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Hi all and hoping it was a Happy Thanksgiving for all of you.

Here's the short version of my story: my current battery pack, a refurbished pack installed by Honda in April 2011 is really shot, and has been significantly compromised since August 2014. I think that my battery currently has perhaps 25% of the range of the design specs.

Although I have not yet tried the "pack whack" with my charger/discharger apparatus, it's my "gut" that the battery pack is just sooo compromised that perhaps a replacement is called for.

From the research that I've done, I am leaning towards ordering from Bumble Bee, I think that they are in Oregon. I already have a place local to me lined up to do the swap....they are very familiar with the Insight-1 and have performed several pack replacements.

I am just wondering if anyone finds any competitor's battery to be as good as, or better, than the Bumble Bee? Please chime in with any of your experiences/observations, pro or con, about Bumble Bee, or any of the other alternatives out there.

Mucho appreciated.
 

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Hi all and hoping it was a Happy Thanksgiving for all of you.

Here's the short version of my story: my current battery pack, a refurbished pack installed by Honda in April 2011 is really shot, and has been significantly compromised since August 2014. I think that my battery currently has perhaps 25% of the range of the design specs.

Although I have not yet tried the "pack whack" with my charger/discharger apparatus, it's my "gut" that the battery pack is just sooo compromised that perhaps a replacement is called for.

From the research that I've done, I am leaning towards ordering from Bumble Bee, I think that they are in Oregon. I already have a place local to me lined up to do the swap....they are very familiar with the Insight-1 and have performed several pack replacements.

I am just wondering if anyone finds any competitor's battery to be as good as, or better, than the Bumble Bee? Please chime in with any of your experiences/observations, pro or con, about Bumble Bee, or any of the other alternatives out there.

Mucho appreciated.
You can't go wrong with Bumblebee, and I don't want to kill a sale...

HOWEVER, that said, if you haven't coded, and you're just seeing diminished capacity, you are very likely incorrect about your assumptions concerning the Honda pack.

Typically, diminished performance occurs due to imbalance. Imbalance looks exactly like a battery getting tired and crapping out on the gauge and feels that way to the seat of the pants. IMA codes are typically either extreme imbalance or cell failure. You aren't to either one yet. You're "gut" is likely incorrect because of this.

If you already have the ability to grid charge/discharge, you owe it to yourself to do it. You may have years left in that pack. Maybe not, but you won't know until you try. You can complete the grid charge/discharge in a weekend and you might get a "like new" pack at the end. No, it won't last forever, but a repeat charge/discharge every oil change might squeeze more years out.

Sorry Eli!

Steve
 

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+1 and +1.

I nursed 2 years and 30k miles out of an ailing pack which was coding P1447. Grid charging/discharging allowed me to extend its' life and continue using fuel savings to save up for the eventual pack replacement. The grid charging equipment remains useful for periodic pack 'maintenance'.

Matt at HybridReVolt has a good product. That's who I went with for the replacement pack in my cvt.

Eli at Bumblebee gets a lot of good comments and reviews. I've personally met several folk who have his pack and they all have good things to say.

When my mt needs a pack, I'll go with Eli at Bumblebee. :)
 

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HR's packs contain new sticks.

He occasionally has a refurb for sale, but they are completely separate products.

Steve
 

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Well, I'm partial.. ;)

Don't forget Dorman, Greentec, Mile Hybrid, Green Volt, Amped Hybrid.... lol

Edit: Oh, my bad, I guess Green Volt went out of business... what a pity. :D

How are you defining best? Of course, every company claims to be the best, just like every wireless carrier has the best coverage. I don't claim to know what goes on in other people's companies, but I do know what goes on in mine. I would like to think that our external reputation is a reflection of the thought and care that goes into our internal processes. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories I've heard from shops who(used to!) buy from the competition, ridiculous stuff like sticks in backwards. That wouldn't even get off our assembly bench, I can guarantee it.

Let's see..

Proprietary software to track... anything and everything? Check.

"Matched and balanced" via our software? Check.

Positive reviews? Check.

3 year standard warranty? Check.

Business License? Check.

Business Insurance? Check.

BBB Accredited? Check.

Optional 4 and 5 year warranties? Check.

No cost, no hassle return policy? Check.

Spending countless hours trying to figure out how the damn IMA system works so we can bring you the best product possible? Check.

Lol ;) When it comes down to it, you are buying a warranty. We will happily match the competitions price and warranty.
 

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"Matched and balanced" via our software? Check.
Is it too much to ask for any deeper insights into what "matched and balanced" means? For example, does Bumblebee check each cell and make sure all cells are IR-matched (to within a reasonable range). And/or, does it check stick-level internal resistance and make sure sticks match? Maybe a random process whereby individual cells are checked on a random basis as they come in batches from the manufacturer?

How does Bumblebee ensure that the sticks are capacity-balanced? Does it 'just' bulk charge the whole pack or does it do something at a finer level, such as actually cycling packs or sticks and checking capacity numbers?
 

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Yes, it's too much to ask... :)

Given what we saw of Eli's custom software, here's my speculation...

He buys boatloads of sticks. He cycles them on his massive Reaktor/1200Ah regenerative bank and logs stick capacity. At some point he also collects cell level voltage and IR readings, possibly at the same time as cycling.

He then takes that data and makes "groups" of sticks from which he can build packs and be confident that all capacities and IR values are optimally matched.

Steve
 

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lol...Matching capacity is so 2013... ;) Every single thing matters... The pack builder portion of our software can use any parameter to build a pack. We are currently capable of keeping track of.... *counts*

63 parameters per stick.

I wish I could get into detail without feeling like I'm giving too much away. To be honest, I am still determining what builds the best pack. Best meaning most capacity for the longest period of time. We are still learning. But at least we are trying to learn.

Let's put it this way; To the BCM, the pack is a game of voltages. If you get that down, everything else falls into place....

Let's look at two sticks with exactly the same capacity, as an example.



You wouldn't want those in a pack together.
 

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I guess my main concern would be whether Bumblebee does some kind of cell-level screening to make sure the manufacturer is kept in check... Seems like the only feasible way to do that would be random tests on cells as they come in batches from the manufacturer... The next concern would be whether Bumblebee matches at the cell-level vs. the stick level...
 
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