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LIPO SAFETY !!!!!!
#1

as i'm frequently learning about electrics and coming up with questions etc. i thought of an important one after speaking with JASON yesterday .
LIPO DANGERS AND SAFETY .
PREVENTION OF HAZARDS WITH LIPOS .

i'm becoming concerned about lipo storage as i now have 10 lipo batteries stored in an aluminium case on the shelves in the garage . that is a huge amount of energy .
being in the garage where 2 cars are also and also the garage attached to the house i am startting to stress and have safety concerns about them .
ok i do the basics like dont leave them unattended when charging etc , but one of my batteries now for example is starting to swell a little over time , is not lasting as long as the others in flight and has a cell that is .1v behind the others always . now is this safe after a flight simply sitting on a shelf 2/3 discharged ?? Can they just spontainiously combust ? i dont think so because i'm sure if they were potentially dangourous there would be regulations on storage , so i guess i'm probably unecessarily thinking of these as a danger , BUT IF I DONT ASK I DONT KNOW .
any tips on how to store these , i'm thinking of buying an outdoor cabinet , is that over the top ? or should they be stored in a LIPO BAG ? AND IF SO IS 10 IN ONE BAG OK ? ( BECAUSE IF ONE FRIES IN THE VICINITY OF 9 MORE , this could be a compounding problem .
am i looking too far into it .
i'm now looking at the safest way to have hazardous high energy batteries , safely stored .

WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO OR RECOMMEND ??

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#2

A large and very deep bunker, its the only way to be sure....
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#3

On a more serious note, its best to treat them with respect, They're not going to blow up if you look at them the wrong way but it would pay well to keep them isolated from items that will burn easily. Chucking em all in a lipo bag is better than nothing but if they were to go up, the bag would probably be toast.
Whilst they're not exactly explosive, when they do burn it is a sustained flare for a few seconds so unless you have a pretty hefty container, you might just get some burn through.

I personally use an open top ceramic pot. This allows me to direct where expelled energy will go, in my case straight up to a metal roof over 2m above.

My chargers sit in glass casserole plates along with batteries when charging.
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#4

Common Sense and Caution as they should not just explode unless something is done to them. As Kieran Said they tend to flare or sizzle not explode but anything is possible.

We tend to really give Lipo's more grief when in our planes Flying from 0 amps up to 90 amps and they dont explode but they sometimes come down puffy.

Charging them is possibly the main time to be very cautious as this is when the lipo or charger can fail.
Never charge over the lipo stated c rating for charge and use safety and caution,

Storage -
A metal Tool Box is a great way of storing them as you can place them in and close the lid, you can line the inside with Cloth Tape so theres no possible shorting out of lipo to tool box.

Disposal -
You can plug a 12 volt halogen downlight to it and leave for several Hours to it goes Dead. Caution hear as well as Globe gets very very Hot.

Links -

http://forum.rcflyingclub.com/showthread.php?tid=13&pid=1882&highlight=lipo#pid1882
http://forum.rcflyingclub.com/showthread.php?tid=100&highlight=lipo

Steve



What Do You Mean Theres a Throttle Curve ?, Its Either all the way up or all the way down Tongue_smile
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#5

Yet at the field most people charge their batteries on the top of their cars engine right beside a petrol fuel source - something to think about!Biggrin

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#6

(02-06-2012, 07:53 AM)samste Wrote:  Storage -
A metal Tool Box is a great way of storing them as you can place them in and close the lid, you can line the inside with Cloth Tape so theres no possible shorting out of lipo to tool box.

In my case, I use an ammo box from an army surplus store, lined with rubber.

(02-06-2012, 07:53 AM)samste Wrote:  Disposal -
You can plug a 12 volt halogen downlight to it and leave for several Hours to it goes Dead. Caution hear as well as Globe gets very very Hot.

That's what I do too. Note that a 12V halogen is fine for up to 3S, but for 4-6S use two 12V halogen globes in series. They'll glow dimly for several hours until dead.




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#7

(02-06-2012, 04:38 PM)Claudius Wrote:  In my case, I use an ammo box from an army surplus store, lined with rubber.

Empty I hope Smile Smile


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#8

Here is a Good sample of a Lipo with Intermittment issues

I was using this on my Komet and Thought to myself why i lost control upon Takeoff on Friday. (No Power when i throttled up after leaving my Hand launching)

There was tell tale signs but i ignored them as 2.4ghz issues or my throttle plug not in well in rx.
Upon Removal of outer Skin of Lipo This Afternoon i found that it was never soldered and was Contact Holding because of shrink and tape surround.

       


Will Solder and give it a new shrink wrap.

Fortunately not Too Much damage and was easily Fixed but it now has visible wounds.

   
Resoldered

What Do You Mean Theres a Throttle Curve ?, Its Either all the way up or all the way down Tongue_smile
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#9

Hmmmmm unlucky ay ??

“The knack of flying is learning how to throw your machine at the ground and miss.”

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your thoughts turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
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#10

(16-06-2012, 09:24 PM)secant0give Wrote:  Hmmmmm unlucky ay ??

Yes it was a strange thing, After Mishap on Friday i Reglued onsite the komet back together actually picked my other lipo and hand launched and it was fine.
But didn't realise the issue at hand.
Next flight was with the faulty lipo and upon take off it did the same dropped, bounced on the ground then powered up and flew, obviously the bounce made the connection to lipo and was ok for flight.
when i puled out lipo after flight to recharge it was not registering on charger as pulling on the lead to battery when taking out of plane pulled apart the connection.

Strange things Happen.
But The Komet Flies fast and hard and glides nice, a lot of Fun.

   

What Do You Mean Theres a Throttle Curve ?, Its Either all the way up or all the way down Tongue_smile
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#11

Random thing for LiPos....

I was worried about the risk of a lipo cooking off in the garage at home and starting a fire, so I bought myself an ammo box and thought myself very clever......

Until Claudio explained I had made a piece of potentially exploding shrapnel as the gas from cooking off would have nowhere to vent (sealed box) and probably explode. Solution suggested was rip out the rubber lid seal.

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#12

To my understanding, lipo's should not create gas pressure, they are sealed, unlike some lead acid batteries, that do gas as they charge. If a lipo vents gas when it's charging.... that's what the ammo box is for.

On the topic, I do not like those lipo charging sacks. My theory is, that a lipo should never be far form sight when it's charging, so if it starts to swell (or do anything else peculiar) and the charger does not detect it, you can't see it happening in time to terminate the charge and get the extra long bbq tongs.

Just my opinion on lipos...

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#13

(12-09-2012, 10:50 PM)Steven Wrote:  To my understanding, lipo's should not create gas pressure, they are sealed, unlike some lead acid batteries, that do gas as they charge. If a lipo vents gas when it's charging.... that's what the ammo box is for.

This is all correct, as far as my experience goes - but what Claudio was talking about was not in relation to the normal charge cycle of LiPo batteries. He was saying that if one of the batteries happened to develop a fault whilst unattended (for example an internal dielectric breakdown, or some other rare but possible fault) then if the battery was encased in a gas-tight box, then it would indeed get noisy and messy some seconds later.

Steve Murray
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#14

Ah... sorry, having the dumb. Ben, is there anywhere on the box that you can open a hole, that has some sort of natural baffle behind it? ... meaning that there is no direct angle from the inside world to the outside?

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#15

Erm... sort of.

If you take the rubber seal out of the lid, the lid itself is still there (which is metal). Taking the rubber seal out means it isn't airtight, but there is still enough protection. It will flame out, but hopefully fairly quickly as there wont be much oxygen to sustain it, but enough space to let the gases vent as required.

That's my theory anyway.

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#16

G'day concerned lipo users

My attitude to batteries in lipo sacks whilst charging is NO.
For me I make sure the battery is in a clear area on a thick non flammable surface completely visible. Most importantly i am always in attendance when charging.
I can however see the merit of lipo sacks.
For storage I discharge to 4.0v and store in a metal ammo case.

This is an important topic, so, what is the consensus in regards to safe lipo charging and storage?

FYI a lipo does not need oxygen to sustain its combustion, I stacked a glider pretty hard a while back and noted the partially crushed batt was warm and getting warmer. I chucked it into a deep puddle near the heli area, about 5 mins later a geyser of lipo smoke bubbled its way into the atmosphere. I didnt expect it to cook off underwater!

Cheers
Rob B

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#17

Hi guys,

LIPO safety is a very important subject. I think it deserves a thread of its own, under its own title.



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#18

My input (summary of practise and reading over the years):

1. Only use LiPos that are in good condition (no damage, not excessively puffed, etc).
2. Be very careful making the electrical connections between battery and charger. This is actually where most fires start. The charger won't stop a short circuit battery.
3. Charge in safe place. Even garages burn down.
4. Charge supervised.
5. Transport with the utmost care and respect. Batteries have been known to catch fire in a backpack.
6. Batteries involved in high impact crashes that have visible damage should be considered untrustworthy.
7. Dispose of LiPos by immersing in salt water for several weeks prior to disposal.
8. Remember that the consequences of a burning LiPo after a crash could be a grass fire - or worse.
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#19

well one thing i was doing , a few monbths ago that is a no no . if you have a park flyer DO NOT CARRY LIPOS IN YOUR POCKETS !!!. i was having charged in left pocket and disharged in right pocket , now consider you crown jewels if any short circuit were to happen . keep them in a case .
i store mine in a case at 3.8v . it is important to remember that most of the time your batteries are stored together , in the rare event that one short circuits in storage , theo thers will all burn as well, lots of energy in one space . so put your batteries where a fire will do the least damage ! in the shed perhaps , away from garages , and houses and petrol .

patience !!Biggrin paaatience !!Paranoid paaaaaatience Tounge paaaaaaatieeence Lol dooooohhhh !!! Upset


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#20

Frank.. you could put popcorn in your undies and dole out some treats!
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#21

There's one point in Robert's post I'd like put my opinion to... Storage.

I've gone with the theory of storing LiPO's fully (balanced) charged (keeping with the "don't store them flat" thing - although 4v per cell is not flat), and I must say, this has worked for me. I have a lot of large surface application packs that are 3 to 4 years old and are all fully serviceable, so full storage hasn't hurt.

I have had one battery puff in storage, one that I had forgotten I had bought... I found a little white box on a shelf, it contained a Turnegy 1000mah 2s softy that I had bought for a light weight application, and picked up a 2nd at the time because they were cheap. This had puffed in it's box because it had sat for an extra two and a half years charged at it's shipped voltage. I guess it had just lost enough over time to go into deep cycle, the same as storing them flat.



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#22

well . i did not know storing them flat is not a good idea . thanks .

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#23

No problem Smile Yeah, flat is bad. I make the habit of balance charging them when I get home from what ever I have been doing.

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#24

Strongly disagree.

Storing batteries fully charged for extended periods is incorrect. The correct storage voltage is 3.8V per cell which is roughly 50%. Leaving them for extended periods (year or more) requires one to check and return the cell voltage to 3.8V. Under voltage is just as bad.

Storing batteries fully charged shortens their service life. It brings on puffing as well. Discharge is also impacted (batteries don't last as long and they start to get warm/hot earlier in their life).

Battery life is more a function of quality (and therefore price). Due to price being cheap these days, we tend to ignore things that avoid reducing their life span.
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#25

Recent literature released on Nanotech,s specifically suggests charging only prior to flight to get any longevity out of them. If you leave Nano,s for any period of time with a full charge you will reduce thier life exponentially. I know because I have heaps of Nanos and the ones that I leave flat (3.8 volts) are in excellent condition where the ones I have that I charged straight after use are all but stuffed and they are only 12 months old.
However in my experience standard batteries such as 20 to 30 C ones like Zippies etc, dont appear to be as affected by storing them with as full charge.
A have also noted that the batteries that I charge at 1 C seem to have excellent longevity and hold full charge for long periods, whereas the higher C batteries that you tend to charge at higher rates tend to start to puff a lot earlier and will drop voltage in just a few days and sometimes even only hours after charging..
Gazz

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#26

(17-09-2012, 07:32 AM)gbanger Wrote:  Recent literature released on Nanotech,s specifically suggests charging only prior to flight to get any longevity out of them. If you leave Nano,s for any period of time with a full charge you will reduce thier life exponentially. I know because I have heaps of Nanos and the ones that I leave flat (3.8 volts) are in excellent condition where the ones I have that I charged straight after use are all but stuffed and they are only 12 months old.
However in my experience standard batteries such as 20 to 30 C ones like Zippies etc, dont appear to be as affected by storing them with as full charge.
A have also noted that the batteries that I charge at 1 C seem to have excellent longevity and hold full charge for long periods, whereas the higher C batteries that you tend to charge at higher rates tend to start to puff a lot earlier and will drop voltage in just a few days and sometimes even only hours after charging..
Gazz

Yep Spot on Gazz and Dave !!
When not in use, leave them at about 3.8V per cell (which is not flat but not fully charged either.) If you can store them in a cool place this helps too.
For Max life, when you use them don't cycle them too deeply, I never take mine below 3.75V per cell and prefer to discharge them to only about 3.85 to 3.9 V per Cell. 3.8 is a good place to aim for!!

Definatly BALANCE charging them at 1C is the go for longest life, I never charge mine harder than 1C.

I have had some Rhino 3S 1350mah packs that have been charged and used almost every day for over two years and they are still going OK except for one that has died. The rest have dropped off a little in capasity but I just set my timer back one min, I flew them yesterday in my zero and this morning in my Depron Extra.

I can't comment much on Nanotecs as I only have one pack but I do have some 40C 4S 1000s and I usually charge them on the morning before flying. If I don't use them I set my charger to put them at storage voltage (3.8VperCell) as soon as I get home. The Accucell 6 from HK has this function and does it just like a charge cycle.

I must say that by sticking to these guidelines, I have got really good life from my packs. I have 8 turnigy 6S 3000 packs that I have had for ages, They fly my big Yak in series and I use them singlely in my Edge 540 and My Ugly stick, They are all perfict and have had much use and are over a year old. They get used every weekend. They are usually charged on Friday at work ready for Saterday's flying

I also have 5 1800 4s Turnigy packs that I fly every weekend and mid week afternoons some times Too. I use them in the Eflight Ultimate I got from Gazz, my funjet and in my little red Yak 54. They have had countless flights and allways come down warm. They are still going well and have only just lost their gilt edge. But they still have plenty of life in them. Same deal with these, I leave them at around 3.8V per cell after flying and charge them the day, or better still the night before flying again.




“The knack of flying is learning how to throw your machine at the ground and miss.”

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your thoughts turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
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#27

My 2 cents as well. I also agree with the last few posts. Until recently I always charged my batteries as soon as I got home from the field so that they are always ready, plus with only one charger at the time it would take all afternoon to charge them all. Since reading about Lipos, I also agree that Lipos should be stored at 3.8V (40% charge), If you store Lipos fully charged they lose around 40% capacity per year. I've gotten pretty good at timing my flights to finish at this voltage. You can discharge to 20% safely (around 3.75V) for more duration but you risk damage if you go any further than this - especially if you do it repeatedly. The Turnigy Balance Chargers will balance storage charge to 3.8V per cell and at least it's partly charged for when you want to fully charge before flying. If you want to be really fussy, it's also best to store Lipos at just above freezing, in the fridge is ideal, although the missus might have something to say about it.
The problem I found was that when it came to Friday night, you would be pushed for time to charge all your batteries, especially if you have a dozen or more. Since Whitedg's generous Power Supply donations, I've invested in a Turnigy 4 Port charger, so now I can charge 5 batteries at a time (with my original single charger as well) all running off the 87A Pwr Supply - and it still only draws well under half it output capacity. I can charge heaps of Lipos in a couple of hours ready for the next day. That many batteries charging at once does make you think a bit more about safety as well - lots of energy and wires everywhere!

John Jelovic
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#28

GREAT , thanks guys . still picking up tips from this thread , i have had mine fully charged , and missed flying for a week or so and discharged them to 3.8 as i felt safe at that , however i have been guilty of leaving batteries undercharged too , never for extrended periods though , its good to know 50% charge is better than flat and also better than fully charged over extended periods . i'll stick with the 3.8 volts storage as i find i nver know when next ill be flying . great info thanks

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#29

It appears I stand corrected.

I do agree on not charging +1 C though.

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#30

Something else to think about ... when it comes to storage and charging of Lipo's
When you purchase a brand new Lipo.... what is its charge state..... They are all delivered with a base charge of 3.8 volts.
Now when you think about it new batteries could sit in a shop for 6 months or more .... so if the dudes that build the things keep them at that state it makes sense that is the best way to store them............. you think?

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