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LiPo help


#1

Hi All,

I bought a new LiPo battery a few months ago, Tipple 3000mAH 5c charge 25c burst, 11.1v 3 cell.

I have been charging it with the same charging unit almost every week since I got it, everything has been going fine - until last night. When the unit had stopped charging I put the battery in the custom made plastic case for transporting when I noticed the lid wouldn’t shut. I thought cable jammed but No! Battery has swollen.

I checked the output voltage and it reads 12.77. I can take it for this that the battery is no very well as it is now two thirds thicker and is not in the safest of states. Can I then presume I will have to buy myself a new battery.

Has anyone else had this experience of this happening? I have it outside at the moment with a huge blast hole ready to drop it in in preparation for then nuclear explosion.

Thanks for any help or advice you can give.

Neil 2M0NCM


#2

In reply to 2M0NCM:

Neil

Your battery will have to be replaced and should not be used. Keeping it outside is a good idea. I am unsure of how you can dispose of it safely - maybe someone here can advise?

This may help:

http://www.rctoys.com/pr/2007/07/06/safely-dispose-of-lithium-polymer-lipo-lipoly-battery-packs/

…I have no way of knowing if this offers sound advice however.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#3

In reply to 2M0NCM:

Overcharging is one possible culprit…

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#4

In reply to G3CWI:
I have had a swollen battery for some time and it’s not burst yet. I have not charged or used it since I noticed. I’ve also replaced the balance charger as I guess that it wasn’t monitoring each cell properly…just a precaution.

Don’t know what to do with my faulty battery either

Adrian
Mm0TAI


#5

In reply to 2M0NCM:

Hi Neil

Your battery though not yet dead definitely has a terminal illness and should be kept in quarantine. Sounds like it’s overcharged, a 3 cell LiPo should never show more that 12.6V when fully charged. Do you use a balanced charger that cuts off at 4.2V per cell max. and regularly check the state of the individual cells?

For disposal, once discharged to 0V the cells are safe, but as with charging this needs to be done slowly and in balanced fashion - if one cell is faulty, discharging as a battery can result in reverse charging it which can cause heating and swelling of the affected cell.

I don’t like the idea of putting a charged battery in salt water - electrolytic corrosion will very quickly erode the aluminium tabs used for the connections, and the cells may be left with some charge in them.

Hope that helps

73 de Paul G4MD


#6

In reply to 2M0NCM:

I’d consider it gubbed Neil. Dispose of it and buy some new ones. Luckily they are not terribly expensive to replace.

In reply to G3CWI:

The info in the link you give is widespread across the net Richard. As you point out whether it is sensible advice or not is unknown.

The actual link you give misses out an important step which makes the immersion in salt water a waste of time. Lithium cell chemistry is designed to stop any metallic Lithium existing in the cell. Still Lithium is one of the most reactive elements you can find and I’d be wary of getting the contents of a pack anywhere near water.

The other important point is assuming you do this and end up with an inert cell pack, what do you do with the contaminated water? Pour it down the drain and pollute somewhere else?

No, the sensible thing would be to discharge each cell in the pack slowly (use the charge/balance connector) and then take it to your council recycling centre. They normally have a place for batteries and many have a special area for Lithium cells often marked for Laptop batteries.

That disposes of the faulty cell, the next stop on this journey is why did it fail? Is the charger now faulty? Was the cell physically damaged at some point? I’m not sure which charger you use, some are fast chargers that charge all cells types and tell you all sorts of impressive numbers such as the weight of electrons added to the cell etc.! :wink: I’ve got a really dumb slow charger. It only charges 2S or 3S packs and only at 200mA. It means that it takes a long time to charge the cells up. It also seems to stop short of fully charging the cells at 12.4V for a 3S1P pack. I don’t know if this is good or not but applying a smaller current will stress everything less.

I’ve been using my LiPo packs for about 2 years or so now and I’m quite convinced they don’t have the capacity they used to have. Even so I’m hoping I can squeeze another year out of them.

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’ve been using my LiPo packs for about 2 years or so now and I’m
quite convinced they don’t have the capacity they used to have. Even
so I’m hoping I can squeeze another year out of them.

Possibly you are seeing the effects of the early onset of late-middle-age long-windedness?


#8

In reply to MM0FMF:
Andy, as a Scottish resident you are surrounded by lithium, it is present in all the Scottish granites and probably concentrated in granite pegmatites tho’ I cant be bothered to check on this! I do know that it likes to hang out in mica. As the 25th most abundant element (equal with lead, in fact)it is everywhere, even in the human body…and is at about 0.2 ppm in seawater, so if well diluted I don’t see it being a major problem as a contaminant. If the cells contain metallic Li then the last thing you want to do is introduce water, unless you fancy enjoying a bright red flash and a spray of very caustic lithium hydroxide! In the laboratory Li metal is stored under oil, but naptha and paraffin will do equally well.

According to things I’ve been reading on American websites the cheap Chinese cells are iffy in quality and deteriorate rapidly. But they would say that, wouldn’t they? :wink:

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

In reply to G3CWI:

It’s more due to me having discovered the joy of CW and spending longer activating on the summits!

Andy
MM0FMF


#10

In reply to 2M0NCM:
I replaced my LiPo with a LiFe. More expensive but much, much better feeling when I put my backpack on my shoulder!!!

arno oe9amj


#11

Thanks for the advice everyone. I have left the battery in a bucket of sand in a secure corner of the compound at work (only ever me that goes in there) until I get the chance to dispose of it.

Also ordered new one today ready for the 2 weeks holiday coming up :slight_smile:

Neil 2M0NCM


#12

In reply to 2M0NCM:

Thanks for the advice everyone. I have left the battery in a bucket of
sand in a secure corner of the compound at work (only ever me that
goes in there) until I get the chance to dispose of it.

But where, and how, are you going to dispose of it eventually?

I have more than once expressed my own view in this forum that LiPo’s are unsafe (following my experience of one blowing up in my car), but I have always been pooh-poohed by those who advocate their use.

73 and Season’s Greetings

Walt (G3NYY)


#13

In reply to G3NYY:

Walt

Pretty much everything is unsafe. It’s all a matter of degree. Statistically you are far more likely to be killed or injured driving to an activation than by the battery that you are carrying. The chronically risk averse are unlikely to do much at all…

I may well risk having a cup of tea now.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#14

In reply to G3NYY:
Hi Walt they must be reasonably safe there are many thousands in use in laptop computers and mobile phones.You could say that lead acid batteries are dangerous they give off hydrogen gas when being charged.I have had three of these blow up.Once when trying to get a better contact with some jump leads and the spark ignited the gas.Another one was sparks from an angle grinder.And the other one just exploded in the boot of a mini whilst on the move.All gave a massive bang and blew the basttery in to hundreds of bits and showerd sulfuric acid everywhere.Even a 7ah slab can be danmgerous if it is short circuited .73 Geoff


#15

In reply to G3NYY:

I have more than once expressed my own view in this forum that LiPo’s are
unsafe (following my experience of one blowing up in my car)

I don’t think you realise how statistically significant your are Walt. In the last 8 years over 2 billion mobile phones,GPS and camera units have been sold that use Lithium battery technology. There have been only few hundred (if that) catastrophic failures like you experienced. Yes, many have failed by swelling and have been removed from use before they got worse. But even if we put that at 1000 catastrophic failures the statistical failure rate is around 0.00005%, and that’s a risk most people wont think twice about.

Your worries are not unreasonable having been on the receiving end of such a failure. But as you are so special, have you considered a career as a Lottery Number Picker? You are in the 1 in 2million category and the odds of picking 5 numbers + the bonus ball are only 1 in 2.3 million! :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF


#16

Hmmm … yes, well, as I said:

but I have always been pooh-poohed by those who advocate their use.

:slight_smile:

73,
Walt (G3NYY)


#17

In reply to G3NYY:

I have grasped the nettle and ordered a pair and the associated charger, connectors etc. from Giant Cod who entered into very helpful correspondence concerning actual terminal pd in use (and other helpful details). As a result of reading this thread (and some of the links) I ordered a charging bag (apparently designed to limit the spread of fire) and also intend setting up an outdoor charging station with the same aim. The kit is embargoed until 25th but I hope to report back in the early days of January.

Merry Christmas, 73,
Rod


#18

In reply to M0JLA:

Hello Rod,

Well, each to his own. It seems you are taking sensible precautions, so you should be OK.

Merry Christmas,

Walt (G3NYY)


#19

In reply to G3NYY:

Whilst out backpacking, I carry my FT817 in front of me with the LiPo battery
stuffed into my trouser pocket!
Due to the above stories, should I invest in some ‘fireproof trousers’ ?
For info, I do not expect to raise any more children !

73 to All and Merry Xmas

de Peter TJE+


#20

In reply to G3TJE:

Hmmm, that made me laugh Peter… but seriously, even with flameproof trousers you’d run the risk of getting seriously affected by the heat generated. Better take care not to fall onto them.

I transport my LiPOs boxed separately in the back pack. They are also wrapped in intumescent material designed for providing fire protection between floors in historic buildings where the structure cannot be upgraded. I’m not sure whether it would work, but at least in theory it is better than nothing. Mind you, I piggy-back NiMH cells on my LiPos, so perhaps someone could do the chemical equation…

I no longer worry about charging outdoors or in a bag. Mine are charged at 0.2C and never get warm. It just takes several hours to bring them up to voltage.

73 and a Merry Christmas to All,

Gerald G4OIG