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LiPo battery safety:
crusse Offline
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Post: #1
LiPo battery safety:
LiPos are very efficient batteries for high power vaping and are set to become more widely used now that the DNA 200 has been released. I couldn't find a thread dedicated to LiPo safety, so I thought I'd copy and paste these useful safety tips from Modderbox (http://www.modderbox.us), for the benefit of anyone who might be thinking about using LiPos. Please note: The charging instructions don't apply to DNA 200 mods, which have onboard balance charging. But at least this information covers the basics of using LiPos safely.

LiPo Safety/Info

Handling & Storage

- Never alter, puncture, or impact.
- Never directly connect battery terminals with conductive materials. This will short-circuit the battery and result in flames and possibly a small explosion.
- Never store loose batteries together, as the connector terminals may contact one another and result in the above.
- Never expose batteries to extreme temperatures or extended direct sunlight. Temperature range must be between 40-120°F (4-49°C).
- Always verify voltage and balance of batteries that have been unused for greater than 6 months.
- Always charge and store batteries in a non-conductive, fireproof container or bag.
- For best results store batteries at approximately ½ of the battery capacity.

Charging

- Always use a compatible balanced mode charger, specifically designed for the chemistry of the battery you are using.
- Always charge batteries in an open area away from flammable materials, liquids and surfaces.
- Never charge batteries inside of your mod.
- Never charge batteries that are hot to the touch. Do not handle batteries until they are cool enough to touch.
- Always ensure you set your charger to the proper cell count and/or voltage listed on its label.
- Never charge at a rate greater than 1C(One (1) times the capacity of battery amp hours). EG: 2200mAh battery would be 2.2A, 1800mAh would be 1.8A, etc.
- Never overcharge batteries beyond the capacity listed on its label.

Safety

- If at any time batteries become damaged, hot, or begin to swell, discontinue charging or usage immediately. Quickly and safely disconnect the battery. Then place the batteries in a safe, open area away from flammable materials in an approved LiPo bag for observation. After one hour, remove the battery from service.
- Do not continue to handle, attempt to use or ship the battery. Failure to comply can cause damage to batteries, persons, or property.

Discharging

- Never discharge batteries at amperage rates higher than specified on its label.
- Never allow the temperature of batteries to exceed temps outlined in “Handling and Storage” section above.
- Do not discharge battery below its nominal level. This can reduce its life expectancy, performance, and safety.


Lithium Polymer Jargon:

"C" is a 1000:1 ratio of the capacity of a cell or pack in mAh to a given current in Amps. It is normally used to define maximum current-handling capabilities for charging (e.g., 1C or 2C) and discharging. A large "C rating" for discharge permits high currents from smaller packs. For instance, a 20C continuous rated 5000mAh pack is able to deliver 100 Amps continuously. In this instance, 20C constant should be seen as the maximum "full Throttle" that can be applied ongoing before damage to the pack will be inevitable. Like running a sports car at full throttle all the time, habitually running a Lipo pack at its maximum C rating is not good practice.3.7v is the nominal voltage for LiPo Chemistry. The actual voltage per series cell will increase when fully charged to about 4.2V and decrease to 3.1V at full permitted discharge.4.25v is a maximum - charging at higher voltage is dangerous. 3.1V is a minimum - continuing to draw operating current (Amps) when the cell has reached 3.1V will cause rapid overheating and damage.For charging set-up, we are principally concerned with the number of cells in SERIES. A 3s2p pack MUST be charged as a "3-cell" Lithium Polymer (LiPo) pack, sometimes shown as a 11.1V pack (=3 x 3.7V). We should normally limit the current during charging to a maximum of 1C. For instance, 5 Amps for a 5000mAh pack. An appropriate LiPo charger will normally prevent overcharging if this data is entered correctly. For most LiPo chargers on the market, setting the charger to a 1C charge rate should be regarded as good practice.

"For me an object is something living. This box contains a secret life much more intense than that of certain human beings." - Joan Miro
(This post was last modified: 06/07/15 11:17 PM by crusse.)
06/07/15 03:02 PM
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Pipeman Offline
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Post: #2
RE: LiPo battery safety:
Having extensive experience of LiPo batteries, the above is good, safe practice.

A couple of points of clarification:

If you are only charging a single cell (1S) then you cannot balance charge. It takes some significant time for > 1S packs to go out of sync, so it's only necessary to balance charge "regularly" rather than "always".
Should a pack swell or the case get damaged, immerse in a bucket of salt water (5 tablespoons salt per 2l water) for 24 hours then dispose responsibly (recycle). Swelling is almost always a direct result of over-discharging, so ensure to recharge the cell/s once they reach 3.3V/cell. It's NOT recommended to recharge swollen cells.
Personally I ignore the 1C charge rate as the cells I use are very high performance and it would take my ages to recharge, so I charge on specialised equipment at around 2.5C. If you don't have access to this level of equipment the 1C is a good safe option.

If any modders are looking for a good source of top level 1S cells, I have access to a steady supply as we go through 1 or 2 sets a season and although they aren't good enough for racing, they are more than good enough for mods. At around £40 per cell they do perform, but the stress we out them under means their useful racing life is measured in months, not years... like our shiney's, racers always want the best batteries with the highest discharge rate, lowest internal resistance, largest capacity etc...

As my long suffering wife of 35 years would say.... boys and their toys....


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06/07/15 04:07 PM
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doobedoobedo Offline
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Post: #3
RE: LiPo battery safety:
While what you say is true Pipeman. I personally would never encourage people to charge at over 1C , yes modern high performance, high quality cells will take it, but unfortunately not everyone puts the highest quality cells in their mods and charging is the riskiest time for a LiPo.

The same with balancing, whilst you don't strictly have to balance every time, the longer you leave it between balances the riskier charging becomes as one cell may become significantly overcharged and the other(s) under. Better to advise to balance each time and only not balance if very occasionally you're in a rush (after all it's that last 0.01V that seems to take the time) than get people in the habit of not balancing because they think it doesn't really matter.
06/07/15 04:51 PM
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lil_Tuéy Offline
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Post: #4
RE: LiPo battery safety:
Also the balance cable is live, so make sure not to short it on anything. My mate didn't know this and melted his new box, blamed me, I didn't know either Big Grin

06/07/15 05:29 PM
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crusse (06/07/15)
crusse Offline
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Post: #5
RE: LiPo battery safety:
(06/07/15 05:29 PM)lil_Tuéy Wrote:  Also the balance cable is live, so make sure not to short it on anything. My mate didn't know this and melted his new box, blamed me, I didn't know either Big Grin

Yep - always plug your charging cable into your charger before you attach it to your lipo pack, or else the connectors will probably short against each other. I learned the hard way. Facepalm Big Grin

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06/07/15 05:38 PM
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NorthStaR (06/07/15)
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Post: #6
RE: LiPo battery safety:
I meant inside his box he didn't make sure the balance cable wasn't touching anything/wrap up the end of it.

06/07/15 05:40 PM
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crusse Offline
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Post: #7
RE: LiPo battery safety:
(06/07/15 05:40 PM)lil_Tuéy Wrote:  I meant inside his box he didn't make sure the balance cable wasn't touching anything/wrap up the end of it.

Oh, I see. I think I'll leave onboard balance charging to the experts (like Evolv) rather than trying to improvise it and ending up with a melted mod! Big Grin

"For me an object is something living. This box contains a secret life much more intense than that of certain human beings." - Joan Miro
06/07/15 05:42 PM
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NorthStaR Offline
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Post: #8
RE: LiPo battery safety:
Good advice above. Some people ignore this kind of advice but consider the proposed LiPo is going to be an inch from your face.

Be worth adding the something for choosing the right LiPo too regarding cell count, C ratings, amps et cetera.
06/07/15 10:54 PM
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Post: #9
RE: LiPo battery safety:
i'll sticky this thread chris ,that way it wont get buried Smiling

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06/07/15 11:04 PM
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Post: #10
RE: LiPo battery safety:
(06/07/15 03:02 PM)crusse Wrote:  - Never charge batteries inside of your mod.

The DAP i have i charge inside Scratch Head

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06/07/15 11:06 PM
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