Lipo Fire - RC Groups
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Mar 23, 2009, 06:26 AM
aero modeler australia
Discussion

Lipo Fire


HI,fellow electric modelers I have just had my first bad experince with a lipo.
I was charging a ZIPPY 1300MAH 2S IP8J 20-30C lipo with a new GWS C3-LP LI-PO BATTERY CHARGER,which I had left to have dinner.
Next thing the smoke alarm upstairs went off,this is what is left after I PUT THE FIRE OUT.
PUTS ME RIGHT OFF LIPO'S.
I had only been away for a short time,the battery had probaly only been on for about 30 minutes.The battery had only been used once and also was new.
Please be carefull with LIPO'S.
Robert Toigo.Australia.
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Mar 23, 2009, 06:36 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
freechip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert toigo
Next thing the smoke alarm upstairs went off,this is what is left after I PUT THE FIRE OUT.
Do you always park you're truck downstairs?
Mar 23, 2009, 07:36 AM
Registered User
Such chargers are expected to measure each cell and balance pack.. just because they have balance connector. Thus they should never overcharge a cell, never start fire. So we tend to consider them SAFE. But alas, that is just a marketing.
Personally, I have tried (purchased) another, dirt cheap "balancing charger", with idea that it could be used for indoor planes, instead of huge 250W charger running at minimal current.

But alas, it was not safe at all, my very first test of "what will happen" charge, resulted in severe overcharge (above 4.4V) of one cell in a (retired)pack. Containing not even components usable for diy, the charger went to basket together with test pack (after discharge) - it was really not worth to risk its use.

Perhaps there exist also a cheap but safe Lipo charger - but until tested and approved as safe, I consider such lipo chargers being just an armed time bomb.
Cellpro 4s is the cheapest safe charger known to me.
Mar 23, 2009, 07:40 AM
Registered User
I am sure that You did not measure cells by voltmeter..
Instead of making charger right, they moved all the responsibility to user.
A snip from that charger manual:
Mar 23, 2009, 09:32 AM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Glad that you didn't experience any harm other than the charger/battery loss.

I'll add your experience to the list of battery mishaps.
Hopefully it will help prevent someone else from having a fire with that charger.

What did you use to put the fire out?
How do you think it worked?
Mar 23, 2009, 11:55 AM
7000mw of raw power!
rich smith's Avatar
Another argument against chargers with settings. Apparently they had problems before considering this addendum:

quote:
The Supplements for the manual of C3LP charger Warning : Users need to take great care for the following instructions when using the enclosed ''balance charging leads'' with this C3-LP (GWCHG004) charger. Never leave the charging Lipoly battery pack with the charger unattended during charging.

Apparently some choose to ignore or disregard the manual.

I have no problem charging unattended with my beloved el cheapo $5 units. They do not include such a warning in the manual so I suspect there has never been a similar incident. I do make sure there are no flammmable materials nearby though. With untested prototypes or more sophisticated chargers out comes the 'ol flower pot.
Mar 23, 2009, 12:16 PM
Some.. call him Tim...
Ducati Mechanic's Avatar
I have had good luck with Thunder powers 610-c chargers and power supplies. A few times my charger has detected a over charged cell, and it starts beeping and shuts down. the chargers are about $120.00, and the PS is around $35.00.

Being as lipos are so unstable, I would not trust a low end charger. when I purchased mine I went to one of the shows and spoke with the rep's, one on one. Thunder power has been in it from the beginning,and there main thing is battery's.Thats why I went with them.
Last edited by Ducati Mechanic; Mar 23, 2009 at 01:51 PM.
Mar 23, 2009, 01:18 PM
7000mw of raw power!
rich smith's Avatar
Safety is the major advantage over fancy schmacy units. I would not expect those that sell high end units to admit this. Nor would I expect someone who spent $120 on one to throw it away and switch to the cheapies. Not many people would do that anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Semeraro
I have had good luck with Thunder powers 610-c chargers and power supplys. A few times my charger has detected a over charged cell, and it starts beeping and shuts down. the chargers are about $120.00, and the PS is around $35.00.

Being as lipos are so unstable, I would not trust a lowend charger. when I purchased mine I went to one of the shows and spoke with the rep's, one on one. Thunder power has been in it from the begining,and there main thing is batterys.Thats why I went with them.
Mar 23, 2009, 01:53 PM
Some.. call him Tim...
Ducati Mechanic's Avatar
Either your in it or your not.
Mar 23, 2009, 02:00 PM
Registered User
It is 21. century... Well, is it really a problem for charger designers, to solve as simple task as 4.2V maximum over any of those cells? There is no reason for such basic task, to be expensive.
I suspect some business chains that they sell items refused by original customers. Such as dangerous charger.
Mar 23, 2009, 02:24 PM
Some.. call him Tim...
Ducati Mechanic's Avatar
Tell it to the guy ,that almost burned down his house. I'm not rich, and I learned along time ago, you get what you pay for. My rule of thum, look at the prouduct you are going to purchase, and buy the next best model. you will never be disappointed.
Mar 23, 2009, 06:05 PM
What's that button do?
Shpook's Avatar
It all boils down to one thing: You never should of walked away.

I understand it shouldn't of happened. Maybe it was a bad battery, or maybe the charger malfunctioned. But you should always be in the same room when charging. If I have to walk away from a charging lipo, I take it off the charger, throw it in the Lipo Sack, and put it in a fire resistant safe.

I'm not trying to bash you or anything. But that's THE NUMBER ONE rule of safe LiPo charging. It's also the rule most commonly broken that leads to house and car fires.
Mar 23, 2009, 06:54 PM
aero modeler australia

Examination


Good morning,I have just been cleaning up the mess not much left.
In the picture you can see that the positive wire of the charger has become unsoldered quite cleanly,from this I suspect that this wire became quite hot first ,but I am only guessing.
Robert.
My other charger is a Prolux LI-PO DC 1-3 CELL LI-PO MICROPROCESSOR CHARGER,which I use for my 3 cells with a DUALSKY 3 S CELL BALANCER,should I PURCHASE A 2 CELL BALANCER or just charge mt two cells without.
Mar 23, 2009, 07:56 PM
Registered User
I'm not a patient person so it is VERY difficult for me to wait for something to happen, like charging LiPo batteries. Fortunately, my MRC 989 Superbrain charger is (almost) idiot proof and won't overcharge a battery. It also has a temperature probe that shuts charging down if it goes over 140 F.
Mar 23, 2009, 08:35 PM
Frankenstein recycled packs
rampman's Avatar
Robert, bad guess but good try.

IMO, the pack went up taking the charger with it eventually. When the charger was melting away the wires came off the PCB and shorted or more likely just melted together producing a dead short and the next weak link was the poor connection at the + clamp.

Count your blessings and from now on use a charger with a balancer built in and a temp probe. Redundancy is your friend...

Rick


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