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G2 Prius Plug in Purchased....

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85turbo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 November 2013 at 1:08pm
Hi All.

decided i couldn't wait and keep saving for another 18 months or more to buy a pure EV....

so... i went shopping on the weekend, and found a very good condition G2 Prius i-tech that has an engineer 4kwh plug in conversion kit installed....

did the 300+km back from canberra where i bought the car, to sydney via Nowra to visit my mum, and even over the two mountains, i managed to get 4.6L \ 100 for the trip.

one thing i will have to look into, is i suspect that one or more cell groups may be a bit soft....

today i did a 45km trip into the city and back, using mainly blended hybrid mode, and the red light on the engineer kit turned on at about the 10km point, indicating low battery. so i switched the kit off.

when i got home, i opened the lid on the kit and the battery monitor is saying 78% charged !

i know it was fully charged the night before, as i plugged it in and measured the power consumption at the wall (4.6KWH) to full charge.

so, i suspect that under load, one or more cells is bad.
not sure how im going to go about testing this.....

any thoughts ?

even with the premature shut off on the kit, i still managed to get 3.9L\100 for the trip today. cant wait to see what i can get once the plug in kit is sorted.....

im not that happy to be playing about with HV, so i would have to take it to someone that has experience with these types of things.....

still, for the price i got it for, even if i have to replace a few cells, ill still be happy....

couple pictures.... haven't transferred the car to NSW yet.
have to go get the inspection organized monday....















Jason.


Edited by 85turbo - 19 November 2013 at 8:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 2:45pm
just charged the pack to 100% again, and did a short 10km suburban drive mostly in EV mode, speeds were up to around 75km/h.

again the red light came on.
when i got home, i opened the pack lid and it would seem that i have 2 cells that are weak.
1 cell was showing 2.92v and another 2.95v, while the rest were around 3.3V or so.
voltages can be displayed on the monitor in the boot with the pack. (discovered this by button mashing....)

now im not sure where to go next to replace the cells....

Jason.

Edited by 85turbo - 16 November 2013 at 2:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antiscab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 3:44pm
I would do a full charge, then use a single cell charger to bring the two low cells up - they may just be out of balance
Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tassie_tiger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 3:46pm

There's an email address listed on this for a Danny at POwerin who may be able to help:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/seattleeva/oi2oNRM-Bu4/xEL_xOThFcwJ

Intallers may be able to provide advice:
http://www.enginer.us/installers/


Sometimes cells are on eBay, eg:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prismatic-LiFePO4-20Ah-3-2V-Real-Force-Engineer-PHEV-Cell-/141108676775?pt=US_Rechargeable_Batteries&hash=item20dabb88a7&ssPageName=RSS:B:SHOP:US:101
My hobby interests are EV's and competitions. aeva.asn.au for ev's and www.lottos.com.au for competitions. If your partner complains about you ev'ing, send 'em to lottos!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 4:09pm
Originally posted by antiscab antiscab wrote:

I would do a full charge, then use a single cell charger to bring the two low cells up - they may just be out of balance


this is something i would have to get someone else to do im afraid....

thanks for the suggestion though...


Originally posted by tassie_tiger tassie_tiger wrote:


There's an email address listed on this for a Danny at POwerin who may be able to help:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/seattleeva/oi2oNRM-Bu4/xEL_xOThFcwJ

Intallers may be able to provide advice:
http://www.enginer.us/installers/


Sometimes cells are on eBay, eg:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prismatic-LiFePO4-20Ah-3-2V-Real-Force-Engineer-PHEV-Cell-/141108676775?pt=US_Rechargeable_Batteries&hash=item20dabb88a7&ssPageName=RSS:B:SHOP:US:101



thanks for the links...

it's charged up again to 100% according to the monitor in the trunk. but it's showing all 16 cells at 3.35 - 3.38V pack voltage is reported as 53.5V.

the charger is still pulling 400W from the wall, so it's not completely finished though.

i thought full cells should be closer to 3.6V for full charged ?


Jason

Edited by 85turbo - 16 November 2013 at 4:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 9:50pm
Originally posted by 85turbo 85turbo wrote:

but it's showing all 16 cells at 3.35 - 3.38V...

That's at the flat part of the curve. They could all be anywhere between 10 and 90% SOC. Wait till they are over 3.48 V each to be able to tell them apart.

Quote i thought full cells should be closer to 3.6V for full charged ?

Yes. Anything below 3.50 VPC is not near fully charged.
Learning how to repair and re-flash TC/Elcon chargers and PIP-4048 inverter-chargers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2013 at 9:58pm
Originally posted by 85turbo 85turbo wrote:

it's charged up again to 100% according to the monitor in the trunk. but it's showing all 16 cells at 3.35 - 3.38V ...

That sounds like the monitor isn't resetting correctly. Maybe you just need to leave it charge a while and let the power drop and get the total voltage to something over 52.5 V.

Oh wait you say the total voltage is 53.5 yet the cells are in the 3.35 to 3.38 V range... for 16 cells, that isn't adding up.

Either you are getting massive voltage drops (e.g. bad links), or the monitors aren't accurate, or there is some weird galvanic thing happening. Or that total pack voltage isn't accurate. See if you can get a good multimeter to sort it out. Kirchoff's voltage law must be respected!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 8:42am
im just reading the numbers on the monitor in the trunk...



cell voltage range is 3.42 for the highest cell. 3.34 for the lowest cell.
53.7V pack voltage (if im reading the monitor correctly ?)



100% charged. it took another 4.6kwh from the wall...



you are correct (of course) that the cell voltages do not add up to the T voltage on the monitor, so maybe that's another voltage ?
charger output maybe ? i would have expected charger output to be closer to 60V though ?

when i was running a 16S lifepo4 pack on one of my ebikes, the charger output was 64V....
and a fully charged pack was 60V or there abouts....


Jason.



Edited by 85turbo - 17 November 2013 at 8:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antiscab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 12:15pm
16 cells shouldn't go above ~58.4v

64v for 16 cells is *way* to high - that's an average of 4v per cell, which pretty much means the high ones are above the 4.2v overcharge zone

also I would expect the voltage to drop back to 54.x v unless being floated.

is the cell at 3.34v one of the ones that was giving low voltage alarms on discharge?

if so, just charge it up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 12:52pm
Don't take this the wrong way its not a dig Its a genuine question and perhaps I am missing something.

What is the advantage of a car like the Pruis that consumes 4.6lt - 100km over the many euro DTI cars that can easily get similar or better fuel consumption?

New Golf 1.6lt 3.2lt 100km

TDI mini cooper 3.8lt 100km

Peugeot 208 4.2lt 100km

What are the advantages of the the Prius over say the above three cars.It seems to be a lot of complexity with all the exchanging of energy formats to wind up with no gain in the end result (fuel consumed). I know the Prius is popular but I just don't get it. Is it just the Toyota name?



Kurt



Edited by offgridQLD - 17 November 2013 at 12:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antiscab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 2:34pm
diesel is more expensive, more energy dense and more polluting per L burnt, both in CO2 and other emissions, most notably particulates.

The particulate emissions are actually worse on the newest diesels than the oldest - the particulates are smaller and get further inside the lungs

There's also the issue of service life, length of warrantee and failure rates on present designs

Fuel availability is also an issue - in Australia most of the diesel yielded from refining crude is burnt in heavy prime movers.

In Europe, most is burnt in passenger vehicles as the majority of transport is via electrified rail.

The current generation of prius also gets 3.9L/100km
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigMouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 4:43pm
Some people need a bigger car than the 208 or the Mini as well. Hard to beat a 5-door Golf at 3.2L/100km though, even with the cost premium of diesel over petrol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 6:18pm
i just came out of a golf mk5 tdi, and id like to see ANYONE actually get the claimed numbers...

mine was a 2005 1.9 TDI with the DSG and the best i ever saw was 5.3/100 on a long highway trip of 1000km.
round town it was mid 6's to low 7's. and im no lead foot either.

back to the prius...

there is definitely something funky going on.
i did a relatively short trip this afternoon, and the red light came on
after about 10km again. i checked the cells and one was WAY down at 2.6V...

so i turned the system off.
drove to a friends place, then home after a few hours.
checked the cells again when i got home and they were all around the mid 3.3V ranges... (with no charging happening)

i have fired off an email to the kit supplier (Australian rep) and wait for a response...

i know that loaded cells will drop or sag voltage , and recover a little once rested, but the 2.6v cell regaining up to 3.3v seems odd to say the least....

maybe it's a bad BMS and the cells are ok....

Jason

Edited by 85turbo - 17 November 2013 at 6:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigMouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 8:29pm
I'm interested to hear what you find out. I'm down in Wollongong myself and have no qualms about poking around a big battery pack. I'd love to get a close look at this system anyway, as it's something I'd like to replicate at some point for a Prius drivetrain transplant (I'm thinking PHEV MR2).

If you're happy to bring it down this way, I'm willing to have a look with you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2013 at 8:36pm
No I was talking about a 2013 gulf not 2005 vintage.

I can understand the environmental/heath benefits you mentioned they are valid reasons.

It was just on paper I couldn't see any better fuel consumption and all the same ICE engine servicing. Anyhow sorry to get off track.

Kurt

Edited by offgridQLD - 18 November 2013 at 7:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2013 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by BigMouse BigMouse wrote:

I'm interested to hear what you find out. I'm down in Wollongong myself and have no qualms about poking around a big battery pack. I'd love to get a close look at this system anyway, as it's something I'd like to replicate at some point for a Prius drivetrain transplant (I'm thinking PHEV MR2).

If you're happy to bring it down this way, I'm willing to have a look with you.


i will certainly keep that in mind.
i regularly pass the gong on my way to my mums place.
mum lives at nowra, and i usually visit her every few weeks.

thanks for the offer.

today's work commute was interesting.
i got all the way to work without the red light on the plug-in kit coming on. about 18km this trip.

on the return 8hours later, the light went red a few km from work.
i switched the kit off, drove the remainder of the trip home, and
upon checking the monitor, it says 68% charged. and all cells were floating around 3.3v...

so it looks to me like some of the cells are indeed weak, and tripping the BMS very early, they when given a few hours to rest, they recover....

Jason

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2013 at 6:43pm
the extra battery seems to be getting better....

today i managed to get about 25km in blended mode before the red light came on. this is a huge improvement over the first few days where i got about 10km...

maybe after a few more cycles, it will really pick up some.
time will tell...

i will keep this thread updated with my progress...

Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gabz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2013 at 7:04pm
how do you charge AC input into the car or external AC/DC converter?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2013 at 8:12pm
the kit has a charger and BMS inside the box.
i just plug into AC mains and it does it's thing.

Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigMouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2013 at 8:44pm
Originally posted by 85turbo 85turbo wrote:

i will certainly keep that in mind.
i regularly pass the gong on my way to my mums place.
mum lives at nowra, and i usually visit her every few weeks.

thanks for the offer.


No problem. It seems like you're having some luck. The offer stands if you need it. Just send me a PM if so and we'll arrange something. I'll be spending the summer (while Uni is out of session) working on my 300zx EV project, so I'll be around.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2013 at 4:26pm
i found and extracted a SD card from the BMS monitor. it has an excel file on it. i sorted the data according to pack voltage. the below is the lowest recording for pack voltage and cell voltages.

i still have not opened the battery box, so ive no idea what cells are actually in there, but from further reading, there are 32 cells in parallel groups of 2, so 16 cell groups.

36.7v pack voltage      

Cell voltages

2.29
2.02
2.05
2.03
2.09
2.36
1.94
2.13
2.22
2.15
2.3
2.14
2.72
2.92
2.68
2.68

the above data is 65 days old according to the time stamp on the data.
i have erased the card and will get a fresh set of data tomorrow.

Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigMouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2013 at 9:32pm
Assuming these are LiFePO4 cells, anything below 2.5 indicates potential cell damage. It looks like cell 7 is the worst, at 1.94 (and also indicated as the low cell even when charged by your LCD photos above). I'd say a manual balancing is in order, and likely that some cells will need replacement. A capacity test would show for sure, but that's a bigger job best done with the batteries removed.

I think you've found the reason this car was traded in by the previous owner.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 6:49am
My opinion is that there is probably no cell damage as, if that is the LOWEST recorded cell voltage, then none of them have been comprimised.
I think that the problem is a deplorably bad cell balance during charging - my guess is the charger/BMS is not matched very well.

The charger should be capable of reaching the cell BMS balance voltage (times No. of cell pairs) and backing off to the balance current in some defined fashion.
Pull it apart!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 6:55am
BTW
Have you contacted the manufacturer? (Sorry if I missed the post)
http://nilco2.com.au/technology.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 85turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2013 at 11:44am
yeah i sent nilco2 an email a few days ago, and have had zero response.

not a good sign...

i got some fresh data from the SD card to look over this morning.
i will see what i can glean from it and post the results.

Jason.
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