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Old 11-21-2015, 08:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Constant Recal, IMA light, 2003 Civic hybrid

I have a 2003 Civic that has had the IMA light on for about 4 months. I was able to turn the light off for inspection by grid charging the battery. Today I grid charged the battery for about 3 hours, battery voltage got to 172 before charger stopped charging, LED went out, basic grid charger, homemade. I drove the car 10 miles to wn and back and it recaled about 4 times. Went all the way up then all the way back down. Little assist and charged 5 bars on the charge indicator even when braking. Usually can turn on all charge bars. Would further grid charging work or do I need to dischage the pack and charge it back up? I saw a post about discharging the pack using 2 - 100 watt bulbs in series. How long does that take?

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Old 11-28-2015, 12:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A 3 hour grid charge isn't helping, if your grid charger is charging at ~250-500ma. A well balanced battery might need 8-16 hours to be topped off, depending on the SoC, and a poorly balanced one might continue to receive benefits past the 24 hour mark. My recommendation is to leave it on all weekend, and then let it rest for a few hours before driving it.

A deep discharge can, in theory, further damage the cells (slightly?), but many have reported the benefits outweigh the downsides in a severely degraded battery. Try a long grid charge, twice (do it this weekend, and again next weekend) before trying a deep discharge.
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Please do not charge for more than 36 hours. I killed my old IMA pack by charging it for 2 days. 36 hours at most AFTER a deep discharge, 32 is recommended.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltothewolf View Post
Please do not charge for more than 36 hours. I killed my old IMA pack by charging it for 2 days. 36 hours at most AFTER a deep discharge, 32 is recommended.
I believe it's heat that damages the cells, right? There risk of extended overcharging decreases with the air temperature, and one should generally not grid charge at all with a charger that doesn't also run the cooling fan?
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I read that when grid charging to monitor the voltage and when it starts to drop then the charger should be removed. Usually that would happen after 2 or 3 hours of charging. A few times the current LED shut off meaning that current isn't flowing to charge the battery. I usually charge the battery at night or when it is colder outside. Haven't really figured out how or where to install a fan when charging. I did have a hair dryer hose stuffed into the fan boot and ran that on cold when charging during the day. The Civics have a computer controlled fan and I haven't found anything on how to run it when charging. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your charger should be set to 178V minimum, higher if it's colder. If you're seeing a voltage drop in 2-3 hours, you're probably dealing with heat build-up in the pack as it doesn't flow for **** w/o the fan.

What is your charge current? We could use some grid charger details.

You can ground the PWM wire of the fan with a ~21K Ohm resistor and drive the fan with 12V, but it pulses annoyingly. Best to get a POT you can adjust in that range.

Are you saying you had a drying blowing into the fan exhaust in the trunk? If so, yo did nothing but pressurize the IMA cavity. The inlet has a flapper to prevent backflow.

Here are my recommendations...

Remove your IMA pack.
Take it inside to a controlled environment (~75F).
Blow a box fan through it
grid charge it for 24 hours.
Connect a lightbulb socket to it, maybe 2 in series and install incandescent bulbs. If you do 2 in series you'll want to do 200-250W bulbs. If 1, use 100W (note you may blow out 1 due to the high voltage compared to 110V bulbs).
Discharge until you hit 120V.
Swap out bulbs for 60W and run it down to < 12V.
Grid charge for 24 hours.
Re-install and assess.

This will effectively "refurbish" all the sticks in your pack in one go. It will either work, or it won't, it depends on the health of your sticks. As it stands, it can't make anything worse.

Steve
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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charger specs

I found the diagram for the grid charger on another site. It has 3 meanwel 48V supplies and a constant current LED driver. It was adjusted for 177V unloaded. Yes blowing into the fan exhaust. I figured it would draw cooler air from the trunk and blow into the cabin but guess not. Guess I didn't see or pay attention to the flapper when I took the ductwork out for fan locations.
Thanks for al the pointers and direction. Will have to wait for daughter's college break and pull it all apart. How I love doing that! So much for a low maintenance vehicle for her!
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ah. You have Mike D's original basic charger design. Good.

http://99mpg.com/Data/Resources/down...dchargerv1.pdf

If you're in cold weather, I'd dial it up to 182V and try again. If your pack voltage is under your set voltage, there's no possible reason for it to stop charging. You may have a voltage measurement error somewhere where you measure the set voltage to be higher than it is. You may also have a defective power supply or maybe there's insufficient current flowing through the power LED

A simple way to confirm current flow is to set your DVM to 10A ammeter mode and put it in series with the leads. It should show you 0.35.01A if you're actually charging.

A couple things to try:

If it's cold weather, charge it for 8 hours provided you never see more than a 3V dip from the max. See if there's an improvement.

If you put suction on the fan exhaust in the trunk, you can get air to circulate through the battery.

Good luck,

Steve

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