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Aug 08, 2003, 11:23 PM
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LiPo Fire Pictures

Pictures from the fire, from the right - I have a tire left! Here's the story text
Last edited by ken_keeler; Aug 09, 2003 at 03:56 PM.
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Aug 08, 2003, 11:24 PM
Thread OP

And the interior

So much for the Firecat and TA152.

Aug 08, 2003, 11:36 PM
Registered User
P-51 fan's Avatar

Aug 08, 2003, 11:37 PM
Registered User
717's Avatar
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.
Aug 09, 2003, 12:15 AM
2 infect U it 1st has 2 find U
Miami Mike's Avatar
For others who missed your original report like I did, here's a link to it.
Latest blog entry: A short message...
Aug 09, 2003, 01:36 AM
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.
Aug 09, 2003, 02:53 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
So what happened ? This was caused by a LiPo/Charger malfunction ?
Aug 09, 2003, 03:07 PM
Registered User
717's Avatar
Follow the link provided by Miami Mike above.
Aug 10, 2003, 05:31 PM
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.
Aug 11, 2003, 04:18 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
Wright Flyer's Avatar

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.

Aug 11, 2003, 04:46 AM
Registered User
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...


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...) ?

Aug 11, 2003, 09:38 AM
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.....
Aug 11, 2003, 09:51 AM
houfek's Avatar
Please let us all know what you find !!


Aug 12, 2003, 03:37 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
Wright Flyer's Avatar

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).

Aug 12, 2003, 04:27 AM
Registered User
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.


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