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HVB Long term best practices


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#1 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:39 PM

First of all let me start out by saying that those are my practices and opinions, you might have other thoughts or ideas and that may work for you, I wanted to share mine.

 

1) Do not leave the car plugged in all the time.  In fact, best to go with "full on departure" practice whenever possible.

 

What does this mean?  Well, for starters don't leave the car plugged in day and night.  If you know you're going to leave tomorrow early morning, then plug in the car before you go to bed.  If you're going to leave tomorrow around noontime, then plug in the car when you wake up.

 

2) Recharge only when necessary as opposed to always.

 

Instead of using the car for a 3 mile trip to the store and back and plugging it back in, try to use the car for several 3 mile trips to the store before you recharge it.  This will lessen the charge/discharge cycles which are finite in any given battery pack.  If you can make 3 round trips on a full charge before recharging, its better than recharging after each small trip.

 

3) Keep the discharge current low and manageable for the pack.

 

Higher discharge causes more heat and stress on the battery.  Limit your EV driving to 2 bars tops in the Empower screen.  Instead of driving down the highway at 70 mph in EV mode and draining the entire pack in 15 minutes, slow down to 50 if you need to be on the highway and let it take longer to drain down, or, use the secondary roads of speeds of less than 50 mph when you're driving in EV mode.  Even at 65mph on the highway in EV mode, the drain is severe on the pack when faced with some hill to climb.  Watch the % of the battery screen, going up a hill it could drop 1% every five of seconds..

 

4) Do not drain the pack all the way down to nothing unnecessarily.

 

If you have to use all the pack, try to shoot for getting to your destination with 0% HVB but a full hybrid battery.  This means that as you turn down your street you should be just switching over to the hybrid battery.  Digging into the hybrid battery too deep (less than 1/2 full) causes more stress on the cells and that's where they will drift apart the most and need to be rebalanced.  Rebalancing happens with every charge cycle anyways, but high discharge current (see 3 above) or deep discharge will cause a more severe out of balance situation.  The only exception to this is that if you're trying to stretch it home without starting the engine for the entire trip, then if there is a chance to make it on EV power go for it with EV+, otherwise if the engine is already hot from a longer trip, don't be afraid to crank it a few more seconds to save the HVB from further discharge.

 

5) When you arrive home, if the pack has been drained and its hot, do not plug in the car to charge right away.  Give the battery some rest time to cool down if possible.  This is especially true if its hot outside (summertime) and/or if you're been driving on the highway in EV mode and/or you've drained most of the pack.  This doesn't apply in the winter as the cold will insulate the battery pack from heat and negate this safety factor.  Remember that heat damages the high voltage battery, not the cold.  Plugging in the battery to charge causes the battery to maintain its hot temperature due to charging, yes there is a fan to try to counter this effect, but its best to let the battery rest before trying to recharge it as prolonged exposure to hot temperatures is bad for the battery.

 

6) If at all possible, always park this car in a garage out of the elements.  Severe heat is bad for battery, especially being left outside to soak in the sun day after day in the summertime.  Cold impacts range on the battery and also makes the drivetrain stiffer -- being protected in a warmer garage, even 10 degrees warmer than outside helps during the winter.

 

7) When storing the car, whether for 2 days or 7 days or a month, recharge the battery pack back to storage charge level of 60%, +/- 10% is OK.  This accomplishes two things...a) Li-ion batteries like to be stored long term at this charge level, and b) the battery at 60% is within range of 100% if you need it on short notice even with the stock 110v charger.  In other words, let's say you take a trip today and come home with 10% battery.  Plug the car in and bring it back up to 60% before you go to bed and then unplug it if you're not sure you're going to use the car tomorrow.  If you know you need the car tomorrow first thing in the morning, plug the car in instead before going to bed so it will be ready on departure.  However, let's say its the weekend and you don't need it, leave it at 60% Friday night.  Saturday you might not need it, but if you wake up and realize you need to go somewhere and need 100% as its a ways away, then when you wake up in the AM, 100% is only about 2 hours away whereas 10% would have been 5 hours away to be ready to go.  

 

Doing all those things in my opinion will make some difference in the battery life, not today, not tomorrow, but 2 + years from now.  Treating the battery harshly does not show up right away, but each "damage" you do (any to all of the 7 points above) to the battery is additive over time so its best to keep those as few and far between as possible.

 

You habits can make a difference and I hope that you get many happy EV miles from your Maxie!

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 04 April 2015 - 08:45 PM.

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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:13 AM

Raja, I can see that we have different habits and this in the long run might provide a good contrasting reference for the life of our batteries.

 

1, I plug the car in at every opportunity. Even after short trips. This is due mostly because I have a longer trip at least 4 days of the week that will exceed the available battery range.

 

2, I always want the battery full. I don't have the foresight to plan ahead to charge the car just prior to a trip. I always want it ready to go.

 

3, I am in general agreement with you on this one. I do manage my EV power usage to be less then 2 bars on the Empower screen whenever possible. 

 

4, I use all the available power the pack provides at least once for 4 to 5 times a week. Sometimes more than once per day. I don't see any issue with this since the pack will never get below 14.5% even with the hybrid reserve completely depleted. In the past week when I had to drive as a hybrid for the whole week the battery pack averaged just under 20%. I am trusting Fords design to preserve the integrity of the pack. 

 

5,  I agree with the idea of not charging a hot battery. I will be monitoring the HVB temperature this summer and will adjust my charging times to prevent extra heat loads on the batteries.

 

6, My car is parked outside 24/7. If I had a garage I would prefer to park it inside. Since I live in a hotter climate than you the heat will be more of an issue as well.

 

7, I agree with this as well. I will keep a reduced charge in the battery when the car is to be parked for an extended period of time. This will not be something that happens more than once or twice a year at most for me though. 

 

In the end it will remain to be seen if our different practices have any effect on the battery life. It will be unlikely that this will be a true comparison since there are just way too many variable. Never the less we will end up comparing anyway.

 

Guess we will have to just wait and see how our HVB fairs over time. 

 

Tom


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#3 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:12 AM

Raja, these are excellent points & I already follow them, having studied the science behind all the various kinds of batteries I've used over the years from Ni-Cads (annoying!) to Ni-Metal Hydride to venerable lead-acid in my robot lawn mower & some of my dental equipment to the Li-Ion in the C-Max. All have their own unique best practices for preserving their useful lifespan.

The one point I hadn't considered was highway driving. On long trips I use EV Later, but sometimes I hop on our "Blue Route" for an exit or two and use EV Now, since my trip range is less than 21 miles. It's just so darn FUN to glide along at 60 mph with the ICE shut off! But that's the thing-- I only go 55 or 60. About 2 bars, 3 uphill. And I doubt it's EVER going to get hot here again haha-- endless winter. So I believe I'm staying within reasonable parameters.

The other thing is, my wife & I usually both leave too early for work to consider topping off the charge in the AM. (We both have a C-Max Energi). It's just too much ogida (sp?) at 5:30 AM. So I generally charge on 220V in the evening, after letting the HVBs rest a while. Sometimes I'll use 110V on one car so the charge happens overnight, reaching 100% closer to my run time. I definitely leave either car at 60-80% if it will be sitting quiet on the weekend.

It may have been posted elsewhere, but I do have 2 important questions:

1- When the hybrid portion of the battery is at its lowest point, how much ACTUAL % of the physical battery is left?

2- When we charge to 100% indicated on the middle screen, how much ACTUAL state of charge is in the physical battery? I'm guessing 80% or 90% or so, figuring that the Ford engineers would avoid the top end by a fair margin. Would love to know the actual % tho.

Rick

Edited by P=E/t, 05 April 2015 - 07:21 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   engnrng

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:19 AM

Since Mikael G. Cugnet came out with his study 2 years ago this month, the most important factor is keeping the battery temp under 86 degrees.

 

Cugnet explained that the lifespan depends mainly on the battery's temperature, state of charge and charge protocol. Battery performance begins to suffer as soon as the temperature climbs above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. "The higher the temperature, the lower the battery service life," he said. "A temperature above 86 degrees F affects the battery pack performance instantly and even permanently if it lasts many months like in Middle East countries."

 

Therefore, on warm days, I use my A/C to keep the cabin cool while driving EV.  Setting GO times for early morning so that charging is happening during the cooler night hours also makes sense. 

 

Cugnet also recommended that electric vehicle (EV) owners pay attention to how much their battery is charged, another factor in a battery's longevity. He reported that a fully-charged battery is more vulnerable to losing power at temperatures above 86 degrees F.

 

Parking in the shade with windows open a bit and a sunshade for the dash will help keep the cabin temp down during the day.  I installed the rain guards on my windows and lower them about an inch.  Wish this car had a moon roof that opened!!


Edited by engnrng, 05 April 2015 - 07:21 AM.


#5 OFFLINE   komondor

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:38 AM

I wonder if a 110 vs 220 charger helps battery life since it does reduce heat.  I need to get my windows tinted before it gets too warm here in Denver, I usually park on the roof of my building but there is some shade and I will probably park there during the summer.  Has anyone tinted the roof glass, I have  put some of this for the roof to keep the heat out:

 

d88302cb-25b1-4dc6-8651-41b8d7940821_400



#6 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:46 AM

Hi Rick,

 

To answer your questions, on #1 its said to be 14.5% from people with the SG, a little too low in my opinion, should be 20%.  An empty HVB is about 21.5% from what was said in posts.  On of my friends saw that the batteries drop out of balance the worst when the hybrid battery is 1/2 way down.  Something to keep in mind.

 

The top end is 4.10v per cell, 100% would be 4.20v.  As far as percentage I'd have to double check but I believe 4.1v is around 93%.  Limiting at 4.1v should help with heat voltage rise not to go over 4.2v, but heat is still not good for batteries hence why I said park in a garage or in the shade if outside would be best especially in the summer.

 

I agree that these batteries will last less in hot climates compared to colder climates.  It may be one of the reasons why Ford warranty for the battery is 8 years 100k miles in some areas and 10 years 150k miles in others.

 

One way around the charging is to program value charging to kick in at 3am so your car will be ready at 5:10am or there abouts from completely empty on 240v.  It would just be a habit instead of charging in the evening and having the battery 100% full for 10 hours before you leave, you could make it ready on departure using this feature.  Not sure how much difference this will make, 10 hours is not a long time at full charge but it could help over the years.  Plugged in 24/7 in my opinion would be worse.

 

-=>Raja.



#7 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:49 AM

Komondor:

 

I was going to add point #8 about charging at 110v vs 240v, less heat with less current into the battery, but in reality both of them are pretty low charge rate compared to the capacity of the battery so it wasn't even worth mentioning.  

 

What might be of interest though is going down a mountain and recharging the battery back to 100% at 35kw charge rate using regen, that would be 10x the 240v charge rate and would certainly raise the battery temp more so than 110 at about 1.1kw or 240 at 3.3kw.

 

However, most of us don't have huge mountains to descend from so it shouldn't be an issue.  If its a daily commute routine, then it would be something to think about.

 

-=>Raja.



#8 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 09:34 AM

It may have been posted elsewhere, but I do have 2 important questions:

1- When the hybrid portion of the battery is at its lowest point, how much ACTUAL % of the physical battery is left?

2- When we charge to 100% indicated on the middle screen, how much ACTUAL state of charge is in the physical battery? I'm guessing 80% or 90% or so, figuring that the Ford engineers would avoid the top end by a fair margin. Would love to know the actual % tho.

Rick

I have been monitoring the HVB SOC with a ScanGauge and Raja is correct that when the battery drops to about 21.5V it drops into Hybrid mode and if the hybrid mode get as depleted as I can get it I have observed a low of 14.5% SOC.  Currently my car is sitting in my driveway  with a depleted HVB and the SOC is 16.9% and both the minimum Module voltage and Average module voltage are 3.52V.

 

At the high end a full charge shows as about 98% SOC on the ScanGauge and the module voltages reach 4.07V. As soon as a load in put on the HVB that voltage drops off the peak very quickly.

 

Tom



#9 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 09:47 AM

Tom, if you get a chance can you measure the HVB voltage at the bottom end when the Empower bar is like 1/2 bar tops before the engine starts?  Curious to what the voltage is of the cells at 14.5% charge level.

 

Also When you get your car fixed can you measure the voltage at 0% HVB and a full hybrid battery, at the point where it switches over as well as 3/4 hybrid battery.  Those data points would be good info for me and many thanks and Happy Easter!

 

-=>Raja.



#10 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:35 PM

One way around the charging is to program value charging to kick in at 3am so your car will be ready at 5:10am or there abouts from completely empty on 240v.  It would just be a habit instead of charging in the evening and having the battery 100% full for 10 hours before you leave, you could make it ready on departure using this feature.  Not sure how much difference this will make, 10 hours is not a long time at full charge but it could help over the years.  Plugged in 24/7 in my opinion would be worse.

 

-=>Raja.

Thanks Raja and Tom. 93% and 14.5% don't seem too wide a range, and I suppose the Ford engineers know what they're doing.

 

Another question: Can MFM be used to set a maximum % charge? Say, 80%, as could be done in the older Nissan Leaf? Might be useful for when trip length will be limited. I actually have not set up MFM yet for various reasons. But if limiting the state of charge is possible, that's another reason to leap in. Also, can this sort of thing be done from the center screen, when sitting in the car? I never tried that yet.



#11 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 02:19 PM

You can set MFM to text you when the car reaches 80%, but its up to you to go out and unplug it at that time.

 

Also, I believe its a one time deal, meaning you need to set it every time for the next event which is kinda silly in my opinion.

 

-=>Raja.



#12 OFFLINE   engnrng

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 02:59 PM


 

I agree that these batteries will last less in hot climates compared to colder climates.  It may be one of the reasons why Ford warranty for the battery is 8 years 100k miles in some areas and 10 years 150k miles in others.

 


-=>Raja.

The warranty for hybrid components in California is not determined by Ford.  It is set by state law at 10 years, 150k miles, part of the CARB legislation (California Air Resources Board), so it has nothing to do with expected life, has to do with keeping the emission control components working properly.  There are other states that have also enacted the same type of legislation, and others conform to the 8 year 100k Federal statutes set by the EPA.  These warranties have nothing to do with weather or operating environments.  By the way, this same 150k warranty applied to my 2004 Prius when I bought it.


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#13 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 03:43 PM

I have been monitoring the HVB SOC with a ScanGauge and Raja is correct that when the battery drops to about 21.5V it drops into Hybrid mode and if the hybrid mode get as depleted as I can get it I have observed a low of 14.5% SOC.  Currently my car is sitting in my driveway  with a depleted HVB and the SOC is 16.9% and both the minimum Module voltage and Average module voltage are 3.52V.

 

At the high end a full charge shows as about 98% SOC on the ScanGauge and the module voltages reach 4.07V. As soon as a load in put on the HVB that voltage drops off the peak very quickly.

 

Tom

Thanks for the numbers! If this chap is right in reporting the science, then 4.07V was a good choice:

http://batteryuniver...based_batteries

 

"Lithium-ion suffers from stress when exposed to heat, so does keeping a cell at a high charge voltage. A battery dwelling above 30°C (86°F) is considered elevated temperature and for most Li-ion, a voltage above 4.10V/cell is deemed as high voltage."

 

Heat, it seems, is the greatest enemy of the HVB.


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#14 OFFLINE   Kermit

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 03:58 PM

Raja, I would love to see a similar thread about how to get the high HVB mileage you get in the dead of winter. The best I did all winter was 11 to 14 miles showing on my battery, fully charged. Clearly, some of the rest of you know some best practices that I don't know.



#15 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:12 PM

The best way to use the HV battery is to get the most out of it in 8 years while under wararanty. I keep my battery fully charged and plugged-in when not in use. If you don't have a SGII with Ex-Gauge SOC,  I gave the X-Gauge for battery temperature and cabin temperature codes. I'm at a lifetime 638mpg and a 143mpge at 9600 miles so far, Still have 3/16 of a tank to burn in after 22 months of my first tank.

 

Gary   


Edited by fotomoto, 05 April 2015 - 07:28 PM.

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#16 OFFLINE   komondor

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 04:57 AM

I will have to see how mine charges one of these days when I take the CMAX up to the Mountains outside of Denver in the summer.  For me the CMAX is my daily driver about 27 miles each way I am still tweaking my IC vs  EV times trying to go  home with as close to zero miles left.  Part of the drive is highway about 60-70 MPH depending in traffic, I average about 60 MPG going back and forth and I am pretty happy with that. I know during the summer with AC it will go down to about 50 MPG but I am not willing to sweat in my car for a few more MPG.

Work is supposed to be adding charging stations but knowing how slow they are probably 3 years away.



#17 OFFLINE   engnrng

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:11 AM

 I know during the summer with AC it will go down to about 50 MPG but I am not willing to sweat in my car for a few more MPG.

 

Good choice to run A/C during hot drives.  If you are sweating, the HVB is degrading and its life will be shorter.  Question for people who know:  At highway speeds - 65 mph - what cabin temp is needed to keep the internal temp of the HVB under 86 F?  If we know that, then also know that either going up or down a hill for any length of time will result in higher currents and higher temps.


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#18 OFFLINE   makiedog

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:05 AM

Little skeptical about these precautions. I doubt Ford would let you exceed the rate of energy input/output beyond what the battery can withstand, even in extreme temp. Isn't that why they have external thermal management for the battery?


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#19 OFFLINE   Smiling Jack

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:11 AM

Thanks to all posters here for a very useful thread.  Thanks especially to all for clearly identifying opinion vs, facts.  I do certainly enjoy reading both, particularly when the sources of fact and basis for opinion are given.



#20 OFFLINE   bro1999

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 11:28 AM

I have been plugging away at will pretty much since I got my C-Max, in 0 degree weather in the winter as well as 100+ degree summer heat. It will be interesting to compare battery charge data with someone line rbort 11 months from now, when my C-Max's lease is over. I may be observing some slight degradation, though nothing is confirmed. Max kWh used figures have gone from 5.7-5.8 kWh new to 5.2-5.3 kWh recently.










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