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Old Jan 19, 2004, 12:07 PM
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davensocal's Avatar
United States, NY, Mechanicville
Joined Mar 2003
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Another LiPo fire..

Friend of mine lost most of his models in a LiPo fire on Sat night.

It was an Etec 3S1P , charged with an Orbit Microlader. There is/was no history of crashing on the pack. The pack was flown with a conservative 9v cutoff in a parkflyer (slowstik and Yak-54 3d).

I will try to post the pics when my friend relaxs alittle more, he is really upset at the moment. Luckily everyone is OK.

Also, the standard ABC fire extinguishers seem to work very well on these type fires.

As for breaking the rules, I think two were missed here.. Admittedly, they were two rules I don't adhere to very well either..

#1- balancing.. The cells were purchased from a respected reseller who tests the packs. I have contacted them, but I don't see any reason to post their name. Anyway, the pack is sealed, so I am not sure how we can check for cell balance. So far, we have not been checking.

#2- fire resistant charging surface.. Well, we almost had this one.. It was on a wire shelving unit.. I would have thought it OK, until this happened. I think the big problem was that there were models about 18" above the pack. It seemed like the models were ignited very quickly, and helped to spread the damage.


One more thing to note.. After the fact, my friend mentioned that the pack, or the area where the pack was, was not actually on fire. The flames were actually in mid air, kind of like when a lighter is turned up so high that the flame starts inches above the nozzle.

So, when considering a safe distance to flammable items, extend it quite a bit!!


PS- After reading some of the other posts about this topic, I would like to ask that everyone consider my friends feelings when posting here. He just lost basically all of his models, did a number on his house, and could have been seriously hurt or killed. I sure hope we won't see any name calling etc on this post....

Thanks!

I have to go now, off to Home Depot for two fire safes, an extra extonguisher to replace the empty one, and a couple of extra smoke detectors.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 12:13 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Space Coast
Joined Oct 2000
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Added to list -
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...93#post1625193
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...&pagenumber=18
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...37#post1531337
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...99#post1531599
http://www.bayrc.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=226
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...postid=1478616
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...fire+explosion
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ght=lexus+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...t=funtana+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ghlight=rocket
http://www.ikarus-modellbau.de/ubbth...b=5&o=&fpart=1
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=160086
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=160079
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=160551
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...402#post806402
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=lipo+fire
http://www.hornet-heli.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/003428.html
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ight=explosion
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...95#post1243595
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...90#post1571890
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...30#post1581630
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.a...325&tostyle=tm
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...129#post844129
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...29#post1553429
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...65#post1658165
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=185530
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...34#post1699734
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...91#post1731091
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 12:15 PM
Does anyone hear a cat?
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Tallahassee, FL
Joined Sep 2003
4,380 Posts
I just had a tp860 pack get destroyed yesterday. It hasn't ballooned and has not ignited yet, but i can smell a nasty sickly sweet smell from the pack; it happened in a relatively tame crash on my mini-IFO... battery slid forward, slammed into the back of the IPS gearbox and made a deep indentation in one of the 3 cells... a second one got clipped on the edge; i'm not sure if it can be recovered.. the 3rd cell in the pack is undamaged.

Going to discharge the pack completely and contact thunder power to see if they will take the pack back and replace the damaged cell(s)... i only had two flights on the pack before it came to this end

I am glad that there was nobody hurt in the fire incident you had.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Houston, Tx.
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Was He actually in the room while this happened?
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:14 PM
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United States, NY, Mechanicville
Joined Mar 2003
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Bill- No, he was in the adjacent room.

Headless- Yes, I am very glad as well. I spent a good part of yesterday cleaning the area with him.. The potential for disaster is enormous!
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:15 PM
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I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Houston, Tx.
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Do you think it could have bee avoided if he had been in the room? Sorry I'm not trying to rub salt in the wound, just curious for future reference.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:18 PM
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Did it occur while the pack was being charged?
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:40 PM
Fiberglass dont bounce???
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Zion, Il.
Joined Sep 2002
2,408 Posts
This is why I WILL NOT USE LIPOS, EVER!! Sorry for your aircraft losses. I hope everything works out o.k. ...R... p.s. Glad to hear noone has hurt
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:42 PM
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United States, NY, Mechanicville
Joined Mar 2003
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Bill-
I don't know if being in the room would have helped.. We don't know exactly what occured.. If the pack swelled a lot first, then yes it could have been prevented... If the pack actually exploded, then being in the room may not be such a good thing..

WJ, yes, the pack was approx 40 min into a charge cycle.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 02:45 PM
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Joined Jan 2001
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Dave,

Do you have an approx. number of cycles, age, ect........?

thanks
Steve
www.battlepack.com



Quote:
Originally posted by davensocal
Bill-
I don't know if being in the room would have helped.. We don't know exactly what occured.. If the pack swelled a lot first, then yes it could have been prevented... If the pack actually exploded, then being in the room may not be such a good thing..

WJ, yes, the pack was approx 40 min into a charge cycle.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 04:03 PM
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San Diego, CA, USA
Joined Nov 2001
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I am actually surprised and very thankfull that there has not yet been a serious injury or death from the hobby use of lithium cells. A freind of mine was nearly killed while charging a pack in his bedroom while sleeping. He escaped by waking up just in time. The room was filled with smoke and the carpet, the wall the work bench were on fire. If he had slept just a little longer he would not be here today. The only injury he had was singed nose hairs, which indicated he had breathed in some very hot gasses.

There is no hobby charger at this time that charges these cells properly. A charger is needed that monitors the voltage of each set of parrallel cells and balances the pack.

Until there is such a charger I would only charge the cells outside and contained in something that is fire proof. To use such a charger the packs will have to be made different than they are by bringing out wires from the intercell connections.

When charging the packs, just setting the cells on a surface that is fire proof is not enough as the cells tend to fly around like a rocket when they ignite.

I am an electronic engineer who has followed Lithium cell fires for many years. A lot longer than they have been used in our hobby.

My friend now charges his lithium cells outside and properly contained.

Chuck
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Houston, Tx.
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Why are the very few cell phone battery fires? Oh, don't they have some internal protection circuit? Also has anyone had a pack ignite yet in some kind of container that the considered to be safe and if so what happend.
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 04:35 PM
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San Diego, CA, USA
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Bergman
Why are the very few cell phone battery fires? Oh, don't they have some internal protection circuit?
Yes, the protective circuits in cellphone battery packs prevent the fires. Most of the cell phone fires that know of recently have been traced to putting a aftermarket battery pack in. There was one case I know about of a fire after the cellphone was dropped and the phone and the battery pack were dammaged.

It is easier to design a charger that works well when the charger only has to charge one type of pack. Since our packs have a large variety of cell sizes and configurations designing a proper charger is much more difficult.

Chuck
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 04:40 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Perhaps I'll back off my Lipo conversion date to a year after Bob Villa starts advertising lipo powered Sears power tools?

I like what they appear to offer, but not sure I like the offer that much ...

D

PS - my stock GWS powered DuskStik can do 15 mins on a 6 pack made up of two nicad phone cell packs I resoldered into a model pack config. IIRC, the phone packs cost me $2.00 each, but I also had to buy the JST plug.

Let's say $10.00 a pack, two gives me a half hour's flying, enough performance for a Duskstik as long as keep throttled back.

Now, tell me again why I should be flying lipos?
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Last edited by Dereck; Jan 19, 2004 at 04:44 PM.
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