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Mar 06, 2018, 02:26 PM
RCTugger
rctugger's Avatar
Discussion

Commander LIPO FIRE


Sunday started as a beautiful day at the pond. It is always a hard decision on which boats to bring. The Dumas 36" Commander got chosen as it does not get to go very often. Such a handsome boat. With a bit of wind, we were running them upwind in the pond and letting them drift back down. After about 15 minutes of this as the Commander was drifting, there was a loud "thump", with smoke and fire erupting from the commander. And no controls whatever. The rescue tug was immediately dispatched with its retriever, and captured the Commander on first try and it started for shore. Then "thump" again as the cabin was blown vertically about 2-3 inches. And yes, even more smoke and flame. As it arrived at the shore, I was waiting and using my hands scooped lake water on the burning aft deck. Lifting the smoldering cabin off and setting it on the ground, allowed more oxygen inside and the smoke and flames flared up. More scooping, followed by sizzling and popping sounds finally put things out. As seen the starboard 3s LIPO exploded first and the port LIPO second. There are no wires melted, the esc capacitor did not blow, and receiver/servo wiring intact. This was just sudden LIPO failure. The 2 LIPO's were in parallel so on blowing up, the first one shorted, causing the second explosion. I managed not to cry in front of the other guys!!!! Yes it will be rebuilt. There is no blistering on the hull so it is salvageable.
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Mar 06, 2018, 02:42 PM
Registered User
CaptCB's Avatar
Sorry to hear that.

But, like several of us keep saying, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING WRONG, TO HAVE A LIPO FAILURE/FIRE!!!!

The exact reason that capntroy and I don't/won't, run LIPO's.
Mar 06, 2018, 03:15 PM
Latitudes vs Attitudes
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Wow! Did both Batteries Blow- I see two batteries and one motor? were they in parallel?
Latest blog entry: Billy Joel 101-at the Garden
Mar 06, 2018, 03:51 PM
GET BACK IN THE SHOP!!!!!!
CaptDH's Avatar
CB,

You guys do run lipos. Just in the device you hold up to your head..lol

This is one of the reasons I don't sell my boats with any lipos included or suggested. Don't need the liability.
Mar 06, 2018, 04:05 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Had that happen once when a NiCd cell (yes, that long ago) presumably shorted out.

Burned almost to the waterline

Once cell opened up like a blooming onion out the end. Don't know how it could have, but it did. Usually they fail open.

Andy
Mar 06, 2018, 04:17 PM
Latitudes vs Attitudes
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
Had that happen once when a NiCd cell (yes, that long ago) presumably shorted out.

Burned almost to the waterline

Once cell opened up like a blooming onion out the end. Don't know how it could have, but it did. Usually they fail open.

Andy
Andy , was it a single pack or one of two in a parallel arrangement?
Latest blog entry: Billy Joel 101-at the Garden
Mar 06, 2018, 04:27 PM
Mopar Musclecar fanatic
xx29l9's Avatar
How old were the lipo's in the pictures?

One of the issues is any battery has the potential to do this since you are trying to store as much power in a small form factor as possible. I have seen car batteries do some severe damage under the hood too. Lipo's do need to be handled with care, but all batteries should be.

Just my $.02

Bob
Mar 06, 2018, 04:31 PM
RCTugger
rctugger's Avatar
Bob...I was running 2 LIPO's in parallel to a single esc and a single brushless motor. The batteries were about 1 1/2 years old, ran them in various set-ups in different boats, had run them in this boat before and it was just "their time to have a problem". It was after drifting for maybe 5-10 minutes from being run maybe 1-2 minutes at mid throttle. I just checked, the motor still works but the esc and receiver could not take the heat. The rudder servo melted.
Mar 06, 2018, 04:44 PM
Latitudes vs Attitudes
Bob Gaito's Avatar
As a matter of fact I had a lead acid car battery (ford turbo coupe t-bird BLOW up when I hit the key-a loud pop and acid everywhere-no defect in the car. Now I drive Lipos..Chevy volt. Chevy has never had a battery failure since they started making the car in 2010. All batteries can fail- Lipos are a little more non forgiving. Inspect after every usage for bulging, never charge hot, never store at 100% (s/b 80-85%) and the reason I keep asking if you are going to run parallel batteries they Must be matched. If one is a little weak ,run down or, there is a little resistance in the wiring...the strong battery will try to charge the weaker battery. And we know what could happen if you try to charge a Lipo with an unregulated amperage supply. Its the same thing in a parallel system. Heck Sudbury built a company making battery isolators for full size boats...I know a lot of guys do it and get away with it but I would never run two batteries without an isolation system.
and rctugger-I am truely sorry for your loss!! I probably would have cried......
Latest blog entry: Billy Joel 101-at the Garden
Mar 06, 2018, 05:22 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
That parallel connector you were using, is a suspect as far as I am concerned. If it got hot, solder could have flowed, bridging the contacts. That is why when I make a parallel connector, I use wiring.
Mar 06, 2018, 06:35 PM
RCTugger
rctugger's Avatar
Tom...yea I agree. I got some both ways. Wiring style are easier to make. Think I will stick with them just in case in the future.
Mar 06, 2018, 07:07 PM
Registered User
Robert Pulse's Avatar

Lipo fire


I was looking at the photos and wonder if the right hand battery could have been rubbing on the servo arm. Looks close to me.
Still sorry for the damage and loss. Im surprized it didnt burn to the water line.
Bob
Mar 06, 2018, 08:07 PM
RCTugger
rctugger's Avatar
Bob...no there was plenty of clearance and batteries securely velcroed down. Thanks for the condolences. Our club has a quick and efficient recovery system...tugs with FPV camera and PVC retriever "H" bracket.
Mar 06, 2018, 08:16 PM
Mopar Musclecar fanatic
xx29l9's Avatar
Sorry to see this happen to a good looking model.....any chance the battery voltage dropped too low? Do you have a low voltage alarm hooked up?

Bob
Mar 06, 2018, 10:26 PM
RCTugger
rctugger's Avatar
I did not have an alarm on it at the time of failure. I best guess one cell went bad via low voltage or total failure thus over voltage by the remaining cells and they failed in a closed condition causing the delay and failure in the second cell pack for a delayed meltdown and fire.


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