Old Battery ?

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Old 03 Feb 2015, 01:26 pm   #1 (permalink)
Stephen G. Giannoni
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Default Old Battery ?

I have a 2001 with 64K miles with the original HV battery (14 years
old !) How long do these typically last? Is it a function of both time
and service? So far it's performing as always. What would be the first
signs of aging, etc.?
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 05:43 am   #2 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Re: Old Battery ?

Hi,

On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 1:26:11 PM UTC-6, Stephen G. Giannoni wrote:
> I have a 2001 with 64K miles with the original HV battery (14 years
> old !) How long do these typically last? Is it a function of both time
> and service? So far it's performing as always. What would be the first
> signs of aging, etc.?


The failure mechanism is the electrolyte dries out. The terminal seals of the 38 battery modules have a rubber "O" ring to seal in the small amount ofgas that forms in normal charging. But when the battery gets hot, the "O" rings let a little of H{2} and O{2} out and over time, this dries out the electrolyte. Hot climates with little shade and hilly terrain driven at highspeeds heats the battery modules to higher temperatures. So some will failsooner than others, usually the ones in the middle of the pack where it ismost difficult to keep them cool.

The next generation battery modules have improved terminal seals and more internal, cell-to-cell connections to reduce resistance. The 2004-09 moduleswere a substantial improvement and the 2010-current even better.

If you have a Prius-aware scanner, one that can read the battery module-pair voltages, you can get an idea of how well the pack is balanced. There is also a procedure described in Volume I of the shop manuals about how to test the pack.

When modules in the pack are ready to fail, they lose their amp-hour capacity. So the pack appears to charge very fast and discharge very fast. Eventually a cell within a module will short out and then you'll get an error light and a Prius-aware scanner can identify the failed module. This is anywhere from a week to a month before the pack fails where the car no longer runs.

We've written fairly detailed descriptions about this over in the PriusChatforum as well as the Yahoo Group, "Prius Technical Stuff." Both have much better archives with PriusChat dating from 2004 and "Prius Technical Stuff"from 2001.

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson
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