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Old 10-28-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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Re: Battery Charging

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I have personally seen several lipos with punctures and none of them have caught fire and a couple of times have removed punctured outer cells so friends could continue to use a pack albeit with a lower cell count.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Battery Charging

Originally Posted by cman View Post
Thanks for all the replies

Now that I think about it more, I've charged transmitter pacs over night without even thinking about it. I thought they were ment to be over night chargers.

Lipo's I think I will continue to take extreme measures to protext this. Are single cell lipo's as dangerous as the multi cell packs?

maybe my winter project will be to buy and modify a ammo can for lipo charging and so i can relax.

One of the things that got me wondering is there are many many people who buy a RC car or plane that is ready to go complete with a lipo, have no idea about the videos and fires, but seem to be ok just charging them and walking away.

I'm going to continue doing what I am doing. being in the room when charging lipos.
I was one of those people who bought a plane with a Lipo battery and a spare battery and had no idea about them . I found out by watching a video on a forum (could have been here but I am not sure on that).
I used to charge them on our kitchen counter and walk away and sometimes even leave the house to go do other things . After seeing a video of a burning Lipo I keep an eye on them all the time and charge them away from anything flamable. There should be a warning on the box that says something about the battery or a warning sheet given to you by the retailer .
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:53 PM   #13
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Re: Battery Charging

Some come with warnings! Make sure that the container you store lipos in has air flow vents. DO NOT STORE IN SEALED CONTAINERS LIPOS WILL SELF IGNITE. You must drill holes in lid of ammo box to prevent self ignition.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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Re: Battery Charging

Puncturing a lipo won't always cause a fire but it sure increases the risk of one. The biggest risk of a fire is during charging, especially if you have it charging at too high a rate.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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Re: Battery Charging

I've crashed helis hard enough to make the pack look like a taco after, and they've been useable after. I've also dropped a 3s out of my flight box about a foot to the ground on my way to the car in the morning. Had a look, no visible damage, tossed it back in my flight box, and caught fire and scorched up my flight box and radio before I ever made it the rest of the way from the house to the car.

It's pretty random what'll make 'em go and what won't. Just needs to short a couple cells together and you get fireworks.

I know one of the LHSes around here had one go off in the shop. One of the employees heard a loud snap across the store and figured out what it was. He pulled it off the charger it was on and tossed it outside only to have it burst into 6 foot flames shortly thereafter. That was by far the most spectacular fire I've seen from a battery. Usually it's just a lot of smoke and a little fire.

Okay, I'm done rambling.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:28 PM   #16
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Re: Battery Charging

Hello, I have a quick question, I'm pretty new to this hobby. I have a Speedpack 1800mAh 7.2v 6-cell Ni-MH Battery(Dynamite) and a Electrix rc charger output is 9VDC 300ma, I am wondering how long it will take to full charge the pack?
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:00 AM   #17
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Re: Battery Charging

I never used to be in attendance while charging NiCads or NiMh. I forgot to unplug my glow starter NiCad while charging at 4 amps, several times, once for days. It was hot but I never had a fire. I am far more careful with my LIPOs. I am always near them when charging in the house, but my preferred method is to charge in a safe place outside, at which time I don't feel any need to be in attendance because no damage will occur if the LIPO goes. I don't like charging in the house at all because it's not exactly my idea of safe to try and get a flaming LIPO outside in a panic. Unfortunately I have to charge in the house because I fly in cold weather.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:16 AM   #18
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Re: Battery Charging

After reading these comments I wonder why LIPOS are even allowed on the market. Until they can be made safer I'm more nervous about mine than ever.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
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Re: Battery Charging

I REALLY HATE Windows! I had typed out a nice detailed listing of the differences between the different capacities and it just got dumped by one keyboard flub.

Anyway, here is the short and skinny:

Nicads need cycling to remove any "Memory Effects" generated by partial discharge and rewinding. This is pretty much regularly required.

NiMH don't suffer that memory problem so do not require cycling, (many recommend against it). However, I personally do this at least once per season as it is the only way I know to measure the capacity of the pack.

NiMh suffer a higher self-discharge than NiCads and have a different charge profile, one that can also require a temp probe to prevent damage to the cells.

Both prior chemistries can create internal bridging in the electrolyte and depending on the number of cycles these can affect capacity to the point of connecting the electrodes and shorting the cell.

LiPo and LiFE batteries can store much higher energy densities. This means per unit weight they have much higher capacity. IMO they are the reason you have seen such wild growth in electric apps in this hobby.

Unfortunately that energy density also magnifies the danger if the cell is damaged or mishandled. One of the reasons the energy density is higher is due to the fact the electrolyte and insulating layers are so closely packed together. This increases the risk of shorting since much less damage or contamination is required to provide a path between positive and negative. In fact, contamination of small metal particles during manufacture was traced as the reason for the rash of laptop explosions a while ago. Metal shavings would eventually internally short the cells. The amount of energy stored would try to dump all at once, what nukes call "Critical Self Disassembly".

With LiPos or LiFE physical damage or heating during charge or discharge can compromise the insulating layers and create that path to short the cells. This starts the process leading to fire, but the biggest issue is that once ignited lithium cannot be stopped by any currently available extinguisher. I believe this is called a "Primary Metal" fire and the lack of extinguishing methods is the reason for the restrictions on transporting them by air.

Their have been lots of horror stories about the increased risk of using LiPos and LiFE batteries and the need to closely monitor them during charge. This risk is real and as stated once started a LiPo fire is damned near impossible to stop and depending on the packs charge level can be extremely vigorous.

However, these risks also apply to ANY storage device. I once flubbed fabbing my own flight packs by soldering some fully charged NiCad AA cells together, (duh!). Got a bit overenthusiastic on one cell and it shorted. I bailed as smoke started to eject from both ends and made it around the corner of the block wall when it exploded. There was NOTHING left on the table. Soldering iron and even a charger were cleaned off and all this was from a 1000 MAh NiCad.

NiCads can also suffer thermal runaway and we had temp probes on the batteries in our helis. Unfortunately that did not prevent one from blowing the front off one of the Bells.

One other point to make is that we frequently found different chemistries do not play well together. When operating in the bush we removed the batteries from the machines every night to store them in a warm environment. We had to monitor the Lead Acid type was completely isolated from the NiCad since putting the two together meant both would be chemically destroyed by morning.

Not sure if that is the case with some of the new chemistries and to be honest I am unfamiliar with the requirement to vent my batteries during storage. I too have a pair of ammo boxes for my LiPos and notice the sweet smell when opened, but this is the first I've heard the risk of "Self-Ignition" storing them this way.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:39 AM   #20
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Re: Battery Charging

Well I'm typing this from my laptop that has a lithium battery I assume. It pobly has a lower energy density than a flight battery because weight is not such a big issue.
The thing is its plugged in at my house 24-7. Am I afraid it's going to burst into flames. no. I've worked with gasoline all my life which is far more dangerous and volatile than lipo batteries abd if you treat it with any respect you are fine. All my rechargeable tool's have the same warnings as the lipos on them and they have survived.
The sky is not falling just take precautions and enjoy. Eating a hamburger and fries is far more dangerous to you than a lipo battery
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Last edited by wilf; 04-02-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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