Product Tips & Tutorials: Battery
LiPo Battery Safety
Posted by on 08 August 2012 02:37 PM

LiPo Batteries are extremely volatile. The chemical compounds within the battery are flammable, and if not taken care of correctly your LiPo battery can catch fire. So how do we prevent the battery pack from catching fire and potentially burning down your house? Well, here are a few things to consider:

Keep your Battery in a Cool Enviornment

Do not leave your battery outside in direct sunlight. The hotter the battery gets, the more likely the chemicals inside will react in a hazardous manner. It follows the same mechanics/physics as a bottle of soda. When you shake the soda, the carbon inside is being released, and it builds pressure inside, wanting to expand outwards. Same thing with a LiPo battery, when the chemicals inside react (to heat), it wants to expand outwards or release energy. If the energy is not released, it has the potential of exploding out of the pack. So remember, to keep your battery in a cool enviornment, away from the sun especially during storing or charging.

Do Not Overcharge Your Battery

Same concept. Too much energy inside the pack will cause the battery pack to heat up, expand, or explode. 

Handle Carefully

Try to prevent holes from being punctured into the battery. The chemicals inside the battery may leak out, and because of the chemical composition of the chemicals, will become volatile upon getting in contact with air.

Never Leave LiPo Battery Unattended While Charging 

When charging your battery, make sure that all settings are correct. Your charging area should be away from any flammible material, such as carpet, furniture, felt, cotton, fur, curtains, wood, gasoline, etc. Never leave  the battery unattended while charging, in case of sudden issues. If you see smoke, signs of the battery expanding, or "puffing out", pull the battery charger from the socket, eliminating any continous flow of energy. DO NOT PUT BATTERY IN WATER. Submerging in Salt Water is the best known solution for the battery, which will prevent any sudden hazardous reactions and will prevent the chemical compounds from reacting. Once submerged in salt water, the battery will no longer be available for use.

Use LiPo Specific Chargers Only

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. If you're using a NiCd or NiMh charger, it will create an unwanted reaction within the battery that may result in a fire. Remember to only use LiPo specefic battery chargers!

Never Leave LiPo Batteries Plugged to an ESC

LiPo batteries, no matter what, are always running. Even when they're not plugged in to anything. The chemicals inside the battery are extremely volatile. If you happen to leave your LiPo battery plugged into an ESC, the battery is still connected to a current creating a continuous circuit. This makes the battery run even while you're not playing with it. Please remember to unplug the battery from the ESC.

Never Arc the Positive and Negative Terminals

Doing something like this creates a continous feed of energy through the battery with nowhere for the energy to be released. This goes for all types of batteries. A continous flow of energy from the battery will result the battery in reacting and producing a lot more energy than it was intended to. (Just remember the concept of the soda can and the expansion of gas.)

Check Your Battery After Each Run

Check for puffing, severed or cut wires, dents, dings and overall condition of the battery. If the battery is starting to puff out, swell, or looks like it has been punctured, do not continue to use it. You can try to use it again, but the dings, dents, cuts, and puffiness of the battery may result in internal damage of the battery leading to a more unstable battery. Charging a damaged battery is a VERY BAD IDEA!

Chemical Reactions of LiPo Battery Are Not Instantaneous

Be careful if you see your battery starting to smoke without a fire to follow. Although it has not yet reached the reaction of a fire, it is highly likely that it will reach the stage of combustion, and burst into flames. Remember, if you see smoke, UNPLUG THE CHARGER FROM THE WALL SOCKET AND MOVE THE BATTERY TO A SAFE LOCATION. Wait at least 10-15minutes before moving it again just to be safe.

Never Leave LiPo Batteries In Your Car

Same reason as why you should store your LiPo Batteries in a cool enviornment. Heat = Reaction. Reaction = Expansion. Expansion = Cause for burning! BE AWARE!

Do Not Leave Unattended With Children

Children commonly have the tendancies to wanted to drop, throw, and kick objects. Be extremely careful about where you leave your batteries around children. There is no age restrictions on batteries, but it does require some common sense, and it's always good to teach everyone about the importance of safety. Please remember to watch over children when they play.

Remember, have fun, be safe, and live life with more kowledge! The more you know, the more you can prevent accidents from happening.

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