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Battery temp.
On a recent trip driving at 70 MPH, temp at 90 deg. for 60 miles on freeway and going off ramp ,I noticed battery bars at 75%. I clicked on EV mode and message said, not available, high battery temp. I know the battery temperature is controlled by a fan system that pulls air from the interior of the vehicle via vents located beneath the rear seat bottom. I checked and no obstruction. I just wonder if fan is still working. Anyone experienced this ?
 

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I notice today that my battery charge was at full and the car would not switch over to EV mode. When I tried switching the modefrom Eco to EV it said that the battery is at the temperature limit. It was 98 degrees here so I do not if this is normal when it is that hot outside or if there is something wrong with the battery. Anyone else have this problem?
 

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Was this right after you jumped in the car? Were you parked outside? You may need to crank the A/C up for a bit to get the interior temps down to allow the batteries to cool. The batteries are under the rear seat and are dependent on the interior temps to function properly. There is a fan in the battery area to exchange air, but it will likely take some time to being the battery temperatures down to nominal.
 

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It was parked in the Sun all day. I drove it on the highway for about 30 minutes and the battery never kicked in. However, I was driving with the windows down and no AC so it was pretty hot inside the car. The car said the temperature was 101 on the highway. I guess I need to keep the interior cooler then. I was trying to suffer the heat so that would not have to use the AC and lose mileage. I guess I would been better to just use AC. Both me and the car would have been happier. I will try that tomorrow to confirm. Thanks for the help!
 

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It was parked in the Sun all day. I drove it on the highway for about 30 minutes and the battery never kicked in. However, I was driving with the windows down and no AC so it was pretty hot inside the car. The car said the temperature was 101 on the highway. I guess I need to keep the interior cooler then. I was trying to suffer the heat so that would not have to use the AC and lose mileage. I guess I would been better to just use AC. Both me and the car would have been happier. I will try that tomorrow to confirm. Thanks for the help!
You get better fuel efficiency driving on the highway with windows up and the AC on. The battery is air cooled instead of liquid cooled (Chevy Volt, Tesla) and the vent is right below the rear middle seat where the hump is located. Also if the battery is too hot, regenerative braking doesn't work, so you won't be able to charge the battery either.
 

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@franko1927 in Florida posted early-on about similar experience in 90F temperature and at high HV battery charge... so you're not alone!

If your car was reading exterior temperatures of 98-101, then interior temperature must have been WAY higher (~120F)... since the interior temp can climb by +20% in as little 10 minutes. Lithium Ion battery capacity/life degrades quickly at high temperatures, so I think the car's programming kept the gas engine on to protect the battery by not using EV.

This Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) presentation on HV batteries is a little heady, but a few points from it that are relevant to reasons for EV/battery not engaging at high temperatures:
  • Ideal battery operating temperature is 59F to 95F (15C to 35C - attachment 1)
  • Evidence for this range shows in high-temperature climates where higher power loss occurs in less time (shorter battery life) than cooler climates (attachment 2)
  • Above the battery's ideal operating temperature, there's risk for "thermal runaway" - an unstoppable chain of chemical reactions (explosion risk) where initial heat causes more heat (chemical reactions inside the battery).
  • Cooling the car before driving (a.k.a. standby cooling or pre-cooling) can help the battery. Example: using A/C in the Nissan Leaf (95F outdoor temp, 40% humidity, no recirculation) cooled battery to operating temp within 10 minutes, even though the cabin still felt warm. (This is the reversal of the +20% temperature in 10 minutes, mentioned above.)

To apply pre-cooling and other helps on the Insight, there are a few options you could try:
  • Remote engine start (targets 72F, runs for 10 minutes - attachment 3)
  • Open the windows/moonroof using the remote or physical key (attachment 4)
  • Use Eco mode to temporarily minimize energy use

Lastly, the air conditioning compressor is electrically-driven, so climate control/conditions can be maintained whether the gas engine is running or not. Keeping the windows rolled up will also reduce drag and help the engine(s) work less.
 

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You get better fuel efficiency driving on the highway with windows up and the AC on. The battery is air cooled instead of liquid cooled (Chevy Volt, Tesla) and the vent is right below the rear middle seat where the hump is located. Also if the battery is too hot, regenerative braking doesn't work, so you won't be able to charge the battery either.
I was not aware of how the batteries cooled themselves. Today was a lot cooler (85 degrees) and the battery working perfectly fine now. EV mode engaging like a champ. I will not be a complete DUMMY going forward and keep the batteries cool.
 

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@franko1927 in Florida posted early-on about similar experience in 90F temperature and at high HV battery charge... so you're not alone!

If your car was reading exterior temperatures of 98-101, then interior temperature must have been WAY higher (~120F)... since the interior temp can climb by +20% in as little 10 minutes. Lithium Ion battery capacity/life degrades quickly at high temperatures, so I think the car's programming kept the gas engine on to protect the battery by not using EV.

This Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) presentation on HV batteries is a little heady, but a few points from it that are relevant to reasons for EV/battery not engaging at high temperatures:

  • Ideal battery operating temperature is 59F to 95F (15C to 35C - attachment 1)
  • Evidence for this range shows in high-temperature climates where higher power loss occurs in less time (shorter battery life) than cooler climates (attachment 2)
  • Above the battery's ideal operating temperature, there's risk for "thermal runaway" - an unstoppable chain of chemical reactions (explosion risk) where initial heat causes more heat (chemical reactions inside the battery).
  • Cooling the car before driving (a.k.a. standby cooling or pre-cooling) can help the battery. Example: using A/C in the Nissan Leaf (95F outdoor temp, 40% humidity, no recirculation) cooled battery to operating temp within 10 minutes, even though the cabin still felt warm. (This is the reversal of the +20% temperature in 10 minutes, mentioned above.)

To apply pre-cooling and other helps on the Insight, there are a few options you could try:

  • Remote engine start (targets 72F, runs for 10 minutes - attachment 3)
  • Open the windows/moonroof using the remote or physical key (attachment 4)
  • Use Eco mode to temporarily minimize energy use

Lastly, the air conditioning compressor is electrically-driven, so climate control/conditions can be maintained whether the gas engine is running or not. Keeping the windows rolled up will also reduce drag and help the engine(s) work less.
Thank you for the info. I am definitely going to make sure the car/battery is cool now. Yesterday was the first day of the summer so far where the temperature outside was like the surface of the sun so I did not think about this being an issue.
 

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I'm in Sacramento and have been experiencing this since last night. We drove from our home to Applebee's 7.2mi away (with plenty of traffic and lights). We had the AC set to 74F Auto. . .

I pulled into the curbsite pickup and noticed the engine wasn't turning off. It was running with a full battery. Apart from turning the car completely off, the engine kept running. When we were leaving I turned on EV Mode and got this notice about the battery temp being at limit. I didn't think much of it at the time, figured I'd check it out when I got home.

...and promptly forgot about it, until today.

About 40min ago I left my home where my car is parked in the shade under a carport. It's 101F outside right now. About 3mi from home I tried to engage EV Mode (because before that it wouldn't engage because the engine wasn't hot enough. . . .lol) and got the same message about Batt temp being at limit.

At that point I called the dealer (Maita Honda) that I bought it from and asked service about it. They seemed kind of oblivious about it, but said they'd look at some info and ask their techs and get back to me. It did this all the way to the UPS store I was going to to drop a package off at. Didn't do it on the way home.

Maita Honda called me back a few minutes ago, said they couldn't really find anything about it online (I found it here in less than a minute lol) and their tech basically said it's hot outside and it'll do that.

I got more information from this post, which I'm going to print out and hand to Fred at Maita Honda. They seem to need it.

To the rest of you, thanks for the info, I can rest a little easier now.

P.S.
I did notice about a 12mpg difference (down) when it was doing this. When it's not, mpg seems to be fine. Just fyi.
 

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This has been a very informative thread for me. I did not know about the Battery Temp Limit. Now if I see a warning like this and it's hot out (I'm in Cincinnati, temps have been in the 90's for a few weeks) I'll know all about it. Also makes me want to park in that one shaded park at work from now on!

Thanks! Great thread!

Doogie
 

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This has been a very informative thread for me. I did not know about the Battery Temp Limit. Now if I see a warning like this and it's hot out (I'm in Cincinnati, temps have been in the 90's for a few weeks) I'll know all about it. Also makes me want to park in that one shaded park at work from now on!

Thanks! Great thread!

Doogie
It's not a bad idea(owners manual actually recommends it) especially if you have a darker colored Insight.


 

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I'll have to do some more research, but I do believe that I read somewhere that there is liquid cooling with our battery packs as well. If that's the case, maybe there is a way to cool it better.

I do know that the interior air, is pulled by fan to cool the battery pack.
 

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I'll have to do some more research, but I do believe that I read somewhere that there is liquid cooling with our battery packs as well. If that's the case, maybe there is a way to cool it better.

I do know that the interior air, is pulled by fan to cool the battery pack.
As you mentioned - the Honda Press Kit for the Insight mentions air-cooled battery pack:
"Battery temperature is controlled by a fan system that pulls air from the interior of the vehicle via vents located beneath the rear seat bottom."

This (non-Honda) Insight serviceability article mentions that the Inverter and DC-to-DC converter were air-cooled in prior gen models, but are now liquid cooled in the Gen3 Insight. Specifically, it mentions that the electric motors are cooled by the automatic transmission fluid, so it recommends a more aggressive/earlier transmission service (2 yr/30k mi) than Honda does.
 

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As you mentioned - the Honda Press Kit for the Insight mentions air-cooled battery pack:
"Battery temperature is controlled by a fan system that pulls air from the interior of the vehicle via vents located beneath the rear seat bottom."

This (non-Honda) Insight serviceability article mentions that the Inverter and DC-to-DC converter were air-cooled in prior gen models, but are now liquid cooled in the Gen3 Insight. Specifically, it mentions that the electric motors are cooled by the automatic transmission fluid, so it recommends a more aggressive/earlier transmission service (2 yr/30k mi) than Honda does.
I'm under the impression that all transmission fluid cooling happens at the motor side, and not the battery side. So unlikely that a simple cooling mod (like increasing coolant capacity) would have any effect on the battery. A crafty person could probably use a cooler, and a couple 5v fans, to rig up an evaporative cooling system to force colder air through the vent. But unfortunately this would require manual filling of the cooler, which would be quite annoying, cumbersome and expensive.

Also unlikely that an electric air conditioning set-up dedicated to the battery would be cost effective or feasible without some serious engineering, and of course at the cost of more load on the batteries. Unloading a Pandora's box of cooling vs the extra heat caused by higher load on the cells.
 

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If the DC-DC converter on the insight is in fact liquid cooled, then there would be an inlet and outlet for coolant as well. An increase on coolant volume, could in fact cool the dc-dc converter more efficiently, reducing the amount of heat near the batteries, although I don't know how much of an effect this would have on battery temperatures, assuming the housing is plastic, it already has insulating properties to minimize heat transfer to the battery pack.
 
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