Niro PHEV Charging noises/behavior for new owners - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Niro PHEV Charging noises/behavior for new owners

We have owned our 2019 NIRO PHEV for 3 months now. We live in the Southeast United States where it gets very hot and humid.
Our Niro is housed in a garage and on a 100 degree day with high relative humidity you can imagine what it is like in a garage where the Level 2 charger is that charges the vehicle.

I trust the battery management system on these cars and have no issues plugging it in to charge no matter what the situation. That is why I bought it, to run it on electric as much as possible.

As a new owner you may hear some noises from your vehicle when it is charging and this can be concerning if you don't know what the sounds are and why they are occurring .
Noise 1- you may go out in the garage and hear a low hum coming from the engine compartment after the car has been charging for awhile- this is the electric water pump circulating water to cool the components down.
Noise 2- you may hear a louder noise which is the electric radiator fan coming on to dissipate the heat in the fluid the electric water pump is circulating to help cool down the components.

I have come out in the garage a couple of hours after plugging in and wondering if I had left the car running and then after finding it was off wondering what in the world these noises were coming from in the car!

I investigated the noises, the service and owners manuals to discover the sources and reasons for them to be occurring. I thought it might be helpful to someone else to post what I had found.

I appreciate the engineering that KIA put in the battery management system, it makes me feel confident plugging in every chance I get.
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Last edited by Johnxyz; 08-09-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:25 PM
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Then there's Nissan that didn't add any battery cooling other than air, and having major issues in the warmer areas.

Nice write-up!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 11:27 AM
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The cooling fan underneath the rear seats also turns on while charging. I haven't confirmed if it turns on after charging has completed.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atc98092 View Post
Then there's Nissan that didn't add any battery cooling other than air, and having major issues in the warmer areas.

Nice write-up!
So that's why the J1772 standard includes a ventilation required signal!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772#Signaling

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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water cooling????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnxyz View Post
As a new owner you may hear some noises from your vehicle when it is charging and this can be concerning if you don't know what the sounds are and why they are occurring .
Noise 1- you may go out in the garage and hear a low hum coming from the engine compartment after the car has been charging for awhile- this is the electric water pump circulating water to cool the components down.
Noise 2- you may hear a louder noise which is the electric radiator fan coming on to dissipate the heat in the fluid the electric water pump is circulating to help cool down the components.
Are you saying the Niro PHEV has a water cooled battery/EV components??? I have the 2018 PHEV Niro and would be absolutely delighted if this were fact - my air-only cooled Ford CMax PHEV lost 35% of its battery capacity in the 5 years I owned it. Can anyone else confirm the PHEV Niro has a water cooled battery??
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontfret View Post
Are you saying the Niro PHEV has a water cooled battery/EV components??? I have the 2018 PHEV Niro and would be absolutely delighted if this were fact - my air-only cooled Ford CMax PHEV lost 35% of its battery capacity in the 5 years I owned it. Can anyone else confirm the PHEV Niro has a water cooled battery??
I would be surprised if the battery itself was liquid cooled. The PHEV doesn't draw an extremely high current level like the EV does, nor does it support DC fast charging. I did a quick search and all I could find were some comments about the Ioniq PHEV having an air cooled battery. The Ioniq and Niro use a similar system in the PHEV versions, so it's likely the same. Now the EV controller might be plumbed into a cooling loop, but I have no personal information on that.

Now for the e-Niro, I'm certain it has a liquid cooled battery.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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My impression is the water cooling is for the inverter/converter components in the engine compartment that actually charge the battery. My impression is that the battery is cooled by the ventilation fan that the gentleman mentioned in post #3 of this thread.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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For those with a technical interest here is the schematic for the hybrid battery and control. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see where the battery management system and cooling block diagrams are displayed

Kia Niro : Schematic diagrams : High Voltage Battery Control System

Here is a quote from the explanation page:
"Cooling System control-
Maintain the optimum temperature by variating and controlling the cooling fan speed based on the maximum system temperature and deviation between battery modules" my guess is variating of course should be actually be varying.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 03:55 PM
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I found that web site while I was searching. It's specific to the 2017 HEV, but my guess is it's similar to the PHEV. It does pretty much verify the battery cooling is just air.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:08 PM
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The PHEV battery is air cooled by two fans (HEV has only one fan). The BMS is probably much more conservative than Ford's programming, and you have a much longer warranty as a result.

Active cooling already means it is much better than the Leaf system. Water cooling is, well cool, but the small batteries in the HEV and PHEV shouldn't really need it. Extra cost with little benefit. For a BEV with fast charging, yup, needs it.

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