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Better battery cooling.

18437 Views 90 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  Sigma Projects
Ok, Arizona summer's here and it's reaking havoc on my poor batteries. I've been keeping the car as cool as I can stand to keep it, but while it's sitting there it get hot again. A windshield cover and car cover have helped some, but still haven't prevented the car in to going in to thermal cut back several times already. So I've had a few ideas which might help some. The question is does anyone know the specifics on the battery cooling fan? I looked at it once and noticed it was a panaflo fan, but can't remember if it was a 120 mm size fan or what and also is it the low or high rpm model. If it is the quiet one I'm thinking replacing it with the faster one would help some potentially.

Any thoughts?
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No, I don't know the fan size.

Meanwhile, if you insulate the bottom of the car and then don't insulate all that glass, the car is a very effective solar oven. Normal cars heat up because the heat loss through the floor and doors is less than the heat gain through the roof and windows. You've decreased the heat loss through the floor and doors.

You already use a windshield cover. Consider making one for that half-acre rear window. That's a huge solar gain source. The reflective bubble-wrap is probably best, since you don't want anything that will absorb radiant heat and then heat the air inside the car.

This and venting are the only things I can think of that could keep the inside of the car anywhere near ambient air temperature.

And, as you probably already know, opening the doors and hatch for even a few seconds will quickly evacuate built up heat once you get inside. The fan that is already there uses inside air to cool the batteries.

As for air conditioning and the associated loss of gas mileage, consider that cooler air really is good for the batteries (if not for you), and even with the hit to your MPG, you are getting twice the mileage of anything else on the road.
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james said:
... the important temperature is not the interior, but the battery compartment. If it's insulated from the solar-oven interior, it should be at approximately the outside ambient temperature, no?
You know that big, plastic grate behind the passenger seat? That's the intake vent for the battery-cooling fan. If you have blocked that by putting something behind the passenger seat, that will cause your battery to overheat.

Honda not only doesn't insulate the batteries from the passenger compartment, but apparently they expect that when it is hot, you will use air conditioning and the Insight will then suck that cool air from the passenger compartment back through the battery to cool it down.

If you live in a really hot place and you choose to not run air conditioning, then you need to take some other intentional measures to not overheat the battery. It's often said, "Nothing is foolproof because fools can be so inventive." There's a limit to what Honda engineers can do to make these batteries work if you park in tropical sunlight and choose to not use the air conditioner.
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