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Author Topic: WARNING: Lithium Polymer Batteries fire  (Read 15141 times)
WA2ASB
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Posts: 39




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« on: May 02, 2013, 04:53:22 AM »

Whoa, that woke me up.  I was checking Facebook (FB) this morning and saw an ad on the right hand side for something Ham Radio related.  (FB knows I'm a sucker). Following their link I noticed that they did either sell or advocated the use of Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries for Ham Radio Equipment.

I've used LiPo's for awhile without any problems.  I have several RC helicopters, boats, and cars that are powered by them.  I always use extreme caution when charging them because I've seen videos of what happens when things go wrong.

I use a special fire resistant bag whenever I charge.  I'm not advocating the particular bag shown in this video, and I'm not suggesting anyone buy it, but I am saying: if you use LiPo batteries, charge them some where safely outside of your equipment.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3o_2mwRPdw
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 07:11:09 AM »

Many laptops have been using Li batteries for some time now. Some smart phones too with no problems.

I think Face Book is such a waste of time and cloud space too.
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NO2A
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 08:45:49 AM »

My camera uses Lithiun Ion batteries and they work great. One thing to remember is if you ever put a replacement pack in your pocket,make sure nothing can short the terminals out. Loose change,a pen,etc. They make covers for them but nobody uses them.
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WA2ASB
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 10:38:09 AM »

Hey guys, Lithium Ion batteries like those in laptops are not a problem.  The problem is with the Lithium Ion Polymer batteries.  It is the "Polymer" addition that is the problem.  My "Fitbit" also has a LiPo battery in it, and I'm very careful when I charge it too.
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 10:50:35 AM »

Hey guys, Lithium Ion batteries like those in laptops are not a problem.  The problem is with the Lithium Ion Polymer batteries.  It is the "Polymer" addition that is the problem.  My "Fitbit" also has a LiPo battery in it, and I'm very careful when I charge it too.

Well it is a intelligent battery and charger so there is Little cause for concern. LiPo are making a lot of inroads in devices with non removable batteries and they can be easily molded to odd shapes.
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WA2ASB
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 11:42:36 AM »


Well it is a intelligent battery and charger so there is Little cause for concern. LiPo are making a lot of inroads in devices with non removable batteries and they can be easily molded to odd shapes.

"Little cause for concern"?  Well viewing the link that I posted shows how violently these things burn.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere near one.  Do I buy them?  Sure because you can't fly a small helicopter in your living room with a lead-acid battery.  However, I take percautions when charging them.

Lithium ion batteries can catch fire too, but not with the propensity of what the LiPo's do.  Remember that the Boeing 787's got grounded because of Lithium Ion battery fires. 

Here is a link to the FAA's findings: http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/09-55.pdf  (Interesting that the government can still get Halon fire extenquishers and civilians can't.  I guess government usage doesn't harm the ozone layer. Roll Eyes )
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 12:10:14 PM »


Lithium ion batteries can catch fire too, but not with the propensity of what the LiPo's do.  Remember that the Boeing 787's got grounded because of Lithium Ion battery fires. 


That's because they did not do their home work and Boeing's design placed a LOT of demand on batteries at times resulting in heavy cycling or charge/discharge. Not that same as consumer use in small devices. Are they a hazard, sure but no more (and likely less)than the gas tank and fuel lines in your car that you drive every day
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WB6DGN
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 08:25:05 PM »

Quote
That's because they did not do their home work and Boeing's design placed a LOT of demand on batteries at times resulting in heavy cycling or charge/discharge. Not that same as consumer use in small devices. Are they a hazard, sure but no more (and likely less)than the gas tank and fuel lines in your car that you drive every day.

Well said.  While its presently a fairly small sample, every Tesla electric automobile running is using a very large lithium battery array and, to date, I have never heard of an incident of any kind since developmental testing.  Its hard to imagine a more demanding application than being the SOLE power source for an electric vehicle.  Its all about the control system, both charge and discharge.  The batteries are safe when the associated control  electronics are competently designed.
Tom
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K7RNO
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 01:36:05 PM »

I found that reading about battery types on this site was just the education I needed to know enough about LiIon batteries to not fall into the trap of mixing them all up. It might be an educational read for some of you too <cough>  Wink
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
NO2A
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 07:47:22 AM »

Here`s another reason to "read the manual." Canon,and other camera makers have warned the public about buying off brand replacement batteries. Many are cheap,counterfeit batteries that can and will leak or explode when charged. Whenever buying a replacement battery pack,make sure it is the brand name and it comes with a warrenty. The brand name batteries aren`t expensive anyway.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 07:54:39 AM »

Here`s another reason to "read the manual." Canon,and other camera makers have warned the public about buying off brand replacement batteries. Many are cheap,counterfeit batteries that can and will leak or explode when charged. Whenever buying a replacement battery pack,make sure it is the brand name and it comes with a warrenty. The brand name batteries aren`t expensive anyway.

These claims of explosive aftermarket batteries are about as rare as deadly flying mag mount antennas. I always use after market batteries and usually with good results though occasionally I have a few with reduced capacity or shorter life and have never had one explode or even leak.
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KK4JJF
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 05:57:10 AM »

I have 2 LiPo packs that had been sitting unused for a year. I found both of them balloned out, and twisted.  They were stored in my bedroom closet!  Shocked
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 471




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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 05:01:16 PM »

I had an RC chopper literally explode in midair because of a bad LiPo battery.

Good old Made in China gear!
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 02:30:28 PM »

I had an RC chopper literally explode in midair because of a bad LiPo battery.

Good old Made in China gear!

I know some RC'ers who would have paid dearly for the feature...

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W8JX
Member

Posts: 5750




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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 03:50:42 PM »

I had an RC chopper literally explode in midair because of a bad LiPo battery.

Good old Made in China gear!

Be curious to know how many charge/discharge cycles you had on it that day.
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