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Old 09-10-2007, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Lipo battery is swollen - dangerous?

I have a couple of 7.4 volt - 800mAh 10C lipo batteries that have become "swollen". It's as if someone filled them up with air like a balloon. It seems like it's just the outer plastic shrink wrapping and not the actual cells, but I could be wrong.
The only information I could find says that the batteries should never swell or become hot during use or charging. It says to dispose of them if they swell.
My question is, why did they swell, and is it dangerous to continue to use them? They seem to operate and take a charge normally. They're only a month or so old. I am using the standard lipo charger that is made to charge these specific batteries. Should I junk them?
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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Well, if they are truly swollen, they're shot. Swelling happens when the battery's maximum amps are exceeded either during discharge or charging. It could also be the result of a short or other physical damage.

If it isn't the cells that are swollen what else could it be? If they truly are swollen, you need to discard these batteries, as there is a very real risk of fire.

Can you post a pic?

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Old 09-10-2007, 09:14 PM   #3
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What brand are they?

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Old 09-10-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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The batteries could be defective.
They could have been damaged by impact.
They could have been discharged at too high a current.
They could have been discharged to too low a voltage.
They could have been charged at too high a rate.

It's your call, but if you have a safe place to store them, concrete bunker, you can cycle them a few times.
You can separate the good cells from the puffed ones and make up new packs.

If you feel comfortable you could fly with them.

I would not take the chance.
I would separate the cells and discharge them slowly with a light bulb until totally depleted then dispose of them.

Paul

You guys type a lot faster than I do.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:32 PM   #5
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I've had two swollen batts sitting on my bench for the last 4 months... I don't particularly think they are that hazardous...

Oh I've got 'em in a fireproof can just in case... but I think sometimes the hype outweighs the real danger.

Are they bad... sure they are, and they need to be disposed of. I would not even dream of trying to use these ever again.

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
I've had two swollen batts sitting on my bench for the last 4 months... I don't particularly think they are that hazardous...

Oh I've got 'em in a fireproof can just in case... but I think sometimes the hype outweighs the real danger.

Are they bad... sure they are, and they need to be disposed of. I would not even dream of trying to use these ever again.
Right ... they're not necessarily dangerous in their puffed condition just sitting there (though I suppose they could be ... don't sue me if I'm wrong, I'm not an electrical engineer). The danger comes when you apply or withdraw voltage on the puffed packs.

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:45 PM   #7
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very true Gnascher...

but to hear some folks talk you'd think it was armageddon...

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:49 PM   #8
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I've got 6 really swollen DN packs sitting in my shop. I actually flew a few of them several times after they puffed and they worked fine. I figured it was only a matter of time that they worked OK so now I'm waiting on replacements. All six are sitting in an ammo box waiting to go out to the shooting range and see how they do with a .357.

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:51 PM   #9
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Now that would be fun to watch!

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Now that would be fun to watch!
Maybe I should video tape it huh?

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
What brand are they?
One of them is an Esky EK1-0181, the other (black) one is a DN Power 2S 7.4 volt 900mAh.


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Old 09-10-2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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Those DN's don't seem to be very good at all. Tom had several of them go bad and I had a couple as well... they did replace mine but Tom is still waiting on his.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:06 PM   #13
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You can certainly contact the DN distributor and ask for a replacement. Supposedly I'm getting six of my DNs replaced because they did the same thing. Still waiting on them though. I know others have already received their replacements.

You can contact them at www.xushobby.com

Jun Xu is the manager there.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:09 PM   #14
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The esky definitely looks puffed to me. The DN pack is hard to tell from the photo.

Have either of these packs been involved in a crash?

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gnascher View Post
The esky definitely looks puffed to me. The DN pack is hard to tell from the photo.

Have either of these packs been involved in a crash?

It's puffed. The DNs are very flat when new.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:16 PM   #16
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Two weeks ago I went to the field and a few of the guys had some swollen packs.

They gave them to me, I am separating the good cells to make new packs.

The swollen cells will go.

Before I arrived at the field one of the guys punctured a pack.
There was about 10 holes in it when I got there.

No sparks, or flames. I didn't take that pack, even I have limits.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
Two weeks ago I went to the field and a few of the guys had some swollen packs.

They gave them to me, I am separating the good cells to make new packs.

The swollen cells will go.

Before I arrived at the field one of the guys punctured a pack.
There was about 10 holes in it when I got there.

No sparks, or flames. I didn't take that pack, even I have limits.

Paul
Maybe you could give it to the guy that blew his plane up in the video you sent me.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:20 PM   #18
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He's the one that punctured the pack.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
He's the one that punctured the pack.
Paul

Too funny!

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Gnascher View Post
The esky definitely looks puffed to me. The DN pack is hard to tell from the photo.

Have either of these packs been involved in a crash?
Yes, the Esky pack especially. The Black pack was only used a couple of times in a Blade CX2. I don't know when it puffed up, but it wasn't while it was installed in the heli; now it won't even fit due to the swelling.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:06 PM   #21
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Let's talk about what makes a pack swollen to begin with...

The pack is made out of a thin skin of aluminum -- very much like aluminum foil you might find in your kitchen... When the pack is damaged, gasses begin to build up inside the pack. There is no where for the gas to escape, so the pack "blows up like a balloon".

That gas is LOOKING for an exit. As pressure builds, an exit will form at a weak spot in the aluminum foil, and you will have a fire hazzard on your hands!

I used to work for a VERY well-known vendor... EVERYONE here would recognize the name if I said it, and I bet many of you are within reach of a product from this vendor right now... Anyway, we had problems with some of the units EXPLODING for no reason. We determined some of the lithium button cells inside the units had internal shorts -- over time, they would balloon, and EXPLODE with the force of a 12-gauge shotgun shell!!!

Please -- get rid of any swollen packs as quickly as possible. (Unless you plan to intentionally "set one off", like the one that's been sitting on my back porch for the last two months...)

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Old 09-11-2007, 10:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Let's talk about what makes a pack swollen to begin with...

The pack is made out of a thin skin of aluminum -- very much like aluminum foil you might find in your kitchen... When the pack is damaged, gasses begin to build up inside the pack. There is no where for the gas to escape, so the pack "blows up like a balloon".

That gas is LOOKING for an exit. As pressure builds, an exit will form at a weak spot in the aluminum foil, and you will have a fire hazzard on your hands!

I used to work for a VERY well-known vendor... EVERYONE here would recognize the name if I said it, and I bet many of you are within reach of a product from this vendor right now... Anyway, we had problems with some of the units EXPLODING for no reason. We determined some of the lithium button cells inside the units had internal shorts -- over time, they would balloon, and EXPLODE with the force of a 12-gauge shotgun shell!!!

Please -- get rid of any swollen packs as quickly as possible. (Unless you plan to intentionally "set one off", like the one that's been sitting on my back porch for the last two months...)
Okay, so the bottom line, get rid of swollen packs. I just wish they were more than a couple of months old.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't clamp them in my vise and try to squeeze them back to their original shape!
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Oglomott View Post
Okay, so the bottom line, get rid of swollen packs. I just wish they were more than a couple of months old.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't clamp them in my vise and try to squeeze them back to their original shape!


You know htere is probably somebody out there who tried that!

I'd say it would be a good chance that wouldn't work!

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Old 09-11-2007, 11:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Oglomott View Post
Okay, so the bottom line, get rid of swollen packs. I just wish they were more than a couple of months old.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't clamp them in my vise and try to squeeze them back to their original shape!
I'd still try to get them replaced from the distributor. You don't have anything to lose trying. If they say no, then you can dispose of them and not buy from them again.

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Old 09-14-2007, 05:56 PM   #25
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I agree -- and the quicker you move on this, the better chance you have that the distributor will replace the pack.

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