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HomeAircraftHelicopterSafety - RC Helis are not toys › Question about the circumstances of lipo fires.
04-26-2010 11:10 PM  8 years agoPost 1
crofty

rrApprentice

Phoenix, AZ - USA

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Lipo fires have been a hot topic of late. I want to get some feedback from people who have experienced fires as to the circumstances. To my knowledge the majority of fires occur during charging. My question, is the risk of fire reduced by using a balancing charger? From peoples real world experience. How many have had a fire when charging down the load leads v charging with a balancer. Is there a reduction in risk. The only fire I have seen was charging down the load leads.

I have nerves of steel but thumbs of jelly!

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04-26-2010 11:23 PM  8 years agoPost 2
jbdww

rrElite Veteran

Round Rock, Texas

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I use a balancer all the time, and have hundreds if not thousands of charges from 3S up to 10S packs.
The only lipo fire I have seen in real life is a lipo that was smoking during flight and exploded when the pack was removed and thrown across the ground. They do catch on fire if one cell goes below its voltage in a fast rate.

Skids Up
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04-26-2010 11:42 PM  8 years agoPost 3
Torkroll

rrApprentice

Bakersfield Ca

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http://www.rchelisite.com/lipo_batt...afety_guide.php

You don't have to be afraid of lipos but DO follow the rules.

Anyone who says it's a small world never tried to walk to Zimbabwe.
Jerry

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04-27-2010 12:29 AM  8 years agoPost 4
nickt919

rrVeteran

New Orleans, Louisiana

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I haven't had a fire with a lipo but I did have a cell go bad on a fairly new 6S pack. Without a digital read out on each cell during balance charging it probably would have not been good. The bad cell went to 4.3V a couple of minutes into the charge and the other 5 cells were still at 3.9V. I cut it off as soon as I noticed the high cell. Without a balance charger I would have never known the one cell was over charging.

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04-27-2010 12:51 AM  8 years agoPost 5
Yug

rrMaster

UK. Herts

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Lipos can be very sensitive to operating outside the specs and brain fade in charger setup or application setup is often the culprit to misadventure. With any battery, there is allways the smallest of chance that it will decide to ignite, I experienced this even with an 8 cell NiCad pack on trickle charge. All I can say is, if you value your property and cannot 100% garuntee being present at all times during charging indoors, allways charge in a safe, fire resistant place.

Vegetable rights and Peace

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04-27-2010 01:59 AM  8 years agoPost 6
Wingman77

rrProfessor

Pulaski Tennessee

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if you never over charge it or puncture it, it will not burn up.

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04-30-2010 10:55 PM  8 years agoPost 7
crofty

rrApprentice

Phoenix, AZ - USA

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I think my question missed it's mark. I'm not one of those people who has a fear of lipos. I've been using them for years without incident. What I am trying to assess is does the method used to charge play a factor in fires.

If you had a fire while charging a lipo was while
a) Charging down the load wires only or
b) Charging and balancing at the same time.

I suspect the balancing chargers are safer and less likely to cause a fire during charging but I have no evidence to support that statement. I am curious if others personal experience would confirm or deny that statement.

I have nerves of steel but thumbs of jelly!

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04-30-2010 11:45 PM  8 years agoPost 8
Wingman77

rrProfessor

Pulaski Tennessee

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a lipo will catch fire when over charged, and if your pack is out of ballance some cells could be over charged before the charger thinks the pack is done. so yes balance chargers are better in that they make sure none of the cells are over charged.

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05-01-2010 08:43 AM  8 years agoPost 9
crofty

rrApprentice

Phoenix, AZ - USA

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Wingman, that's what I assume. But I'm looking for people who have had fires to comment and let us know if they were balancing or not when the fire occurred. It would be good to know for sure before giving advice to newbs.

I have nerves of steel but thumbs of jelly!

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05-01-2010 09:30 AM  8 years agoPost 10
mrloudly

rrVeteran

Naseby Northampton England

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I've had one go whilst being charged thru a balancer!

Old style flightpower 5000ma 3s Charging @ 1s thru a flightpower balancer.

Cell, to be fair, was one of the early style carbon protected units. It was working fine up to its demise and had been charged in exactly the same manner many times.

Shouldn't have left it un-attended I know, but I'd done it loads of times before... Nearly took up a barn containing Audi R8, Tanarg ultralight,
collection of classic Jap bikes and many models. I was VERY VERY lucky.

Beware, it can happen.

Andy M

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05-01-2010 10:28 AM  8 years agoPost 11
Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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I think that is the problem. Blinky balancers can only discharge a higher voltage cell or cells at a certain rate 300mah ish which means the charger can still push that or those cells over voltage.

Alot of built in balance chargers will reduce the charge current and/or current going to the high cells if the cells are out of balance.

60% of the time, it works every time!

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