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Discussion Starter #24
So how is the stock battery recharged, DC/DC? Just wondering as I am currently planning my audio build.
Yes, the battery is charged using the DC/DC converter.
That is, the "stock" DC/DC converter.

@ZF1GC

What RMS wattage are you looking at installing?

Also, keep in mind what I am doing is yet to be tested. I saw a youtube video of a high powered system with supplemental battery. When the owner was asked about running at high output over an extended period, he said he kept at moderate level normally (what is moderate???) and didn't have any problem. No mention if he attempted high output over an extended period or what happened.

FWIW, the "aftermarket" DC/DC converter I ordered should be delivered today. I've yet to decide whether I'm going to do "breadboard" testing or proceed with my installation without testing :eek:

I decided to go with two Kinetik HC600 as my supplemental batteries, even though I have three HC3800's not in use. The HC600 is only 3" wide, and two will fit in the lower compartment behind the IPU.
 

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My range is anywhere between 900 -1400 RMS. I have a XS D3400, which would be my supplemental battery. Please keep me posted on your aftermarket DC/DC adventurers :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
My range is anywhere between 900 -1400 RMS. I have a XS D3400, which would be my supplemental battery. Please keep me posted on your aftermarket DC/DC adventurers :thumbsup:
The stock system with the XS should allow you to "thump" for a short while... but driving the system hard for an extended period would definitely result in a low voltage condition. BTW, low voltage operation is the number one reason for premature amp failure.

If you want kept updated with my progress, subscribe to this thread under Thread Tools at the top...
 

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Already sub'd. I'm very familiar with car audio, I'm just being cautious around the electrical system of this car. I had 2 10w7's and a set of rockford t3s in my last car :headbang:
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Anything new jhren?
Working on other mods at present. I will update this thread when I get back to this topic.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a laptop charger using a similar technique? Or is it even necessary?
IMO not necessary. Just use a typical 12VDC/120VAC inverter, output rated at least equal to the input current rating of the regular AC adapter for the laptop... or check with the laptop manufacturer to see if they have a 12VDC power supply. I have one for my HP (dinosaur at this point), which just plugs into the cigarette lighter (nowadays its called a power outlet :)), but the plug can be cut off and hardwired into the system (make sure it's fused... because most units with power outlet plug, the fuse is in the plug).

I also have an MS Surface Pro. There are aftermarket adapters for the Surface RT, but when I looked there wasn't any rated for the Pro, so I bought a Bestek inverter to power the AC adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Update

Managed to install the converter, amp, and component speakers over the weekend. All working great (and sounding great, too!!!).


Batteries and converter installed in well behind IMA battery...



This is with amp and crossover mounting board in place...


Eventually I'll make a cover for the wiring still exposed at the back. More concerned with sub enclosure design, build, and install at present :).

A word of caution for anyone that attempts this. Keep the IMA battery switched off (see earlier pictures for switch location) while connecting the converter. I didn't and got zapped a couple times... zowweee ...!!!

Also, when making the final 12V connection, jumper around it with perhaps jumper cables, then make the connection. My last connection was the wire between 12V fuse and the battery terminal (closest in 1st picture). The arcing welded a few strands of the conductor to the terminal and I had to push the remaining strands into the terminal. The best alternative is to use the resistor method of equalizing the voltage across the cap's internal to the amp and the factory 12V system.
 

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Hey jhren, this is wonderful info!
I was considering getting Honda Civic Type R next year, but i somehow found the CR-Z exist. :)
As a hobby, i fly RC helicopters and we have high power demands for charging the Lithium packs in that. After 6 minute flight, the charging consume 15-20Ah from 12V battery.
So we are using portable LiFeYPO4 batteries or 1-2kW generators (the best ones are made by Honda BTW).
Now I am equipped to charge with 2kW of power from 24V or at 1kW from 12V, taking 100A current.

But there are some unknown things:
- how much capacity the batteries have, the voltage seems to be 100V for NiMh or 144V for Lion?
- could the control system be hacked to recharge the battery when motor is running on idle?

On the flying field, when we run out of capacity of the batteries we brought, we start a car and pull usually 50-70A out, but the alternators does not like this and heat up.

Running this car as a generator is technically possible for sure, but from what i found, it seems the software allows charging only from regenerative braking?

Lets say "self charging" battery source would make my hobby even better, not having to pull the batteries out of the car and charge them over night.
Thank you for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I don't know and haven't been able to find the battery bank's capacity rating in amp-hrs.

I don't know if the 2013 system is different from prior model years, but the IMA charging system is not limited to only regenerative braking. Servicing recommends recharging the battery system by holding the rpm at 3500, but in my experience, the charging system kicks in at lower rpm's according to the Charge/Assist indicator... just takes longer. I have increased the "battery status bars" at 2,000 rpm while not driving. I haven't noticed any charging occurring at idle.

FWIW, I connected the aftermarket DC/DC converter directly to the 144V system... so it acts as a parasitic load on the Li-Ion battery bank when my Z is not running. I have gotten a couple "check charging system" warnings when starting the car after having not driven it for a few days (and having the doors open, i.e. courtesy lamps on, for extended periods while working on the "media" system). IMO, expected. If it becomes a problem, I'll use a relay to only connect the converter while the key is in the acc or on positions (i.e. disconnect it when the key is in the off position).

BTW, once the 144V system is tapped into and wires brought external to the pack, that provides a means to connect an external 144V charging system. Shouldn't be too hard to find such an aftermarket AC/DC charging system. Could possibly use a solar battery charge controller connected to 120VAC (or whatever your standard AC voltage is if non-US).
 

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Thanks, perhaps the current flowing to the battery can be measured by clip ampmeter?
Because the vehicle does not have an alternator, it should be supplying some power on idle too.

But i am interested in long term experience with your mod, i am affraid the electronics could be confused by this parasitic load (or in general by the current draw).
By curiosity, i asked Tesla about year ago, if is possible to tap to the battery of their vehicles - they wrote "no way". :)
These are not sold in Europe anyway and all-electric car is not a wise thing to buy (my opinion), and also are far from my budget.

The general scenario is to drive to the flying field, charge the RC heli packs from the CRZ battery and when it becomes low, start the car to charge it back.
It would be really helpful to know the capacity of the CRZ pack, but there is another issue - how long the NiMh pack could hold abuse like this.
Does anyone in US offer rebuilding the pack with new cells?
Maybe that company will have answer to this.
Replacing cells in intelligent units like this also usually involve resetting the internal electronics (good example is laptop battery), so this dream-like solution might be at the end more expensive then my current situation, if there will not be anyone in Europe knowing/willing to do that.
The authorised dealers would kill me for only thinking about this tap. :)

One warning from the RC world - we use Lithium Polymer cells and the best ones are capable of hundreds of cycles, but due to internal chemical processes, they usualy get old in 2 years, 4 maximum.

The CRZ probably use cylindrical LiOn, these are safer, but the aging also aplies.
So i have real doubt the pack will survive in good conditions more then 5-6 years (without tap), the only chemistry which seems to be good for long term use is LiFeYPO4.

Anyway i at least know now the IOTA and PowerMax units can use DC input - these power supplies are sometimes used by RC model pilots and i did not know that.

It seems about 4 CRZ are available today on local major used car website, pretty low mileage, it seems to be as rare as Civic Type R here, which seems to me is starting to be hard to get in good contition and they hold the high price.
I will definitely incorporate CRZ test drive into my plans when buying new vehicle.
(well, used one, i cannot afford new one)
 

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Oh, and there is more space available under the floor of the trunk?
You put your Pb batteries there it seems?
Any chance you might take a photo of the space or measure the available dimensions?
Does the car have spare wheel which takes the space under the trunk?
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
There is no place to use an AC current clamp. You can only measure AC current inductively if around one or two of the three (phase) wires... and there is no place other than in the pack itself where there is enough separation to get a clamp around a wire. The three wires are in a tube, that AFAIK is not split like other automotive loom tubing.

BTW, after my earlier post I had to run to the store. The Charge indicator went to 4 bars just after start up, and the engine was idling at about 1200 rpm... zero battery status bars. Later during my drive, I noticed there was no bars on the Charge indicator at a stop light, but went to 4 bars when I reached 1000 rpm. Later, under similar conditions, except battery status was showing bars, the Charge indicator did not show anything except during deceleration. AFAICT, charging at times other than deceleration is dependent on battery status.

I'm aware that connecting my aftermarket power supply to the 144V system will likely accelerate the 144V battery pack degradation... but that would occur no matter how I connected in the "media" system. If I connected to the stock 12V supply that would likely cause rapid degradation or severely premature failure of the built-in dc/dc converter. The only other alternative would be to mod the engine to add an alternator and voltage regulator combo for the auxiliary 12V power supply. But I have to wonder how that would affect the "performance" part of the system. As I said early on, the power has to come from somewhere, and without an external means to charge the electrical system, the gasoline engine is where it has to come from.

I have no confirmed logistics on the battery pack longevity. I read somewhere that (someone said) Honda said it'll last up to 15 years under ideal conditions... but how often do ideal conditions occur in real world driving habits...!!!

As far as space beneath cargo "mat", I think it is the same as earlier versions... though less a spare tire. About 3" in height (8.5 cm ?). The 2013 only comes with an inflator that has an integrated "fix-a-flat" reservoir (which I doubt is rechargeable dealer-wise after used, i.e. read have to buy new one). The well behind the battery pack is additional space and is about 18"W x 11"H x 6"D. The width changes from top to bottom, both being rounded as is the 18" figure. To get the full 6" depth, I had to modify the wiring harness and attachments in that location, but no actual change to the wire itself, just changed the location of the boot that penetrates the rear wall, relocated and re-taped the loom tubing as needed.
 

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According to Honda Worldwide | CR-Z, the capacity is 5.75Ah. That's given as a "3-hour discharge rate" so it may vary slighty based on discharge speed. Sorry if I misread, you might have been looking for 2013's capacity. 5.75Ah is for 2011-12.

Just a thought I had, do we know if the battery balancing system works while the car is off? If it is disabled when the car is turned off, the relay you mentioned sounds like it'd be a good idea. Maybe this could be found in the service manual. I love the project by the way. I was always jealous to see these kinds of mods on Insights. Hopefully when CR-Z warranties start running out we'll see some more of this kind of thing.
 

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I have about 6 months to decide CRZ/CTR, there is a possibility i will be daily driving 50km (45 highway) to work and 50km back in 2015, so the CRV could be better option.
I will watch the thread and the experience from this mod.

5.75Ah at 100V is like 47Ah or so at 12V, so that is not much, but the tap seems to be easy to do.
By my experience with various battery chemistry, i guess the 2013 LiOn will have similar capacity but higher voltage, which is probably also the reason why the 2013 model have 15kW electric power and 2012 have 10kW - the motor is probably exactly the same.
The power basically scale with voltage.

I was told routing thick + wire from battery to trunk in CTR is no problem, so i could put some LiFeYPO4 pack under the trunk area there, but that is serious mod, which add weight and might affect resale value.

Anyway, this is clever and nicely done, nice work.
In case you will one day end with 0 bars and will have a voltmeter, i expect the input to the Powermax is accesible - put a voltmeter in there and start the car and leave it on idle. If the voltage will be rising, we have an answer to the question if the battery is recharged on idle.
It would be kind of you if you can do that, also it could be useful for you, to know that.
Thanks.
 
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