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Fire Proof Lipo Vault

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Old 02-14-2018, 08:40 AM
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mustangman177
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Default Fire Proof Lipo Vault

Looking into having a local iron-steel worker build a fire proof lipo vault for my batteries. Must have 50 lipos of various sizes ranging from 1000 mah 3s to 5000 mah 4s.

Thinking about a 1/4" steel box 24" square with barn doors in front. What do you think. Winter is almost over now, want to keep the batteries inside the house to prevent from freezing outside. Would this work ? What has others done to keep their lipos inside ?

I store them presently in ammo cans.

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Old 02-14-2018, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mustangman177 View Post
Looking into having a local iron-steel worker build a fire proof lipo vault for my batteries. Must have 50 lipos of various sizes ranging from 1000 mah 3s to 5000 mah 4s.

Thinking about a 1/4" steel box 24" square with barn doors in front. What do you think. Winter is almost over now, want to keep the batteries inside the house to prevent from freezing outside. Would this work ? What has others done to keep their lipos inside ?

I store them presently in ammo cans.
The box will need some type of pressure relief if it's not to become a Bomb in the event of a LIPO fire within (like the Ammo cans will be if you ever have a fire) . Your trick will be , how to contain the heat & fire while letting the pressure escape . I dare say that the only thing worse than the heat & smoke of a LIPO fire would be the shrapnel of such an unvented Bomb going off when enough of the LIPOS get burining that the box can no longer contain the pressure (remember , of the big three in the fire triangle , Fuel , Oxidizer , and Heat , LIPOS already contain the first two)

I keep mine in a shed well away from the house , in one of those little "Dorm Fridge" coolers set to stay around 50 degrees
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:20 PM
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Stick with the ammo cans!
Remember back when 2 B787's had their LiOn batteries melt down?
The sheet metal boxes (not the overboard vented containment system that was added) contained the fire, but the vented material made a mess in the electronics bays of the affected planes and a little smoke could be smelled in the cabin. If you look at pictures of the burned up batteries, most of the blue paint on the outside of the boxes survived the meltdown of the cells. In the winter, I keep my lipos in an ammo can in the basement and hope I never have to clean up the mass afterwords.
Storing your lipos at storage voltage of 3.85V per cell greatly reduces the danger of a fire and prolongs their useful life, a win-win.
Pete
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:26 PM
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I doubt if the iron box I would have made would be air tight with the (barn) doors on the front I would have built in. There would be a small gap for air. On my ammo cans, I took off the rubber seal on the top lid which made it air tight, so there is a gap on the top for air to escape. So, I don't think I would have the pressure build up from the Lipos causing the explosion.
Wish I could keep my Lipos stored away from the house as you do. I do have a small dorm fridge in the garage I could use. May go that route now that you mentioned it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pilotpete2 View Post
Stick with the ammo cans!
Remember back when 2 B787's had their LiOn batteries melt down?
The sheet metal boxes (not the overboard vented containment system that was added) contained the fire, but the vented material made a mess in the electronics bays of the affected planes and a little smoke could be smelled in the cabin. If you look at pictures of the burned up batteries, most of the blue paint on the outside of the boxes survived the meltdown of the cells. In the winter, I keep my lipos in an ammo can in the basement and hope I never have to clean up the mass afterwords.
Storing your lipos at storage voltage of 3.85V per cell greatly reduces the danger of a fire and prolongs their useful life, a win-win.
Pete
Thanks Pete. Would keep the Lipos in the Ammo cans inside the iron box. and I am storing at storage voltage 3.85V/Cell
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:43 AM
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init4fun has the best idea. Storing all your batteries together means that if one catches fire they all will burn and that will burn though your box. If you don't have a storage shed buy one and put a small refrigerator in it. If you can own 50 lipos you can buy a storage shed.
And if I were you I'd buy a whole bunch of those charging bags and store 2 or 3 in each. That way if one catches on fire you are not destroying all of them.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:34 PM
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Good grief!
Lipo batteries burning will not burn through even a light weigh steel box. As this burned up battery from a Boeing 787 shows. That box contained fully charged cells with a lot more capacity than us hobbyists deal with. A 50 cal. ammo can is heavier steel than the box in this photo
Lipo sacks are not any real protection for storing lipos. Their purpose is to make it easy to get a lipo that starts to ignite while being charged, safely outside.
Fifty lipos are a lot to store in any one location. 5 or 6 50 cal. ammo cans are an affordable solution. I believe they're less than 10 bucks at Wally World.
Pete
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:06 AM
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I have been using lipos from way back when. The cells came in a blister pack and you had to assemble them. No balance chargers, you used the NIMH setting and had a multi meter per cell. if one cell was down you either charged it alone or replaced it.

I have yet to hear of a confirmed report of a undamaged, not over charged lipo sitting for 3 weeks suddenly going up in smoke. Always turns out, it was damaged in a crash a day, week earlier, or some other damage. They shorted the battery out when they changed the connector, shorted it when soldering the plug on, stabbed it with a knife when they were cutting the shrink wrap off. Always had some damage to it.

My batteries are stored open on a wood shelf with a piece of Hardy backer under them in the garage. Hardy Backer is a concrete board. I use a piece for my welding bench. If I do not burn through it with my welder, really doubt a lipo would hurt it. They are not packed together, they have space between them. Doubt if one did go up, it would hurt the one next to it. Oh, I have yet to have a confirmed report of a lipo actually exploding. They do not explode, they do burn very rapidly, but no KaBoom.

To date, I have had (2) lipos go up in smoke that were not due to crash damage. They went up when I plugged them the wrong way into a "Y" harness. If they are damaged, they are not kept with the rest of the lipos.

I do find it some what funny how people build bunkers, steel lockers for their lipos, yet do not think twice about the BBQ propane bottle or gas can sitting in the garage. Either of them has more potential energy stored in them.


Buzz.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:16 PM
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It would take an awful lot of pressure to turn an ammo can or any can into a bomb. If it's a sealed box then at least your starving it of getting more oxygen. One of the things that fire needs to keep going.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:55 AM
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At work we had a yellow steel locker with a lock and fairly strong doors for all the chemicals, paints and nasty stuff. It had to be vented outside. Pretty much a woodstove. The vent was maybe 2" diameter, and the sheet metal box, about 3/32", maybe 1/16th" I think that would be ideal, but maybe an ammo box with a vent to outside would be good too. Of course yellow heat resistant paint and DANGER lettering with a flame job would be kool.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:07 PM
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Ammo box 1/4 inch vent drilled under the closed latch stops direct flame from exiting the box in case of fire. Store in shop temp set to lowest of 48 degrees. Nothing flammable close by it also makes a great charging station. Still would never leave them unattended when they are out of the ammo boxes.

Dennis
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:55 AM
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Clay flower pots are another suitable storage device. Putting a large number of LiPo's together might cause a cascading failure were the bad burning (LiPo) failure causes the nearby and presumable good LiPo's to start to burn.
Thats what brought down the UPS 747 in UAE.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:02 AM
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Early lipo use there were issues all around that led to many of these packs suffering from premature damage/failure. For sh*ts and giggles a few of us saved up these packs to run tests on them. We lit them off singly and with other packs inside early lipo sacks, steel and ceramic pans and pots and in ammo boxes. We had the same concerns as stated here with sealed ammo boxes, steel only, so we started a habit of drilling a 1/4 to 3/8 hole under the latch. Some just cut a slot in the rubber seal or removed it completely.

In every case no lipo ever exploded, we never got one lipo to start another on fire though the lipo was charred and all the heat shrink was melted off. Even pots and pans both metal and ceramic kept the damage to the inside of the container. Ones with lids worked better and ones with lockable lids worked best of all. Steel ammo boxes seemed to be the best bang for the buck and if your worry is the possibility of a short with the metal container then line it with 1/8 door skin.

I have 4/5 ammo boxes, small one with my indoor batteries, one for 3,000 and under 3 to 4 cells, and one for anything bigger. I will have one to two empty ammo boxes to store depleted packs as they come out of the models. At no time do my packs lay about out of the boxes not that I expect something to happen but as a simple easy precaution just in case. All charging is done under supervision with batteries isolated from anything flammable. Inside a lipo sack or on a piece of Homosote I just happen to have around.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
Early lipo use there were issues all around that led to many of these packs suffering from premature damage/failure. For sh*ts and giggles a few of us saved up these packs to run tests on them.

A pack that suffered premature damage or failure was not any kinds of valid test sample , you wanna see lipos burn darned near explosively ? take a brand new UN damaged fully charged lipo and put it to the test . Financially painful and wasteful ? sure ! but any lipo fire your gonna likely encounter will be from a "good" battery that still retains it's ability to store a decent amount of power VS a used up clapped out pack that couldn't hold the power to light off a flashbulb , much less start any fires .
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:26 PM
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Light off a flash bulb?? You're really dating yourself there
Very true that a fully charged high C rated lipo can and will fail spectacularly.
Pete
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:27 PM
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Light off a flash bulb?? You're really dating yourself there
Very true that a fully charged high C rated lipo can and will fail spectacularly.
Pete
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pilotpete2 View Post
Light off a flash bulb?? You're really dating yourself there
Very true that a fully charged high C rated lipo can and will fail spectacularly.
Pete
I suspect we're both kinda up there in years , I've been retired 10 years now .

And now , for any youngsters reading who aren't sure what a flashbulb was , I'll enclose a couple of pictures of the various flashbulbs in my collection , and one of the devices that used them .

And no , that camera can't also make phonecalls like your I phone can take pictures
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:48 PM
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And when the paparazzi came after you with their flash cameras you saw spots in front of your eyes.
The bulbs were too hot to hold and ejected from the flash holder onto the floor and subsequently smashed under foot.
They made a unique crunching sound.
Sparky
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:08 AM
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I have a BIG Galvanized garbage can with the metal cover. I put 4 red bricks on the bottom. Around the inside edge. Then a piece of 1/4" opening screen cut to rest on the bricks. put the batteries on that. I am not worried about 1 pak starting on fire all the others. The cover is loosely chained in place to allow lots of heat to escape easily. It sits outside on a bare patch of dirt. Green grass all around it. Homeowners ins will get a call if something bad happens to the3 small LIPOs in it

A123 LIFEPO4 s are in the garage in a big ceramic bowl with 2 layers of S S screen over them. None of either type have blown. I have destroyed & trashed 3 LIPOS that puffed up.

Best I can do.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
A pack that suffered premature damage or failure was not any kinds of valid test sample , you wanna see lipos burn darned near explosively ? take a brand new UN damaged fully charged lipo and put it to the test . Financially painful and wasteful ? sure ! but any lipo fire your gonna likely encounter will be from a "good" battery that still retains it's ability to store a decent amount of power VS a used up clapped out pack that couldn't hold the power to light off a flashbulb , much less start any fires .
Hooked to a charger n charged till they lit up plenty of action there BoBo every bit as much as a fresh set of batteries. The idea in case you missed it was when damaged batteries go bad the idea was not about forcing a fresh good set to fail. I can esplain it to ya slowly BoBo..
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
Hooked to a charger n charged till they lit up plenty of action there BoBo every bit as much as a fresh set of batteries. The idea in case you missed it was when damaged batteries go bad the idea was not about forcing a fresh good set to fail. I can esplain it to ya slowly BoBo..
Allrighty then , so you DO know less about batteries than you know about manners , got it .......

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Old 03-05-2018, 01:30 PM
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HMMM BoBo I haven't seen a fresh/undamaged set fail as of yet. I have seen puffed cells in a pack fail only when charged. Have seen those that have been charged improperly light up. Yet to see any light up from discharging to low but those same cells have failed during an attempt to force a charge into them. So that is what we attempted to duplicate the mistakes not fresh undamaged cells sitting in the box. Heck they hang on the wall at the hobby shop for long periods of time in nothing but the cardboard wrap. I wouldn't expect any problems at all if stored in a vented ammo box. None of the other batteries lit up when right next to those that went off. None of those that went off damaged anything outside the vented ammo box. Smoke was a factor and most likely not good for you. The only way we ever got lipo's to light up was when they were being charged. Could never get one to spark up just sitting there no mater what state they were in.

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Old 03-05-2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
HMMM BoBo I haven't seen a fresh/undamaged set fail as of yet. I have seen puffed cells in a pack fail only when charged. Have seen those that have been charged improperly light up. Yet to see any light up from discharging to low but those same cells have failed during an attempt to force a charge into them. So that is what we attempted to duplicate the mistakes not fresh undamaged cells sitting in the box. Heck they hang on the wall at the hobby shop for long periods of time in nothing but the cardboard wrap. I wouldn't expect any problems at all if stored in a vented ammo box. None of the other batteries lit up when right next to those that went off. None of those that went off damaged anything outside the vented ammo box. Smoke was a factor and most likely not good for you. The only way we ever got lipo's to light up was when they were being charged. Could never get one to spark up just sitting there no mater what state they were in.

Dennis
Are you drunk , or high on something ? When I read a rambling mess like the one I have quoted it makes me seriously wonder if either booze or drugs are behind it .
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Are you drunk , or high on something ? When I read a rambling mess like the one I have quoted it makes me seriously wonder if either booze or drugs are behind it .
AHHH slowly just for you Bobo

Only… packs… I… personally… have… seen… catch… fire… are… the… ones… I…intentionally….charged….improperly…. so…. I…. could….test…the… integrity….of….the…ammo….box!!!!

Ammo….box….contained…..fire…..and….no…..other…..te st……packs….including…..ones…..placed…..on…..top….. of…..the…..one……that…..ignited…..caught……fire.

As…..far…..as……I…..personally……am……aware……of……the… …only…..packs……that…..have……burst……into……flames……. have……been…..while……charging. Even……heavily…….damaged…….packs……from…….a……crash…. .I……have…..never….observed…….catching…..on…..fi re.

New…..undamaged…….packs…..lay……around……..for……mont hs…….not…….contained……in…..anything……but…….their…… ..cardboard…….wrappers……..at…..the…..supplier…..du rring……..shipping……and……at…..the…..hobby……shop……so …..why……test……the....box.....with.....new……packs?? ????......DUHHHHH!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:22 PM
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Yep , I thought so , Dude put down the crack pipe .....
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