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Old Aug 08, 2003, 11:23 PM
AMA 148796
Where it Rains
Joined Jul 2002
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LiPo Fire Pictures

Pictures from the fire, from the right - I have a tire left! Here's the story text
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Last edited by ken_keeler; Aug 09, 2003 at 03:56 PM.
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Old Aug 08, 2003, 11:24 PM
AMA 148796
Where it Rains
Joined Jul 2002
1,058 Posts
And the interior

So much for the Firecat and TA152.

:0
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Old Aug 08, 2003, 11:36 PM
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Detroit Lakes, MN
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OMG!!

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Old Aug 08, 2003, 11:37 PM
717
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SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Joined Apr 2003
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Wow! Absolutely horrific! I am sorry for your loss. Hope you nor anyone else was hurt. Can always replace machines; I know it's not easy though.
Best Wishes.
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Old Aug 09, 2003, 12:15 AM
Pompano Hill Flyers
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Miami Lakes, Florida, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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For others who missed your original report like I did, here's a link to it.
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Old Aug 09, 2003, 01:36 AM
Airplane Addict
NorthWest Houston
Joined May 2003
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Your pictures have made me very cautious with my li-polys! I have a fire extinguisher in my garage now where I charge these things.

Thank God nobody got hurt.
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Old Aug 09, 2003, 02:53 PM
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USA, NC, Greenville
Joined Dec 1999
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So what happened ? This was caused by a LiPo/Charger malfunction ?
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Old Aug 09, 2003, 03:07 PM
717
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Kevin,
Follow the link provided by Miami Mike above.
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 05:31 PM
Plane hugging cat
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Mackay Queensland Australia
Joined Sep 2001
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Struth. Batteries have become dangerous.

That could just as easily be a house that catches fire from them.

Sorry about the car. Good to hear the dog is okay.
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 04:18 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
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United Kingdom, Essex
Joined Oct 2001
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Ken,

There, but for the grace of God, go I!

I had a Kokam 2S1P 1020 pack short while it was on the passenger seat of my BMW Z3. Luckily for me (?) the only damage was a large hole meted through the middle of the seat so that my insurance claim just amounts to having the seat replaced, not the entire car as in your case.

Anyway, here's a picture of what remains of the Kokam pack.

Cliff
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 04:46 AM
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Ghent, Belgium
Joined May 2000
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Cliff, Ken,

Thanks for sharing your experiences: my conclusion is I must be more careful when handling these cells. I usually throw my packs in my field box or simply leave it on my planes...

Cliff,

Were you able to determine what caused the short: wiring/connectors outside the pack, wiring within the pack itself or an internal cell short (hopefully not this one...) ?

Cheers,
Danny
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 09:38 AM
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Pittsburgh, PA
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We have to remember, with the current ratings and internal resistance of these packs, they can deliver horendous amounts of current in the case of a short. I build/rebuild battery packs for motion picture cameras and also for insurance investigators who use hidden cameras. We are currently looking for an ideal material that we can put these battery packs in that would act like a fire retardant/suppressant. In the mean time, we are warning our customers about the care and feeding of these wonderful new batteries.....
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 09:51 AM
PittsLover
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Ohio
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Jimlynn......
Please let us all know what you find !!

Thanks.....

Jim
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Old Aug 12, 2003, 03:37 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
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United Kingdom, Essex
Joined Oct 2001
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Danny,

When I put the batteries in the car that morning I even noticed a small split in the heatshrink over one of the 2mm gold connectors I had on the Kokam pack and thought "must fix that when I get home tonight". I never envisaged that I'd be so unlucky for the connectors to touch at just that point but clearly that's what happened as the connectors were partially fused at that point when I recovered the melted bits.

I never thought that there'd be so much stored energy in just a small 2S1P pack of 10120 Kokams to cause this amount of damage. Like Jim says, they have very low internal resistance and can clearly dump huge current if shorted.

I've certainly gained a lot more respect for Lithium since this happened. (Some years ago I had a 7 cell 1900 NiCd pack short and some of the cells vented and the heat shrink melted/split but the damage in that case was no where near as severe as this).

Cliff
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Old Aug 12, 2003, 04:27 AM
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Ghent, Belgium
Joined May 2000
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Thanks Cliff, that truly is bad luck...

When I built my first lipo pack (3 3270 cells) I worried about the tabs of the three cells sitting very close to each other so I decided to turn the middle cell 180 degrees: requires about 9" extra wiring but I felt safer doing it this way.

I think these cells can handle a fair amount of mechanical abuse (have seen pictures of damaged cells around here...) but like you said we need to treat these little gems with more respect.

Cheers,
Danny
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