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 Lipo storage and charging...

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Jarlath
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PostSubject: Lipo storage and charging...   Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:19 pm

Hey guys, I know that there are a few of us who have decided to switch over to Lipo's and I was wondering if anyone has a dedicated charging/storage area/container for their lipos. I was looking and just came across the Bat-Safe LiPo Battery Box. Anyone interested in them?

www.bat-safe.com

Starting up a dialog with Bat-Safe themselves if possible...
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MikeC
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:32 pm

I use either a lipo "bunker" or a lipo fire proof bag when I am charging them. The only times when a lipo can burn is during charging if there is an in balance (faulty) in the cells and if there is no cut off during use when exhausted. They won't simultaneous combust in storage. I have never store my lipo in a fire proof environment.


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dgsselkirk
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:44 pm

I use an old metal ammo box from my days in a funny green suit. "liberated" a couple of them....

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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:15 pm

Princess auto or some costco's carry the 50 cal boxes or smaller ones , I keep over 15 lipos in mine , different sizes , shapes etc 
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:08 am

I use the bunker like the one shown. Russel put it together for me.
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knispel
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:23 am

Jughead wrote:
Princess auto or some costco's carry the 50 cal boxes or smaller ones , I keep over 15 lipos in mine , different sizes , shapes etc 


I agree , I have used LiPo for a few years and an amo case is a great storage container ( but I don't place them on newspaper....just saying.)
 Charge them in a lipo bag  or metal tool box.
Watch they don't get into a low voltage stage which can initiate a chemical reaction resulting in fire. Just check out You tube. 
Key is to learn about these batteries and be aware of their special handling requirements and they should last a whole day.
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dgsselkirk
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:56 am

I just picked up 5 lipo alarms for low voltage very cheap. Haven't used them up until now but though I just don't want to worry so will see how they work this weekend...

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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:07 am

BTW, if your electronics is certified for lipo it would have built-in alarm/shutoffs when it reaches below safe level voltage. And you guys know where I am going with this one on Clarks vs IBUs...... Very Happy
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dgsselkirk
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:15 am

LOL! Yes, we know where you are going with this...I'll pay the $2.00 bucks for alarms...

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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:32 am

MikeC wrote:
 They won't simultaneous combust in storage. I have never store my lipo in a fire proof environment.



I think the storage issue is when the lipo bloats up and ruptures the plastic which IIRC will cause the fire but I think this will only occur if you end up keeping a fully charged lipo in storage for an extended period of time rather than properly discharging it first to proper storage charge levels.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:38 am

knispel wrote:
Jughead wrote:
Princess auto or some costco's carry the 50 cal boxes or smaller ones , I keep over 15 lipos in mine , different sizes , shapes etc 


I agree , I have used LiPo for a few years and an amo case is a great storage container ( but I don't place them on newspaper....just saying.)
 Charge them in a lipo bag  or metal tool box.
Watch they don't get into a low voltage stage which can initiate a chemical reaction resulting in fire. Just check out You tube. 
Key is to learn about these batteries and be aware of their special handling requirements and they should last a whole day.

When Lipos burn does their fire actually require oxygen to continue burning or do they more or less generate the gas that they need to continue burning.   Like, will the fact that an ammo case or Lipo vault is airtight actually help extinguish the fire once the lipo fire has used up the remaining oxygen in the case?

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MikeC
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:43 am

You will always need oxygen to burn, but these containers are meant to contain the fire and none of them air tight.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:12 pm

You need three things to have fire.
Heat source, fuel, oxygen.

Probably the best description regarding Lipo danger of fire here.
Roger's Hobby Center wrote:
LiPo batteries offer plenty of power and runtime for us radio control enthusiasts. But that power and runtime comes at a price. LiPo batteries are capable of catching fire if not used properly - they are much more delicate than the older NiMH/NiCd batteries. The problem comes from the chemistry of the battery itself.


Lithium-Polymer batteries contain, quite obviously, lithium. Lithium is an alkali metal, meaning it reacts with water and combusts. Lithium also combusts when reacting with oxygen, but only when heated. The process of using the battery, in the sometimes extreme ways that we do in the R/C world, causes there to be excess atoms of Oxygen and excess atoms of Lithium on either end (be it the cathode or anode) of the battery. This can and does cause Lithium Oxide (Li2O) to build up on the anode or cathode. Lithium Oxide is basically corrosion, albeit of the lithium kind; not iron oxide, which is otherwise known as "rust". The Li2O causes the internal resistance of the battery to increase. Internal resistance is best described as the measure of opposition that a circuit presents to the passage of current. The practical result of higher internal resistance is that the battery will heat up more during use.


Higher Internal Resistance = Higher Operating Temperature

As we touched on earlier, some modern chargers can read the internal resistance of the battery in milliohms (mΩ). If you have one of these chargers, you can get a sense of how your LiPos are performing, and how their internal resistance increases as they age. Simply keep track of the internal resistance reading each time you charge your battery, and chart the increase over time. You will see how just the process of using the LiPo battery begins to wear it out.


Heat causes the excess oxygen to build up more and more. Eventually the LiPo pack begins to swell (due to the oxygen gas build up). This is a good time to stop using the battery - its trying to tell you that it has come (prematurely or not) to the end of its life. Further use can, and probably will, be dangerous. After the pack has swollen, continued use can cause even more heat to be generated. At this point, a process called Thermal Runaway occurs.

Thermal Runaway is a self-sustaining reaction that is accelerated by increased temperature, in turn releasing energy that further increases temperature. Basically, when this reaction starts, it creates heat. This heat leads to a product that increases resistance (more Li2O), which causes more heat, and the process continues until the battery bursts open from the pressure. At this point, the combination of heat, oxygen, and the humidity in the air all react with the lithium, resulting in a very hot and dangerous fire.


However, even if you stop using the battery when it swells, you still have to render it safe (a process I'll get into later on in the LiPo Disposal section). If you puncture a LiPo that has swollen and still has a charge, it can still catch fire. This is because the unstable bonds that exist in a charged battery are in search of a more stable state of existence. That's how a battery works; you destroy a stable chemical bond to create an unstable chemical bond. Unstable bonds are more apt to release their energy in the pursuit of a more stable bond.


When a LiPo is punctured, the lithium reacts with the humidity in the atmosphere and heats up the battery. This heat excites the unstable bonds, which break, releasing energy in the form of heat. The Thermal Runaway starts, and you again get a very hot and dangerous fire.


The entire process of building up that lithium oxide usually takes around 300-400 charge/discharge cycles to reach a tipping point. That's a typical lifetime of a LiPo battery. But when we heat the batteries up during a run, or discharge them lower than 3.0 volts per cell, or physically damage them in any way, or allow water to enter the batteries (and I mean inside the foil wrapping), it reduces the life of the battery, and hastens the build up of Li2O.


In light of this, most manufacturers have taken to putting a Low Voltage Cutoff (LVC) on their speed controls. The LVC detects the voltage of the battery, and divides that voltage by the cell count of the battery. So it would see a fully charged 2S LiPo as 8.4V, or 4.2V per cell.


This is where the advantage of balancing comes in. Because the speed control does not read off the balance tap, it cannot know the exact voltages of each cell within the battery. The speed control can only assume that the cells of the battery are all equal. This is important because, as I mentioned above, discharging a LiPo cell lower than 3.0V causes a usually permanent degradation of the cell's ability to absorb and retain a charge.


A LiPo cell should NEVER be discharged below 3.0V
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:10 pm

The ammo box I posted in pic is totally sealed , weighs 5pds and takes almost 2 hands to close it tight , it's a brute and nothing is getting thru this thing , as wolfeader said , most puffing or swelling  is caused from sitting at 7 volts or more  
easy discharge method if you don't have a high end charger is to hook a bulb to it with a cheap volt meter , even getting down to 5 volts is good storage 
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:32 pm

So if you discharge it to storage voltage would the puffing goes away ?
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PostSubject: Re: Lipo storage and charging...   Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:30 pm

MikeC wrote:
So if you discharge it to storage voltage would the puffing goes away ?
No. Puffing is due to chemical "corrosion" Lithium Oxide buildup.

NiMH lose their ability to hold a charge and Lipo's puff up with age and repeated use.
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