Clarity battery and motor specs

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Scott Edward Miller, Mar 20, 2018.

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  1. Scott Edward Miller

    Scott Edward Miller New Member

    Hi just joined the forum after buying a Clarity this past week. I've looked all through the manual and asked the Honda service department these questions before taking the vehicle home but still don't have answers to these questions. I have friends and family who are electrical engineers and I'm sure they will ask me about these specs.

    -What voltage does the motor battery (I remember seeing 280v? somewhere)
    -What is the AC voltage that the motors run at, I assume that they are three phase?

    Lastly I'm looking to run a 50A 240v run to the garage since the 120v hookup is a bit on the slow side for charging. I've looked around and from my reading of the NEC it looks like 240v outlets to a garage don't need GFI protection. I see that the JuiceBox unit has built in GFI does the ChargePoint unit also have this feature? I'd like to have the protection of GFI in a potentially wet environment but a 240v 50A GFI breaker is well over $120 while non-GFI breakers are under $10. If the unit has built in GFI it's like taking $100 off of the price so this is a feature that I'd like to see in the unit.

    Is there a general feeling of which home charging unit seems to be best suited for the job?
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Scott, I have had my Clarity and a ChargePoint 32 amp hard wired charger for 4 1/2 weeks. I have had zero problems charging and love it, especially the app that lets you track kWhs and usage. I think it’s got the best app out there. Also I looked at a Juicebox but it looks “clunky” and not as well made. The ChargePoint also looks better if that’s on your wish list. The ChargePoint has very simple wire hook ups with pre cut/soldered wires and cam lock connectors. So both will do the job, but the better software and sleek design sold me on the ChargePoint.
    I called ChargePoint just now to ask about the GFI and their tech support said it does have one and will trip my 40 amp regular breaker. Didn’t know that until now. It not listed in the instructions.

    FWIW, 32 amp ChargePoint stations only need a 40 amp breaker and NMB 8-2 (2 wires and a ground). You only need a 50 amp breaker w larger wire if you are installing a station larger than 32 amps or are trying to be ready for future advances. I don’t believe the Clarity’s on board charger will benefit from any station larger than 32 amp.

    I saved money by getting the hard wired station which then saved more by not having the parts and labor to install an electrical box with receptacle and cover. I’m never going to remove the charger unless I move yo another house and even then it’s an easy removal. I’m frugal, so I ran the wire from breaker box to station, attached station to wall and just paid an electrician $75 to hook up the wires at each end. I could have done it but didn’t want to get into liability issues if there were ever an insurance claim. This way I have paperwork showing a licensed electrician installed it. Peace of mind doe $75.

    I found an open box/new 32 amp ChargePoint for $499 so my total install was $583 (already had wire left over from another project).

    As always make sure all work meets applicable local codes.
    Happy charging!
    Scott Edward Miller likes this.
  4. Scott Edward Miller

    Scott Edward Miller New Member

    The Honda dealership just called and said that the battery voltage is 311v but they can't find the motor voltage rating but will continue looking.
  5. MarkClarity

    MarkClarity Active Member

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  6. Scott Edward Miller

    Scott Edward Miller New Member

    Thanks, great information about the battery and motor! It's interesting to see that many body parts are aluminum so just for giggles I took a super strong magnet out to the car and the only body part that was ferrous was the rear quarter panel everything else (front quarter panel, hood, trunk spoiler, all doors) were all non-ferrous.
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  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Yes, motor voltage is variable depending on efficiency needs of the motor. Higher voltage is more efficient at higher RPMs.

    Post #7 from ab13 links to some nice articles on how the hybrid works and a graph showing efficiency vs motor RPM and Voltage. They show Voltage graphs from 300 to 700 V for the motor, but don't state where it is capable of running, only that it can change voltage depending on need.

    Honda says it has a 168 cells, wiring options would be 168s, 2p 84s, or 3p 56s. The only one of those that really makes sense is 2p84s, that would be 311 volts at nominal 3.7 volts per cell (84*3.7). That would match what Honda told you.
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  9. Scott Edward Miller

    Scott Edward Miller New Member

    Is the Clarity a Parallel or Parallel/Series hybrid?
  10. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Parallel/Series like the Volt, Energi, Prius, etc.

    Like the Volt, the Clarity can run the engine in a fixed gear reduction straight to the wheels at low loads and higher speeds.
  11. MarkClarity

    MarkClarity Active Member

    I would say it is a Series Hybrid, with a clutch to engage and allow a fixed gear ratio Parallel Hybrid mode at speeds above 43 mph (70km).

    When in Series Hybrid mode it has an "electric Coupled CVT" concept where the engine can run a optimum RPM (The Constant Velocity part of CVT) connected to the generator with only an electric connection the the electric motor running at a variable speed (The Transmission part of the CVT).
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  13. Scott Edward Miller

    Scott Edward Miller New Member

    So it sounds like you are saying Series and Parallel which matches what the initial Honda Clarity news release said:

    "The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's utilizes the second generation of Honda's Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) two-motor hybrid system."

    Which is the Parallel/Series system according to the very interesting PowerPoint presentation by ab13 referenced above by Viking 79.
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  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I can't understand how the Clarity ever operates as a parallel hybrid.

    The chart (see below) from page 12 of the referenced PowerPoint presentation doesn't show any scenario where both the traction motor and the engine are simultaneously propelling the car to qualify it as a parallel hybrid.

    Before seeing this chart, I assumed that when the clutch connects the engine to the wheels the traction motor could still provide power. The traction motor's torque would complement the engine's lack of torque when connected to a tall, fixed gear for high-speed cruising.

    So I was shocked, shocked to see the chart's segment labeled "Engine (Charge)" show the engine running and the traction motor taking over generating duties from the starter-motor/generator! I previously assumed that the traction motor became a battery-recharging generator only when the car decelerated.

    While the traction motor is generating, it can't be turning the wheels, so this "Engine (Charge)" segment must be when the clutch connects the engine to the wheels to propel the car (that significant fact would seem worthy of an asterisk in the chart). So instead of assisting the engine to propel the car, the traction motor is actually taking a share of the engine's power to recharge the battery.

    Is the chart missing a segment where the traction motor is not generating and is, instead, "Running" to assist the clutch-enabled engine to propel the car? If there is no missing segment, it doesn't seem that Honda's i-MMD ever functions as a parallel hybrid system.

    And can anyone explain the most puzzling aspect of this chart: where the "Generator" line shows "No torque" in the "Engine (Charge)" segment? There's no clutch for the starter-motor/generator, so it's always turning when the crankshaft is turning. How could it ever be in a "No torque" state when the engine is running? (Note: I cropped the original slide-show chart and corrected some misspellings.)

  15. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    You're right that the generator is always turning when the engine is running. No torque means it is not generating and is not providing any resistance to the engine.
    Not sure, but I think when the clutch is engaged, the traction motor is only used to charge the battery. Not drive the car. So, you are correct.

    Also, this statement from the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid press kit also agrees with your statements.

    "To help maximize efficiency on the road, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid seamlessly shifts between three distinct drive operations: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive, utilizing power from the Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and electric motors to actively adapt to current driving conditions."
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  16. Scottacus

    Scottacus New Member

    As I see it, parallel/series means that there are two electric "motors" along with an ICE in the system. One motor is pure generator and the other can be traction or generator depending upon the operating demands. Series and parallel both have only one motor.

    If you look at the chart in the powerpoint that shows optimum operating ranges for the ICE and motor you can see that the ICE has a certain RPM range that it works best in and the motors have optimal ranges based upon voltage supplied. My understanding is that the system runs the ICE at it's peak performance RPM and if that is more power than is needed to propel the vehicle it uses the excess energy to generate electrical power. Conversely if the ICE RPM does not provide enough power the traction motor helps out.
  17. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    It seems to me that the segment you are looking for in that chart is during the "Hybrid (Assist)" mode of operation.

    That "Engine (Charge)" segment only takes place during high speed cruise when the actual motive force needed to maintain speed is relatively low, so there is sufficient power for the ICE to generate using the main electric motor. On the Clarity, I believe this is the mode that is activated by holding down the HV button for a few seconds.
  18. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    In the diagram, the motor and the generator can be either a motor or a generator. When the clutch is engaged, since the engine and the motor are tied together, the generator is disabled because of the difficulty of having both act as a generator at the same time. It would be possible for the motor to assist the ICE if the load required it, but I can't tell from any of the documentation I have read if it does or not. The generator is never enabled when the clutch is engaged.

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