Go Back  RCU Forums > Radios, Batteries, Clubhouse and more > Batteries & Chargers
Reload this Page >

Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Notices
Batteries & Chargers Nicads, Nickel Metal Hydride, Lithium, LiPoly, Chargers, Cyclers, etc...

Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Old 05-31-2012, 06:52 AM
  #1  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hello fellow members.
I have spent the best part of 2 days reading an incredible sticky
Lipo Fires Are Real! on RC groups forum.....now i`m terrified.

I am new to RC heli`s I am looking at a 600 type maybe LOGO?
First off..I wish to ask for a very short list of the very best Chargers
I was already prepared to buy the best now it`s a must I think.

I was originally going to ask what is the best way to charge batteries indoors??? now I am not to sure that is a good idea.

I am not even that impressed by Lippo bags but sure they help.
do not suppose anyone as come up with something better than lippo bags and ammunition boxes since the sticky was first started.
wondering if somekind of outdoor metal container would be a good place to store batteries? but do I charge them there to?

I will not be flying in winter Norway is very cold and a lot of snow..I need to know best method of storing batteries and How?
that would apply for the rest of the year also,although I would hope to be flying regulary .

I have tried reading as much as possible on Batteries and chargers and to be honest I am loosing my enthusiasm
(i have no local clubs or people to help)

And another question I have read many posts questioning the so called quality battery brands as against the cheapos?

I just wish to know what are considered the Rolls-royce of batteries from a safety and quality view point?

so to begin with a short list of 2-3 Chargers for me to investigate and secondly batteries to look out for

many thanks in advance

Regards Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 06:54 AM
  #2  
t9dragon
Senior Member
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PDX, OR
Posts: 7,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

There is nothing to worry about with lipos if you treat them with respect.
Old 05-31-2012, 07:01 AM
  #3  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hi there t9dragon
Many thanks for your reply ,much appreciated...I will and want to treat lipos with the greatest respect, but I also need to know how to do this correctly

Charging in the house is a NO, NO, presumably?
Outside would be better I have no doubt, but I do not really have anywhere to do this?
and do I want my expensive batteries and charger and other associated items outside in a box?Hope in time to receive a few answers to thses questions

best wishes Steve




Old 05-31-2012, 07:03 AM
  #4  
Charlie P.
 
Charlie P.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Port Crane, NY
Posts: 5,088
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

My flying buddy lost his garage/shop and about 40 models to a charging mishap. 

DO NOT leave them unattended and DO keep a "fire-break" of some type to insulate them from combustable surfaces: i.e. a crock pot, slate tile, etc. 

If you stop and think about household dangers then LiPos are FAR below propane grills and lawnmower gasoline for potential threat.
Old 05-31-2012, 07:09 AM
  #5  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hi CharlieP
Good to hear from you,not that you did my confidence anygood ,But your advcie was sound...
Interesting you mensioned Lawmower gasoline,we have a lawn the size of the Olympic stadium(well nearly) and it is a red hot day today so I mowed the lawn with an old gasoline powered mower and I would not have even thought it ranks with LIPO Disasters.
so you learn something new everyday.

All the best Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 07:15 AM
  #6  
t9dragon
Senior Member
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PDX, OR
Posts: 7,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

In the last 8-9 years of using lipos in helis, cars and trucks, I have had 2 that had cells go bad, 1 other pack that shorted out do to poor workmanship and 1 other pack that actually went up in smoke and flames at the LHS.

I charge my lipos in the only area of the house that is mine and that is the bedroom. I have a lipo sack that I put my lipos in when they are charging. I also balance every lipo before and after I charge them. In the next week or two I am going to drop about $600-$700 on a new charger and power supply and 6-8 new lipos.
Old 05-31-2012, 07:22 AM
  #7  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hi T9 Dragon...
Many thanks for your reply ,very interesting
I will have a small indoor room dedicated to all things Rc heli
but I am not at all sure unless there is something out there that would put minds at rest..that I would have any Lipos indoors, but hell I wish I could and not be fearful about doing it!!

I have yet to learn about balancing properly..have just read a small amount but I know this will be crucial when charging Lipos e.t.c. so many thanks for that
also do you mind me asking which charger are you going for..i would be very interested and how do these top of the range chargers help avoid disasters?


best wishes Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 07:24 AM
  #8  
t9dragon
Senior Member
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PDX, OR
Posts: 7,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

I have a seperate balancer that plugs into the balancing plug on the battery and it displays the voltage for each cell and it will balance them if the are not the same voltage.
Old 05-31-2012, 07:26 AM
  #9  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Many thanks for that very helpful
is there any advantage to a seperate balancer as against a charger balancer?

regards Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 07:50 AM
  #10  
bgosselin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 189
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

As said, you are good to go as long as they are being charged correctly; proper cell count and amperage settings, and assuming the charger is a quality unit and doesn't malfunction. And ALWAYS balance-charge! Most chargers today have built-in balancers to ensure each cell is not being overcharged and will shut off the charger if something is wrong. If you don't use the balancer function, the charger has no way of knowing what each cell is at, only the overall pack voltage. Even though a 2s pack is at 8.4v overall (which is fine if both cells are equal), one cell could be at 3.5v and the other could be at 4.9v. A balancer would cut off the charger once the latter cell got to 4.2v. A built-in balancer is better because it actively "talks" to the charger. Most external balancers do not communicate with the charger or interrupt the main charge current, so even though it knows something is wrong, it has no way of communicating that to the charger.

Charge location can be anywhere, but to provide protection in the unlikely event of a flame out, charge them in some sort of fire-proof container. The container should be large enough to contain the lipo (obviously), but also large enough to contain the fire itself. Not much good if the flames reach something flammable outside/above the container! The container should also have a lid to help contain any flames, but NOT be airtight - you don't want the pressure from rapidly expanding gasses to blow it apart.

I personally like to use a stone/ceramic style container (pretty much anything fire-proof that doesn't pass heat well). A metal container could accidentally short out a pack (especially if there are any breaks in the pack's wire insulation) and if a fire does happen, the container itself could get hot enough to ignite whatever it is sitting on if it is flammable.

I also like to store lipos similarly. Lipos have been known to puff just sitting there not connected to anything. I've never heard of a lipo puffing enough to start a fire this way, but I suppose it could happen. If you plan to not run your packs for a day or more, it's best to keep them at around half-charge or a little less.

Also, be aware that there is a LOT of smoke generated from a flaming lipo (how'd they put all that smoke in such a little package, lol) and that smoke is not healthy to breathe, so a nearby window with a handy fan to suck out the smoke would be a good idea if charging anywhere inside.

Of course, all this is IF the lipo flames up, but as long as the charger is sound and you are following proper procedures, there shouldn't be any issues. But it's nice to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. I like the quote "Expect the worst and all surprises will be good ones". I don't think you need to go overboard and use bomb-shelter to charge/store lipos, but a little care can go a long way to mitigate any chances for disaster.
Old 05-31-2012, 07:53 AM
  #11  
Goldenduff
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Aberdeen, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

No advantage I know of having a separate balancer- unless perhaps if you can take it tithe field to field test batteries (I have a watt meter but it only tells total voltage.

I charge my lipos in an old (disused!) 2-3tonne cooking range.

Having a dedicate room is nice but you could still burn the house down! I would use a steel safe or document holder placed on a litter tray type thing full of sand as a thermal insulator.
Old 05-31-2012, 08:21 AM
  #12  
t9dragon
Senior Member
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PDX, OR
Posts: 7,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

I use both but with having the seperate one you can balance a pack while you are charging another pack.

Here is a picture of the balancer that I use.
Old 05-31-2012, 08:33 AM
  #13  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hello T9 Dragon & Goldenduff

really good to hear from you
Yes i know the sensible approach is charge batteries outdoors but what about storage is that outdoors to?
we have a mainly wooden house so I am very aware of the afety issue here.
i am just trying to work out whats best to do.Have just read a great review of the Cell Pro Charger and this looks like the top charge would you agree..it also as a lot of safety features.

T9dragon
If you only plan to fly one heli 600 logo or similar(hopefully) does this make chossing the correct charger/balancer easier and if it was a cell pro I can charge and balnce at the same time as many batteries as I like is this correct? in which case I maybe could not see a time when I required a seperate balancer? but I could be mistaken it`s all a learning curve

best wishes Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 08:47 AM
  #14  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hello bgosselin many thanks for a superb reply..even I understood so you guys are very good at explaining things I have trouble with memory and confussion due to poor health..somethimes it takes forever for the penny to drop!

I really do take your points,re good charger you may just have read my previouse reply where I mention the well received Cell pro balance charger...and this seems to be at the top of the pile at the moment..

I hope the following does not sound as dum as I think it might? OK i have my batteries when not in heli outside in a ceramic container (not metal ) some good reasons there bgosselin,so I have to work out what sort of ceramic container which is not air tight.the batteries live in this container for ever?
when I am charging do I run the charger from inside the house to said container and charge up the batteries?
likewise there are other batteries from the RT and ohter items to..are they all kept in container?
and come winter no flying! Norway very cold a lot of snow very low temperatures..do the batteries just live in this container outside still? and what is the ideal state to keep them in when not in use for a long time IE months.


thanking you very much
regards steve
Old 05-31-2012, 09:02 AM
  #15  
Goldenduff
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Aberdeen, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

The cellpro will have a storage setting, a lot of chargers do. If they don't they tend to have a voltage charge cutoff. This should be set to about 70% capacity which corresponds to about 11v I think?

Re storage like I mentioned I am lucky to have an old cooker in the shed. It is good you are taking precautions but without wanting to make you paranoid there are many dangers tolerated around the domestic environment- law mowers and petrol, CO2 and fires, flammable furniture etc.

Personally I think a ceramic pot placed in a barrel of sand would be sufficient for storage and charging.

That reminds me I keep meaning to sacrifice a lipo just to see in person how fierce they burn!
Old 05-31-2012, 09:08 AM
  #16  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Hi Goldenduff
Good to hear from you again
I would not waste a battery there are lots of grusome vids on you tube e.t.c. showing the destruction these dam batteries can cause.
I am still a bit concerned about storing everything in a ceremic container outside we have no sheds or anything and if we had one built it would just be one of those thin pine things..i am just thinking all these batteries outside all the time

best wishes Steve
Old 05-31-2012, 09:14 AM
  #17  
Goldenduff
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Aberdeen, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

I think you are giving them the respect they deserve and some! I think keeping in ceramic pot in a tub of sand to thermally insulate would be fine?.....
Old 05-31-2012, 09:46 AM
  #18  
trax de max
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: newcastle, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 657
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

don't skimp on a charger, cheap chargers have a lot higher tolerance than an expensive one, I'm not saying expensive ones are the best and the chargers now are more smarter than the chargers from yesteryear. The only problems are human error. The videos on youtube are delibrate overcharging or some one charging a lipo on nimh/nicad setting. for a lipo to go in flames it needs a reason to do that, either dropped, something fell on it, too low of amps for system, over discharged, over charged.
Set the charger up correctly and always balance charge don't throw about like nimhs.
I just charge in sack because i am nearby, well in same house. But storing them i'm a little more cautious incase they get knocked off shelf.
Two lipos in sack

folded over into metal container.

then velcro strap to keep closed.

Old 05-31-2012, 09:46 AM
  #19  
raptureboy
 
raptureboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kempton PA
Posts: 2,620
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Do you own a laptop? digital camara? cell phone? Any problem with their lipo batteries bursting and burning down homes and cars? No, I didn't think so. The problem is people using the wrong equipment and failing to follow the manufacturers recommended charge rates and time's. There are many good and capable chargers out there, I have used the TRITON 2 by Greatplanes with a balancer for 5 years now and never a problem. If I need to be away from a charging battery, then it goes into a ammo can with the lid closed and placed on the concrete floor of my garage, set the charge rate correctly and the timer and if you have it a temperture probe that shuts off the charger if the batttery gets too warm. Follow the rules and you won't get burned. I personally would stay away from cheap Chinese chargers. Good luck and don't be afraid.
Old 05-31-2012, 10:13 AM
  #20  
t9dragon
Senior Member
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PDX, OR
Posts: 7,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?


ORIGINAL: raptureboy

Do you own a laptop? digital camara? cell phone? Any problem with their lipo batteries bursting and burning down homes and cars? No, I didn't think so. The problem is people using the wrong equipment and failing to follow the manufacturers recommended charge rates and time's. There are many good and capable chargers out there, I have used the TRITON 2 by Greatplanes with a balancer for 5 years now and never a problem. If I need to be away from a charging battery, then it goes into a ammo can with the lid closed and placed on the concrete floor of my garage, set the charge rate correctly and the timer and if you have it a temperture probe that shuts off the charger if the batttery gets too warm. Follow the rules and you won't get burned. I personally would stay away from cheap Chinese chargers. Good luck and don't be afraid.[img][/img]

Nicely put "raptureboy".. Since I went lipo 8-9 years ago I have never stored my lipos in anything but the lipo sack and rubbermaid tote.
Old 05-31-2012, 10:30 AM
  #21  
RCER88
My Feedback: (25)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Gladwin, MI
Posts: 345
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Most lipo fires are caused by abuse. Overcharging or discharging based on the c rating stated on the battery. They can also go up from from over discharging them by sucking more power out of them than they are rated to handle.

For instance. Most 2200MAH lipos rated at 20c are rated to be charged at 2.2 amps. The maximum safe discharge rate is 44 amps. Now if you charge at 4 amps or more you are inviting trouble. If you discharge at 60 amps or more, you are also inviting trouble.

If you use the batteries in the prescribed manner and insure you are not discharging over the rating of your batteries they will last a long time and not give you a single problem. They are safe to use. I store mine in a cardboard box. I charge at or under the prescribed rating. I do not discharge over the rating either. I have five year old batteries that are just fine. I have found the slower you charge them the better it is. They saturate better and give you plenty of power longer. Because if you slow charge them they do not get hot. Heat is what causes the problem.

I have a lipo bag I use at the field. At home I use a old cake pan I bought at a yard sale for a dime. I also balance charge using a simple balance charger. It works just fine and and can only charge up to 2 amps. Most of the time I charge at 1 amp. Sure it takes longer but I am generally not in that big of a hurry because I have many lipos.

I am by no means an expert. But I have found if you use the lipos properly they will work just fine and are perfectly safe.
Old 05-31-2012, 10:39 AM
  #22  
Goldenduff
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Aberdeen, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

Totally agree however I couldn't sleep with ten in a cardboard box- the wife would kill me if the fire didn't!!
Old 05-31-2012, 11:53 AM
  #23  
pushinoldrc
My Feedback: (46)
 
pushinoldrc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 403
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?


ORIGINAL: raptureboy

Do you own a laptop? digital camara? cell phone? Any problem with their lipo batteries bursting and burning down homes and cars? No, I didn't think so. The problem is people using the wrong equipment and failing to follow the manufacturers recommended charge rates and time's. There are many good and capable chargers out there, I have used the TRITON 2 by Greatplanes with a balancer for 5 years now and never a problem. If I need to be away from a charging battery, then it goes into a ammo can with the lid closed and placed on the concrete floor of my garage, set the charge rate correctly and the timer and if you have it a temperture probe that shuts off the charger if the batttery gets too warm. Follow the rules and you won't get burned. I personally would stay away from cheap Chinese chargers. Good luck and don't be afraid.
Rapture, you should do more research before you share your convoluted ideas to the real world. When everyone thinks of you as a fool, why open your mouth to prove their point?
Laptops, Digital cameras, and Cell phones use Lithium-Ion batteries, and yes, they have caught fire. Remember the laptops? Look it up on YouTube.

I had a fire in my model shed that absolutely devistated me. I am glad it wasn't in the house.
Iwas not following the recommendations set forth here in this thread, and other threads that abound on the interweb.
I had most always discharged the batteries way beyond their rating, had set up a 6s pack by wiring 3 2s packs in series, and charged them in the airplank. I did not balance charge them. While this might not have stopped the carnage itself, Icould have possibly seen a problem prior to my loss.

These batteries are not bombs, and will give excellent results if you respect them and handle them properly.
Clearly Iwas very foolish, and they burned me badly.
Here is the video I have posted on YouTube.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok4WKnSioPQ&feature=g-upl[/youtube]

Old 05-31-2012, 12:31 PM
  #24  
trax de max
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: newcastle, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 657
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

man that is some damage.
There is a range of lithium batteries not just LiFe, LiPo or Liion. I think there is a company that sells LiPo batteries and they claims it's military spec. Well the military use LiS02 lithium battery not LiPo.
Old 05-31-2012, 01:23 PM
  #25  
rctugman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kristiansand sVest Agder, NORWAY
Posts: 115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Lipo Fires Are Real![Fantastic Advice!] Can I ask for further help?

hello Guys I know some of the above replies were not specifically for me ..but your comments in the main help me a great deal..and I am learning kind of fast at the moment.I need to take care with setting up charger correctly I have read great things about Cell-Pro and like what I read..but I have now decided i do need an outdoor shed which can be totally dedicated to Rc helis or should I say charging e.t.c.

Someone on another forum did make what I thought was a very good point ,,that he uses a ceramic container as metal could i emphasise could make the problem worse and I think you guys who understand electronics and batteries on or near metal will understand better than I.
forgot to ask what kind of ceramic container. pushinoldrc,That was one very bad fire and you have my greatest sympathy.everyone should take a look at that.

Traxdemax as you will have read I am certainly going for the best Charger /balancer I can.I am told i require a seperate PSU and other bits which i was not aware of but I will buy everything that is nessercary.


I will learn as much as I can even before I touch a heli...and I will set up the charger correctly and get used to the routine of charge/discharge and levels of volts when you are not flying for a few days or maybe months like a Norwegian winter for example.

RCER88
If you use the batteries in the prescribed manner and insure you are not discharging over the rating of your batteries they will last a long time and not give you a single problem. They are safe to use. I store mine in a cardboard box. I charge at or under the prescribed rating. I do not discharge over the rating either. I have five year old batteries that are just fine. I have found the slower you charge them the better it is. They saturate better and give you plenty of power longer. Because if you slow charge them they do not get hot. Heat is what causes the problem.
If I can achieve the above then I would be a very happy man and unless there are reasons not to do so I will follow your advice

All the very best to you all goodnight folks

regards Steve

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.