[/QUOTE]

    Very good post, I second that, and you are correct there are many variables that take place. Following safety precautions and procedures is what will keep us safe at the end of the day.

    Unfortunately my car is N/A mileage, but definitely over 150, more like 200k+. thanks for that though.
     
  11. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    Just to clarify what you mean by that: If you see the SOC go to all green bars while braking, that means, with the HV battery full, there is no longer any regen possible. Engine braking is occurring instead, which is heard as an increase in RPM. That would be normal behavior, but that must be one long hill to cause such, or the actual capacity of the battery bank is quite small.
    Are you saying that the indicator on the dash was going from "D" to "N" and back repeatedly? Never heard of that. It sounds like there are still some problem modules that need to be weeded out. Put the mini VCI on it and use the graphing function to see what is going on.
     
  12. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    nh7o

    1. it is a fairy long downhill stretch, but the battery doesnt even get to full bars, it stays one bar below full. I always thought the electric motor burn off excess if the battery gets too full, it still makes this noise after I have finished braking. Are you certain this is the gas motor?

    2. The transmission is not changing, however power is. When you look at the energy monitor screen the power goes in and out, and I can actually feel the car accel then stop, accel stop...... until I add more gas to make the gas motor kick on.
    3. I dont have a VCI :(, or windows, if anyone has access please help!
     
  13. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    Okay, I am hitting a wall here.

    Running win 8.1, techstream 9.30.002, mini-vci j2534

    I went and bought the mini-vci and a tablet, downloaded and installed everything, struggled with tutorial after tutorial. Found one method to work, i get to my car and while im looking at data it crashed. I tried using it again, and it keeps asking me to register it, i tried several codes i found online with different regions and no luck.

    Do I just need to find a keygen and input a code that it spits out? Is there maybe something i did wrong? I was looking at real data until it crashed out of nowhere so i know it works. I have been doing lots of reading (including priuschat) and I cant figure it out, help, someone, anyone?

    I am not extremely computer literate. most of my success came from youtube.

    Thanks for any answers,
     
  14. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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  15. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    Thanks for the links bud,

    I tried out the win 8 already, that one helped me a little, but I don't have the same version, so theres files he talks about that I don't have. Im going to try and download the program from the link he has and just reinstall everything. I just got a cel this morning too, I was so tempted to clear it with my other scanner, all the lights look terrible.

    also tried to virtual box xp, but I need a key to get that to work, :(
     
  16. freshedie92

    freshedie92 Member

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    I added the it3system.ini file to the techstream folder, and it no longer as for the codes! thank you all so much!

    Now i just have to wait till i get off of work to actually try this out on my car, if you have the min-vci can you give me a quick how-to on getting to battery diagnostics. or is it straightforward? People on here have said that I can check Internal resistance of the cells, along with other important data. I would appreciate any input.
    Lastly I would be glad to help out anyone in the area that wants to check out their prius.
     
    #16 freshedie92, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
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