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Old 10-28-2009, 01:25 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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First PHEV Honda Insight (1st gen.) with Enginer.us system

A few weeks ago I finished my installation of the 2kwh PHEV kit from Enginer.us. I first saw these kits in person when Jack Chen publicly unveiled the kits at Hybridfest last year.

Enginer's most popular kit is for Priuses (in fact I helped on five installs on Priuses), but to confirm the versatility of the Enginer system I have installed one in my Insight.

The kit consists of
- 16, 40ah 3.2v Thundersky batteries
- Thundersky Battery Charger Model 48-15
- 2 Chargery DB8 Smart Digital Balancers
- Enginer's DC/DC Converter

I have pics on my Flickr photo account titled Enginer PHEV in a Honda Insight.

I previously modded my Insight with a MIMA kit which gives me full control over the assist and regen of the stock Insight battery pack. Now with this additional battery pack I am able to extend my use of electricity to offset my gasoline usage.

It's great to be able to finally plug in my car!

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Last edited by ericbecky; 10-28-2009 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool mod, Eric.

What are your overall impressions? How have you changed your driving style to make use of the extra juice on board?

Any significant changes in fuel use?

Have you changed how you're monitoring energy efficiency (fuel + electricity use)?

Darin

(PS - hope you don't mind I moved this to the hybrids forum.)
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 55.99 mpg (US)
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I guess this partially answers the question about fuel use...

From your Flickr set:



Quote:
A 19.4 mile run out to the country and back to town on an errand. Got 114.2 mpg.
I started with a full stock pack and full Enginer pack.
I depleted the stock pack and the Enginer pack on this run.
For context, what type of driving was this? Conditions? Avg speed? "Special" techniques (pulse & glide)?
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 10-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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PS: I have battery envy.

Tim tells me if I had the same capacticy pack of your lithiums that I have in lead acid in the ForkenSwift, I'd save over 300 lbs in battery weight.

208 lbs lithium vs. 520 lbs of floodies. That'd show up at the "gas pump"! I mean kill-a-watt!
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
For context, what type of driving was this? Conditions? Avg speed? "Special" techniques (pulse & glide)?
This was a generaly easy drive from starting from in a small town with 25-35 mph town streets, out to the country on 2 lane 55 mph roads through the countryside and back. One large hill.

I tend to let my speed drift under the speed limit by 5 or 10 mph if no other traffic is present and I have the time.

I tend to coast with the engine off whenever possible (Using the Forced Autostop funtionality that is built into MIMA).

I don't usually use pulse and glide. I just don't have patience for it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Cool mod, Eric.

What are your overall impressions? How have you changed your driving style to make use of the extra juice on board?

Any significant changes in fuel use?

Have you changed how you're monitoring energy efficiency (fuel + electricity use)?

Darin

(PS - hope you don't mind I moved this to the hybrids forum.)
I'm still in a "testing" frame of mind and trying to figure out the best way to get the most of the system for my driving habits and routes.

I haven't had it installed for very long to get some real hard data. Mostly anecdotal at this point.

I've been lax about monitoring my fuel efficiency in the recent past because it had been dropping due to short trips and the occaisionally "hurry up I have to get there" trips which were killing my gas mileage. Also I drive a lot less miles so it takes so darn long between fill ups at times. I used to drive 300 miles a week, now sometimes I can go a week without even driving 150 miles.

I don't have a kill-a-watt, and my guess is I won't purchase one any time soon. (Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas?)

So given all this, I hope to still provide good information about the sytem.

I can tell you that driving in my small 2mi x 2mi town with only two stoplights in the whole town, that I can rely heavily on the battery power and easily break 100 mpg. The Enginer system slowly replenishes the amount of electricity used. Mostly though, I end up back home soon enough and I just plug in to refill.

On the highway, when I come to a slight rise, I can use MIMA to bring in light electrical assist from the stock battery pack. The Enginer system then can replenish the electicity used back into the stock pack. It replenishes at a much slower rate. I can continue this scenario until the Enginer system is used up.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 55.99 mpg (US)
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Very interesting! Thanks for the exta info.

PS - get a kill-a-watt. You'll find all kinds of uses for it around the house.

PPS - it might not be compatible with the Enginer charger anyway ... the key question is how many amps it draws.
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 10-28-2009, 10:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A Kill-A-Watt is $20 on NewEgg, and it'll pay for itself in that it helps you select electricity-saving appliances and methods at home. Plus, it would be really cool to know how much energy you use, how much your battery capacity varies with temperature, etc.

Wow, that's an impressive battery pack. It looks surprisingly affordable, too. I may have to look in to some form of PHEVism for my Insight, as well.

Can you grid-charge the stock battery pack, too? Where are you keeping your spare tire? How much weight does it add to the car, and how does the Insight respond to that?

And I know this is a frequently asked, stupid question. How about EV mode? Unlike the Prius, the Insight's motor is coupled to the crankshaft, so the motor can't turn without the engine turning as well. But if you wire a toggle switch to the fuel pump, can you get the car to go without using any fuel?
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That is a really interesting modification. How much does it weigh? Had it affected how the car accelerates? The 114mpg is very impressive.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Can you grid-charge the stock battery pack, too?
Unfortunately I have not built the electronics to directly grid charge the stock pack. (Although I have the plans that I got from Insight guru, Mike Dabrowski.) To charge up the stock pack, I first plug in the Enginer Pack. Then once it's full I turn the key to Accessory mode and let the Enginer pack fill up the stock pack. Then I go back and top off the Enginer pack again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Where are you keeping your spare tire?
I'm living on the edge; I don't bring the spare tire with me. If I really wanted to I could tether it down on the back hatch space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
How much weight does it add to the car, and how does the Insight respond to that?
On Flickr I have pics of the components on my bathroom scale. The converter and battery charger weigh around 20 lbs. together. The batteries weigh about 52 lbs. total (26 lbs per set of 8 batteries). So a the entire system weights less than 75 lbs. I don't notice any difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
And I know this is a frequently asked, stupid question. How about EV mode? Unlike the Prius, the Insight's motor is coupled to the crankshaft, so the motor can't turn without the engine turning as well. But if you wire a toggle switch to the fuel pump, can you get the car to go without using any fuel?
In the current set up there isn't really a true EV mode. Basically if I'm using the electric motor the gas engine is always idling. I haven't taken time to confirm that there is a way to go with a fuel pump cut switch. Not sure if that would harm anything?

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