Parramatta Radio Control Aircraft Club

Full Version: Preventing lipo fires
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I do not have an outside garage to store and charge my lipos, the hobby workspace is inside our house.
I recently found a useful item at Bunnings, its a Craftright steel toolbox (159mmx137mmx385mm) for $15 that has a clip to keep the lid shut, and can hold 6 or more lipos. I now have 4 of the craftright boxes, 2 other metal boxes that look similar, and a medium Batbox which is a fairly pricey item. I divide my collection of 2S and 3S lipos between the 7 boxes, and I also place the removable lipo battery from the electric lawnmower in a box.

The storage is just one aspect of preventing a lipo fire, I am sure most points are well known but this article covers them fairly well.

I generally charge 12 lipos for a flying session, so I use 3 dual chargers (mainly ToolkitRC M6D, that have no AC connection and run off a separate power supply, and are considerably cheaper than AC power models). I choose the ToolkitRC after trying several other brands over a long period. Thus 6 lipos are charged simultaneously, and as the article recommends I charge at 1C. So I hang around the workroom for 2 hours while the charging takes place. I always check individual cell voltages several times during balance charging, and the IR at least once. 

I keep welders gloves and a fire blanket handy, in the hope I could wrap up an igniting lipo and throw it into the yard in time. I have a fire extinguisher ready for other items that may have caught fire. And the room has a smoke detector. I do not pretend these measures ensure perfect safety, the aim is just to make it as safe as possible.
Here is a good test of lipo bags by RCVideo Reviews (John Hopke). I was surprised to see they worked better than I thought, especially as fully charged 4S and 6S lipos were used in the test.
I have now moved  charging and storage of lipos outside the house.

The method is applicable whether you move the charging outside a house to a backyard, or to an outside deck or balcony of an apartment.

I used a "1/2 height" steel filing cabinet 1015 x 910 x 450mm (HxWxD)
and a custom size waterproof cover that comes from a barbeque cover company.

I have no outside power at ground level, so a power cord is tossed over the upper level deck to supply the 3 dual chargers that sit on the cabinet. I charge 6 lipos at a time, with lipos in an individual pouch or bag. Charged lipos are then stored in lipo bags or pouches, in steel toolboxes (approx. 159 mm x 137 mm x 385 mm) that sit on the steel shelves that create many separate compartments. Uncharged lipos are also kept in the cabinet, again in lipo bags and inside toolboxes.

Details and additional photos are shown in a RCG thread on lipo storage.