Another Lithium Ion battery fire

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Emergency services reported the aircraft returned due to smoke in the cabin, the Lithium battery of a passenger's camcorder in an overhead bin had set the bag around the camcorder on fire.
I have to get a steel box to keep my Li cordless drills in. They are the best cordless drills by far, full power right to the end, power when you need it, no "memory, holds charge up to a year and a half. I'd never want to go back to NiCad, but these Li btteries scare me.

http://avherald.com/h?article=469182f0&opt=0
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Comments

  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    There are protected Li-ION type & cheaper Non-protected type ..As I understand the Unprotected type if let go below a certain voltage of state of charge can have an irrecoverable melt down. Kinda like the "Dream liner" aircraft had (or patched) .. I fly but not on electric wire only , cable back-up is my type. The Li-ion batterys I use are makita 18v & milwaukie 18 volt lithium-ion battery ..They have a protection of cutting out when the voltage gets near to the end of charge . These tools are not from box stores, I purchased them 4 years ago direct & brushless models.. They last on one charge great. These have been out in Europe when I first bought them.

    It's the single cell types in a plastic flashlight that worries me ! I use protected type in those with smart flashlights also.

    VT
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    CDN VT do you have a pic or model number for those Makita batteries? It's what I use, just the small Ahr version of the 18 v.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    I use 1.5 & 3 Ah size, with this type of charger for any input voltage , 24Vdc to 48dc and 110ac-250ac ..tools are from EU, ordered from main distributor. They cost more than kit / box store sales.
    Attachment not found.

    Attachment not found.

    Attachment not found.

    Like this ??
    It's the tool that makes the job & battery perform . brushless makita 18v driver with 3 speeds & impact ability with hammer for concrete, 4 torque settings also..

    VT



    Hows the Vee ETM West ?
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    People just need to come to the realization Nimh battery technology is far surpassing Ni-Cad and Lithium Technology.
    Has a major capability to store 3 times the capacity of Ni-Cad or Alkaline, and if built on much larger scales could surpass deep cycle batteries, only draw back is how to get Nimh's to discharge and charge when needed when they get hot......
    The only plus side to lithium is its capability to store more power at less density while discharging almost double the electrical charge of Ni-Cad, Nimh, or alkaline.
    HMMMMM did someone say sanyo/panasonic eneloop?

    Reminds me just last week, one of my porter cable lithium ION batteries was so hot it was literally melting the battery casing. Its not necessarily lithiums that is the potential problem, its the quality control, and roughly 80% of the lithium cells we receive come from.....CHINA
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Has a major capability to store 3 times the capacity of Ni-Cad or Alkaline, and if built on much larger scales ...

    There is a major problem - no nimh cell is larger than 10ah, thus limiting you to making packs for larger capacity, along with bms systems for all the series-parallel connections. Commercially, you'll need a patent-license from Ovonics / BASF to make any cell larger than 10ah, and so far, I haven't even seen them commercially. The cost even if you want to homebrew a pack is obscenely more expensive than just going with lead-acid.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries
    The only plus side to lithium is its capability to store more power at less density while discharging almost double the electrical charge of Ni-Cad, Nimh, or alkaline. HMMMMM did someone say sanyo/panasonic eneloop?

    Well, the Eneloops are nimh, albeit low-self-discharge types. Unfortunately, due to the licensing issues, you'll never see them larger than 10ah. Not that they actually make 10ah nimhs, but there are others like Imedion that do. But I would never try to build a 100ah pack out of them myself! :) Lithium is good, and the pros / cons are in other threads. Because my solar installation doesn't need an extremely small power/weight ratio, lead-acid is still affordable and easy to work with - as long as your power needs are budgeted wisely.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    People just need to come to the realization Nimh battery technology is far surpassing Ni-Cad and Lithium Technology.

    nimh must have vastly improved then over the last few years then. I changed my camera equipment over to them a few years back, thinking from their specs they would be great, far better than NiCads, but was hugely disappointed. Their capacity to store and hold a charge dropped off so fast I found them a huge waste of money, practically useless after a couple of months, so went back to NiCad. It would take a lot of convincing for me to throw money at them again.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Oddly enough the first NiCad batteries I got with my Ryobi set lasted far longer than their subsequent replacements. Makes me wonder about the quality control on rechargeable batteries as a whole since different people report different experience with the same types.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    nimh must have vastly improved then over the last few years then. I changed my camera equipment over to them a few years back, thinking from their specs they would be great, far better than NiCads, but was hugely disappointed. Their capacity to store and hold a charge dropped off so fast I found them a huge waste of money, practically useless after a couple of months, so went back to NiCad. It would take a lot of convincing for me to throw money at them again.


    Huge improvements.
    I use 3800mah and 4000mah Nimh's in all of my kids electronic toys like their leap pads, and leapsters, and radio controlled toys.
    Has a longer charge life than any Ni-cad Ive used and now I am on year 2 with most of the batteries Ive purchased.
    the Nimh I have take 3 times longer to charge than Nicad, or lithium but its well worth the wait.
    Although the batteries are rated at 1.25v I've had some brands discharge much higher than the alkaline rated 1.5v. Nickel Metal Hydride technology is becoming much better, is environmentally friendly compared to Ni-Cad, alkaline, Lead Acid, or Lithium.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    PNjunction wrote: »
    There is a major problem - no nimh cell is larger than 10ah, thus limiting you to making packs for larger capacity, along with bms systems for all the series-parallel connections. Commercially, you'll need a patent-license from Ovonics / BASF to make any cell larger than 10ah, and so far, I haven't even seen them commercially. The cost even if you want to homebrew a pack is obscenely more expensive than just going with lead-acid.

    Its a little more complicated than just patent rights. According to U.S government regulations, Hydride is a chemical used for making bombs, so there is no way to get large quantities of hydride due to its regulations on manufacturing and substance control. This is the main contributing factor to why Lithium based technology has exceeded to move beyond Nimh technology. However there are Ni-Lion Based batteries that use hydride as a component for cell make up.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Its a little more complicated than just patent rights. According to U.S government regulations, Hydride is a chemical used for making bombs, so there is no way to get large quantities of hydride due to its regulations on manufacturing and substance control. This is the main contributing factor to why Lithium based technology has exceeded to move beyond Nimh technology. However there are Ni-Lion Based batteries that use hydride as a component as well for cell make up.

    Ah, Government! :p

    Nickle is also used for making bombs; you need it for refining the Plutonium. :D
    For that matter ordinary dry cells can be used for making bombs; something has to run the timer.

    I wonder just what sort of "danger scale" they use for evaluating substances?

    BTW "hydride" is not a chemical per se, it is a form of Hydrogen in a compound with another element. As such it can be made from Hydrogen by process, and there sure is no shortage of that around.

    Ban water: it's dangerous! When separated into its component molecules it becomes highly flammable and explosive! :p
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Ban water: it's dangerous! When separated into its component molecules it becomes highly flammable and explosive! :p

    Only about 11% of it (by weight) becomes flammable :D

    I have li-ion in my camera. So far, I'm very impressed with it.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    I have li-ion in my camera. So far, I'm very impressed with it.

    Mine quits in the cold. Take battery out and put it in shirt pocket for a few minutes and it warms up and starts working again. Until it gets cold.

    Non-Northerners probably won't get this problem. :roll:
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Mine quits in the cold. Take battery out and put it in shirt pocket for a few minutes and it warms up and starts working again. Until it gets cold.

    Non-Northerners probably won't get this problem. :roll:

    I try to keep the camera under the coat, so it is nice and warm, and I only get it out for 10-15 minutes to take picture. Works fine. Although I usually don't wander around when it's -40.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Ah, Government! :p

    Nickle is also used for making bombs; you need it for refining the Plutonium. :D
    For that matter ordinary dry cells can be used for making bombs; something has to run the timer.

    I wonder just what sort of "danger scale" they use for evaluating substances?

    Ban water: it's dangerous! When separated into its component molecules it becomes highly flammable and explosive! :p

    It all just comes down to hypocrisy, control, and the government holding down the general public from advancing in technological advancements. It allows the government to own patents and rights to those patents mostly for military use before "end user" consumers will ever see the light of day with those advancements.

    Truthfully Nimh is lighter in composition than Ni-Cad, yet auto manufacturers supply Ni-cad replacements for lithium based systems, yet the BMS for lithium works better as a direct replacement for Nihm VS Nicad. It just doesn't make any sense.

    Hydride by itself is a neutral compound, its when combined to nitrogen, or hydrogen it then becomes a dangerous highly volitile compound.

    Now this is what is stupid about regulation. Any chemist can make a compound in their own back yard. (I.E) Methamphetamine is illegal and more dangerous to the general population than Hydride is. But you don't see on the local news, when a lab blows up, because of using hazardous highly explosive chemicals, that you could buy at any construction supply store.

    If government wants to ban chemicals or compounds, ban it all or none at all.
  • jaggedbenjaggedben Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    ... The Li-ion batterys I use are makita 18v & milwaukie 18 volt lithium-ion battery ..They have a protection of cutting out when the voltage gets near to the end of charge . These tools are not from box stores (handy-monkey sales), I purchased them 4 years ago direct & brushless models.. They last on one charge great. These have been out in Europe when I first got them. ...

    I don't exactly remember what was around 4 years ago, but nowadays you can't hardly buy nuthin but those Li-ion batteries if you go to Home Depot or anywhere else.

    The tools are lighter handle with Li-ion batteries, too. Which I think it is a selling point for most of us 'handy monkeys'.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Their capacity to store and hold a charge dropped off so fast I found them a huge waste of money, practically useless after a couple of months, so went back to NiCad. It would take a lot of convincing for me to throw money at them again.

    Not surprising and common. Unfortunately, this is due mainly to two things: new-old-stock dumping, poor cell quality, and improper charging. NIMH rocks with good quality stuff.

    I'm a very happy user of nimh, BUT you can't buy junk. But how does the consumer know the difference? Sanyo Eneloops are a de-facto standard amongst us die-hard flashlight users (along with lipo but that's another story). There are a number of quality manufacturers out there, but you have to go to places like Candlepower forums for real-world testing.

    Charging - most chargers for nimh are insanely stupid. They typically charge in pairs, and not individually. Most consumer level chargers don't tell you that they are doing this. You have to hunt down quality chargers like Maha / Powerex that do. There are others, but consumers just don't know. Either that, or the crappy chargers never do a full charge or just burn the cells up.

    Essentially, the same care we put to our lead-acid batteries should be done to nimh, but the consumer industry is sloppy and careless about it - except for the few that do it right. It can be tantamount to running with cheap SLI batteries in non-balanced pairs with a charge controller totally set to the wrong values and panel power that is totally inappropriate either high or low. :)

    So for that, just like coming here to get the scoop on solar and batteries, head to Candlepower forums to weed out the good from the bad.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    My recommendations for Nimh batteries (1.25 V cells) are.

    Synergy Digital Nimh
    Lenmar Nimh
    Panasonic Eneloop Nimh

    I wouldn't bother buying anything else on the market.

    Lenmar, Senergy, and Panasonic (the old sanyo), have spent over 20 years developing, and researching high capacity Nimh, and developing chargers that work efficiently to hold power per charge exceeding 85% of previous use. Panasonic which bought sanyo, surpasses the Lenmar, and Synergy brands claiming up to 2000 charges although the capacity of Ah are about 1/3 less than that of the synergy or Lenmar brands. For the price the eneloops are surpassing LI-ION technology per charge cycle.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    We should probably take this elsewhere, as I strongly disagree about Lenmar being top echelon. Thing is, blanket statements are worthless. If one wants disappointment, put some 7 year old new-old-stock Eneloops into a dumb charger, and then swear off them forever when they don't perform.

    You would be just as disappointed by buying a 7 year old Rolls-Surrete, and putting a wall-wart on it. Details, aside from mere marketing material, matter more than blanket statements.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    i had excellent results with earlier energizer 1600mah nimh batteries i bought about 8-10yrs ago and they are still in service to this day to my amazement. i have also purchased newer 2500mah energizers a couple years later and they were junk as they have all failed. i did buy some imedion 2100mah batteries by powerx 5yrs ago and they are still doing fine.

    i did make reference to my charger a few times over the years and where i bought it as it is a 6 cell aaa-d size individual cell design. i have since forgotten the company i bought it from, but it is a hitech model ic-u6s1234-lcd.

    that reminds me my cells need a refresher charge.:D
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,936 admin
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    From what I have read a few years ago, NiMH AA batteries with capacities >~2,000 mAH were more quickly to fail than the lower capacity cells.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    could be so except for my imedions as they are 2100mah. i can say that those 1600mah energizers are by far the best batteries i've ever had and the only reason i say that is because i don't know how long the imedions will go for.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    BB. wrote: »
    From what I have read a few years ago, NiMH AA batteries with capacities >~2,000 mAH were more quickly to fail than the lower capacity cells.

    -Bill

    And that's the ones I had. They quickly became as useless as mammary glands on a bull. Totally and completely turned me off NiMH.
    To be honest, the B&D "20 volt" (no load) lithium drill is the only one I've ever come across that acts like a corded drill. Extremely pleased with it.
    Have also had a 12 volt Li B&D for over a year, and it's still going like new. I recharge them after each use an they're always ready next time I need them. SOOOO unlike the NiCad drills
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    PNjunction wrote: »
    We should probably take this elsewhere, as I strongly disagree about Lenmar being top echelon.

    O.K so lets make it less of a blanket statement and only surround ourselves with what is factual.

    I agree to some extent about making a blanket statement, so lets annylize what is truthful according to sales between Panasonic, and Lenmar.

    LENMAR is open to disclosure that what you pay for you will get under 1000 charges.

    Panasonic Eneloop boasts up to 2000 charges for its line of battery, so in comparison to pricing where I can have (4) 2000mah eneloops, I can buy ( 8 )2700mah LENMARS for the same price.

    I have realized that the charger used for the batteries are important. I ditched the lenmar charger as I found it wasn't doing the job, and I was only getting partial charges, or the batteries would get hot. So I started using the Synergy digital charger for the Lenmars and it was a better improvement. I tried the energizer charger that charged my 1400mah energizers, and lets just say it doesn't work so well on 2700mah LENMARS.

    I will agree, that even for the price, 1/4 of my LENMARS turns out to be a dud, or D.O.A within 6 months, defenitely a quality control issue. However its a bargain Nimh, compared to Energizer, Duracell, and Rayovac for the price, and I have some that are aged by year 3 and still charging strong.

    By far though, all the synergy digital 2800mah batteries I've invested into I've had no duds, or D.O.A's, and have lasted long, and strong, and almost on year 3 for half the bulk I own.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    There are protected Li-ION type & cheaper Non-protected type ..As I understand the Unprotected type if let go below a certain voltage of state of charge can have an irrecoverable melt down.

    Well, they do "melt down" (as in become nonusable) but there's not much drama. The battery just dies and can no longer be recharged. The opposite - overcharge - is the problem. Above about 4.5 volts you start plating out the lithium metal, it eventually bridges the separator and then all the energy gets discharged through that bridge with dramatic results. As you mention a protection circuit prevents both problems (although you can discharge even a protected li-ion all the way, then let it sit, and it eventually will get below the damage threshold all on its own.)
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    On the OT, I recently found out that there was a fire where I work. One of those off-street runabout cars powered by lithium batteries, caught fire in the parking garage and burned for 9 hours before they figured out (by calling the manufacturer) that the fire dept needed to put sand on it. This was at Social Security headquarters and it never made the news.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    i have also purchased newer 2500mah energizers a couple years later and they were junk as they have all failed.

    That would be a very correct statement about the ones produced years ago. The old energizer 2450 / 2500 / 2650 / 2700's were not quality and had a high self-discharge rate. Over the years, they backed down the capacity (thicker materials) to improve things, but their latest 2300s (now that the high-capacity fad has faded in the industry), as of 2010 are actually pretty good. They are in the mirror-chrome/green packaging, NOT the older dull silver / green wrappers. The point here is that consumers generally don't know this, and end up swearing off Energizers to this day, even though their latest offerings are good - BUT put on a crappy charger and you won't know the difference. :) Sadly, you'll still see these older versions on the grocery store racks or included with their chargers - which I never use btw.

    One also wants to choose between standard and LSD types. The latest energizers are actually LSD - although maybe not quite as good as the Sanyo eneloops, but if that's all you have access to, they are a magnitude better quality than Lenmar - imho.

    But there's the rub again - who do you trust when it comes to these things? Me? Someone else? Marketing material? Candlepower forums can help greatly. Look for contributions by moderator "Silverfox" and others who actually chart these things. A West-Mountain Radio CBA-IV is one popular analyzer and highly recommended - OR a Maha Powerex MH-C9000 charger / analyzer. (nice in that it will also show the internal impedance!)

    I have an application that calls for 10ah Powerex Imedion LSD D-cells, which are charged with a Maha MH-C808M. Kind of the nimh equivalent of running Rolls-Surrete with a Midnite Classic controller. :)

    Specs and quality change among manufacturers all the time, so it might be difficult to keep up. Basically don't trust anyone but your own analyzer. :)
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Hydride by itself is a neutral compound...

    Hydride is not a compound. It's the anion of a compound, but without the identity of the cation, it has no context. Sodium chloride and hydrogen chloride, for example, are both "chloride" but they are very different compounds.
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    I was used to normal nimhs dieing after ablut 50 - 100 charges, going flat every month just sitting there. Ive owned dozens of brands of NiMhs and the eneloops combined with a la crosse bc9009 indiv cell charger changed everything for me.

    So what exactly is the difference between the LSD breed, eg eneloop et al. and the old type?
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    This difference is that Low Self Discharge, (aka "precharged") uses a different electrolyte formulation, and sticking to thicker grids. Thus in AA format, you rarely see them in capacities beyond 2000mah. Thinner materials with higher capacities means more self-discharge. The biggest advantage is twofold - lower internal resistance than a standard nimh, and generally a higher voltage during the flat part of the discharge cycle. Some equipment that used to balk at working with standard nimhs, may do ok with LSD types with the slightly higher voltage during discharge. Eneloops are famous for this, although you'll see them offering LSD's in 2500mah in Europe and elsewhere - but the price is about half the cycle life compared to the 2000mah ones - again thinner materials being the culprit.

    LSD / precharged are the only ones that make sense in use with clocks, remote controls, and garden led lighting.

    They are good, but you won't get much benefit if you use them on a daily/weekly basis where the self-discharge rate is nearly the same as a standard nimh - it is the *long term* self-discharge improvement where you benefit most. OR, if you need a higher voltage during the discharge cycle, like in some camera's etc.

    Sanyo pioneered this effort, and while there are other good brands like Imedion, there are a few manufacturers that jumped on the bandwagon and produced versions that have low self discharge, BUT do not have the higher voltage advantage during the discharge cycle, nor anywhere near as good a cycle life. Most prefer the cells manufactured in Japan over the Chinese cells, but improvements in that area continue. But, use them with a poor charger, and the gains will be less.

    Battery geeks like myself tend to make sure that if we do buy Eneloops, they are the most recent ones that have a small crown on the wrapper, the older series did not have this crown. Avoid new-old stock as they can be approaching almost a decade old! And of course there are counterfeits.

    It's the wild-west when it comes to AA's. Find a reputable dealer. Thomas Distributing is one of them - there are many more, but just as many fly-by-nights.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    This fire was the result of physical damage, but the story is still interesting.

    "After dismantling the front end of the vehicle and puncturing holes in the battery pack, responders used a circular saw to cut an access hole in the front section to apply water to the battery, according to documents. Only then was the fire extinguished."

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/03/3666497/apnewsbreak-tesla-says-car-fire.html#storylink=cpy
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