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Discussion Starter #1
Latley I have been hearing a lot of anit-hybrid junk on tv. Reasons why you shouldn't buy one, it is annoying and uninformed. Anyways, one thing that they did say what that the chemistry of a cold IMA battery means that is performs poorly. I assume that is true, I think all batteries take a hit in the cold. So I was thinking of ways to keep the battery warm. One is here http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html ... b0d0204ae5 It is a mat that could be hooked to an engine heater plug and could heat the battery. I have never actually seen the IMA battery, but does that seem reasonable? Also, insulation for the IMA battey. Could it be wrapped to keep it warm, if the heater is installed? Is there some danger in that? Obviously, insulation would need to be removed for the wamer months. Any help or feedback on this would be great. Also, I live in MN, I am not moving, I dont have a garage, and I use synthetic oil already.
 

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The Insight battery is under a rug in the hatch. It could be considered to be "inside" the passenger compartment and should be at least as warm as, (usually warmer) than the passenger compartment.

If it's ultra cold inside the car, the battery controller will not let you use the battery pack. Battery performance returns to normal once the passenger compartment has warmed up.
 

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Just a small note ... On the 04 model, when I removed the driver side rear speaker, I could see the battery. If my hand were small enough I could have touched it. Of course, there is a vent behind the seat as well.
 

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My Insight also aggressively force-charged the batteries in cold weather. Performance was never a problem. Gas mileage suffered, but it was probably more due to me warming it up while I shoveled snow so I could escape my house.
 

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Here is my theory:

1. Voltage of a fully charged battery varies more or less linearly with temperature, even if it is charged to the same degree.

2. The voltage of a Nmh battery is almost constant regardless of the charge and only varies at the extremes of charge.

3. The only way that the computer can acurately display the remaining charge is to drain the battery almost completely , to the point where the voltage begins to drop and then charge it whith a known number of amp/hours.

Therefore, when the battery gets extremely cold the computer mistakenly interprets the low voltage that it senses across the terminals to an almost drained battery. The reverse situation occurs in extreme heat. In both cases the temperature fools the computer into believing it needs to recalibrate the battery.
 

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The real reason battery is weak when it's cold is because the internal battery resistance increases at low temperatures.
Read this to learn how the Insight battery does in the cold and heat.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/afdc/pdfs/Thermal_Eval_Insight.pdf

The batteries warm up with the cabin temperature and with the computer force charging them so performace only suffers for the first 5 minutes in winter.
 

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Wow, that's a great article. I never realized the IMA pack is made up of dozens of D-cell batteries.
 

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Sorry

Sorry but Im using my insight in Quebec into winter( we've got some cold temperature sometime (-30 celcius but generaly -20) and I can tell you that when I use the ima it is not working at max.... when they made a recall in 2002(I think) they change the computer and now at cold temp (-10) the ima is not working at max. I have drove many time into winter and I can asure you that the ima is not working at max after 5 min. I allready went to Quebec city(300km) and when I arrived, my ima was not able to work at max....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After reading that great article about the battery, and reading everyones input, I have two questions. The first is, "even if the battery was warm, would the computer think that it was cold because it takes the temp from another source?" What I mean is even if the battery is warmed by some type of heat source, will the computer think that it is cold, because it is taking the temp from somewhere else, so the benefits would be negated? Second, the article seems to say that the fans for the batttery do a pretty good job at evenly regulating the temp of the battery. So, perhaps instead of a mat or blanket near the battery, it would be good to have some type of element that the fan blows over to heat the battery. Like a weak hairdryer. I like this idea because there is no issue with space or ventilation. Also, you could just turn off that element for the summer, you would not need to dig around the pak everytime the seasons change. What do you all think?
 

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Keep the thinking cap on! Yes, that would probably work but.....the heater in the car can produce more energy. Scenario 1: run a line for engine fluid to a spot near the battery vent and use heated fluid from the engine blowing through a tiny radiator to heat the batteries more directly. Scenario 2. Insulate the motor for winter use with the rad blocking mod. This will allow the engine to run hotter in the winter. The inside of the car will be warmer as a result and the air from the passenger compartment that gets sucked in to the battery area through the duct behind the passenger seat will be warmer effectively heating the batteries more. Just my 2 cents worth. :)
 

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brpeterson said:
even if the battery was warm, would the computer think that it was cold because it takes the temp from another source?
No... see the page I linked: "The Battery Module contains 10 voltage sensors and 4 temperature sensors that send data to the Battery Condition Monitor (BCM)."
 
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