Yet another Hymotion install

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by SVPriusFan, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. max9952001

    max9952001 Plugging In

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    I did the EBH mod a couple weekends ago and have it on a timer to turn on M-F at 3am and turn off at 8am (I leave for work around 7am). It has doubled my mileage in the first 5 minutes of driving! I am also excited about the warm heat right away in the winter and saving some ICE time when the Hymotion install comes my way. It was not difficult, the posts and pictures on the forum here are fantastic, it only took me 35 minutes to complete and there was no disassembly of any kind required.
     
  2. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Thanks, Chris. Did a search on the EBH and got lots of hits :rolleyes:...I'll look at some of the thread links tonight after work and classes. BTW, its my understanding that when the pack is installed they will give it at least a partial charge so it can be tested a bit before I drive it home. As a matter of fact, I'll ask about the possibility of having it charged/partially charged before I get there early Wed. morning. I definitely want to make sure it works as advertised.
     
  3. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    :D OK - here it is!

    I took the day off from work so I could document the install at Burt Toyota. I also decided to have them install an EBH while all the work was going on, just to try to maximize mileage. I'm sure I'll be experimenting with driving style over the next weeks/months to maximize mileage -- I'll share my results once I have a handle on it...

    I also want to thank Jay for his excellent review and documentation of his install. While I can't do his posts justice, I'm happy to share what I can about my adventure into the PHEV world :cool:.

    .......

    I arrived at Burt Toyota at 7AM Wednesday October 1st ready for the install. Shortly thereafter my Prius was driven into the bay where the work would be done. The tech had just uncrated the Hymotion L5 pack:
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    Here is my car in the bay - work is just starting...
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    And the spare, ready to come out to make room for the L5 pack
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    The 12V aux batt is under the red connector
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    With the spare gone, there is just enough room for the pack. This is what it takes to fit
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    The stock NiMH battery
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    Next the rear seat base and trim pieces were removed for routing/hiding the new wiring harness
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    Trunk trim pieces removed on the left side to access the cabin vent
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    Close up of the vent - this is where the bumper plug cable is routed as well as where the L5 pack vents to
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    Dashboard disassembly and prep for the wiring harness and L5 power switch/LED installation
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    Since the dash on both sides was opened up, I took out the cabin filter and cleaned it. Here you can see where it fits after the lower glove box is removed
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    One more shot of the dash. You can't see it in this view, but there is a white wire from the L5 harness going into the connector that activates EV mode. It's tie-wrapped above where the cabin filter is located - I can tap into this wire if I decide later to add a manual EV-mode switch
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    Here is the interface to the stock HV battery, ready to have the L5 harness installed
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    By about 11AM, the install was well underway - I'm glad I took the day off and was able to watch and ask questions
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    Also with the L5 comes a box full of parts - harness, bumper plug, bracketry, and assorted PHEV odds and ends
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    Here the L5 harness is installed to the stock HV battery interface
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    Almost ready for the pack to go in - here the tech is installing the cooling vent shroud to the L5 pack
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    The L5 ready to go in
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    Almost there...
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    Just needs to be bolted in now
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    Done! (well, except for everything else that needs to be installed/connected/charged/tested/etc)
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    Last moments of the pristine bumper
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    Hole for the bumper port[​IMG]


    Charge port installed
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    The HV terminals from the L5 are now connected to the Prius battery interface (big orange cable)
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    These are the non-HV connections at the L5 box. The free white connector is a bypass that isolates the L5 pack from the car in the event there is ever a problem. The serial cable is for diagnostics[​IMG]


    Here is the completed install of all the trunk additions, including the cooling vent
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    The cooling shroud ends at the vent. You can also see the cable going through that terminates at the charge port
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    First charge!
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    I also had an engine block heater installed. This is the EBH port poking through the front grill - got a light?
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    Its a pilot thing...
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    Everything was finally done by about 4:30PM. I drove out of there by 5, with just enough time to make a doctor's appointment I had that evening. Unfortunately the pack wasn't fully charged and it gave out about 5 miles away from the doctor's office. Still, per SGII I made 110 MPG over the 20-mile route there over level terrain, 30% highway driving. VERY COOL!
     
  4. boxer93

    boxer93 Psyched for PHEV

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    SVP,
    Nice to see the install went well. I have an EBH to install too. Although I've been thinking to find a way to connect it to the PHEV charge port.
    Chris
     
  5. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Thanks, Chris. Yes the install went pretty well, although I was real tired by the end and wanted to get out of there (not to mention my doctor appt). It was interesting to watch the whole process...

    One question - if you connect the EBH to the charge port won't it be heating the block the entire time its connected? Or are you thinking of adding a circuit to enable the EBH after the L5 has been charged? BTW, I just bought an outlet timer - I'll try the EBH pretty soon and see what I get mileage-wise.

    Have a great weekend!:cool:
     
  6. SZ92

    SZ92 Junior Member

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    WOW!!! This is amazing. If it is to much trouble and does not affend you, would you mind posting your mpg after the install and how much the total cost of the project was. Thanks.
     
  7. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

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    Nice picture and posts, thanks! I'm sure many of us will be waiting to hear about how the pack performs for you.
     
  8. max9952001

    max9952001 Plugging In

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    Congrats SVPriusFan, now you get to change your signature. Thank you for the pics and detailed info. It compliments with Jay's info very well. I sure wish I could get in on a conversion sooner, but December is coming fast. Definitely let us know how it performs and if you encounter any issues.
     
  9. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    thanks for taking the time to document, very cool!

    Rob
     
  10. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Hi All,

    Just an update, and some observations...

    Scott at Burt Toyota told me the pack needs to be cycled several times in order to maximize its range, and this is apparently the case -- the first time I used it with a full charge was Thursday morning for my work commute. To get to work I drive 14 miles eastbound: 470-25-Arapahoe for those who know the Denver area. It is a slight uphill drive, I managed about 75MPG there and about the same back, although the L5 pack gave out halfway home - I got about 20 miles with it the first charge. Friday I got almost all the way home at 84MPG. This morning I drove to a local Walmart and got almost 100MPG on the 7-mile roundtrip with only using 2 bars of the pack - I think the daily cycling is helping to maximize the charge that the Hymotion pack can take:D.

    Tonight I'm going to a Milonga in downtown, about 18 miles there and another 18 back. The best I've done on this same drive is 76MPG there and 60MPG back in my stock Prius using max hypermiling techniques. Hopefully I'll be able to beat this record by a substantial amount. Stay tuned...

    BTW to answer SZ92's question, I paid the normal price for the L5 pack: $9995 + $400 shipping + tax ($1000 deposit back in May when I signed up via the website and the balance due Wednesday when the install was done). Thank God for credit cards...

    Overall I'm pretty happy with the results so far - it looks like mileage and range will improve as the pack get broken in - perhaps others who have had this mod done can share their experience with the L5 pack break-in period, and what they've seen mileage and range-wise. One other thing I've noticed is that the back does sit lower. I'll take a side-view pic of the car and post it soon. Also, I do feel the extra weight in the back but it doesn't seem to impact the mileage much after the pack depletes. I did some driving late Thursday evening after I used up the pack and kept track of mileage during this commute because I was curious to see what impact the extra weight might have - my MPG was in the low 60's by the time I got home, which is what I usually see for similar drives. Tomorrow I'm heading up to Boulder for another Milonga so we'll see what happens there.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I'm keeping the car stock - no decals or graphics. I love the Magnetic Grey color and want to keep it looking nice the way it is.

    Would I recommend this mod to others? Even just based on the 2-1/2 days of use I had with it - absolutely! I'm very impressed and looking forward to seeing more improvements in efficiency and range as I drive it in the coming weeks and months:)

    SVP:cool:
     
  11. renewablesnow

    renewablesnow Junior Member

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    SVP,

    THANKS for all the posts about your install and followup! The CHIP dealer I used does the installs AFTER hours. They don't want to lose a bay during the day for other work. The tech works 5pm to whenever he is finished. The customer ends up with a fully charged pack in the morning after a 5 mile tech test drive. I was encouraged to stay local for a bit to make sure I thought things were as they should be then I got on the highway headed home.

    My local toyota dealer will NOT install an EBH. From what I am hearing so far this is an important mod to decrease emissions and increase mileage. My wife drives our PHEV and she is challenged to get all the sweet spots going with technique to keep the ICE in check. 80% of the time the car is driven 5 miles in the AM and 5 mile in the PM, which uses 25% of the pack.

    Is it a bad thing to consistently only deplete 25% of the pack then recharge?

    That was great and convenient that you used a credit card. Westboro Toyota (Boston) specifically required a bank check.

    I documented two trips I took on Friday- one 6 miles, the other 18 (which depleted the pack).

    6 mile trip MFD 82.0mpg before, 82.5 after (MPG calculation 122.1mpg) - 0.05 gallon
    18 mile trip MFD 82.5 before, 84.9 when pack depleted (MPG calculation 171.8mpg) - 0.10 gallon- I dead panned as much as I could plus stayed below 30 when I could or below 45 when I could.

    I opened my house to the National Solar Tour yesterday and took the opportunity to invite both Congressional candidates running for Congress in my district over to see my renewable energy systems. My electricity bill for all of 2008 is $198. I told both candidates that they need to provide leadership by working to create incentives to motivate the auto industry to move PHEV technology implementation.

    The "payback" calculation I did assuming 3.50 a gallon is 29 years. If you replace a 25MPG car with a Hymotion Prius, the "payback" is just over 11 years. Other assumptions are pre-L5 mileage is 48MPG and post is 100. I can only speak for myself, I did NOT do this to save money. For me it is getting as close as I can to zero carbon emissions for transportation (without riding a bicycle). My battery pack is charged from my rooftop solar panels making it truly a zero carbon PHEV (when the darn ICE is off).

    Renewablesnow
     
  12. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Hi renewablesnow,

    Thanks for your info - interesting to hear that installers do things differently. I wonder why yours won't install an EBH? That doesn't make sense to me, especially since Burt Toyota had the part on hand and was happy to do it.

    Were you able to watch any of the install being done to your car? Although it was tiring by the end of the afternoon, I'm glad I was there for the whole thing - I got to see some of the Prius "innards" and have a better idea of how the car is made and built, which will be a help if I ever have to do any additional work to it in the future. BTW, I asked Scott at Burt Toyota two weeks ago when I first scheduled about using my credit card to pay the balance and he said no problem (and I get free miles with my card, so I'm almost halfway to another free domestic flight with this purchase).

    Also according to Scott at Burt, there are no memory issues with the A123 cells in the L5, so recharging after 25% use (or any other %) won't cause any problems or prematurely lose capacity of the pack. It is my understanding that the as the pack ages it's capacity will decrease, but the rate it does this is extremely slow. Hymotion has laboratory cycle-tested the L5 pack 8000 times (full charge to empty) and it has still met its operating parameters. That's almost 22 years of daily use...

    I like the idea of solar panels - that is great, what a cool way to power the L5! I am just starting the process of designing/building a home at a nearby airpark and want to have both solar and wind power to supplement (or replace) the local grid. Unfortunately I may have to wait until financing gets easier because the current loan crisis:mad:

    As a quick aside, I was a part of a solar-car team that participated in the 2001 World Solar Challenge in Australia. It was a lot of fun, we were one of about 40 teams that raced across the central desert from Darwin to Adelaide and our vehicle made the 2000+ KM trip in less than 4 days on sun power alone. It was quite an experience!
    [​IMG]



    Mileage Update:


    Before I get to what my mileage observations have been, I have to share one issue I found: I discovered a nail in my right front tire yesterday afternoon as I was washing my Prius. I checked the tire pressure- it was at 38PSI before I patched it. After the fix I decided to check the rest of the tires (they were all OK) but I decided to up the pressure in the rears to 42 since I have a couple hundred extra pounds there thanks to the L5 mods. I'm now running 42/42.

    With the tire issue fixed, I did 177MPG to the Milonga last night (18 miles, level terrain and about 10% freeway). On the way back I only managed 99MPG because the L5 conked out at exactly 30 miles total, so the last 6 miles were in normal Prius mode. That gives me an average of 136MPG for the roundtrip. I'm a happy Camper:D

    ~SVP:cool:
     
  13. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

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    SVP, I have been reading your posts with great interest. I get my Hymotion installed tomorrow and I am really looking forward to see what I can achieve with this system.

    Have you considered looking for a charging location in Milonga for "opportunity charging"? I have been riding a Vectrix electric scooter for 3 months and I find outlets in just about every parking garging in the Seattle region. They are quite common in parking lots or on the sides of buildings. With a scooter it is easier to pull up on a sidewalk next to a building and use an outlet. But I already know of many parking garages where I will be recharging my Hymotion during the day or when running errands. Even an extra 30 minutes to an hour of charging is worthwhile for extended battery range throughout the day.

    If at work during a 8 or 9 hour day you should have a full battery to go home with.
     
  14. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Hi Peakoil,

    I asked this morning if I could recharge here at work, I was told that I could for today (car is charging as I type). Don't know if I can do this every day - my supervisor is looking into it. He says there may be liability issues due to the fact that the only place where I can get access to an outlet is at the shipping/recieving area. The car is pretty much out of the way thanks to the 50-foot 12-gage cord I bought, and everyone back there is pretty thrilled about the car (they also said no problem about it being in the way) but the supervisor has last say in the matter, so we'll see...

    Also, my commute mileage this morning was just a hair under 90MPG...I guess the tire nail issue I fixed this weekend, and increasing the rears to 42 has helped with efficiency. This is definitely very cool!

    Also a little clarification - Milonga is not a place/town, its an event. One of my hobbies/vices is Argentine Tango - I'm a big Tango addict and go to a lot of local venues where Milongas (Tango dance parties) are held. For an engineering nerd/cubicle-rat such as myself, its a great way to socialize and meet people:D

    I did check yesterday to see if there was an outlet I could use at the Boulder Milonga I went to - no such luck. Kinda funny...I never would have thought I'd be looking for electrical outlets in parking areas now...:peep:
     
  15. boxer93

    boxer93 Psyched for PHEV

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    SVP,
    Hopefully they will ok your continuous use of the plug. I received ok to plug mine in at work. The building super joked about sending me the bill. I said sure, it would be about .25USD each time. I normally will not plug it in. If I know that I may run out before parking it at night I will plug it in. How long is your work commute. 90MPG sounds like it's fairly short or other MPG killers for the car/pack. Today with ambient temp at 43F I was still able to get 111MPG on my commute. Then again I was behind a suburban doing 30MPH for the last 3.5 Mi. :D
    Peakoil, renewablesnow and all others, I also look forward to your Hymotion experiences.
    Chris
     
  16. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Hi Chris,

    My commute to work unfortunately involves some hilly parts of 470, including a half-mile section that is a bit on the steep side. All the ups and downs kill my mileage, although it's still much better with the L5 than before. I haven't hooked up the timer for the EBH yet - that will probably help my inital mileage when I start out.

    I did a double-check of the distance, its actually almost 20 miles each way, which is why the pack gives out before I get home in the evening (before I started recharging at work). I'm back on the charger this morning at work...gonna try to fly under the radar until I'm told otherwise:D.

    Another observation: yesterday I drove directly up to Boulder from work with the fully charged pack. It lasted just over 38 miles and I was hovering around 90MPG when it gave out (slight uphill grade most of the way, 20% city driving). I was in the mid-70's by the time I got into downtown Boulder. Also, the temperature has been declining in these parts which is a mileage killer. In the heat of summer I was seeing low-mid 60's on this same commute with the unmodded Prius.

    Tonight I'll be driving into downtown from work, which is a level to slight downhill commute - looking forward to seeing what my mileage will be with a fully recharged pack:rolleyes:
     
  17. SVPriusFan

    SVPriusFan Hymotioned and loving it...

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    Another update...

    Well, late last night I was told that I can't recharge here at work:mad:. But it wasn't because the car was in the way...apparently someone complained - the quote went something like "its not fair that the company should pay for his gas...". And then upper management bent over and grabbed their ankles for this whiner:rant:. Oh well, I'll make due. On the positive side it is a temp position I took while in the process of finding something more lucrative and long-term. And the money isn't bad for temporary employment.

    Some observations regarding the L5 pack:

    On hilly roads the benefits are better than the stock setup, although not as spectacular as all-out flat and level. I've been seeing a consistent 80-90MPG during my 20-mile morning work commute. Much better results come from straight and level/downhill (as should be expected). Yesterday evening I drove from work to downtown and managed 149MPG on a 21-mile drive - not too bad...

    It would be great if the pack lasted longer, but 30-40 miles at the efficiency I'm seeing is still great, and worth it, IMO. I think a couple things on my to-do list that would help are the EBH and EV-mode switch...there's alot of good info here on PC regarding these and I had the Coastal Tech switch on my old Prius so I have first hand experience with it. What I've been seeing in the mornings when I start out is sometimes the L5 pack will engage EV-mode right away and at other times the engine comes on and goes through its normal startup sequence. It would be nice to keep it in EV mode for the mile and a half I have to get to the 470 on-ramp.

    Ok, enough for now...gotta get back to work:D
     
  18. boxer93

    boxer93 Psyched for PHEV

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    SVP,
    I understand the hills a little bit. I have a long uphill grade with a stoplight 30% of the way up, and it's always Red when I get to it. Sorry to hear of the winer. You should offer to pay for the electricity, it wouldn't be much and your commute could be all L5 assisted.
    I'm going to look for a EBH timer. I've been checking out the Intermatic HB77. What do you have?
    On the EV Switch I hope that it works for you. I have been doing a test with my SCII and seeing what the EV mode is when I initially power on the car. I have experienced multiple instances where the car will not be in EV mode on startup the next morning, after the pack was fully discharged. (the pack was fully charged at this point). The one time I observed this after starting my test The SCII didn't show EV On until I shifted in to D. Luckly I did it before the ICE started. Since you drain your pack consistently I'd be curious to see if you are in EV mode at morning startup or not.
    Chris
     
  19. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    There might be a few more avenues you can explore. First I would offer to put a meter on the car and reimburse the company for the electricity used. Seems like that would solve the fairness perception issue. Second would be to look at your company's environmental policy, or alternative transportation policies. Many companies have stated policies (along the lines of the mission or corporate goal statements) in support of reducing or minimizing their environmental impact, as its very politically correct these days to say that. If your company does, why not argue that you're helping the company live up to its stated goals? Many companies also have policies to support employees who seek alternate transportation. They might give free or reduced cost bus passes, gas reimbursements, and/or preferred parking for carpoolers, and modified work schedules allowing fewer commute days (4/40, 9/80 etc) or working from home. In many places, there are laws requiring employers of a certain size to run such programs. I think you could make a strong argument that you are reducing your fuel use by more than most carpoolers, and should receive similar perks.

    Good Luck!
    Rob
     
  20. jerktaculus

    jerktaculus New Member

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    Tell me about it - I have this running skit in my mind that if PHEV's and EV's became common place there would be a zombie army of drivers walking around with charge plugs - I have had a kit for a while now and trying to find a place to plug it in besides work and home is impossible. Even at home I get complaints about the ugliness of an electrical cord permanently on display.

    I fear we are not socially and infrastructurally ready for a large group of people to use these - and just ask Walmart about their plugs for EV plan from 3 years ago - no response in my hood.

    The Volt should help move things forward a bit.
     
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