Question about a swollen LiPo batt...

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Ben Huddleston, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Ben Huddleston

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    I have a Freefly LiPo that appears to have swollen slightly. The side of the battery says to dispose of them if they swell, but this one has only been used twice...

    How bad does this look, to you LiPo wizards? Normally I'd be inclined to play it safe, but how bad is too bad?

    photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG
     
  2. Eric De Fino

    Eric De Fino Member

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    Looks like it's fried to me. I would not use that battery under any circumstance and put it in a fire proof bag or case immediately.
     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Discharge carefully and dispose of it. It's not worth the risk. Google "lipo fire" for your entertainment.
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Hey Ben:
    Yeah, I'm afraid that that battery is a LiPo fire waiting to happen. What was it's history? You mention only two uses -- what voltage was it stored at?

    Andy.
     
  5. Wolfgang Armin

    Wolfgang Armin Active Member

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    Steve, are you sure discharging is a good thing to do? I'd leave it as is to dispose it.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The problem is that it's a fire-bomb while it has stored energy, Wolfgang.

    I would discharge using a dummy load like an automotive light bulb (with a voltage selected based on the LiPo number of cells), but do so out on a concrete pad where, even if it catches fire, it would do no harm. Personally I use a small metal trash bin for this purpose and leave the lid at a slight angle so any gases can vent rather than launching the lid skywards. http://trashcansunlimited.com/galvanized_trash_cans.html

    There are reported cases of LiPo's going into thermal runaway (and then fire) when the voltages drop down below 2.0v per cell, so safely discharging it beats giving some waste disposal company a lithium fire, I suspect.

    The light bulb technique will take the LiPo down to completely inert -- although it can take some time. I would confirm that the LiPo was completely inert using a volt meter without the light bulb connected and then I would carefully cut the main connector and the balance connector off, one wire at a time, and tape up the individual leads just to be sure they cannot short out if the battery mysterious revives itself. Then I take it to a recycling center that handles batteries.

    Andy.
     
  7. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

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    Or just throw the battery in a bucket of salty water a few days. Then its safe to throw away
     
  8. Wolfgang Armin

    Wolfgang Armin Active Member

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    That´s interesting read from both off you. Andy - that´s what I read - there´s danger of fire when the voltage gets too low. So discharging wouldn´t have been my first option. That´s why I was surprised and am still a little confused.

    Jason, do you have any more info on this? I just googled and there seem to be more than one opinion on this. From what I read LiPo fire can´t get extinguished with water.
     
  9. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

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  10. Wolfgang Armin

    Wolfgang Armin Active Member

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    Great, thanks a lot!
     
  11. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Ironically I just took delivery of two brand new Freefly M5 batteries to replace two of mine that I inadvertently killed recently. One died a weird death where I had left a LiPo meter attached the last time I used it. Of course, the LiPo meter uses a small amount of charge, and when the voltage goes below a certain level, it has an alarm that goes off. Over and over and over. At a loud clip. I have to apologize to my neighbors where my photo studio is. It was going off for about 4 days. And in doing so, killed the battery (cell voltage was below 2V in 1 cell!!). I'm actually lucky the damn thing didn't ignite and destroy my MōVI! :eek:

    I bought a battery discharger precisely for this reason. The salt water trick isn't 100% reliable. It often destroys the battery and leaves some residual charge in it.
     
  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  13. James Leonzio

    James Leonzio Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I'm having the same issue with two of my batteries. I left them stored fully charged by accident for quite a while.

    I've tried discharging them using this LED light (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/857246-REG/genaray_led_6200t_144_lamp_variable_clr.html) as the power draw, and using a Voltmeter to provide a status of what the cells voltage is while discharging. Everything seemed to work well for a while, but then one of the cell's Voltage dropped quickly and another increased quickly. Then the voltmeter went blank so I disconnected everything and put it in a fire safe bag.

    I'm kind of freaking out. I'm in an office in NYC and don't have anywhere to really take these batteries.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
     
  14. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    You might be better off if you can wire up an automobile 24v light bulb -- it pulls a lot more current than the LED array, I suspect. But it sounds like the LiPo's are toast, based on what you say about the cells now being at more than 0.1 volt apart.

    If they are, say, 0.2v apart, you might be ok to charge the battery but do so at say 0.5 x C (half the normal charging current).
    Otherwise if you want to discard them, then use the dummy load (the LEDs will serve), and fully discharge the battery to zero volts (the total battery voltage must be at zero. At which point it is completely inert and you can dispose of it as you would any other battery (preferably at a recycling center).

    Warning: I gather that some batteries start to get hot as their TOTAL voltage drops down below three volts (I do not mean their per cell voltage -- the TOTAL voltage). So if you have some safe place to park a metal container in case the battery catches fire during the discharge process, that would be a Good Thing. Do not use a sealed container, of course -- if the battery were to catch fire it emits a lot of gas and you'll have created a bomb.

    Andy.
     
  15. James Leonzio

    James Leonzio Member

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    Thanks Andy, I've discharged one battery down to about 3V per cell using my LED light, but then one of the cell's voltage started to INCREASE and somehow the voltmeter is reading 4.25V now! Crazy. The battery isn't swelling any further and isn't hot, but the weird voltage movements have me concerned, so I disconnected everything.

    Has anyone seen THAT before?
     
  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I've certainly not seen that....I think that is an ex-Lipo, gone to meet its maker, joined the choir eternal, etc. :)

    Andy.
     
  17. Kurt Wallrath

    Kurt Wallrath Member

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    Hey James,

    If you don't have a LiPo bag already, I'd recommend getting one for your kit:
    http://www.amazon.com/Bluecell-Silv...=UTF8&qid=1423225754&sr=8-2&keywords=lipo+bag

    Also, The Hitec multi-charger x4 has a number of great features:
    http://www.amazon.com/HiTec-44167-P...223674&sr=1-1&keywords=hitec+multi+charger+x4
    It's great because you can:
    -Charge up to 4 MoVI batteries at a time
    -can charge the 2 cell LiPo batteries for the remote
    -can charge NiMH batteries for the remote
    -you can charge the LiPos to a storage voltage
    -you can discharge batteries (do NOT use this option for storage mode - I found out the hard way!)
     
  18. GeneParks

    GeneParks New Member

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    Hi Kurt
    I just got the Hitec multi charger and was wondering if you could tell me which adapter you use to connect the movi batteries to the charger.
    Thanks for any info

    best regards
     
  19. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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  20. Kurt Wallrath

    Kurt Wallrath Member

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    Hi Gene,

    It really doesn't matter which adapter you use, just make sure you plug the 2.6 Ah (14.8V) FreeFly battery into the 4S (4 cell) balance plug.
     

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