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Li-containing batteries on planes...

Hi,

When checking-in to a flight (business related, not SOTA :unamused:) I noticed a warning to carry Li-batteries as carry-on baggage with a limit of 160Wh (fine) or max 8g Lithium.

I have never seen the amount of lithium declared on a LiPo or LiFePO battery. Is this a new addition? Did anybody else notice such restrictions?

I wonder were to get this information from. Calculating the Wh from the label of a typical battery is already challenging for security personnel, estimating the amount of lithium beyond imagination!

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73 Heinz, OE5EEP

Minor detail, but I think the key word is “or”.
As in 160Wh or 8g Lithium, whatever is specified.

From batteryuniversity.com

"The lithium content of a lithium-metal battery is printed on the label. Li-ion, on the other hand, uses equivalent lithium content (ELC) that is calculated by multiplying the rated capacity (Ah) times 0.3. For example, a 1Ah cell has 0.3 grams of lithium. A modern 18650 cell with a capacity of 3.3Ah contains about 1 gram. The 8-gram limit permits a 26Ah battery, or 95Wh (Ah multiplied by the Li-ion cell voltage of 3.6V equals Wh). The 18650 is a standardized Li-ion cell of 18mm in diameter and 65mm in length, and is used in laptops, power tools and other devices. Most laptop batteries are in the 60Wh range. "

This warning seems to only apply to spare batteries. What is the definition of spare in that case ? For example, some chinese vendors put 18650 cells in dummy power banks (no PCB) to ship them. Are cells in a battery pack count ? I guess it will be left up for interpretation to whoever is checking, but it would be interesting to know the guidance they get.

JC/W6IPA

Most airlines specifically call out usb power banks as carry on only.

The limit was 2g previously, I guess they’ve updated to match reality. The truth is the Wh rating is all a security guard will check

Lufthansa i.e. had at least last year the following policy:
Multiple up to 100 Wh
Or one with between 100 Wh and 200 Wh

That’s why I would recommend to stay below the 100 Wh threshold. And specifically look for batteries that have the Wh printed on the label. That will make it easier to argue with the guards.

Joe

I used a label printing machine at work to make some very “official” looking Wh labels for my batteries.

2 Likes

For those without access to a profi label printer

https://www.fedex.com/content/dam/fedex/us-united-states/services/LithiumBattery_JobAid.pdf

May be this paper is helpful for a talk with the security people.