Danger - LiPos - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Aug 05, 2003, 10:53 AM
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"Safety comes from discipline." - electroman

It can't be said any better than that.

- RD
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Aug 05, 2003, 11:37 AM
Use the 4S Luke
feathermerchant's Avatar
When I get LiPo's I'm buying a smal fire proof safe for charging/transporting/storage. Cheap insurance!
Aug 05, 2003, 12:57 PM
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that is just a hateful story.
Aug 05, 2003, 03:24 PM
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sneu's Avatar

Re: Battery safety

Originally posted by electroman

2. Li Pos are no more and no less hostile than other cell chemistries. They do have the highest energy density, thus the potential is higher if and when ignited.
3. If in doubt,drop the pack or cell that is suspect into a container of salt water. That will stabilize it completely.
I believe that the user must be responsible in the end for safe operation of their model. In order to do this they have to be educated as to the right way to handle the batteries. In the case of Nicads and NIMH many users became rather careless because there were very few failures that lead to large fires. Now with lithium that has changed. Failures in charging or damage to the cells can lead to major fires.

Safety devices could reduce the problems with charging. I believe the current range of hobby chargers have a problem in that they don't monitor the individual cell voltages like the consumer units do. As a result due to imbalances in the battery or other problems the charge is not stopped at the right time leading to an over charge condition which in some cases has caused fires. IMHO the battery suppliers need to get together and establish some basic standards for batteries that are sold to the general hobby market. At this time the setups are not plug and play safe! A few more car or house fires may be needed to drive this point home. The down side is that if someone is hurt and the resulting law suits go after AMA then we will all be paying more for AMA insurance to fly our models with lithium batteries.

Back to the
original quotes--Nicads and NIMH do not have any materials which are likely to burn when shorted out. Lithium does!

Just how many people have a handy bucket of salt water handy when they have a melting battery? That is not really an option for most people.

Last edited by sneu; Aug 05, 2003 at 06:41 PM.
Aug 05, 2003, 03:26 PM
Registered User
And the fire was interesting to watch. Ever seen a tire explode?
OUCH!Can you imagine the feeling you'd have in the pit of your stomach if it were your car burning?I don't think the word "interesting" would come up with me for quite a while.Glad to see you're taking it in stride Ken.

BTW,are you married?How would you guys like to call the wife to come pick you up at the field because you burned the car to the ground.

On the bright side,if there can be such a thing,maybe by posting this you will save someone's home.........or more.
Aug 05, 2003, 04:38 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
My sentiments exactly.

In regards to impact damage, after reading several posts on battery damage and subsequent problems after 'hard landings', I've taped a piece of thin oversized coroplast to the top and bottom of a LiPo pack to protect it in case of ejection or impact.

Aug 05, 2003, 04:43 PM
Registered User
Terry I's Avatar
Again...sorry for your loss,Ken...happy for your safety, and glad you shared. This thread was very unsettling to read late last night; I got my wake-up call this morning when my 6 year old daughter told me, much to my horror, that yesterday afternoon, a friend of hers was trying to push together the deans pins on two seperate 3x950 Lipo's I had left on the counter....fortunately I had educated my daughter about the batteries, and she was able to stop her friend before she succeeded in her task.

Crash Inspection

Aug 05, 2003, 06:31 PM
Registered User
>> Nicads and NIMH do not have any materials which are likely to burn when shorted out. Lithium does!

I'd like to understand more about this. Does the lithium cell itself actually burn, or does it just generate a lot of heat that causes nearby combustible objects to burn?
Aug 05, 2003, 06:44 PM
AMA 148796
Very interesting discussion. I'm glad my experience has helped others.

Hammer - yes, I'm married. She's been great about it all and is helping me find another car. I'm a very, very lucky guy.

I talked to Sal yesterday, and placed an order to replace my Shulze. New batteries (NiMH packs ) are on order from cheapbatterypacks.

New credit cards are arriving daily. And I'm learning how to deal with auto brokers and insurance companies.

But, the best part - my wife has been just absolutely outstanding. Funny how when the relationship works well, problems just bring you closer together.

Thanks again for all of the support.

Aug 05, 2003, 06:48 PM
Go Giants!
Flybyguy's Avatar
what replacement planes are you going to get?

Aug 05, 2003, 06:52 PM
AMA 148796
Ah, the best question.

I ordered a VBelle 1.3 from Sal. I'll use a 2820/10 AXI on it.

Good news is I was planning on thinning the fleet anyway. Just not like this.

Aug 05, 2003, 07:17 PM
Go Giants!
Flybyguy's Avatar
Well, at least the fleet went out in a, "blaze" of glory!
Aug 05, 2003, 07:53 PM
Registered User
Is it certain that it was the damaged pack that started the fire? Where there any other batteries on charge in the car at the time?

The odds seem fairly high that it was the damaged pack but was just wondering if there could have been any other source.

Aug 05, 2003, 08:05 PM
AP pro;)
Originally posted by Heather
Is it certain that it was the damaged pack that started the fire? Where there any other batteries on charge in the car at the time?

The odds seem fairly high that it was the damaged pack but was just wondering if there could have been any other source.

Indeed, though it seems very likely the crashed pack was to blame, could it also be possible that the cell was exposed to the sun, either directly, by reflection, or perhaps one of the freak sun magnification effects that often are responsible? Was the sun blazing down, the doors open, windows up? Or, worse still, the doors closed? I'm not sure how a raw LIPO would handle being heated to 80C+, also consider one side is insulated......

Just something to consider........

Aug 05, 2003, 09:39 PM
Registered User

Lithium does indeed burn....

Lithium batteries pack a tremendous amount of energy into a small package. Therefore the chemistry is more active, and thus more dangerous.

Lithium burns with a pinkish orange glow/flame. Strange looking. Have seen way too many fires and 'violent venting events' for my lifetime......I was an engineer in a military/aerospace specialty battery manufacturing facility for over 7 years. Mainly worked with Lithium Thionyl Chloride batteries, a non rechargeable chemistry that is even more powerful than the rechargable Li batteries. I don't miss it one bit due to the chemicals and the occasional unpredicability of the chemistry.

Bottom line, you guys can play with Li batteries all you want. I'm not going to....How's that for an endorsement?

Mike in Arkansas

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