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Battery conditioning via grid charging and deep discharging

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Battery conditioning via grid charging and deep discharging

 
Old 02-05-19, 02:34 PM
  #1  
andrewdd
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Default Battery conditioning via grid charging and deep discharging

Hi everyone: In the past I've owned a Gen 1 Insight and we used to grid charge the HV battery to equalize cells, ensure polarity is correct inside the battery sticks etc.
Also could combine this process with a deep discharge to condition the batteries.

While I never followed thru and deep discharged, I found the grid charging process worked great at maintaining the NiMh battery in the insight.

So the question I have is: Is anyone here conditioning their HV battery or at least grid charging it for general maintenance?

Having the success before with my old Insight I am considering installing the Hybrid Automotive Deluxe system.

They don't have any install instructions yet (I guess I could document if I decide to do it): I've done some of the prelim research and it doesn't seem too bad of an install of the main pig tail you have to install as well as the secondary power connection for the hybrid exhaust fan. I just purchased my GS450h and only have about 72K miles on the car, and I think its the original HV battery. It seems to work just fine, but now would be the time to begin a good maintenance regime with it.
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Old 02-07-19, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewdd View Post
Hi everyone: In the past I've owned a Gen 1 Insight and we used to grid charge the HV battery to equalize cells, ensure polarity is correct inside the battery sticks etc.
Also could combine this process with a deep discharge to condition the batteries.

While I never followed thru and deep discharged, I found the grid charging process worked great at maintaining the NiMh battery in the insight.

So the question I have is: Is anyone here conditioning their HV battery or at least grid charging it for general maintenance?

Having the success before with my old Insight I am considering installing the Hybrid Automotive Deluxe system.

They don't have any install instructions yet (I guess I could document if I decide to do it): I've done some of the prelim research and it doesn't seem too bad of an install of the main pig tail you have to install as well as the secondary power connection for the hybrid exhaust fan. I just purchased my GS450h and only have about 72K miles on the car, and I think its the original HV battery. It seems to work just fine, but now would be the time to begin a good maintenance regime with it.
I have the hybrid auto system, both charger and discharger.

Install instructions... just follow any teardown guide for the battery. You'll know where to attach the modules.

As for whether it works or not:
Overall - plenty written on the topic, mostly on priuschat/greenhybrid/batteryuniversity/all the things they mention (toyota nimh rehydration patents, duracell nimh conditioning study, US army nimh conditioning study, etc). Doing a conditioning procedure twice a year sounds like a good idea. Same with keeping AC on during the summer and in general making sure that the HV battery temperature is as low as possible to prevent hydrogen venting and the resulting water loss and electrolyte deposits/overheating/melting of cells
For me - it revealed a module with a very low capacity cell, restored the rest to usable condition. The car was dropping charge in like 30 seconds and recharging for the same time ^_^. I ended up replacing 10 modules (so far) with just-about-brand-new ones (2018 wreck replacements), will probably swap the rest down the line as well.
If you're worried about taking the pack to 0.1v/cell - I've done it multiple times when I had the original 40 modules (including the one that had a sub-capacity cell), no degradation/damage/etc visible. Granted, I haven't measured capacities of individual modules - the best I've done is monitoring voltage drop on all blocks (block = 2 modules i.e. 12 cells) via techstream when the car's in neutral for a complete discharge after a balance charge (and a 30min wait for good measure). 0.1v did no visible harm in my case. Your mileage may vary

At any rate, another benefit of a grid charger is that you can easily balance the cells if you end up doing cell-level replacements down the road. Whether that's feasible to you is another story - here I have access to 2018 wrecks with pretty much guaranteed good modules, but from what I've read about the situation in the states, the pro rebuilders buy mostly everything...
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Old 02-08-19, 08:30 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Lwerewolf View Post
I have the hybrid auto system, both charger and discharger.

Install instructions... just follow any teardown guide for the battery. You'll know where to attach the modules.

As for whether it works or not:
Overall - plenty written on the topic, mostly on priuschat/greenhybrid/batteryuniversity/all the things they mention (toyota nimh rehydration patents, duracell nimh conditioning study, US army nimh conditioning study, etc). Doing a conditioning procedure twice a year sounds like a good idea. Same with keeping AC on during the summer and in general making sure that the HV battery temperature is as low as possible to prevent hydrogen venting and the resulting water loss and electrolyte deposits/overheating/melting of cells
For me - it revealed a module with a very low capacity cell, restored the rest to usable condition. The car was dropping charge in like 30 seconds and recharging for the same time ^_^. I ended up replacing 10 modules (so far) with just-about-brand-new ones (2018 wreck replacements), will probably swap the rest down the line as well.
If you're worried about taking the pack to 0.1v/cell - I've done it multiple times when I had the original 40 modules (including the one that had a sub-capacity cell), no degradation/damage/etc visible. Granted, I haven't measured capacities of individual modules - the best I've done is monitoring voltage drop on all blocks (block = 2 modules i.e. 12 cells) via techstream when the car's in neutral for a complete discharge after a balance charge (and a 30min wait for good measure). 0.1v did no visible harm in my case. Your mileage may vary

At any rate, another benefit of a grid charger is that you can easily balance the cells if you end up doing cell-level replacements down the road. Whether that's feasible to you is another story - here I have access to 2018 wrecks with pretty much guaranteed good modules, but from what I've read about the situation in the states, the pro rebuilders buy mostly everything...
Great thanks for the info and this gives me more confidence now knowing I am not the pioneer on the GS450h for this.
I am first of all getting the techstream stuff first so I can at least observe the block voltages and see how they look.
After that point will determine the next step for me.

Hybrid Auto mentioned that their pigtail is plug and play for the powering up of the HV battery exhaust fan.
Can you educate me on that from your experience?

Also, as I haven't removed the trunk carpeting to expose the HV battery just yet:
is there enough elevation to remove the HV battery cover (after of course removing ancillary hardware like the fan) without unbolting and sliding back the entire HV battery towards the back of the trunk? I understand you've got to land the pigtail harness on the overall positive/negative of internal battery terminals so the cover has to come off.
I've reviewed the how to's of the battery removal, but it would be nice if I didn't have to pull the rear seat and unbolt the battery etc.

Thanks again!! Andrew
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Old 02-08-19, 09:28 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by andrewdd View Post
Great thanks for the info and this gives me more confidence now knowing I am not the pioneer on the GS450h for this.
I am first of all getting the techstream stuff first so I can at least observe the block voltages and see how they look.
After that point will determine the next step for me.

Hybrid Auto mentioned that their pigtail is plug and play for the powering up of the HV battery exhaust fan.
Can you educate me on that from your experience?

Also, as I haven't removed the trunk carpeting to expose the HV battery just yet:
is there enough elevation to remove the HV battery cover (after of course removing ancillary hardware like the fan) without unbolting and sliding back the entire HV battery towards the back of the trunk? I understand you've got to land the pigtail harness on the overall positive/negative of internal battery terminals so the cover has to come off.
I've reviewed the how to's of the battery removal, but it would be nice if I didn't have to pull the rear seat and unbolt the battery etc.

Thanks again!! Andrew
re. Techstream - The MiniVCIs seem to be a bit of a hit and miss. I'd go for a tactrix openport or a vxdiag vcx nano (what I got, tactrix wouldn't ship with DHL and fedex in Bulgaria is... well... isn't, don't wanna bother with their representative ^_^ ). If you ever decide to do a transmission or brake fluid flush or any other such procedure, a good VIN is required, nevermind the data acquisition speeds. If you really want to go down the mvci route, look up the "minivci firmware 2.04" thing. I had an OTC vin before that didn't support a certain protocol required for some of the "utility" functions - namely brake bleeding and transmission b1 air bleed, worked very well for everything else though.

re: HV battery FAN - yes, plug and play.

re: taking off the cover while installed - don't think so, unfortunately. It was a **** to take off the first time that I tried. Go for the doors. I had to use plenty of wooden supports and a crowbar to take it off the car (well, only halfway out the first time, was just installing the harness). I scratched the spare tire cover but that was due to negligence on my end.

Now for some warning.
Photograph everything, label every wire. Disconnect the battery service terminal, disconnect and remove the 12v, wait 10 or more minutes for the capacitors in the inverter to discharge. Don't put the 12v & the service plug until everything else is done - no "positive only" or anything like that. Can be very expensive, and certainly frustrating afterwards
Gloves. Just use them.

If you feel like it, you can reorganize the battery modules so that the ones that were in the middle will go to the outside - usually the ones in the middle fail first due to heating up more, therefore losing more electrolyte (well, water in the form of gas ^_^). This will require a hell of a lot of time, though. Do NOT drop the modules. In my case, the car was eventually complaining of a high internal resistance on a block with a module that I dropped. Result - two more modules purchased, ~50eur each... and tearing down the whole thing again, probably 4 hours each time.

Check the ChrisFix video on how to put the modules back together afterwards (the prius battery replacement). I think weberauto might have something along the lines as well, their teardowns/analysis are certainly interesting to watch. Most of the things said about the prius (with respect to drivetrain) apply to the 450h as well... main differences - engine (4th gen GS has an Atkinson as well though, still 3.5l 2gr v6 without EGR <3 ), two-speed auto for mg2.


...or alternatively, since you're 72k miles in which is pretty low, you can save up cash for an eventual hybrid battery replacement down the road... whenever that might be (I'm wagering 200k). I don't know how time alone affects the hybrid battery.
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Old 02-08-19, 11:18 AM
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Great thanks! I'll take this one step at a time is my thought process.

Rather than investing in preventative maintenance just yet (Hybrid Auto stuff) vs a new battery down the road: I figured spend the small amount and get a Mini VCI deal and look at the block voltages and take it from there.

I ended up purchasing this one, I hope it works fine.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BCL3DFR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BCL3DFR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Over here in the usa, I have an old OBDII system called Auto Enginuity that I could update that is professional quality, but to get revised hardware/software to read the GS is about $500 USD, and that's a bit too much to swallow at this point until I know what way I am going etc.

My thought is: if the block voltages point towards work needed, then I'll evaluate what makes sense.
The grid charger/discharger system is about 1/4 the cost of a new battery now-a-days here, so it really depends on the state of the existing battery.

Thanks again!! Sucks I have to pull the battery back to the end of the trunk if I do it, but it is what it is. Thanks again for your time kind sir.

Last edited by andrewdd; 02-08-19 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-08-19, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewdd View Post
Great thanks! I'll take this one step at a time is my thought process.

Rather than investing in preventative maintenance just yet (Hybrid Auto stuff) vs a new battery down the road: I figured spend the small amount and get a Mini VCI deal and look at the block voltages and take it from there.

I ended up purchasing this one, I hope it works fine.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Over here in the usa, I have an old OBDII system called Auto Enginuity that I could update that is professional quality, but to get revised hardware/software to read the GS is about $500 USD, and that's a bit too much to swallow at this point until I know what way I am going etc.

My thought is: if the block voltages point towards work needed, then I'll evaluate what makes sense.
The grid charger/discharger system is about 1/4 the cost of a new battery now-a-days here, so it really depends on the state of the existing battery.

Thanks again!! Sucks I have to pull the battery back to the end of the trunk if I do it, but it is what it is. Thanks again for your time kind sir.
Make sure that you know how to interpret block voltages. As for the cable - install the drivers for it (and resp. Techstream) on a separate PC/laptop or on a virtual machine (just use USB passthrough), in case of malware.

By the way, 500$ gets you the mongoose pro, which is one of the official VIMs used/recommended by Toyota. I'm not aware of anything better, if you're willing to spend that kind of cash for a VIM.

Another thing:
Must be a next to brand new car they're testing, and at 14:00 they try out how far it'll go in EV mode. Approximately 2 kilometers when crawling apparently. Looks like just a force-charge was done (not getting in the green bars).
If you're wondering why it's slower than a gs430 around the track, look at the tires... or at least that's my guess (unless the advan a10a is a touring tire as well ^_^), I don't understand what they're saying and it's the only somewhat serious video of a gs450h on a racetrack that I've seen.
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Old 02-09-19, 03:08 PM
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I just finished up load testing the hv battery.
Techstream package works great but thank god I found install instructions, it wasnít easy even with those.

so load testing the hv battery determined a delta max/min bolts of about 0.2 - 0.25 volts. All is good overall with my battery.

that tells me the next thing for me is to invest in the grid charger/discharger system for maintenance. That was nice since thatís 1/4 the cost of a new battery.

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Old 02-09-19, 04:18 PM
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Re: the investment - it's your call. I haven't found any hard data on how long this can extend the battery's life. On the other hand, doing charge/discharge cycles to suppress or break up crystalline formations should make the battery run cooler (well, not better than new obviously ), which should preserve it better... bah. No easy advice here.

Interesting read:
https://res.mdpi.com/batteries/batte...=&attachment=1
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Old 02-25-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lwerewolf View Post
I have the hybrid auto system, both charger and discharger.

Install instructions... just follow any teardown guide for the battery. You'll know where to attach the modules.

As for whether it works or not:
Overall - plenty written on the topic, mostly on priuschat/greenhybrid/batteryuniversity/all the things they mention (toyota nimh rehydration patents, duracell nimh conditioning study, US army nimh conditioning study, etc). Doing a conditioning procedure twice a year sounds like a good idea. Same with keeping AC on during the summer and in general making sure that the HV battery temperature is as low as possible to prevent hydrogen venting and the resulting water loss and electrolyte deposits/overheating/melting of cells
For me - it revealed a module with a very low capacity cell, restored the rest to usable condition. The car was dropping charge in like 30 seconds and recharging for the same time ^_^. I ended up replacing 10 modules (so far) with just-about-brand-new ones (2018 wreck replacements), will probably swap the rest down the line as well.
If you're worried about taking the pack to 0.1v/cell - I've done it multiple times when I had the original 40 modules (including the one that had a sub-capacity cell), no degradation/damage/etc visible. Granted, I haven't measured capacities of individual modules - the best I've done is monitoring voltage drop on all blocks (block = 2 modules i.e. 12 cells) via techstream when the car's in neutral for a complete discharge after a balance charge (and a 30min wait for good measure). 0.1v did no visible harm in my case. Your mileage may vary


At any rate, another benefit of a grid charger is that you can easily balance the cells if you end up doing cell-level replacements down the road. Whether that's feasible to you is another story - here I have access to 2018 wrecks with pretty much guaranteed good modules, but from what I've read about the situation in the states, the pro rebuilders buy mostly everything...
Did you drain the Hybrid Battery via putting the transmission in Neutral? How low did you take the Hybrid battery? If you take it down to low will it still charge or it will won't charge if you take it to low via putting it in Neutral?
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Old 02-25-19, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Krishna108 View Post
Did you drain the Hybrid Battery via putting the transmission in Neutral? How low did you take the Hybrid battery? If you take it down to low will it still charge or it will won't charge if you take it to low via putting it in Neutral?
Yup, neutral, AC on full cold, defroster, all exterior lights (excluding hazard lights) on. Once the car starts beeping that you should put it away from neutral (~30% state of charge on techstream or something like that), I just put it in park and switch everything off (except for the car - I let it charge up ).

I waited until the estimate SoC in tehcstream was in the ~35-30% range. I guess you can take it down even lower but I wouldn't bother - what you're looking for is which blocks fall in voltage faster than the others, by how much, etc. As for whether it'll charge if it's too low - don't know, don't wanna try.
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