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HVB cooling problems

hvb cooling fan

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37 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chemicalkev

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 11:46 AM

2014 CMax, 230 000 km

 

My HVB gets hot during 240v charging.  The charging cycles on and off (say 30 sec on, 20 sec off).  Once the outside temperature rises above 15C, it starts to do this, and gets much worse with higher temperatures.  It will take 3 hours to charge at 18 C, and 4 hours at 25C.  At 30C, the system will produce a temperature error.  I had Ford look for the problem.  The first time they said it was dog hair, they cleaned it out, and no change.  The second time they said it needed a software update, and no change.  After $400 and suffering without my car for days, I gave up on Ford showing any competence of figuring it out and have suffered with it for over a year.'

 

I recently took everything apart.  There is a minor amount of dog hair, mostly in areas not directly involved with air flow (around air flow tube, not in)  but nothing blocking anything or impeding air flow.  The fan on the left works.  The fan on the right spins clockwise (photo 15_00_01), but doesn't seem to push air out of the car.  Air is coming out of the inlet (probably just from the rotation of the fan, even though the blades are meant to pull air), but nothing is coming out of the outlet (the vent on the outside of the cabin), between the body and the cabin on the back right side (square vent with rubber flaps, photo 15_10_24).

 

 

Does anyone have a diagram showing the air flow?  Just to confirm, the fan on the right side (photo 16_30_49) is meant to eject air to the exterior of the vehicle?  I think that fan is plugged.  Does anyone have instructions on how to remove that fan?  I can get at the fan, undo the bolts, but I don't know how to free it.  It is secured to the outside of the vehicle via the exterior vent.  The available instructions for removing the HVB just say "remove fan" and not how to do it.  Where exactly does each fan move air?

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#2 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:35 PM

Have you checked the battery temperature with a scanner?  One of the posts from long ago indicated that the fan on the right is to cool the electronics.  That could mean that it cools the charger circuitry.  Your symptoms would support this in that if the right side fan is not working then the electronics would probably over heat and cool quickly compared to the HVB.  The heating and cooling of the HVB would not happen so rapidly as it has a large mass.  With the Forscan app, you can monitor many different temperatures and faults in the BECM.  Scanners are relatively inexpensive now and the software is free on Windows and less than $10 on the phone.

 

As for the fan on the left, this one is to cool the battery.  It draws the air in from the cabin and it exits at the bottom back.  It is possible to test this fan with the Forscan app for windows.  You can set the speed with the app upto about 3000 rpm.

 

See this thread for more info:  http://fordcmaxenerg...-cooling/page-3

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Edited by RickOzone, 12 May 2018 - 07:40 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

Apparently, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, the HVB cooling always draws from inside the cabin?

 

Then on the other end it looks like it exhausts outside the car or does it just circulate back inside the car?

 

Due to taking air from inside the car, it seems most logical that you want the windows open while you charge in the summer, as the charging circuit gets hot while charging and blows hot air inside the car.  You can feel this coming out if you remove the hatch behind the rear passenger seat where the HVB disconnect plug is.  The fan for cooling the charging circuit goes faster and faster as that temp comes up, and it goes up quicker on 240v than 120v.

 

So charging makes heat, and then the heat is taken in like a blow dryer to warm up the battery further.  I noticed that the battery temp goes up quicker if charging than if just sitting around, give the surrounding air is warmer than the battery.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 13 May 2018 - 08:05 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:29 PM

Charging effects all depend on ambient temperature and Level 1 or Level 2.

For example, at the end of a long trip, my HVB was at 1% SOC and 93F. At an ambient temp of 56F, I just charged on L2 to 34% SOC before picking up dinner, and the HVB went down to 89F already.

Try that when it’s 90F out, and the HVB will still be at 93F, and in that scenario, opening the windows is almost mandatory.

Rick

Edited by P=E/t, 13 May 2018 - 01:30 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:39 PM

And because of that fan that runs whilst charging, the HVB cools faster on L1 or L2 than with not-charging, when the ambient temp is somewhere around 60 or below.

Not that we shouldn’t let our battery “rest” when we can, but if it’s hot, it will cool fast with that fan on. Also, as I indicated elsewhere, many observations have shown that the HVB is sort of “heat labile” immediately after charging. In other words, if you’ve just charged a lot and the charge cycle ended less than half an hour ago or so, you’re going to see more rapid battery temp rise than if you had finished charging several hours ago. Given equivalent routes and driving styles, that is. It’s a strong effect.

Rick

#6 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:04 AM

Here is my solar powered car cooler, see pictures below,  to help keep the C-Max cabin cool when it is parked in the sun.  I intend to also connect the solar panel to the 12 V battery to keep it charged up.  I ordered a flexible solar panel and controller that should arrive in a few weeks.  Also, I'm considering putting some fans at the cooling duct inlets to help cool the battery directly when needed. 

 

There are some solar powered coolers available on the Internet but these mingy units just don't have enough power. 

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#7 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:49 AM

Does it work?  How much of a temp change do you see?  You should test it with the HVB temp to see if there is any difference.

 

I'm thinking parking in the shade would be better than parking in the sun with this.  Just my 2 cents thought...

 

-=>Raja.


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#8 OFFLINE   eppyphotog

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:50 PM

I ran a flexible duct from my a/c line in the attic to the garage 2 years ago. Now that "Summer" is here in Arizona, this sits in the car with the right rear seat folded down and the access panel removed. Wondering if the duct is in the right place?     RAJA?       I only try to charge in the overnight hours when the battery has had a chance to cool a bit in my garage. I have still lost over .5kW hour of capacity in 5 years with 38k total miles, 28K that I put on the vehicle (bought used -off lease) and about 11-12k miles of that 28k is electric.  I'm at 99.9 MPG over the 28K miles right now.
a/c duct for battery

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#9 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:45 AM

That is one serious way to cool the battery. I’d suggest directing the air into the inlet vents just behind the rear seats and keep the disconnect access panel closed. That is to push the cool air through the designed cooling path. Ideally, split the inlet duct into two lines and add adapters to fit into the top of grill inlets.

 

Probably the most important time to have a cool battery is when it is at or near full charge.


Edited by RickOzone, 19 May 2018 - 01:07 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:34 PM

I put my rear seat down and remove the access panel while opening the windows in the garage.  The access panel lets out the heat from the battery charging circuit, not to do with the HVB itself.  That heat if not let out will fester in there and build up more, come out the bottom of the seat some and warm up the HVB even more if not released.

 

The fact that you live in Phoenix, AZ is the main reason for losing capacity.  By using the AC in the garage you have most likely limited the capacity loss, it could be alot worse, trust me on that.  Some people lost over a kwh + in 1 summer.  Being in the heat outside gets the battery hot.  The longer it stays hot, the worse it is.

 

You can duct the AC into the vents to help cool the battery more, but really doesn't matter if you close the windows and "freeze" the car with the AC its the same thing.   The cooling of the HVB draws air through those vents.  However, I'm not sure that the fan for the HVB runs if the car is off.  It runs when the car is ON, but when off the fan that's running is for the charging circuit.  That fact in fact warms up the car which in turn helps to warm up the HVB plus the fact that its taking a charge.  (helps to warm it up quicker) unless you open the windows and let the heat out of the charging circuit as much as possible.  Also 240v charging heats up the charging circuit alot more than 120v, you can feel the difference on average 240v the air feels like a blow dryer, 120v the air feels more warm than hot.

 

Hope this helps.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 20 May 2018 - 06:59 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:10 PM

Does it work?  How much of a temp change do you see?  You should test it with the HVB temp to see if there is any difference.

 

I'm thinking parking in the shade would be better than parking in the sun with this.  Just my 2 cents thought...

 

-=>Raja.

 

The original fan was not too powerful but I received a new fan today.  With the old fan, I saw about a 5°F reduced temperature inside the cabin compared to a similar car with tinted windows rolled up.  The new fan is about 3x more power draw than the old fan.  I will post the results as soon as the weather cooperates and I can collect some data.


Edited by RickOzone, 22 May 2018 - 07:13 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

The best thing to do is not park in the sun.  I suppose you have that option if you're not at work.  However, if you have to be at work and there is no shade nearby then you gotta do what you can to make it better, hence the solar cooling fans.

 

Let us know how you make out.  I see one important thing is to try to keep the car cooler when possible to keep the HVB temps down.  In other words if its gotten hot and its now dark outside, opening the windows and letting some colder air in is better than keeping them shut and keeping the car warm.  I found that putting on my jacket and letting the car air out helps to drop the HVB temp even while driving once the cooling fan is running.  Example is that it might be 68 outside and the HVB is at 82F.  If you open the windows and get the car's internal temp to drop from the 80's down into the 70's, that helps alot.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 22 May 2018 - 08:27 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:04 PM

I do have the option to move the car to the shade while at work but it would mean moving the car about noon.  I'm just worried that when I'm at a mall on a hot sunny day, that it will get too hot.  I did a test today to see how well it works but due to the mild wind, I don't think it was a good test.  In any case the temperature rise over ambient was 14°F  (8°C).  That was with a solar shield over the front wind shield.  My colleague has a white Subaru with black interior like my c-max.  His windows are tinted and closed.  Under the same conditions his cabin temperature rose 42°F (24°C).  The temperature was measured with an IR probe on a black area of the seat that was not in the direct sun.

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#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:29 PM

It is best to keep your car in the shade.  That way at least you can limit the internal temp rise as much as possible.  Also leave all 4 windows open about an inch to let some heat out.  (that is if you're not using your fan system) If you can move your car at work to keep it in the shade that's a good idea.

 

White cars are better than black, they don't soak the heat as much.  That's why my new Cmax "Angel" is white.  I figured that would be better long term for the battery.

 

I too am trying to keep my battery temp down.  So far this year I've peaked out at 91F on the battery.  Its hard not to get close to that when temps are up, but as always I try to minimize battery heat up by taking it easy on the battery and using the engine for hills when possible.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 23 May 2018 - 08:30 PM.


#15 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:28 AM

It is best to keep your car in the shade.  That way at least you can limit the internal temp rise as much as possible. 

 



#16 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:51 AM

That looks nice, might be very valuable for people working all day and having to park in the sun with no shade nearby.

 

I'm even thinking about it but I don't have a use for it daily, only here and there when I'm travelling so not sure its worth it for me for the price?

 

-=>Raja.



#17 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:45 PM

I wonder how well that tent holds up to high winds?  I didn't see any part in the video with much wind.

 

On another note, I took apart the air ducts at the back to see if I could determine better the air flow pattern around the battery.  I took a strong fan and put it on top of the right side inlet duct.  I could not feel much air coming out of the outlets at the back.  I could feel a little coming out of the right side inlet duct.  I also noticed that there doesn't seem to be any air gaps between the cells, but there was a gap underneath them.  I made a short video that I've upload here: 


Edited by RickOzone, 24 May 2018 - 06:55 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:42 PM

Very interesting.  So where does the air go?   Does it go out of the car or just blow back inside in circles?

 

-=>Raja.



#19 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 07:00 PM

The cooling air seems to go up the side panels and out the louvers and back into the cabin.  However, I could not feel any flow coming from them when the plastic panels are back in place.



#20 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 09:53 AM

I think the car uses cabin air to circulate around the HVB.  Or so it seems.

 

So a little food for thought.  Yesterday I was driving and it was hot, 91F outside.  The HVB started out around 78F if I recall correctly and by afternoon it was up to 98F.  I drove several hours around the city and it didn't start to drop until after the sun set.  I was not using AC with the windows open it was not too hot inside the car, but the ambient temp is hot so the battery is not cooling much.  I didn't charge the car and drove most of the time in hybrid mode but the battery temp still rose.

 

Last night I got home late and the battery temp had dropped back to 84F.  Slowing cooling as I was still driving when the outside temps had dropped back to 71F.  I let it rest and this morning it was 78F.  I plugged it in and after about 3 hours and up to 50% charge level the temp had risen to 84F.

 

I rolled up all the windows, turned on the AC on Auto and 60F and let the car run while plugged in.  The temp since then has dropped to 80F as the internal car temperature is down to 62 now.  Its now only charging around 0.8 amp versus around 3.5 amps with the car off.  Still charging slowly, but the fact that the car is on the HVB fan is running and the cold internal temps are helping to cool the battery.  It is 92F outside right now.

 

If you don't care about wasting electricity, you can cool the HVB this way.  You're not charging fast, but cooling nonetheless.  Just thought you might like to know.

 

Let me check on it one more time...

 

Internal temperature 59F, HVB fan speed 1000, HVB temperature 80F.  HVB at 52%.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 26 May 2018 - 09:56 AM.










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