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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've had a gen 1 for about 6 months, and i've really enjoyed it so far, but in the last few months the ima battery has pretty much given up. probably after 2 months of having it it was starting to do a recal every day on the return trip (~45 mile per way most days to uni) ,would work perfectly on the outgoing leg, but always did a recal on the return. Since i'm currently not doing long journeys regularly it never gets above 4 bars of charge and assist barely does anything. (seems to be capped at about 3 bars)

The previous owner had installed a grid charger and light fitting for discharging, but i would just like to understand it and how to use it.
Pack voltage is 144v and indicating 3 bars on dashboard.

Questions:
Is it likely to be recoverable? longer term i want to switch to a bigger li-ion pack anyway but i think i have quite a bit to learn before i'd feel competent enough to do it.

Does it look like everything is wired up correctly? to me it looks like the 2 led drivers for charging are connected in parrallel, which would mean the voltage they output would be much too low?

The fan runs fine when it's plugged in, but the only other time i have heard it is when assist stops working and it starts a recal. Is this normal?

How big is the pack actually? i think i read somewhere it's around 1kwh, but i can't find the source now.

If it is around 1 kw how long will it take to charge from empty?

Those LED drivers seem to provide around (60v*.3a to 90v*.3a)*2 = 36w to 54w so assuming 100% charging efficiancy
between 18.5 hours (1000/54)
to 27.8 hours? (1000/36)

^^ is that how to work it out? How do you know when it's charged enough?



Below is how its connected.
Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior Trunk Hood

Audio equipment Gadget Line Electrical wiring Electricity

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle


Hand Automotive tire Thigh Knee Bumper
 

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Hi, I've had a gen 1 for about 6 months, and i've really enjoyed it so far, but in the last few months the ima battery has pretty much given up. probably after 2 months of having it it was starting to do a recal every day on the return trip (~45 mile per way most days to uni) ,would work perfectly on the outgoing leg, but always did a recal on the return. Since i'm currently not doing long journeys regularly it never gets above 4 bars of charge and assist barely does anything. (seems to be capped at about 3 bars)

The previous owner had installed a grid charger and light fitting for discharging, but i would just like to understand it and how to use it.
Pack voltage is 144v and indicating 3 bars on dashboard.
144V is really low, it usually/generally would indicate an essentially empty pack, as in all cells empty/near empty. So, it seems like you've got a lot of emptiness, yet you're also not able to charge about 10% before having high voltages on at least one cell, or tap (12 cells), or everything. The "recal" is empty, and I guess I'm assuming you're getting a P1449-78, which means 'not able to charge at least 10%'. You don't mention IMA light/code - Do you have one, have you checked for the trouble code number?

Is it likely to be recoverable?
Impossible to say. It takes very little to have a working pack, so if you can't even get ~10% into it and get it working, it's in a pretty sad state... But, that happens, and many have been recovered and have lasted plenty long. As far as I can tell there's two major, common forms of degradation that make packs dysfunctional yet recoverable - build up of 'crud', which lowers operating voltage and shrinks usable capacity, and uneven self discharge. You can fix the first, the second you can generally work around. And then, on top of this, packs that are driven on a lot in a sorry state, I think, can see other forms of unrecoverable deterioration, like the cells basically start to fall apart from heating up a lot, loss of electrolyte, high resistance, etc...

Does it look like everything is wired up correctly? to me it looks like the 2 led drivers for charging are connected in parrallel, which would mean the voltage they output would be much too low?
That's a pretty common setup from some years ago (like 10). The LED drivers should be in series and the voltage output at max around 182V. I think this is the thread where that started: Grid Charger Power Supplies

I have a charger made from those supplies, it only outputs about 280mA...

The fan runs fine when it's plugged in, but the only other time i have heard it is when assist stops working and it starts a recal. Is this normal?
Fan should run with grid charger (that little white supply looks like it powers the fan). I've never heard the fan run merely after a neg recal. Fan usually goes on at 100F degrees and then temp gets modulated between 95 and 100. So maybe your pack is on the hot side at these neg recal times, which would be more likely, say after draining the pack and then having a 'forced charge'...

How big is the pack actually? i think i read somewhere it's around 1kwh, but i can't find the source now.
Nominally about 1kW. 144V X 6.5Ah = 0.936kW. In situ about half of that is used/usable.

If it is around 1 kw how long will it take to charge from empty Those LED drivers seem to provide around (60v*.3a to 90v*.3a)*2 = 36w to 54w so assuming 100% charging efficiancy
between 18.5 hours (1000/54)to 27.8 hours? (1000/36). Is that how to work it out? How do you know when it's charged enough?
It's usually estimated simply based on the current output and the size of the pack in amp-hours. The pack is nominally 6500mAh and the charger puts out about 300mA: 6500mAh/300mA=21.7 hours.

But, it can be hard to say how long it will actually take due to different condition packs and the like. Seemingly, some packs can't seem to get much charge in them at all from grid charging. In general, you 'know' when a pack's full when the voltage stops rising and the temperature starts going up pretty fast. Ideally, in a situation like yours, where your pack looks to be near fully empty, all cells, you'd probably charge most of the way up and then start watching voltage change and temp, like if you have one of those infrared thermometers. People usually just watch voltage or guess, or simply charge for 24-36 hours (which I personally don't like). Target voltages can vary quite a bit, mainly due to different temps and different cell-balance levels, where some cells get full first and their voltages drop, while other cells are still charging and their voltages are still rising. But, something like 174V to 180V is probably about the right range. Be careful around 172V - a pack can be full around there, but voltage also tends to peter-out around 170-172V and you can misinterpret it as full. I wouldn't consider 170-172 as being full unless I saw voltage peak above that at some point or if pack temp is pretty hot (like maybe above 90F degrees).

Personally, I'd charge about 6000mAh-worth and then quit, drive and see how things go. In fact, I'd probably only charge about 3500mAh-worth, drive and see how things go. It seems like pushing cells to full and beyond can just end up making things worse. But if you can charge only say 3000-6000 and get decent functionality, why not just do that?. After that, at some point, it might be worth doing an extended charge. But initially I think it's probably better to just go part way... You get a better read on the pack's condition, too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, no IMA lights since i've had it, i checked for codes a while ago using the torque app, and it didn't find any, dunno if there's another app to use?, i'll recheck tomorrow and see if any come up.
 

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hmm, OK, then it sounds like maybe you're just not driving long enough to get the pack fully charged, like you explain in the passage I quote below.

...probably after 2 months of having it it was starting to do a recal every day on the return trip (~45 mile per way most days to uni) ,would work perfectly on the outgoing leg, but always did a recal on the return. Since i'm currently not doing long journeys regularly it never gets above 4 bars of charge and assist barely does anything. (seems to be capped at about 3 bars)...
Getting 'neg recals' isn't exactly a bad thing in itself - for example, if you run the pack empty and don't charge it up high enough, then you'll always neg recal and assist will always be limited. Over time and certain types of usage, cells are bound to drift out of balance and/or error creeps into the battery computer's charge state determination accounting, et al.

I'd recommend just driving longer and charging the pack as high as it will go. Then decide what needs to be done, if anything. Alternatively, you can reset the computers by pulling 12V neg cable or under dash fuse #18, then charge the pack, either by driving or by revving engine to just above 3000 RPM. You can also just let the car idle and it should charge about 30% of nominal capacity. You can charge the pack manually at any time by revving the engine to above 3000 RPM, or while you're driving, rev above 3000 RPM and go light on the throttle, you should see 4 green CHRG bars [see edit].

Bottom line is, it sounds like you're just not driving enough to get the pack charged. Try charging the pack in the car and then see how it performs, before bothering with anything extra, like grid charging or discharging.

edit: I got a little carried away there. You can't command a charge off the ICE 'any time when you're driving', by revving above 3000 and going light on throttle. Rather, if there's a background charge already happening, if you rev above 3000 you'll actually see the green charge bars (they're often hidden, that's why it's called "background charge"), and you'll also ramp-up the current from around 7 amps to about 10 amps at just above 3000, something like 25 amps at 4000. Background charge usually kicks-in a lot sooner, at about 65% nominal SoC, if you turn your headlights ON, otherwise it often doesn't kick-in until really low SoC. So if you want/need to charge the pack and have a short drive and/or few opportunities for regen, turn the lights ON, rev above 3000 RPM, and go light on throttle. That will charge the pack full in no time - if there's no major pack issues and the like.
 

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I relearn a lot from reading @eq1 s posts here. I have so many other projects, it's hard for me to focus on my honda stuff for very long. So I take my time and sometimes take too much time getting back to the honda projects. Such is life I guess.
One thing I'd like to add that I hope will help in your journey of understanding your insight behaviors is, keep in mind how long it takes the car to charge the IMA battery. If the IMA battery pack charges to full while driving (when you finally get it to charge to full, all bars green) remember how long it typically takes. It's a good base line to remember so you can compare it on down the road.
In my experience with our 06 Civic hybrid, the faster the IMA battery reaches all bars green, the poorer condition the battery pack is in.

About understanding your grid charging setup without being an electrical engineer, I'd think the best way is to get the skinny from the previous owner in as much detail as possible. Someone cobbled together the components to work a certain way, not necessarily the way most of us are used to seeing them made. Beyond getting the info from the person that made it and why that person made it that way, it takes a lot of knowledge to trace the wiring, understand the electrical properties of the components, getting before and after readings from the IMA battery before and after grid charge cycling with the unit, and than come up with theories about the theory used when making the charger / dis-charger setup.
 
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