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Forum Index : Solar : Toyota Camry Hybrid Battery

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Old Seagull Man
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Joined: 21/12/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 34
Posted: 01:35pm 19 Dec 2020
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Was at the local car wreckers, wandering around, as one does, and noticed a row of Toyota Camrys hybrids, ex cabs, about 6 in a row.
And noticed a rather neat battery pack mounted up behind the back seat. Has anyone any experience with these?
Or even some general information to share about them. I was just thinking 3 or 4 of them together might be a reasonable sized battery pack.


just a thought..
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 02:44pm 19 Dec 2020
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You might want to ask the price First.
I looked into the priarse batteries a while back and they were $1500 and I think around 7 Kwh but I can't remember the voltage. i remember thinking they would not be economical though.

You might do better to look at the auctions and see what the whole cars go for. Might be cheaper to buy a wreck, take what you need and sell the rest.

I would not think that the battery packs in ex Cabs would be real good. Never harder use than a vehicle as a Taxi.
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3680
Posted: 07:45pm 19 Dec 2020
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Dave has a point.  
Taxis are usually driven into the ground and then scrapped when they are totally worn out.

Finding a low mileage wreck at an insurance auction might be your best bet.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
Davo99
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Posted: 11:20pm 19 Dec 2020
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  Warpspeed said  

Finding a low mileage wreck at an insurance auction might be your best bet.


Taxis used to be driven literaly to destruction. Now (here anyway) they have an age limit where they are required to be replaced. Gone are the days where '70S models were still being driven into the late '90s. I -think- the limit here is 5 years.

Friend owned a few of taxis in Sydney and they could clock up well over 100K Km a year as they were run 24/6.  One he had, a HJ Holden was coming up on 2 million KM on it's 3rd engine. I used to go help him service them one day/ afternoon a week.

I would think that the battery in a cab would have been Cycled to death and then possibly replaced. I also know that it would have suffered every form of abuse possible. Most Drivers are not owners and have no regard or mechanical sympathy and many can bearely read... in any lanuage.

One would best talk to someone in the Taxi industry to see what the typical story is. Maybe they go the distance, maybe they are replaced with some regularity.  As there are so many Hybrid cabs on the road now ( everything I see is either a Priarse or a Camry) I would suspect the taxi industry alone would create a strong demand for low Km used batterys alone. I don't see a lot of these Vehicles used privately so would assume the supply is not plentiful. There are places reconditioning them, that I know and there may also be people importing them as well.

The registration Rules as far as write off Vehicles went national some years back and the amount of vehicles that get yellow stickers ( write offs that can't be re registered nationwide) for fairly minor damage is both incredible and has dropped the price of wrecked Vehicles a Huge amount to what they used to be.

Panel beaters would buy damaged cars and repair them in quite times and sell them off but now repairable write offs are nearly finished. Far as I remember, they have to be 10 Yo+ and with very minor damage not to get on the WOVR which relegates them to parts only.

The thing is now that the labour cost of stripping the things is in more cases than not other than with very late model and expensive Vehicles, a bigger expense than the purchase cost of the Vehicle itself.

If one is spending their own time wrecking a vehicle this could VERY easily work out cheaper to buy the whole Vehicle than to buy just the battery from a Wrecker.
If one striped off other parts and sold them, could easily be profitable or get the battery for next to nothing.

There are a stack of Caveats though.

First is buying the things.

If you are not a dealer you may be relegated to the Public auctions only and be in there with every other backyard vulture that will often pay more than the things are worth... as they will find out later.

The auction houses, Pickles, Fowles and Manheim  being the biggest vehicle auctioneers slug you for all sorts of BS fees and charges. There can be " Hammer" charges for actualy buying the things, admin fees, auctioneer fees, Handling fees, Price of Haddock in Gdansk taxes and so it goes.

Make sure you have an idea of what the TOTAL price is going to be before you buy.
Nothing to buy some low end thing for $100 and by the time you get it its $400 ( some of their straight up fees are $100+ wether the car is worth $100 or a hundred Thousand)  and then you have towing fees.

Not a matter of just renting a car trailer and dragging the thing home either. Due to OH&BS rules and regs, if they aren't happy with Your Vehicle, trailer, securing or the smell of your after shave, they won't release the Vehicle. If the thing falls off or you have an accident, THEY are looked at as to their responsibility for letting the thing out the yard in an unsafe manner.  Then there is the paperwork and waiting round for them to go get the damn thing in the first place. That's usualy a given hour at these big yards.
Some places will Charge you a loading fee as well if it's not a runner.

Often better just to get a Tow truck to collect and deliver it but they don't do it for nothing either so factor that in.

The other thing that comes to mind is one would probably need more than one battery. How many cars you want to be buying, have sitting round the yard while you strip it and be dealing with the endless wankers out there when trying to sell parts?
1000% Gaurantee that 70% of people wont turn up after they tell you they are coming to get it, You will advertise a Camry and idiots will be ringing to see if you have parts for a '48 packard " Lying round anywhere" and the rest will be telling you they can come get it today.... and pay you .73 cents for something you want a grand for.

if you are one of those kinky types that likes putting yourself through pain and mental suffering, you hit the jackpot!

Also make sure you can get someone to take the shell for scrap when you are finished.
With the driveline gone where all the weight really is, many will charge big money to take them away because in fairness, a Car is worth $20-40 as scrap these days so makes it hard to justify getting out of bed to even go round the corner just for a single pick up.

The other thing is there is not very much on a car that's worth anything these days.
Forget about most of the interior for a start. You won't sell seats or Trim unless it's from the high end sports model.... If there is one. You won't EVER sell the sound system, carpet, seats or other regular Trim. Won't sell the gauge cluster, you MAY sell an indicator stalk, possibly a steering wheel if it's real good and these days even panels are slow moving. You will probably sell the bumpers, tail and head lights, Grille and indicators.  Doors and gaurds..... Maybe, if they are the right colour as the car the person that wants them has. Painting is a dirty word these days.  No idea what the drive train and components on a Hybrid are worth. would depend on their failure rate in service.

For these vehicles which are still a bit speciality, You may find a wrecker will buy the car less battery. Don't expect to get much though.  Really depends on what and how often things fail on these. On some cars the auto transmissions are worth nothing, literally. They don't fail in service and every car now is an auto plenty of them around so manuals are worth far more. On other Vehicles that drop transmissions regularly ( Hello VW and some Mazda Utes) the trannys are worth a fortune.

All a matter of supply, demand and reliability of the part to start with.

Buying a whole car may make the part Cheaper than buying it stand-alone but there will certainly be other costs. If multiple battery packs are needed, I really can't see this being a Viable option but of course all depends on what you can get them for.

Another thing that comes to mind is if buying from a wrecker, there is really a big risk with these things.  If they came from a Taxi or otherwise may be faulty, How the heck you going to claim warranty? Second you use something outside it's intended application, you are on your own Jack!

Electrical is a risk at the best of times. So many cases where people fit the new part where something else is wrong that caused the original to fail. Very rare for anyone to take anything electrical back or even warrant it unless they fit it and know it's the part not the vehicle it's being fitted to.

Trying to tell a wrecker that this battery has only been running your house a few weeks and you have been charging it with the solar charger you modified and been careful with the inverter that's running off it but it's dropped a cell or 3 and isn't putting out the right voltage any more... Yeah, good luck with that!
Thing could be completely dead when they give it to you and once anything other than putting it back in a vehicle happens, even fair trading wouldn't hesitate in backing the seller. I would also imagine that any warranty claim would require the VEHICLE with the battery in it to be brought back for them to check it was the battery and not something else. These days all they have to do is plug in a scan tool and bit hard to find an OBD port on just a battery I imagine.

I'd be interested to see if these battery's are even sold used with any warranty.

They seem like a Big risk to me in that regard.
Still don't reckon these battery's would be near the bang for the Buck a forklift or other LA or Lipos  would be but by all means find out what the things go for.
Might be surprising.

I'm thinking not in the way we would hope though.  :0(
 
Haxby

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Joined: 07/07/2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 188
Posted: 12:57am 20 Dec 2020
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Ooh this thread is right up my alley since I have been tinkering with my Prius and building a 200v warpverter to suit the Prius batt pack. See my recent thread in the electronics section for some good recent progress here

If it's an older Camry Hybrid, it will have a NiMH battery around 200v. Only around 2kwh capacity, but heaps of instantaneous power. Say 50kw.

I'm told the Prius batt pack doesn't have any cell balancing. Just cell monitoring. Since it's NiMH I think they naturally give off heat once full, so they are not as dangerous as lithium, and more or less take care of themselves till they die.

If you get enough packs, you could use them for off grid use. Say with a high voltage warpverter and AC coupled solar system to charge them.

Or if you are on-grid with multiple brown outs per day (SWER), one pack would be a good solution to stabilising your grid power. A bit like a UPS for your whole house.



I'm a big lover of hybrid drivetrains. They are ingenious. They last a long time as the engine is not directly mechanically coupled to the wheels, so the driver can't do anything silly like dropping the clutch while revving the engine. Therefore there is much less stress on the engine. No jolts are possible! The engines run a lot cooler when stuck in traffic as they just turn off, and that means that all the plastic parts inside the engine bay don't get brittle over time. My Prius engine compartment looks brand new. No belts or pulleys to worry about as there is no separate alternator, and the aircon has its own HV motor for the compressor. Finally the engine runs on an Atkinson cycle at a constant rpm when possible, so fuel efficiency is amazing.
 
Old Seagull Man
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Joined: 21/12/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 34
Posted: 04:25am 20 Dec 2020
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Wow thanks every body for your input and comments.


David thinks for the excellent suggestions and reasoning.
It was more a curiosity question. I don't like to see useful thinks going to wast.
And i still have a 625Ah forklift in the shed at home that is more power then we will ever need.And a 60v 250 Ah pack So lead is not dead.

Haxby, thank for the Prius engine info, i had wonder if they were Miller or Atkinson, engines.
As that would have beenn the smart way to go.
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1480
Posted: 05:15am 20 Dec 2020
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Some interesting storIes ,now that I have taken the time to go back and read all the posts.

My dismantled flat pak mainly consists of 30 silvery plastic type pouches with some form of combined chemical stuff about the size of 130mm by 220mm. Sort of spongy stuff inside , but I,m not going to open them ,as it might be dangerous.

They seem to be without charge,except for maybe .point 2 of a volt .,which could be some meter zero .

I am wondering if someone is chemical minded and knows if these individual ,cells, could be bought back to some form of life with the gentle charging ,seperate
Y or paralleled ,,remember there are 30 of these pouches.

Replacing 30 pouches ,if possible, maybe is not economical ,,if I can actually buy them or clones?.

As I indicated.at the start of my post, , there dosen,t seem to be rough treatment ,plus the unit looks like new. ?. Would be a pity to junk it ,   If,  anybody has a clue to the restoration of the individual cells.

Thanks for the feedback,

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 11:25am 20 Dec 2020
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  Old Seagull Man said  

David thinks for the excellent suggestions and reasoning.
It was more a curiosity question. I don't like to see useful thinks going to wast.


Yes, the mental arithmetic and imagination is fun and rewarding in itself and can often lead to better ideas and applications than what one thought Originally.
Still be interesting to find out what they want for these battery's. I have read there is a growing following in the US for the things for home and other applications but they aren't what I would consider cheap there either and they have them far more in abundance than here.  

Seems in Commifornia, especially LA, Priarses are very thick on the ground. None of them have very big Battery's though especially the earlier versions.

The leaf packs are also popular being plenty of them around but the battery packs on those from what I have read are the most failure prone of all and apparently 8 years is about their life. Unlike other EV's, they do not have any battery cooling and this results in shortened life of the packs.  I read an article  recently I think in the NRMA magazine where a priarse owner went to have the battery pack  replaced on a 6 Yo vehicle I think it was and there were none in Oz and the cost was going to be above $15K.

For whatever reason the owner wanted it done and the 3 Month wait for the pack blew out from there. Apparently the things just don't loose capacity so you only get 10 Km out of them, they get to a point with not that great a loss and the car just won't go at all.


  Quote  And i still have a 625Ah forklift in the shed at home that is more power then we will ever need.And a 60v 250 Ah pack So lead is not dead.


I looked at this very thing recently. Like buying the whole wrecked car, I wondered what a Whole Fork would cost? A lot more than the battery on it's own it seems.
I thought all I need is a Big connector and the thing could be useful as a fork and a battery. I love forklifts, bloody useful and handy thing to have for a whole range of jobs they were never intended for but do really well.
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 11:42am 20 Dec 2020
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  Haxby said  
If it's an older Camry Hybrid, it will have a NiMH battery around 200v. Only around 2kwh capacity, but heaps of instantaneous power. Say 50kw.


I drove a Priarse around NZ a couple of years back. Early model, flogged to death being a rental and I was really surprised how well the thing went and the economy.  Even loaded to the Gunwales and driven as fast as the thing would climb a given hill, the ecomomy was fantastic.

Seemed to take a bit to charge the pack right up ( 5 or 7 Kwh I think it was on the one I drove) but it depleted fast.  I looked into buying one for the wifes daily Commute and into adding extra batterys for longer range. Didn't really need any boot space of the back seat was still Free.

Not at all a straightforward or cheap exercise and The ROI on doing it would make something like a Diesel Golf or another w123 Benz running on veg oil a far better proposition .  Interesting to look into these things though.


  Quote   so the driver can't do anything silly like dropping the clutch while revving the engine.


Should be mandator vehicle for all P platers!
Had a guy come into the wrecking yard in Jan this year with a shot Clutch. Replaced it and he was back 2 Days later with the thing destroyed again.
Takes a special kind of stupid to achieve that!


  Quote  and the aircon has its own HV motor for the compressor.


Now that would be one beefy DC motor! Have to be 3 Hp at least. Couple of them and a couple of battery packs could make for electrifying aq whole range of fun and useful equipment around the property. Mini excavator, Mini Dumptruck/ firewood hauler Ride on Mower....


  Quote  Finally the engine runs on an Atkinson cycle at a constant rpm when possible, so fuel efficiency is amazing.


Certainly agree there.
 
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