Friday, May 05, 2006

LiPo batteries, a cautionary tale by Andre Beukes

Many of you have seen the Hobby Trailer in which I transport my models.

My trailer stands underneath my carport, with the following planes in it:

2. 40% EDGE 540
5. 10 L Petrol
6. 2 l Moto 800 Oil
7. 15 L of Morgan Fuel with 15% nitro.

The Ultimate has 2 x expensive lithium polymer packs in it to supply the radio in the plane with power.

Yesterday at approximately lunch time, I decided to start charging all my planes. I first balanced the 2 lithium packs, and then hooked up the chargers as I always do, while the planes is still in the trailer. I went to check on the chargers @ +/- 18H00, and smelled electric fire. After investigating, I found that one of the packs inside the Ultimate burnt. Luckily for me, the only damage I sustained was to the Ultracote that was melted at four different places due to the heat.

Learn from my experience. This time I was very lucky. All my models could have burned, including my trailer. And to top this, my carport is next to my garage, where my 2 cars were parked, and all my other models are stored hanging from the garage roof.

Please charge your LiPo batteries in open space.

I had one of the best lithium polymer packs inside the plane, and I'm using decent chargers, and it still burnt.

These things are volatile. Please handle with care.


Andre Beukes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also you should not charge lipo batteries when they are wrapped in foam padding. Batteries noramly get warm whilest charging and foam can act as a themal insulator and not let the heat radiate into the air.

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