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EVPlus - Gen 2 Prius - Plug-in Conversion Blog

This is where you will find out how it all goes together...
 
 Installing a PlugIn Supply (PIS) "10KW" system into a right hand drive Gen II Prius (2008) in Australia.
The Generation 2 (Gen 2) model produced from 2004 to early 2009. Model: NHW20R

DISCLAIMER - Please read...

- EVPLUS has only described what was done to one Australian Prius which has worked very well.

- EVPLUS takes no responsibility for any problems that may occur due to work that you do on a vehicle.

- EVPLUS may have errors in this description of work. It is up to you to check this before you proceed.

- EVPLUS is not in the business of doing Prius Plug-in conversions, but will assist with advice only.
 

...Please make use of the menu on the left.
                                                

EV Mode not available...

Added by admin 13/12/16

After installing and using the PIS system, I was upset to hear lots of beeping at times and thought that the PIS Front Controller had problems. Associated with the beeping was the notice flashing up on the screen "EV Mode not available at this time..." or similar.        (PIS = Plug In Supply, California)

Before we go too much further, firstly let me tell you a bit about part of the wiring from the PIS Front Controller to the Prius.
There are two wires which connect from the Front Controller to the wiring of the Prius EV switch (see "EV Switch Wiring" menu item on the left.) The EV switch comes preinstalled in the Australian Gen 2 Prius.

After much listening to beeping and a lot of thinking and watching to see when the beeping occurred, the problem is, I think, a design / setup problem with Front Controllers sent to Australia (which are the same ones used in the US).

In the US Prius, the top EV mode speed is around 34mph(or more I have read - someone please verify this for me, thanks).
The Australian Prius is set to turn off / not allow "EV Mode" above 45kph (around 28mph).

This causes a problem between 28mph and 34mph when the front controller tries to turn on the EV Mode. Of course in Australia that is always not allowed and it keeps trying and beeping, trying and beeping, about every 6 seconds.

The reason this is very annoying is that a popular maximum suburban road speed (off the main roads) is 50kph (31mph), right in the middle of this disallowed range. (The main roads are 60kph)

I asked Robb from PIS if he could supply a special Front Controller for us Aussies and possibly New Zealanders and possibly Europeans. I am willing to pay for it.

Robb is a great guy and easy to correspond with, but this time I didn't like his response...

      "I can't change the software. No demand except from yourself to justify the expense."

      ...

      "No. The software is based on Toyota software and I cant change it."

     "
The beeping is normal. It does not beep all the time. I don't know why."

I have worked out why and told him.
It is not the Toyota software that needs changing, it is the programming in the PIS Front Controller.

So, after you non-US residents install the PIS Front Controller and have the same result as I have above, please ask Robb to send you a special Front Controller... or better still ask him to supply you one specially programmed for your country, when ordering it. Specify maximum EV Mode speed = 45kph (28mph).

Please let me know how you go.

 

                                                                                                                                            

Installing the JLD404 Metering

Added by admin 16/11/15

The JLD404 meter is ideal for this situation to keep across the monitoring of the pack Voltage, Current in and out and Ampere Hours in and out. It also has a Time function to keep track of hour long it has been monitoring. The JLD404 (mine has red LED digits) and the associated 150Amp / 75mV shunt were purchased from LightObject.com.

The measurements made are saved in non-volatile memory so the device only needs to be powered when the car is being used or charged. It is reset by pushing and holding in the button, second from the right
The JLD404 is powered from the OEM 12V battery via an isolated  12V - 12V DC-DC converter.

The following photos show where and how it was mounted.

It was difficult finding a spot to put this meter. I eventually worked out that there was room behind the rear section interior light

 

Now with the light removed, it will allow the JLD404 to extend behind the panel.
We didn't use this light much, and I may put the light back sometime, just to the right of where it was.

 

A close up of the cut-out required. The cutting was done with the Dremel, which, with it's variable speed and a diamond tipped saw blade, did a great job.

 

The perfect spot for it... I have now added a shade over the top to prevent the sun shining on it.

 

                                                                                                                                            

Installing The Battery Pack

Added by admin 03/06/15

The battery is made up of 76 off 40Ah Winston LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) cells. (WB-LYP40AHA)

The battery frame (shown elsewhere) contains these cells in four rows of nineteen.

The battery frame sits where the the Rear Deck Floor Box (Black Tray) used to be and spare wheel used to be under that. Both will not be returning to the car.

The first few photos show the method of sealing off the front and rear opening under the battery frame.
This is necessary because once installed if something was to fall in and go under the frame into the wheel-well, it would be irretrievable.

As mentioned above it is necessary to seal off under the battery frame, this is done with pieces of expanded polyethylene, cut to the precise shape of the place they have to seal against. This was done with some careful use of a contour gauge. The rear piece has two vents fitted to allow air circulation around the cells of the battery.

 

This is looking towards the rear at the back seal. These pieces are glued to the car but not to the battery frame - they are self supporting. Polyurethane glue was used.

 

The is the sealing piece that stops things falling down the back of the battery box.

 

Battery frame now installed. Looking straight down the front of the battery frame (rear of the car).

 

Overall view of the installed battery frame.

 

76 cells in position...

 

76 cells now held down with the 25mm "mudguard" washer and a Nyloc nut. Originally (as shown elsewhere), I was going to use spring washers and nuts. I feel that the Nyloc nut is much better.
I would like to thank fellow AEVA member Steve R for helping me place and arrange the cells into the frame. Once the cells were all located the end clamping screws on the right hand side (shown in "Battery Frame" section) were tightened against the clamping plate, to keep the cells all tight in each row.

 

Now the felt covered "mudguard" washers affixed to nuts (silver solder) are put in place and all made level with a low strength Loctite (222) to keep them in position. These all align with the felt covered angles on the edge of the frame.

 

Just testing that the clear polycarbonate (Lexan) sheet fits nicely.. It Does!

 

Checking each cell and recording the voltage (from the factory). All are sitting around 3.3V and the maximum deviation over the 76 cells was 22mV.

 

This shows the method of interlinking the cells with braided straps and on top; the EV Power BMS modules.

Every connection point, interconnect, battery terminal etc, was cleaned with a brass wire brush and then immediately coated with (NO-OX-ID "A-SPECIAL") grease, prior to assembly. This has to be done carefully as to not remove the plating, but just to clean the surfaces.

 

This took hours to install the interconnects and BMS modules...

 

All cells are now connected and the BMS modules installed.

 

Now it was time to wire the BMS loop from one cell to the next, to the next, to ...
... another couple of hours.

 

This highlighted section shows the negative connection to the battery bank. See photos in the "Battery Frame" section for the construction of the plastic lined exit points.

 

This shows the positive battery connection. See photos in the "Battery Frame" section for the construction of the plastic lined exit points.

The final result is a 40Ah battery pack of 251 Volts and a capacity of just under 10kWh.

 

As the positive battery cable leaves the battery box, the first thing it comes to is the fuse.
This is a BUSSMANN FWH-125A 500Volt fuse. The total length is 91mm and the diameter of the centre section is 31mm. The lugs suit 8mm bolts.
This fuse was encased in a short length of (40mm diam?) PVC water pipe (painted orange) with rubber bungs in the ends with holes for the cables.

 

Here is the end result of the wiring directly from the battery. The one with the red lug is for the fuse and the black lug one is for the 75mV shunt for the JLD404 meter.
The small connector has the HV wiring for the JLD404: red from the fuse and black and blue from the shunt.
These units and then attached to the "near side" of the battery frame just under the charger.

 

Now, with the imported mat from the US (not available in Australia for the Gen2 Prius) placed on top of the clear polycarbonate sheet. Very tidy!

 

                                                                                                                                            

Installing Heavy Duty Springs

Added by admin 26/03/15

The original rear springs have now been replaced with King Springs KTRR-106SP. (Catalogue)

These are bright yellow in colour, and thicker steel (13mm) compared to the original springs (11mm).

GMR motors installed these for me - Thanks Gordon.

This has raised the rear of the car about 25mm... keeping in mind that the battery frame and LiFePO4 cells have not been installed yet.

I will update this measurement after the batteries have been installed.

Heavy Duty springs from King Springs. Catalogue Part: KTRR-106SP

 

Comparison of the original on the left with the new Heavy Duty one on the right.
Notice the thicker spring steel in the heavy duty one - 13mm compared with the original 11mm dia.
The left-rear and right-rear springs are identical.
      Photo courtesy of: lopezjm2001 (PRIUSchat Forum)
 


Replaced rear right.

 

Replaced rear left.

 

The car is shown here with the heavy duty springs installed, but the extra batteries are not installed yet.

25mm higher at the back is not very noticeable.

Standard Prius rear springs for sale!

Now to start installing the LiFePO4 cells...that will bring it back down...
 


These are the figures after installing the Heavy Duty springs at the rear.
Notice that it now basically back to standard Prius height. Excellent.
Approx. 120Kg was added to to rear of the car: Battery frame, batteries and control boxes etc.

HUB TO GUARD (mm)

  FL FR RL RR
Standard Prius 368 367 355 362
Heavy Duty Springs 368 367 380 385
Battery Pack Installed 368 367 357 357


 

                                                                                                                                            

Mounting the Charger

Added by admin 13/02/15

The charger was one of the most difficult jobs, I had to try to place it out of the way in the boot (trunk) so that is didn't take up much space. I kind of succeeded but this left me very little room for the other items that had to be put somewhere. I would like to thank Steve R (a fellow AEVA member) for helping with this work, it was good to have two brains working at miscellaneous problems along the way. Thanks Steve.

 

This is what the original Gen2 Prius rear left section looks like...

 

...and with the boot floor and trim over OEM battery removed. Last look!

 

It was too hard to manoeuvre the 7Kg (2KW) TC Charger ** in and around the rear of the car, so I made a cardboard mock-up of the aluminium bracket and the charger using the ever useful hot glue and some metal clips to hold the "charger" to the "bracket". The white pieces of foam represent the three 240 Volt fans which will be running while the charger is operating.
** Brand: TC Charger, Model: TCCH-H289.5-08, setup in the factory for 277.4V (76 off LiFePo4 cells @ 3.65V) Type: Enable

 

The cardboard bracket was trimmed on the RHS to match the internals of the boot...

 

... and at the same time keeping the whole lot vertical.

 

The cardboard template is then sprayed with aluminium metalizer to produce this bracket. Actually it was formed from 3mm aluminium sheet. The holes for the fans were cut and and the panel was bent into shape by Nathan B. Thanks Nathan.
5mm nutserts (rivnuts/threaded inserts) were placed top and bottom where the charger is to mount, except for the bottom right (to the left in the photo). The 240V fans are now mounted and wired.

 

5mm nutserts were place in the seam of the car body in four places. The bottom right one also holds the charger in that position.

 

Bracket with fans pre-mounted is then installed in the car.
In the top left there is a 5mm nutsert on the aluminium panel with a 5mm screw which places pressure into an indentation in the car panel to secure it at this point.

 

The mounting holes in the "Output" end of the charger were slotted to allow easy mounting.

 

The bottom two charger mounting screws were made captive with a gap just wide enough to slide the bottom bracket of the charger into. The charger is then held in place with the top screws.
This was necessary because of the close proximity of the charger to the battery frame. Access to the bottom screws is very limited once everything is in the car, and the charger will have to be able to be removed easily to access the control and contactors boxes underneath.

 

The charger is then mounted on the bracket and it fits perfectly, and it's vertical!

 

This shows how it is mounted out of the way.

 

The trim is now cut to fit around the charger, without looking too ugly.

 

This photo shows the charger tucked neatly away, with the trim replaced.


 

                                                                                                                                            

Installing the Charging Port

Added by admin 23/10/14

The charging port is to be installed onto the rear plastic bumper bar. In this case the left was chosen, because of proximity to where the charger is to be mounted.
The following photos show the progress...

The 240V Power inlet is available from Caravans Plus:
"POWERUN: Power Inlets, 15amp, Weatherproof lid, WHITE." from here: http://caravansplus.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=10862

The POWERUN type was selected because it has no screws visible when the cover is closed unlike other brands.
 

 

Firstly, remove this cover from under the back left of the vehicle, to allow access to the inside of the bumper.

 

This shows the layout on the bumper after using a black marker with the soft gasket, that was supplied with the outlet, as a template. The exact position is not a problem as there is plenty of space behind the bumper. Look for the flattest section of the bumper. Just try and get it vertical!

 

Drill the 4 holes to suit the 4mm stainless (countersunk) bolts (eg. 4.5mm).
Cut inside the line with a Dremel, with a burr cutter installed or similar. Don't run the Dremel too fast as it will melt the plastic and inhibit the cutting action. Don't slip!

 

It should then look something like this...

 

The 240Volt cable is then fed from inside the boot through the existing rubber plug/grommet, which has to have a hole placed in it. Leave plenty of cable inside the boot for future connection. Notice the grey communications cable which connects the PIS Rear Box to the PIS Front Box. Also, the black covered cable is the control wires from the main battery box connection.

 

Under the car the cable is routed so that it is out of the way and plenty left for re-terminating as required.
This will  be covered up when the plastic cover panel is replaced.
 

 

This photo was very hard to get - I just held the camera up inside the bumper and... flash!

The 240V power inlet is wired outside the car - prior to mounting on the bumper.
The power inlet is then installed, using the thin foam gasket, with the 4mm stainless steel, countersunk bolts. I used what I had, they could have been much shorter. They probably only need to be about 25mm long. Notice, I used stainless mudguard washers (25mm) and then a smaller washer and then a spring washer. The mudguard washers helps to spread the load on the plastic bumper. The top mudguard washers had to be cut to fit around the inlet housing.
 

 

The final result... with more appropriate labels over the original "Inlet 15A"


                                                                                                                                            

Making the Battery Frame

Added by admin 31/07/14 - Updated 23/10/14 and 30/03/15

The Plug-In Supply kit has an option to use four plastic cell holder modules in the "10KW" kit.
I decided to go a different way and make a steel battery frame which is then fixed to the vehicle.
One of the reasons for doing this is to allow the LEDs on each cell's BMS module to be visible through a clear polycarbonate sheet, once the Genuine Toyota one piece mat has been removed.

Doing this meant that I would not be carrying a spare wheel in the normal position (under the steel frame!)
Instead, I will be carrying a Slime/Air Compressor unit which fits nicely under the front seat.
For trips away & holidays I will place the spare wheel in the back of the car with the associated tools.

I will be having the complete plan available to anyone wanting to copy this design.

The welding, drilling and countersinking was done by Ray from Hammat Precision Engineering. Thanks Ray - great job.

The frame has been designed especially to hold 76 off 40Ah (Winston WB-LYP40AHA) LiFePO4 cells.

This series of photos shows the battery frame construction...

The base of the frame has been welded..

 

... with all the welds cleaned up outside...

 

and inside as well using the Dremel - Great tool.
The frame is made from 20 x 20 x 3mm steel angle and 20 x 3mm flat steel for the cell support (next to Dremel grinding head)

 

Positioning the base of the frame in the Prius to determine the mounting positions.

 

Here it is drilled and countersunk - 10 holes.

 

A close up...

 

This is how the frame is mounted to the car. Ten holes were drilled to match the frame holes and then 5mm Threaded Inserts (Rivnuts, Nutserts, Rivet Nuts (or whatever else you want to call them!) were installed in the holes. The insert shows how a Threaded Insert works.

 

The frame has now been completed regards to welding, with the final cleanup underway.

 

Just testing the cell positioning and the hold down arrangement and the cover sheet support mechanism.
There are 27 off 6mm diam (180mm long) hold down (threaded) rods welded to the frame base.

 

After applying the undercoat...

 

Now it's gloss black and testing the position in the rear of the Prius. It fits perfectly...

 

Looking towards the right...

 

Checking the pressure plate method of clamping the cells, showing just one row.

 

A close-up of the clamping mechanism. This uses 8mm nuts welded to the frame and then 8mm bolts to apply the clamping pressure. Only tighten just enough to ensure that the cells are firmly clamped together.
The pressure plate is made from 3mm aluminium sheet. The final bolts will have hex heads for easier access in the limited space.

 

A view from the other side. Notice how the aluminium pressure plate is slotted to allow it to move over the bottom rails freely.

 

Another view of the cell hold down arrangement and cover support. Hardware is all 6mm; using mudguard washers, split spring washer and nuts. The top nut/washers, which were joined with silver solder, are still to be painted and will eventually be covered with felt.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 23/10/14...

....and then when you think it's all done - your realise that you have to get electrons out of the pack though some sort of exit ports on the end of the frame. An extra piece of 30mm x 2mm steel was added to the two corners requiring the plastic bush, because of the size of the hole required (approx 18mm) to take the bushing. Careful measurement to ensure the hole was horizontally and vertically in line with where the terminal was to go on to the cell(s). The bushing was then anchored to the frame using "JB-Weld" epoxy resin. The plastic bushes used were originally a "5-10mm DIA IP68 Waterproof Cable Glands" Jaycar Part Number: HP0727. The extended threaded section (shown) was eventually cut off flush with the surface of the hex nut. The "JB-Weld" can be purchased from Jaycar or Masters.

 

Grind it off flush with the inside surface, after the JB Weld has set - which leaves a nice plastic bushing...

 

... do the same both sides (made a mess of the paint job!)

 

Then I repainted the end - again. That's better!  Now - the battery frame is complete.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next 5 photos were added March 30, 2015...

This one shows that I have placed another plastic bushing... this time for the BMS wires etc. to exit the battery frame. Notice also the felt (self adhesive) stuck to the top surface of the frame. This is for the polycarbonate sheet to sit on. I have placed a tapped hole (5mm) in the centre of each side top angle so that I can eventually fix the polycarbonate sheet down securely with some fancy countersunk screws.

 

The extra bushing was done was done on both sides of the left hand end. The same method of fixing was used as for the larger ones described earlier.

 

Just checking on how the (27) felt covered nut/washer assemblies will support the polycarbonate sheet (clear) which will lay on top of this structure when completed. All felt surfaces are to adjusted to be level with the felt covered frame.

 

A close up of one of the supports, showing the three layers: nut, washer and felt.

 

This shows the polycarbonate sheet temporarily in place (with protective sheets still in place). I won't be able to take this sort of photo when all the cells have been installed.

The total weight of the steel battery frame, including the aluminium clamping plate is 11Kg.

We are now ready to install the battery frame into the Prius...

 

                                                                                                                                              

Connecting to the EV Switch wiring

Added by admin 16/12/13

The Plug-In Supply kit requires a connection to the EV Switch wiring which connects to Pin 27 of the ECU connector (H14). Under the control of firmware, the PIS Front Control Box sends a signal via this connection, as required.

This series of photos shows the connection into the EV Switch wiring...

NOTE: It is assumed that you have disconnected the 12 volt auxiliary battery.
Also note that you take full responsibility for any result of your actions.
These notes and photos are presented here as a guide as to how I performed this connection.

(The Australian version of the Prius comes with the EV Switch (Button) (shown at right) already installed from the Toyota manufacturing plant. This means that the requirement of "Try EV pin harvesting" is not necessary. Pin 27 of the ECU connector (H14) is already wired to the Prius EV switch.)


The process below shows how to connect to this wire.

The first step is to remove the lower glove box.
Apply pressure at the two points indicated by the red arrows. and ease the glove box down past the side supports.
As you gently lift the glove box outwards, disconnect the dampener on the left hand side.
The glove box can now be lifted clear to reveal the wiring on the left hand side as shown below.

 

Glove box removed, showing connectors...

 

The connector we require is indicted by the red arrow.

 

Remove the grey connector (H14) as indicated so that you can get access to the black wire indicated below.
Note: To make it easy to access, I removed the white connector to the right of the grey one.

 

This photo shows the connection to the black wire (Pin 27), and an earth wire (green) has been bolted under a nearby bolt, after having an appropriate round lug crimped on.

 

An exploded view of the black wire connection. This has been soldered then covered with a short length of heatshrink tubing. I cut the original black wire and placed the heatshrink on prior to making the solder connection. I used black to continue with the same colour scheme and then the earth wire had to be green, didn't it. (I would have normally used black for the earth wire). You can use whatever colours you like.

 

This photo shows the connectors placed back in there sockets and the wiring supported to the frame above the filter box.
I used mini "Anderson" connectors here so that I can easily connect the Front Control Box at installation time.
Note: I used a red connector on the black "live" EV switch wire and a black one on the earth connection.


Next step:

Replace the lower glove box, remembering to attach the dampener on the left.

Other than this connection, the OBD2 connection and the 'Patch' cable from the Front PIS Control Box to the Rear PIS Control Box, the only other wiring connected to the front of the car is the ICE Kill switch, which I will describe soon...

 

                                                                                                                                          

Plug-in Supply "Front Controller"

Added by admin 9/9/13

This photo shows the connections to the PIS Front Controller and future blog entries will show more detail of some of these connections to the Prius wiring.
- The EV switch wiring is found in the grey plug to the left of the glove box, photo details soon.
- The OBD2 connection goes to the OBD2 socket under the steering wheel.
- The "Patch" cable is to be routed under all of the door sill panels etc. to the rear of the car.
   This forms a one way communication link from the Front to the Rear Controller
- The ICE Kill Switch "Extension' connects into the black wire connected to Pin 4 of connector E7.
   More info on that later.

Cost: $US450.00 plus USPS freight. Note PIS pricing structure has now changed. See www.pluginsupply.com for more details.

 

                                                                                                                                          

ICE Kill Switch Wiring

Added by admin 8/10/15

The ICE Kill Switch is a momentary switch mounted on the Front Controller (as seen in the photo in the Front Controller section).

This switch allows the Prius to run on battery alone. The power available is obviously limited and so the car should only be driven on the flat and at speeds not exceeding 70km per hour.
The only way to start the engine again is the stop the car, turn it off and restart it.
Only push the switch while in EV mode and not when the engine is running. The instantaneous fuel consumption should be reading 0.0Litres/100km prior to pushing the switch. If it is pushed while the engine is running the Front Controller may not be able to reset the error code (big red triangle etc.), which it normally does.

This section will show the wiring of this switch into the Prius wiring.
Connection is made into the black wire which is connected to Pin4 of the white connector E7.

Before beginning, familiarise yourself with the first section of the "Connecting to the EV Switch Wiring", where we disconnect the battery and then remove the glove box. Once this is removed the Connecter E7 is accessible.

This is the connecter that is worked on. (White E7)

 

Remove the connector from the socket and then cut the black wire well away from the connector.
eg. to the left of the arrow as shown here.

 

Then connect a blue wire (or the colour of your choice) to each of the cut ends. The ICE kill switch is wired in series with this black wire. Insulate the connections well. The switch actually disables the "Engine Control Module" by removing 12V power to it.

 

The wires are then routed with the "EV Switch" wires around the rear of the dashboard as shown to keep the wiring neat and out of the way.

 

The wires are then brought behind and out of the centre front console, as shown. Ensure that mini Anderson connectors are placed on the blue wires. They must remain connected together until the front controller box is installed, otherwise the engine will not run.

 

This shows the final wiring of the Front Controller box. The only wiring not shown here is the "Patch cable" which connects the Front Controller box to the Rear Controller box. This cable is routed down the right hand side of the vehicle (driver's side in Australia) and then up under the dash and down to combine with the "ICE Kill" , "EV Switch" and OBD2 wiring. It is kept on the right hand side to keep it clear of the high voltage wiring which runs down the left side of the vehicle.

 

It ends up looking pretty neat and out of the way, after a lot of work!

 

                                                                                                                                          

Your comments.

here...

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Steve G (Western Australia) - Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:02:00
Hi Eric, thanks, this blog has been very helpful particularly for converting my Australian (RH drive) Prius.
 

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Tjoan - Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:25:00
Hi Eric, What a great blog! I am now a regular follower of your blog :-) It's amazing to see what you have done I have a Prius 2010 that I want to convert as well using plugin supply kit. I have been in contact with Robb lately. Do you happen to know if there's anyone else who has done the conversion? I would like to know how reliable the system is. Cheers, Tjoan

               Reply sent...

 

 

                                      
    


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