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NiMH battery pack
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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: NiMH battery pack Reply with quote

There is a gentlemen that has home built an EV and the battery pack is comprised of "re-engineered" NiMH battery packs salvaged from wrecked hybrids. Has anyone here considered this approach? I have checked salvage yards on line and found I should be able to assemble enough of the hybrid modules needed for an E10 for about $3000. This is approximately the cost of new Deka Gels.

There is even a salvage yard selling new overstock NiMH battery packs which came direct from Ford. In case you didnt know, for some reason, Ford dumps a lot new overstock parts on some salvage yards around their factories. One of my past recurring projects has been rebuilding wrecked salvage title Ford Rangers. I have one, my father has one, my girlfriend had one, and I have sold a few over the past several years. Rangers are pretty easy to work on. I have purchased many new parts at less than half the cost the dealer charges from these types of salvage yards.

Any ideas here, pro or con on using hybrid batteries?

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Terry Merrell
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ThomasHudson
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll want to check the specs on them as to what kind of load they will tolerate, and for how long. Most batteries will have guidelines for the maximum sustained load they will tolerate, as well as information on short-period higher loads. This is why my E-10 has two strings of batteries -- To reduce the current load on the batteries. Originally, it had three strings of smaller batteries. I know there are some E-10's with single strings of group 27's and it may be because the 27's can handle the higher current.

I know NiMH batteries have temperature issues, (from what I understand this is common to the nickel chemistry), so you'll want to be sure to provide proper cooling.

Sure would be cool if they work!

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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Tom,

I have one of those single string E10s, 276 volts. The hybrid packs I saw available were 273 volts, and that caught my eye. I realize I will need to do much research before diving in. I guess I am hoping to find someone that has already done the research and perhaps has a better knowledge base than I do on the issue.

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Terry Merrell
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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some specs on the Escape battery pack.

BATTERY
Manufacturer: Sanyo Electric Co
Type: Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
Number of Cells: 250 Cylindrical
Cell Weight: 0.2 kg
Weight of Pack(s): 50 kg
Pack(s) Location: Rear
Nominal Cell Voltage: 1.32 VDC
Nominal System Voltage: 330 VDC
Nominal Pack Capacity: 5.5 Ah

Almost all of the components in my 276 volt truck work within a range of 200 and 400 volts. The UMOC445 also can handle the extra voltage.

Please chime in with your thoughts.

Terry

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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to add my nickel worth. I'd love to have a pack of NiMH batteries. If not for my E-10 then for my next EV. I've checked salvage yards around here and most want almost new price from the dealer for the Prius packs. Where were you able to find the Sanyo packs and were they all from Ford or others as well? I thought Toyo got their Prius packs from Panasonic? Ovonics?
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Jeff Wilson
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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the ford packs are Sanyo. I have seen prius packs for $500. Check car-parts.com It is a large listing of salvage yards throughout the nation and Canada.
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Terry Merrell
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Terry. I'll check it out.
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Jeff Wilson
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry, I checked it out and found out that the Honda Insight battery packs are 144v packs at 6ah. They can be had for as little as $250 each so for $2500 I could have 60ah of NiMH. I wonder how that compairs with the 140ah of my Dominators? Since the NiMH can be drawn down much deeper than the gel cells, would the 60ah be comparable? Or would I need a couple more? Not that it's much different, but 2 more giving me a total of 72ah would be about the same price as 24 new Dominators. The Dominators last maybe 4 years but the NiMH will go at least 12 to 15. Sounds like a really good trade off and because they are 144v systems, there wouldn't be any need to reconfigure them. Just put them all in parallel and off to the races. Wink
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Jeff Wilson
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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
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Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jeff,

Did you happen to check the physical size of the NiMH packs?

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Terry Merrell
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I haven't checked them but most of the NiMH that I've seen are about 3X10X8 inches. There was a set of 14 12v 90ah NiMH batteries on Ebay for $600 each and the seller described them as about the size of several cartons of cigarettes staked up. They were slightly used but taken out and have been sitting for some time. He tries to sell them every couple of months. He was able to get rid of 2 in his last sale, but at $600 each he is asking a little too much for my wallet. He doesn't even have the BMS that goes with them.
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Jeff Wilson
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry, for reference, here is the EBay link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Battery-Panasonic-C-3-M-95-Rav4-EV-Rav4_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ111103QQitemZ4638703304QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

I was a little off on the size. 15.25X4.5X7 Pretty compact for 95ah batteries. They weigh about 41 pounds each. That's about the same amount of available amps as 24 Dominators for less than half the weight!

He tried to sell them for $695 on May 8 with no takers and sold two of them for $625 on the 18th.

I was considering offering hime $1500 for all but I'm sure he would laugh at that. I guess it depends on how desperate he is for the money.

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Jeff Wilson
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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
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Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jeff,

Im more interested in the hybrid packs from salvage yards. The Rav4 batteries would be ideal, but way out of my budget. I think the hybrid packs will better fit my budget.

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Terry Merrell
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definatly here you on the budget. I did find some Insight packs for about $250 each. That's more like it.
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Jeff Wilson
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Jay



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 37
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking at an s-10 done by GM. EVBONES in Mesa, AZ refurbishes these units with NiMH packs. These were done by GM using EV1 hardware including the front wheel drive setup. Jeff and Bruce are engineers and EVBONES is their company. Jeff had a lot to say and was very enthusiastic. We talked at length about the NiMH packs. For those interested in the conversion he would be great source of information and possibly the batteries. Some of the things I got from it where the extensive thermal mangment system used. The charging effiiency is low. The system used by GM Uses a heatpump that can draw as much as 2 KWatts to dissipate the possible 5 KW going into the batteries. They use 7 KW chargers, 2KW heat pump dissipates 2KW of heat leaving 3KW to go into the batteries. That is worst case. It's probably still more efficient than an ICE and ultimatly gives better range and life than lead-acid.

I've got to find another EV that could handle my 40 mile commute with out destroying the batteries.

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ThomasHudson
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, Jay. From what I understand, this has historically been the issue with nickel-based batteries (NiCD and NiMH, at any rate) -- They don't charge as efficiently as lead-acid due to heating. When I mentioned to one guy that I was putting NiCDs in my Force, he was surprised (and maybe annoyed) because he felt they were energy wasters.

I pull out some of my energy usage data and do my kWh calculation to see how much less efficient they are than lead-acid. From what I can recall from doing this calc a while back, the difference isn't that much.

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