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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
More fun with this pack.

Lately there have been a lot of recals, especially of the type where the voltage has collapsed after it sat all day in the garage at work. So far no CEL or IMA lights and it always starts with the IMA. A week ago it was grid charged starting from a displayed SOC of 100% using a 30 ohm drop resistor, V limit = 181, A limit = 300. That hit 181V in 90 minutes and was stable after 4 hours at 181V and 210-220 mA. Presumably fully charged. Reset with fuse 9 and it did a normalish recal and quickly was able to provide many bars of boost or regen.

However, it affected the day to to day recals not at all.

This weekend it was pushed a little harder. First it was grid charged a long time. Same 30 Ohm drop resistor, Voltage limit 185V, current limit 300mA.
The highlights (V,mA read from power supply, remember the V drop on the resistor, two numbers with a dash means it was jumping back and forth):

00h 00m 177 300
03h 00m 183 300
04h 40m 185 300
13h 20m 185 280-290
15h 00m 183-184 300

Ambient temperature was all over the place during this run and probably accounts for most of the variation after 3h.

Then it was discharged (V from a voltmeter, hot day, yes the IMA fan was running and the car windows were open)

00h 00m 171.1 (2 100W bulbs in series, 9:22AM)
00h 10m 168.4
01h 53m 151.0 (stop, change bulbs)
01h 55m 151.8 (40W+60W bulbs)
02h 38m 149.0 (noon)
04h 53m 146.9
06h 53m 145.5
08h 53m 142.5
09h 53m 140.9
10h 53m 139.9
11h 53m 133.4
12h 53m 116.2
13h 15m 105V (stop, V was falling like a rock, 22:37)

Let it sit overnight then recharge a bit before starting. Same settings as at top. Ran from 7:15 (147V, 300mA) to 13:30 (173V, 300mA). 1875 mAH of charge, battery is nominally 8AH, so 23% of full charge, not counting the little bit left at the end of the discharge.

Removed charger, set the car wiring back to normal. Pull fuse 9. Start. It used the IMA. (Why does it do that after a fuse 9 reset??? It has no way of knowing if the battery is in a safe state!) It then did the same strange nonsense as a couple of posts above. For several minutes it wouldn't charge at all. Then it started to allow 3 bars of charging (but not more, as on braking). When that got up to 50% the car was turned off and the fuse pulled again (for 5 minutes). On the second pass it took a shorter amount of time before it would allow charging. I should have timed it, but I'm estimating the first one was 10 minutes and the second around 2 minutes. Then it started to show 3 bars regen and the SOC moved up fairly quickly. I was driving around slowly during this time. Then it went slightly above 50% SOC and jumped extremely rapidly to 100% SOC, that took maybe 2 seconds. Since the car was in motion and my eyes were mostly elsewhere I'm not sure if it went up a bar at a time or just filled them in all at once. At that point it was allowing more than 3 bars of regen or boost, but not all that much more, maybe 5 bars.

Now we will see if the discharge made any difference.

What hasn't changed - the car seems to have a very hard time keeping track of the SOC. As it "learns" more it expands what it will allow the pack to do. Which makes sense I guess, except that it does not appear to apply any checks at all to prevent a restart with a nearly dead pack following a reinitialization.
 

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Why did you let it sit overnight in the discharged state? Never a good idea.

Fuse 9 pull doesn't prevent the BCM from collecting all relevant pack data in the milliseconds before IMA starts the engine. If taps are screwed or other adverse condition is met, it won't start with the IMA.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Strangest recal ever this morning, while driving to work. SOC was down 3 bars going up a very slight grade and it started showing 3 bars of regen. One stop later the SOC started dropping a bar every few seconds, like a recal. But it didn't go all the way down to zero like those usually do. When SOC reached 4 bars it stabilized and the regen behavior returned to more or less normal, with maybe a slight bit more regen than otherwise.

What the heck was that???
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Here is some discharge data on this battery. It is a HybridRevolt 8000mAH installed 4/2016. Note that the cable connecting the PS to the battery for grid charging has a 30 Ohm resistor in it, so the PS voltage readings are I*30 volts higher than the battery voltage. However the discharge voltages were measured with a voltmeter straight across the battery. Note also that ambient temperatures were all over the place during this work, sometimes approaching 100F. Car windows were open, so cooling air was close to ambient.

Discharges were:

A) 2017/04/29. Starting with SOC about 40%, no initial grid charge. (The purpose was to check the capacity of the pack, not so much to balance it.) Initial discharge through 100W+40W (NOTE, other discharges use 100W+100W) in series to 144.2V at 530m, then 60W+40W to 118.9V at 1408m. Let it rebound for 20m, then grid charge with limits 181V, 500mA for 70m at which point the PS read 176V. Start car, let it charge the battery most of the way up. Then grid charge with limits 181V, 300mA from 175-176V to 181V on PS (~172V at the battery), taking about 16 hours.

B) 2018/07/28. SOC initially high, Grid charge with limits 185V, 300mA for 15 hours at which point the PS voltage was stable at 183-184. Discharge started a 20m later with two 100W bulbs in series until 151V at 113m, discharge the remainder with 60W+40W in series until 105V at 795m (22:37 local time). Let the pack sit overnight, grid charge 6h at 300mA, PS read 172-173. Start car and let it charge the pack. Did not grid charge after that.

C) 2018/08/04. SOC initially high. Grid charge with 185V, 300mA limit for 12.5 hours, PS stable at 181-182V. Discharge started 8m later with two 100W bulbs in series until 151V at 185m, then 60W+40W until 100.8V at 605m, then 40W+40W until 50.5V at 707m. Immediately began grid charging with limits 185V, 300mA. That is still going on but the voltage has been flat at 181V for a couple of hours and it is now 1035 elapsed minutes. The PS voltage has actually going down slightly as the day gets hotter.

The pack clearly lost a lot of capacity between A and B. Surprisingly it also seems to have lost a big chunk between B and C, which suggests something about how B was done was incorrect. The most likely problem I see is that it sat discharged, and in another thread formation of the lower 0.78V plateau was observed in single cells which were allowed to rebound like that. So for C the time between discharge and grid charge was kept as short as possible.

The grid charge data after C (not shown) indicates that the pack was full, or at least not increasing in any measurable way in voltage, after ~900m. That is 300mA X 15H, which is only 4.5AH, a long, long way from 8AH. I don't have any data on a similar grid charge from nothing, as in the prior two instances the car was used to do most of the charging.

Comments? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Today the IMA light came on while driving into work, so I have not yet had a chance to read the codes. If history is any guide it can probably be kept limping along for a while with grid charges, but having the IMA light come on basically means the pack is shot. Also the discharge curve posted recently was pretty dreadful. This pack lasted from 4/16 to 10/18, or 2.5 years, I think about 14000 miles. That is very close to how long the warranty replacement pack from Honda lasted (see the first post in this thread). It isn't too far from how long the original pack lasted from the time I bought the car, when it moved from the nice cool coast where it had been for ~8 years, to the hot interior valley where I live and work.

Maybe it is something about my 7.5 miles each way slightly uphill/downhill the whole way commute, or maybe (probably) it is the heat (because the 1st battery was fine for much longer out on the coast). In any case, a mean time to failure of 2.5 years under these conditions, with such a small variation, for these 3 batteries just sucks. If it was the 12V and a $100 fix it wouldn't be so bad, but it makes no sense at all to plunk another sacrificial IMA battery in at $2k so that it can follow the others to an early death.
 

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Well you could.

1) Convert to lithium. I did ;)

2) Remove the IMA battery and all associated gubbins and use a meanwell psu/rectifier combo.. You will have an ima light etc and not much performance.

If it was new battery is it not under a warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Well you could.

1) Convert to lithium. I did ;)
Not exactly an inexpensive and low effort option though, was it?

2) Remove the IMA battery and all associated gubbins and use a meanwell psu/rectifier combo.. You will have an ima light etc and not much performance.
It won't pass CA smog inspection with the IMA light on. Or rather, with the CEL on, which it will be if the IMA is also lit. Under CA law even swapping out the battery for one of another type might constitute "tampering", but as long as the CEL isn't lit they would never detect it.

If it was new battery is it not under a warranty?
Hybrid Revolt warranty on the pack was 1 year. I didn't buy the extended one. The transmission is iffy too, I figured it was likely to go (again) before the replacement IMA did.
 

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Perhaps use an IMAC&C for the HCH1 with special code to not allow assist except when starting.

You won't get IMA or CEL with that.

If the battery is never stressed with periods of assist it might last ages.

You will still have autostop, ima start etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
You will still have autostop, ima start etc.
That would keep it on the road I guess, but it is not going to be much fun to drive. A stock HCH1 is already pretty marginal for merging onto highways unless the ramp is really long. The Pasadena freeway has some insanely short on ramps, which I already avoid. This one would be lethal (or a very, very long wait) if the car had even less acceleration:



With no boost from the IMA where would the car fall, acceleration-wise, on the spectrum of 67 VW Bus to normal HCH1?
 

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That would keep it on the road I guess, but it is not going to be much fun to drive. A stock HCH1 is already pretty marginal for merging onto highways unless the ramp is really long. The Pasadena freeway has some insanely short on ramps, which I already avoid. This one would be lethal (or a very, very long wait) if the car had even less acceleration:



With no boost from the IMA where would the car fall, acceleration-wise, on the spectrum of 67 VW Bus to normal HCH1?
I timed it at around 16-17 seconds 0-60 with the IMA disabled. Vs 12.6 seconds stock according to the specs I read.

This is with the manual transmission... The CVT is over 13s stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I timed it at around 16-17 seconds 0-60 with the IMA disabled. Vs 12.6 seconds stock according to the specs I read.

This is with the manual transmission... The CVT is over 13s stock.
Thanks for the times.

Yes, the HCH1 with CVT is very slow even when everything is working. Let's figure 18s 0-60 for an IMA disabled CVT. That puts it in line with a 1979 VW Super Beetle.

https://www.zeroto60times.com/vehicle-make/volkswagen-0-60-mph-times/

The VW Bus reference was a bit of a trick, the original was so under powered the top speed was only 59mph. An early 90's Eurovan would outdrag the hobbled HCH1, reaching 60 mph at least a second faster.

Read the codes last night. As expected P1600 P1449. Didn't get the blink codes but surely it will be the one for "battery degradation". I think one reason this car eats batteries is that my commute is 7.5 miles up a gentle slope (or back down). So the battery swings every day from fully charged (at home), to half charge or less (at work) back to full charge (at home). SOC doesn't seem very well regulated at all. Or maybe it is just the heat. Or both. Really disappointing that the technology copes so poorly with a regime that doesn't phase a normal car at all.
 

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My enthusiasm wanes...

I just picked up an '04 HCH1 on its way to the scrap yard with CVT and IMA issues. It's as much an educational undertaking as anything else. But the considerable lack of acceleration under the best of circumstances? The 210/134/110 are going to be major defensive driving plays!
Have you decided to keep driving yours or scrap it?
 

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And just where is Lala Land?
Do they have any more HCH1 for sale there?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I just picked up an '04 HCH1 on its way to the scrap yard with CVT and IMA issues. It's as much an educational undertaking as anything else. But the considerable lack of acceleration under the best of circumstances? The 210/134/110 are going to be major defensive driving plays!
Have you decided to keep driving yours or scrap it?
I hope they paid you to take it, because with both CVT and IMA issues
the car has negative net worth.

I'm still driving mine but looking around for a replacement. Lately the left front suspension (mechanic says it is "probably the strut, but safe to drive") has started clunking and that's really the last straw. The IMA coming on is a minor annoyance but all that noise from the front end makes the car super irritating to drive. No point fixing it though if the car will be replaced soon.

Yes, the car is gutless. Most on ramps are doable but avoid the right angle ones on the 110 unless you are comfortable with the prospect of getting hit from behind by a car going 40mph faster than you are. Driving straight down the 110 is no problem though. Highway driving in general is not an issue, especially in LA, where most of the time when I am on one it is stop and go anyway.

Re: previous message, LaLa land is the Los Angeles area. The highways cited in the quote all come together in Pasadena, CA.
 

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Thanks, Pasadena_commut. Yup, we're near the Pasadena freeway nexus you identified.
@willie: There are quite a few HCH1s for sale in this region, even a couple manuals. If I were to seek one out deliberately, it surely would be the manual. Alas, this is the opportunity that presented itself.

We dropped a couple hundred on a car with a two-fold rationalization:
1. My daughter is using the battery pack rejuvenation (fingers crossed) as a HS physics project.
2. I'm leading her further down the auto repair rabbit hole. Assessing the CVT problem will be our most ambitious thus far.

If all goes well enough, she'll have a slow run around at the end.
 

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All that said, I do prefer a car with a bit of spunk for both offensive and defensive purposes. So this may be a short-lived project finally. Either way, we'll learn a chunk.
@pasadena_commut: If--or more likely when--you find yourself at your limit with your car, perhaps we might come to an agreement regarding it's demise.
 
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