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Will LiPo ever be safe

Old 11-27-2005, 11:00 PM
  #1  
madmickey
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Default Will LiPo ever be safe

Hi
The one thing that is still putting me off going electric is the safety question. I know Nicads and NiMh are much safer but you lose out on the weight side.
Pictures of burnt out garages give me the willies.
So my question is will LiPo or some other emerging technology ever be reasonably safe?

M
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:24 PM
  #2  
hoppy
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Sure, the new cells being used in power tools are safer.
Here is why they are safer- http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...4934&ran=97724

"The technology driving A123 is based on discoveries by MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials scientist. Chiang, who co-founded A123, said “research in batteries is very seductive ” because it initially looks easy to boost power, but many variations turn out to shorten battery life or make batteries so unstable that runaway oxidation explosions occur. “They are chemically complex, electrically complex and mechanically complex,” he said. A123 representatives say it coats an aluminum electrode inside the battery with nano-scale particles, a few hundred atoms in size, of lithium metal phosphate. Company representatives decline to disclose more detail, but Chiang says the phosphate is safer than the oxide-based chemistry used in lithium-ion batteries today. He says that when compared with the same weight of larger particles, the nano-scale particles release more ions, freeing electrons to create an electric current. "
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:27 PM
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Sure, the new cells being used in power tools are safer.
Here is why they are safer- http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...4934&ran=97724

"The technology driving A123 is based on discoveries by MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials scientist. Chiang, who co-founded A123, said “research in batteries is very seductive ” because it initially looks easy to boost power, but many variations turn out to shorten battery life or make batteries so unstable that runaway oxidation explosions occur. “They are chemically complex, electrically complex and mechanically complex,” he said. A123 representatives say it coats an aluminum electrode inside the battery with nano-scale particles, a few hundred atoms in size, of lithium metal phosphate. Company representatives decline to disclose more detail, but Chiang says the phosphate is safer than the oxide-based chemistry used in lithium-ion batteries today. He says that when compared with the same weight of larger particles, the nano-scale particles release more ions, freeing electrons to create an electric current. "

That technology is used in Milwaukee Power Tools I believe. http://www.molienergy.com/
January 17, 2005 -- E-One Moli Energy (Canada) Ltd. (Molicel®) announces the launch of the industry's highest power lithium-ion cell for high-rate applications. These cells are the energy source for the world's first complete line of lithium-ion cell powered, cordless professional power tools. These 28-volt tools were introduced by Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation at the International Builder's Show, held January 13 - 16, 2005 in Orlando, Florida. Coming one year after introducing the world's first commercially available 2.4Ah ICR18650 cell, used in laptop computer applications, the IMR26700 3Ah high-rate cell gives Molicel® another key product to expand their market.
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by madmickey View Post
Hi
The one thing that is still putting me off going electric is the safety question. I know Nicads and NiMh are much safer but you lose out on the weight side.
Pictures of burnt out garages give me the willies.
So my question is will LiPo or some other emerging technology ever be reasonably safe?

M
Is it safe to walk across the street? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions. Lots of pictures on the news and in the newspapers of people getting hit.

Is it safe to drive a car? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions. Lots of pictures on the news and in the newspapers of people getting in accidents.

Is it safe to fly your airplane or be around anyone flying theirs? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions.

Nothing in life is 100% safe, period! Unless maybe you just stay locked up in your house all day. But then it could catch on fire.

Lipos ARE reasonably safe as along as you take precautions and treat them respect. There are millions of Lipo packs out there being used everyday, yet you only hear about or see pictures of flaming packs every now and then. If Lipo failures were such a epidemic as a lot of non Lipo users thought, you would see this stuff on the evening news.

Bottom line is learn all you can about them, treat them with respect, be prepared for what COULD happen so it does not become a tragic incident, AND HAVE SOME FUN!
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:18 AM
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Sure they're perfectly safe, well untill you add the human element.
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Old 11-28-2005, 01:10 AM
  #6  
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Shoot I'd sell my soul for another 10 minutes of air time,:p So a few precautions with lipos is a bargain.
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:15 AM
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Nothing with that energy density will ever be safe.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:06 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Rugar View Post
Is it safe to walk across the street? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions. Lots of pictures on the news and in the newspapers of people getting hit.

Is it safe to drive a car? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions. Lots of pictures on the news and in the newspapers of people getting in accidents.

Is it safe to fly your airplane or be around anyone flying theirs? Its reasonably safe if you take precautions.

Nothing in life is 100% safe, period! Unless maybe you just stay locked up in your house all day. But then it could catch on fire.

Lipos ARE reasonably safe as along as you take precautions and treat them respect. There are millions of Lipo packs out there being used everyday, yet you only hear about or see pictures of flaming packs every now and then. If Lipo failures were such a epidemic as a lot of non Lipo users thought, you would see this stuff on the evening news.

Bottom line is learn all you can about them, treat them with respect, be prepared for what COULD happen so it does not become a tragic incident, AND HAVE SOME FUN!
This is exactly right!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:14 AM
  #9  
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As previous posters have already stated before me, Li-Po packs are safe as long as we handle them with the care and respect they deserve. The same applies to everything R/C related, not just batteries.A spinning propeller can be a dangerous but a useful device needed in our hobby. Been there done that many times myself and I have witnessed what others have gone through as well with them.

Lithium battwery packs should be handled with the same care as we would use a pair of scissors, a knife, a gun and or a car. These are items that are used in our daily lives by most of us. When handled without due respect they can come back and bit us hard, they can even become deadly.

My two cents worth on lithium batery packs.
 
Old 11-28-2005, 02:43 PM
  #10  
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Buy a good charger, always keep an eye on them while they are charging, never use a damaged pack and they are great. I only fly lipos.
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:32 AM
  #11  
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The safety factor in anything is directly proportional to the care with which it is handled. When the mind is fully engaged, few accidents will happen.
When someone has the attitude that accidents are going to happen no matter what you do, LOTS of accidents happen.
Look at the safety record of the people who actually work ON the high voltage power lines around the world, with Meggavolts running through them.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 50+AirYears View Post
Look at the safety record of the people who actually work ON the high voltage power lines around the world, with Meggavolts running through them.
Good point. Not only megavolts but what about the ones thant in addition to working with high voltage lines, do so after climbing up those towers to effect check ups and or repairs. Their accident rate is low because they are careful.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 04:13 AM
  #13  
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The new Li-Ion cells that are coming out in power tools are the next cell for RC. Much safer than li-Poly and better performance than Nixx and Li-Po.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:13 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by batman View Post
The new Li-Ion cells that are coming out in power tools are the next cell for RC. Much safer than li-Poly and better performance than Nixx and Li-Po.
That's very welcomed news.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 12:55 PM
  #15  
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See posts #2 and #3
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:56 PM
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I think there may be some misunderstanding of terms here. What we call "Lithium Polymer" or LiPoly, is actually Lithium-Ion technology. The terms Ion and Polymer are used in R/C to differentiate between the metal can and vacuum-sealed plastic packaging, respectively. While I cannot say with much authority, it is my belief that when you hear about advances in Lithium-Ion technology outside the R/C world, they're actually talking about what we would call Lithium Polymer.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Kirsch View Post
While I cannot say with much authority, it is my belief that when you hear about advances in Lithium-Ion technology outside the R/C world, they're actually talking about what we would call Lithium Polymer.
So in other words, we R/Cers could be well ahead of the rest in this "new" technology.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 04:36 PM
  #18  
hoppy
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No, I would say the power tool industry is driving the technology.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
No, I would say the power tool industry is driving the technology.
Yep....we are a pittance compared to "other" uses. Can you image how many cells Nokia buys every year?

Mike
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:43 PM
  #20  
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I seem to recall getting some info from Moli Energy about their Li ion technology back about 91 or 92. We do probably lead in using the more vulnerable soft pack for our cells, but the chemical technology has been in use a lot longer. In fact, I Or'ed a Li Ion button cell on a board as part of a RAM back-up on a development project about 1988. On the one board we still have in archive, the cell is still holding just slightly over 2.85 Volts on the 27C64 bus.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:43 PM
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Oh, I think we lead the industry in a few ways:

1.) Using discharge rates way beyond original design.
2.) Not using any protective circuitry during discharge.
3.) Not using any protective circuitry during charge.
4.) Not using a dedicated charger specific to the battery pack.

Now what is the title of this thread?
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:39 PM
  #22  
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As most things in life, they are neither safe nor unsafe. That depends almost entirely on the user.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:02 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by electriconly View Post
Oh, I think we lead the industry in a few ways:

1.) Using discharge rates way beyond original design.
2.) Not using any protective circuitry during discharge.
3.) Not using any protective circuitry during charge.
4.) Not using a dedicated charger specific to the battery pack.

Now what is the title of this thread?
Will LiPo ever be safe? That's the title.

They will be as safe as the end user may wish it to be.

They are as safe as the last link in the chain, the human one, the one that pushes the charge button. Checking all the settings three times before pushing the button, and being extra careful will reduce the danger, not eliminate it.
 
Old 11-30-2005, 02:20 AM
  #24  
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You have never seen an explosion like the one Bell South had. A battery supplier that furnished them 12 volt batteries to power the field units when the service went down sent a battery pack that had six cells that were under 90# of pressure in each metal cell. Similar to a Lion cell.
With thermal runaway the cells got hot and all thirty or fourty of them vented and went off.

Blew the metal doors off the cabinet and wrapped them around the telephone pole several feet away. The employee had opened the doors on one side of the cabinet and went to call in on the radio when it blew.

Even when we have all the safety devices that we have, if you don't use them you pay the price.

Seat belts are a good point. If you don't follow the guide lines you pay the price.

Qban Flyer said it all.

By George
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:58 PM
  #25  
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IMHO, the only risk with anything dangerous is the human side...if the human is responsible and respectful, the end result is good. This goes for anything potentially dangerous, not just lipos, like others have mentioned, cars and guns are just as or more dangerous.

Todd
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