RC Model Lipo Battery / Lipo Charger Accidents
There was an accident caused by Lipo batteries/ Lipo charger in the early 2010. The victim who is a RC helicopter hobbyist in USA, his house was burnt into ash after his 3S 2200 mAh Lipo battery pack caught the fire when charging. Fortunately, the accident didnít hurt him and his family . But it is still a shock case to us, Nobody can think that a hobby would lead to such a tragedy.
But it is not necessary to be over-panic, as the above case is caused by charging the pack with 1C max charge rate at a double rate. Moreover, most cell phone and digital camera on market is using Lipo battery too. So, even if you are not into remote control model, I suggest you have a look at the paragraph above too. As itís inevitable to use Lipo in our daily life, better learn to use it wise.
How to Use Lipo Battery Safely
1.Use suitable charger
Some people used to charge with a whatever Lipo charger on hand, or even use the cell phone Lipo charger to get the work done. Or you use a charger that recommend by a friend or in forum, but the problem is you never know when the problem will happen. Please never do that again, only use the approved charger for that model of lipo pack, as it may shorten the life span of Lipo. You may go for a cheap rc helicopter, but NEVER a cheap charger.
2.Balance each lipo
Unbalanced batteries is possible to result in an explosion, check the voltage of each Lipo among same pack before charging. Align multi function tester is one of the kits able to check it. If you found the voltage readings are not the same, then charge the cells individually to make them equal. Plus, there are some balance charger on the market to prevent the imbalance case.
3.Keep Lipo away from flammable material
To further reduce the odds of accidents, please charge your Lipo on glass or plastic instead of wood, carpet or clothes. Yes, itís just common sense.
Besides, there are Lipo Safe Charging Bags available on the market. For example, there is one made of SPACE AGE material which is durable to battery fire. Just put your lipo inside the safety bag during charging, very easy to use. Then, it will keep the fire inside and vent the smoke out to reduce the chance and harm of accident to minimum.
Ití s cheap and much worth investing than insurance!
Check the price of Lipo Battery Safe Charging Bag
4.Do not overload your Lipo
Usually 1C is the maximum charge rate of lipo batt, never charge it more than its maximum. But still, many people donít understand what is the meaning of ďmaximumĒ. It will shorten the life of lipo too.
5.Read the manual thoroughly
As there are new lithium polymer batteries produced everyday, we canít make a one-for-all post. Please follow every single advice from the manufacturer, at least if there is still accident you will get the compensation.
6.Stay aware when charging
Usually it will only cause some sparks, smoke at the beginning, so donít leave the charging Lipos too far away. And never fall asleep when charging. There are lots of method to stay away from risks, e.g. install smoke sensor, socket with timer so that it can switch off after 1 hours charging automatically.
7.Disposal of Li-polymer battery
It is responsible to discharge lipo cells before disposal, except there is physical damage on it. If your Lipo is swellen, split or tear in foil covering, then put it upder salt water for 2 weeks before throw it into bin.
At last, wish there will be zero Lipo accident and hope the manufacturer invent some real SAFE battery!
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