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My first Lipo fire

Old 03-14-2007, 09:18 PM
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Solid Hit
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Default My first Lipo fire

I was out in the workshop getting a plane ready to ship off to Grasshopper and while I was out there I figured I'd charge up the little lipo I use to check servos and motor direction when building a plane.

It was a small 3c lipo whose ratings were worn out and that I thought I remembered being 750. I hooked it up to the Polly Four and set it to 750 and proceeded to box the Sportster. I guess I was getting too comfortable with lipos so I didn't take the normal precautions and just had it on a plastic mat on the bench instead of the ammo box I use.

Well, it it must have been a 350 not a 750 because about 1/2 hour into the charge it exploded in a ball of fire! I almost wet my pants!!! Taught me a lesson I won't soon forget.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:39 PM
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You might want to buy some of these.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:43 PM
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Can you get them in asbestos?
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:14 PM
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Yeowwww! Hope there wasn't too much damage to the bench!
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:57 PM
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Solid Hit
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Originally Posted by Don Sims View Post
Yeowwww! Hope there wasn't too much damage to the bench!
I got real lucky Don, I was there when it happened and was able to get it outside and also that it was a small battery. I was really suprised at how big and intense it was for such a small battery.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:07 AM
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Glad to hear that Solid. I charge mine out in the barn inside of cinder blocks on a sand floor. I hang them off the end of the trailer at the field, I need to get an ammo box like you have!
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:39 AM
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Hey Don do you mean

Death from electrics

can say I've never had a jug a slime juice explode
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:12 AM
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Don Sims
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come to think of it, I don't recall seeing a slimer catch fire... good point ski!
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:10 AM
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But that's only because I'm not flying them anymore.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Sims View Post
come to think of it, I don't recall seeing a slimer catch fire... good point ski!
Saw a guy's gas powerd plane catch fire at the field one day. His first thought was to stomp it out. That didn't work very well.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:52 AM
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I also fly turbines. Fire? We learn to live with it! John.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:31 PM
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Well in all fairness can't blame the battery for that one
Just glad you were there to catch it and hadn't left it there on it's own
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:10 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Well, it wasn't necessarily a 350. You were charging with an Electrifly PolyCharge 4? That's a non-balancing charger. If the cells were out of balance by enough, the overcharged cell would catch fire at some point.

IMHO I really don't think your charge rate had much, if anything, to do with the fire. The pack was a 3S. The charger is only capable of charging up to 3S. Once the pack hit 12.6V, the charger should have automatically ramped the current down to maintain 12.6V until the pack was fully charged.

It is possible to charge LiPolys at more than 1C, if the charger has a 100% reliable way of detecting cell count, and never applies more than 4.2V per cell to the pack. Both FMA chargers advertise >1C capability, for example.

You still get the best capacity and performance at 1C, though, and you never know what's going to happen if you push the envelope on charging systems designed to deal with 1C. For example, >1C on an Astro 109 has been known to cause it to misread the cell count and overcharge packs!

In this case, the charger was maxxed out. It should not be able to apply more than 12.6V to ANY pack at ANY charge rate. Charging a 3S pack, you should have been safe. Nope, the pack had to have been out of balance, IMHO.
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:46 PM
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Thanks Matt, that makes a lot of sense. I really need to balance my packs better. The Polly Four is a great unit since I usually fly several planes in a day and the ability to charge 4 packs at a time is a big help but I haven't been very vigilant about balancing.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:44 AM
  #15  
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It may not be a total loss. I think you can epoxy it back together.
Glad that the incident was not any more serious than it was.
Ken
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:05 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by skiman762 View Post
Well in all fairness can't blame the battery for that one
Just glad you were there to catch it and hadn't left it there on it's own

Sometimes we bend the rules and get away with it. It's usualy when we bend more than one that it gets nasty.

The good thing is this thread will die on the vine.

The ones with all the damge will be reposted all over the web, giving the natsayer's somemore fodder for the grist mill.

Glad it came out good for him.

.................................................. ...................................
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:29 PM
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Hopefully it will at least stand as a good example as to why balancing your packs, at least occasionally, is so important.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Kirsch View Post
For example, >1C on an Astro 109 has been known to cause it to misread the cell count and overcharge packs!
Has this been documented?
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:12 PM
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Spectacular. It totally eradicated that pack. I've seen some burned packs that look like they burned but yours really looked like it went nuclear.

Glad nothing else got damaged
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:54 AM
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Talking New set of BRIEFS!

Hahahahahahaha Good one!!!!!!!!!!


Originally Posted by PerlAddict View Post
You might want to buy some of these.
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