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Posted by _nicos | Dec 07, 2014 @ 10:17 PM | 1,493 Views
Following my scary fire experience (and subsequent fervoured research), this is now my charging method in order of priority...

MUST:
  1. Balance charge each pack separately every time (No parallel charging anymore! I now have an independent 4-channel charger). Your charger should automatically stop if a cell voltage gets out of whack (which seems to be the main issue causing fires in 'undamaged' packs).

  2. Always be within eyeshot and earshot during and >10mins after charging.
  3. Have a fire contingency plan (ie. what to do when there is a fire, eg. you must be able to easily isolate system from mains power, perhaps have some big scissors to cut cables before ejecting the firey mass, and have a good lipo ejection method to a place nearby to then let things burn safely remember that there could be a lot of smoke, heat and flame around).

SHOULD (I do):
  1. Don't charge batteries within 10mins of use.
  2. Don't use batteries within 10mins of charging.
  3. Have a charging bunker (paint-stripped cash box with heat-isolated handle), sitting on fireproof material, located close to an exit.
  4. Have a bucket of sand ready (works much better on lipos than most fire extinguishers on the market, but likely won't stop the exothermic lipo runaway reaction which is already underway).
  5. Have a smoke detector as part of your charging bunker (your house may not burn down if you catch the fire, but that sooty smoke sure does do some damage to the re-sale value of a house!)
  6. Charge at slowish rates where possible/convenient.
  7. Have some fire-resistant containers for storing and travelling with lipos.
  8. Store lipos in a sensible place (eg. not in your car on a hot day)
  9. Properly discharge swollen, old or damaged lipos before disposing... but you already knew that.