Thread: Discussion Lipo burns hand
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Old Jul 04, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Lipo burns hand

From post 7954 September 25, 2011

Guess where I spent the afternoon? In the emergency room due to a lipo blowout.

I use a Thunder Power 610C charger which has served me well for a year. I was charging a Tenergy 3.7V 500mAh 15C battery with a Tarantula Eight-in-One RC Charging Cable. I had noticed that this battery had quit early on me on a flight yesterday and, in testing with a voltmeter, I saw that it was not fully charged. I thought that maybe I had accidentally missed charging it with my other 6 batteries, so I put it back on to be charged. I knew there was something strange about how it was acting. It was charging too long and the the charger was not shutting off, so I shut it down before it finished.

Not thinking about it again, I prepared to charge another battery, but got up to open the window. While I was up, I heard a "whoosssssh," turned around to see the battery blowing smoke like an Estes rocket engine on take off. I immediately knew that I had to get it outside the house before it burnt the place down. I always charge batteries in a safe place, but I feared this thing could shoot around or explode or something. Well, I picked up charger in all to quickly take it outside, but in the process, I flipped the burning battery on the wires onto my hand.

You can see in the photo that I have 2nd degree burns on my right hand. Not too bad, really, but I now have a burned hand and a burnt floor where the battery broke off the charger.

Here's the analysis:

o I knew that this battery was acting strange and I should have marked it and gave it special consideration when I charged it.
o I did everything right for most part--I did not leave the charger while charging, I monitored its charging and stopped it when I saw that it was over charging.
o The charging wires were burnt up all the way back on the 8-in-1. That indicates that there was a short circuit either in the battery or in the wire harness. I actually am suspecting that it could have been the wire shorting out first just because it looks very melted. I think it contributed to the charger not sensing the correct level of charge as it should have, and over-charged the battery.
o I immediately pulled the plug on the charger which may have saved a larger problem with the suspect wiring.
o I should not have picked up the battery, but let it finish burning--since it was on a safe surface.

Photo of my burnt hand is on the link to #7954 above or here.

I'm now 5 hours post incident and have finally calmed down. I have a fire extinguisher in another part of the house and in one instant--as my life was passing in front of my eyes--I considered running to go get it. Then, in the next instant, I remembered that this could be a chemical or electrical fire and that my extinguisher probably wouldn't work on either one. I'll tell you one thing, this is one of those fires that will not wait for you to gather up your fire equipment and come back. It began with a small explosion and continued to fire smoke out like one of the 4th of July smoke bombs. The whole thing only took about 30 seconds from first indication to getting my hand burnt, burning hole in the carpeting and getting the final pieces out the door. It took 30 minutes to get in and see the doctor!
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Last edited by Saxguy1000; Jan 24, 2013 at 05:55 AM.
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