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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I will introduce myself again.
My name is Rudy and I was a former Honda Car Dealer in Deventer, The Netherlands. Now I am retired.
In private, I have bought me a second hand Honda Insight 2012. I also own a motorhome and I drive that as much as possible. Therefore, it can happen that my Honda Insight stands still for many months without someone to drive it. To drive the car it has to be insurance and there will be a tax for use of the car. The cost are every month about $ 100,-.
That is why I have considered buying me a grid charger. However, the price is very high for that stuff in Holland. The local seller wants to have € 610,- and € 200,- for installing a Prolong. Total $930,-.
To order in USA is also expensive because off the shipping and taxes.

So I build me an own grid charger. The meaning is to expand this one early next year with a resistance so I can discharge also, an all in one solution.

I will try to explain what, and how, I have done it. Maybe it is usable for others, maybe not.

In Holland, we have a grid power as high as 220 Volts ac. Therefore, the thirst thing is to make 120 Volts dc, what the max charging voltage is for the Insight 2-nd gen battery. (Maybe there is a solution to make from 120 Volts ac a stable CV and CC in the USA). I did not look for that.
On Ebay I found a 220 Volt ac to 12 Volt DC transformer/inverter. In addition, I bought a StepUp booster that can bring up the voltage back to a stable 120 Volt and has an adjustable current. I adjusted it to 120 Volts dc and 300 mAh. A power switch and a Volt/Amp meter complete my selfbuild charger. In addition I have made a four pin female connector witch can be coupled to the car wiring. In the car, I also made a four pin female connector. The four wires cable has a four pin plug on both sides. (Two times, I have soldered the plugs without making a crossing! This is something what I never did wrong. Maybe it is my age or just a normal mistake.)
The complete cost of all the parts was, in my case, less as $ 50,-.




This is how I made it.



The next thing to do was to install the wiring in my car. Zooming in on the picture here fore, you can see where the installation should be. WARNING! There are points with high Voltage. Be carefully!

The big problem was my cooling fan for the battery. I have read many on the Insightcentral forum, but my knowledge of the language is bad so I did not understand everything quite well. In other cases there were used difficult electronic solutions, some I think they are not useful in my project.
That is why I have chosen for a separate cooling fan. Because off the low current witch I use to charge (300 milliamps), I think that my simple solution is working fine.

Now I give a short explanation over how to integrate the PC-fan in the car. I read about a small PC fan mounted on the outlet from the normal fan. I considered it but think that my solution is better and well looking. I just mounted the PC fan right in front of the normal fan.
To do it so it was necessary to cut off the housing from the fan. At the end, I had the ventilator with four brackets. A little more cutting and all fits perfectly in the housing from the Honda fan. Just a little hole for the power lead and I glued the ventilator in the housing.
At the end, I cut off a piece from the inlet tube. Then I taped the inlet hose on the vent. Look at the image here under.



That is all for now.
Maybe this posting is useful for many other persons.


Regards,

Hoofdnoorman.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately, the forum processor is set to accept pictures only on the fifth post. It is a security measure.

You can build a post count doing an introduction post, talking a bit about your car and your interests. You can also build a post count responding to other posts.

Thank you for joining. I hope you enjoy the site.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello and thank you for response @jime.

I have made a PDF with all the images in there. As long as I have no chance to place a image, others have to mail to me and send a request.
Mailto Hoofdnoorman at gmail dot com.

I will post something more soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To all members:

Sorry that it is not possible to show the images that explains much of the item.
I have worked for 4 hours to write the first post because I have a very low knowledge of English.
But I gave a little hint where you can find them.
 

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If you highlight (rightclick) from "mupload" on till the end of "jpg" you can see 12 pictures.
I got both links to work.
HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now the images are there.

Meanwhile I made a extra switch in the charger.
It has three positions. 1 - 0 - 2
Now I have the charging function on "1"
the monitoring on "0" and
"2" is reserved for the discharge. I have buy a resistor first. There is enough place in the charger so there is also place for an resistor and a separate 1 3/4 cooling fan with a clixon control.
 

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You should probably have spent your time reading the forum first before trying to reinvent the wheel. Commend your effort, but your time would've been better spent reading the forum and learning that you have a pwm controlled smart fan. Hacking it up and stuffing another fan inside a perfectly good fan is a poor way to skin the cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You should probably have spent your time reading the forum first before trying to reinvent the wheel. Commend your effort, but your time would've been better spent reading the forum and learning that you have a pwm controlled smart fan. Hacking it up and stuffing another fan inside a perfectly good fan is a poor way to skin the cat.
The big problem was my cooling fan for the battery. I have read many on the Insightcentral forum, but my knowledge of the language is bad so I did not understand everything quite well. In other cases there were used difficult electronic solutions, some I think they are not useful in my project.
That is why I have chosen for a separate cooling fan. Because off the low current witch I use to charge (300 milliamps), I think that my simple solution is working fine.
I have read much, on different sites. There were to problems.
1. Sunday I leave for 5 months with my Motorhome to Spain. There is simple not enough time for me to build a controller.
2. My knowledge in electronics is very low and the used explanation is to technical for me.
That's why I choose for this solution.

But, feel free to point me to the other (sure more better) solution. I agree. But the documentation has to be simple because off my terrible knowledge off your language. Sorry for that.:cheers-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You should probably have spent your time reading the forum first before trying to reinvent the wheel. Commend your effort, but your time would've been better spent reading the forum and learning that you have a pwm controlled smart fan. Hacking it up and stuffing another fan inside a perfectly good fan is a poor way to skin the cat.
One of my friends was pointing me on the possibility that you think I had destroyed the whole original fan. That is not true!
The original fan is still there and working without problems.
The PC fan is mounted in front of the original fan and has separate power from the grid charger.



So, when I charge/balance, only the PC fan is running and does his job very well. It creates a vacuum on the inlet of 110 mmHG.


In the normal drive, the PC fan will turn with almost the same speed as the original fan because of the airflow. The smallest airtube is hexagonal 8 x 11 cm. This is 88 cm2. The round opening (where the PC fan is mounted in front of the original existing fan) is 11.2 cm. This makes 98 cm2. After this, it is not to expect that the PC fan disturbs the airflow of the original fan.
 

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But, feel free to point me to the other (sure more better) solution. I agree. But the documentation has to be simple because off my terrible knowledge off your language. Sorry for that.:cheers-004:
Welcome to the forum Rudy.
You are doing very well in English. No need to apologize at all about the translation. I'd guess that 90+% of us can't write at all in your language.

Your solution to the fan problem is different but if it works and doesn't hinder the air flow when not charging it is a good way to do it.

For a discharge load a lot of the homemade dischargers use common light bulbs. Try different wattage bulbs so you are drawing ~300 ma from the fully charged battery at the start of the discharge. As the voltage goes down the current drain will also go down.

If your battery is still fairly new and holds a charge etc you probably won't need to discharge it for awhile.
 

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I think that fan mod looks quite clever.
Saves having to use a bigger psu and an electronic control board..

Lets hope your charger helps your battery out..
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks to all for the support.:)

The battery is doing well. I just made the charger because we, in The Netherlands, have a warranty on the battery for 8 years. In the car Owners documentation/manual Honda Benelux writes that the car should drive at least every 20 days to keep the warranty.
Now I will travel 5 months with my motorhome for a trip to Spain. As I wrote before, it is expensive to hold the car registrated without driving it. The cost are about $ 100,- each month.

I also think there is a tiny little less fuel consuming after one time balancing of the battery, but I did not drive long distances.
The Insight is from 2012 and has driven about 81.000 miles.
Three weeks ago I made a (to way, I mean in two directions) trip for about 112 miles.
The consuming was 63.57 MPG.
Two days ago I made the same trip with almost the same conditions with a consuming 65.34 MPG.
Driving speed is, as always, 55 M/h.


My question to the forum members:

Before using the charger, the nominal voltage of the battery was about 105/106 Volts.
After the first charging the battery holds nominal 114/115 volts.
I had no chance to exanimate the voltage fall back over a few weeks. I know my charger tops up in 5 hours. I have no chance to look at the voltage and there is nobody who has the capability to do that for me.
I can start/stop my charger with my Android Phone.

Is it wise to charge every 20 days for about 5 hours, or is ones per month enough?



Next year, in April when I am back home again, I will put an IP camera on my display or I find a solution to monitor the voltage with a Android App. Does someone know if such a App is existing?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just arrived home after a 5 months stay in Spain.
I have used a GSM switch to put on the charger for my Insight. I did that once per month.
Therefore, I found my car in good shape and full battery. The car was running smoothly as expected.

Unfortunately, my dog "Hockey", a Labrador retriever, lost his live in Spain. I will get a new pup within a few weeks so I have not the possibility to make long trips around Europe this year.

However, for the next year I found an automatic battery charger/watchdog print on Ebay. It can be adjusted up to 120 Volts. Next time, when I again go on a long trip for several months, I just adjust the print to start charging when de battery is lower as 105 Volts and shall stop when the voltage of 120 V is reached.
 

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Can't believe I missed all this before...

Hi Rudy, if you ever need help with translating texts to English PM me. I'm not perfect either, but it does not take me much time at all.

Sorry to hear about your dog.

As for your question about charging the hybrid battery:
I don't think you need to charge it at all until you are back again. Even if some of the cells in the hybrid battery lose all their charge it would not damage them.
But when you get back you must charge the pack gently but fully, to above 120 Volt before you turn the ignition on.
if you drive it while some cells have self-discharged to empty while others are still full the full cells will be overcharged at regen.

The 12V battery does need to be on a trickle charger. It dies within 2 months of no charging and then the lead plates will warp and short.
Just to be on the safe side cause I guess you already knew that.

I've been messing with the hybrid battery too: see my PHEV thread.
I've been using it for some months after the last post there, but had to take it out for servicing and never got to reattaching the harness. But I'm actually gearing up for a restart of the project with meters, automatic switch off at key off and diodes to prevent backcharging.
 

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Thanks to all for the support.:)

Is it wise to charge every 20 days for about 5 hours, or is ones per month enough?
No and No. Grid charging should only be done when necessary. Excessive grid charging results in capacity loss.

What is the output current of your 900W Step-up?

EDIT: Nevermind. I see you listed the output at 300mA
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No and No. Grid charging should only be done when necessary. Excessive grid charging results in capacity loss.

What is the output current of your 900W Step-up?

EDIT: Nevermind. I see you listed the output at 300mA
Hello Steven,

Thank you for the answer, but it is already to late to warn me, because the question is from September 2017.

So I had to made my own conclusions because off leak to other information. I am a totally newbie in Hybrid technology from cars, but have experience with building chargers for e-Bikes. I am speaking about a kind off travel charger. Those who can plugged in the cigarette lighter and charge the battery. The first prototype I build was in March 2013. The first commercial charger came about September 2014.

Because I am a former Honda Dealer in The Netherlands from the beginning of the car sales in the Benelux, I had contacts with the technical support from Honda Benelux. Therefore, I made a telephone call and asked if they had a solution to the long period of unused parking. There was none.
The advised me to run the car every 21 days otherwise the warranty off 8 years were void.
That is also the problem. We pay for the Insight $ 65 for tax to use the car and insurance $ 45 every month. After that, there was the problem to find somebody who runs the car. My savings in 5 months are about $ 500.

In December, I had a friend at my home who read out the voltage. The voltage had dropped down to 34 Volts. Now I have enough time to follow the charging state and voltage drop.

I charge the battery with CC 0.35 Amp/h.
 
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