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Author Topic: Lipo storage/charge medium  (Read 917 times)

mbm999

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Lipo storage/charge medium
« on: August 31, 2020, 05:36:33 PM »

Hi all,
Just curious how and where people store their Lipo batteries when not being used (and in storage mode) - house/garage/shed, lipo bag(s), metal container.
I'd have a lot of difficulty storing them with a large empty space around them unless it was in the middle of the garden!

I'm also  curious about what precautions you take when charging them too - i've seen some breeze block solutions (presumably built outside) - do you have similar arrangements or is that all just a bit too paranoid?

Thanks,
Mark
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barriew

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 05:46:45 PM »

I keep mine (all less than 2000mah) in my shed/workshop. They are either kept at full charge if likely to be used in the next 2 - 3 weeks, otherwise at storage charge. I do have a LiPo bag, but I only ever charge them if I am in the workshop so tend not to use it.


If one should start to look a little puffy, then I would use the bag - or dispose of it.



Barrie
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justboatonic

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 06:05:56 PM »

Hi all,
Just curious how and where people store their Lipo batteries when not being used (and in storage mode) - house/garage/shed, lipo bag(s), metal container.
I'd have a lot of difficulty storing them with a large empty space around them unless it was in the middle of the garden!

I'm also  curious about what precautions you take when charging them too - i've seen some breeze block solutions (presumably built outside) - do you have similar arrangements or is that all just a bit too paranoid?

Thanks,
Mark
You want to storeage charge Lipos to around 3.84v per cell rather than any particular ampage. A quality charger will automatically do this for you taking into account the cell count. I use an iCharger 306B. Plug in, select storage charge function and go.
My lipos arent stored in the house. They are in fire resistant / retardant bags on a store floor albeit in a consevatory. Some people store them in ammo boxes but if you look after them, you should be ok.
I always balance charge them, never charge them unattended and again, they are charged in a fire resistant bag. I always check the state of charge of the battery before charging. Ive known some people try and re charge an already fully charged pack, not recommended if you have a cheapie charger.
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JimG

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 08:09:11 PM »

Conversley I store LiPos on a set of open shelves, no metal cases or flameproof bags. They are generally charged the night before use and I try not to store them for more than a week fully charged, discharging them to storage charge first. They are charged indoors using a good LiPo charger that automatically checks number of cells before charging and allowing the charge current to be set to the correct value for 1C charging. Again no container when charging although they are not left unattended while charging as this is done while I am in the room. If I have found the cells puffing (generally this happens in storage if not properly discharged to storage state) I take more care but will retire any cells I feel are past it. By using a good charger I find the cells do not get even slightly warm on charge, if they did then those cells would no longer be used and properly disposed of. The biggest risk appears to be thermal runaway if the cells are overcharged especially if using the wrong charger.Consider that out of the multi millions of these cells used for all purposes (not just modelling) the number of problems is an extremely small percentage of them. What has happened is a few accidents have been publicised on the Web or news media   and gained notoriety in this way. Do you charge your phone in a LiPo sack? My phone gets warm under charging (and its the correct charger), I wouldn't accept this when charging LiPos for a model.

Jim
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justboatonic

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2020, 10:09:26 PM »

Conversley I store LiPos on a set of open shelves, no metal cases or flameproof bags. They are generally charged the night before use and I try not to store them for more than a week fully charged, discharging them to storage charge first. They are charged indoors using a good LiPo charger that automatically checks number of cells before charging and allowing the charge current to be set to the correct value for 1C charging. Again no container when charging although they are not left unattended while charging as this is done while I am in the room. If I have found the cells puffing (generally this happens in storage if not properly discharged to storage state) I take more care but will retire any cells I feel are past it. By using a good charger I find the cells do not get even slightly warm on charge, if they did then those cells would no longer be used and properly disposed of. The biggest risk appears to be thermal runaway if the cells are overcharged especially if using the wrong charger.Consider that out of the multi millions of these cells used for all purposes (not just modelling) the number of problems is an extremely small percentage of them. What has happened is a few accidents have been publicised on the Web or news media   and gained notoriety in this way. Do you charge your phone in a LiPo sack? My phone gets warm under charging (and its the correct charger), I wouldn't accept this when charging LiPos for a model.

Jim
Yes, very good advice about 1C charge rate. Id just say the lipo in my mobi is only 950mah. My RC lipos are up to 8000mah so the fire resistant \ retardant bag gives me a chance to hoy it out if the worst happens. But yes, I recognise the argument of using \ not using a container while charging.
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kinmel

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2020, 10:46:16 PM »

You will be very fortunate if you can safely move a burning Lipo in a retardant bag any distance, if at all.   It will not only rapidly burn at a high temperature, but the smoke is extremely toxic too.

All my Lipo batteries are kept at storage voltage and charged immediately before use.  Whether being stored, or charged, they are in an outdoor weatherproof chamber where they can burn with no risk at all.

The risk of fire may be small, but the affect can be catastrophic and is easily avoided at almost no cost.







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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 09:53:06 AM »

Good sunny morning from Yellowcraig.  :-)


I am looking at something like this top right (24 bin unit) to store my batteries individually without risk of a chain reaction.


Some might regard it as expensive but as a long term solution for expensive batteries I think it a worthwhile investment.


There's lots of second hand MOD racking on eBay but either too far away or too big.


https://slingsby.s3.amazonaws.com/Additional_Product_Information/383109.pdf

EDIT found cheaper https://www.monkeyoffice.co.uk/furniture/mailroom-furniture/sorter-pigeon-hole-units/economy-pigeon-hole-24-bin-blue-383109-sby24900/?gclid=CjwKCAjw4rf6BRAvEiwAn2Q76tsF5P8reQB_wdZhu5Xh_4xdxUICjjSnn15YKBnKErLfowyu5-QCjhoCEAYQAvD_BwE


again https://www.caboodle.co.uk/furniture/mailroom-furniture/sorter-pigeon-hole-units/economy-pigeon-hole-24-bin-blue-383109/?gclid=CjwKCAjw4rf6BRAvEiwAn2Q76sG3aBUIp_GamKfaKHY9y8dyVQJaiy89BRWuCA-OdGGOGt8vebb2KxoC0XoQAvD_BwE


free would be better  {-)

Colin Bishop

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 10:18:43 AM »

I have found an old biscuit tin in which to place my fire retardant pouch but am a bit of a loss as to where to place the tin on a non flammable surface. We have a bin cupboard built into the side of the house which is not used but that could get very cold in winter.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 10:28:41 AM »

I honestly dont think anyone needs to go to the expense of £200 - £300 racking but if it gives piece of mind, go for it.
I dont fully agree with the statement that if a lipo catches fire in a good fire retardant bag you wouldnt have much chance moving it. Yes, if you leave them unattended them come back to them when they are alight but if you actively monitor charging lipos, you get an indication something isnt 'right' before they let go. That could be a crackling or popping noise, a smell or signs of smoke.
If you see any of these, dont take any chances, stop the charge quickly and get the pack out of any building, not necessarily in that order!

Im not talking one of those lipos 'sack' things. I have two lipo fire resistant \ retardant bags which are more like stand alone boxes. They have two flaps which cover each other plus a top cover over them which velcro's at the front.
I keep a hefty pair of wire cutters by my charging set up so if the worst happens, there's no mucking about trying to disconnect the charge leads. It's a straight cut through the wires and out the door. No need to bother after short circuits when cutting the wires if the thing is igniting.
Just my way of organising things though. Others have different ways and methods.
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kinmel

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 12:00:05 PM »

Quote
If you see any of these, dont take any chances, stop the charge quickly and get the pack out of any building, not necessarily in that order!

In the fire service we called that the "chip pan challenge" - can you carry one all the way outside without flames/smoke causing you to drop it.  :o   

Perhaps 1 in 10 attempts went well.

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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2020, 12:42:30 PM »

The rack is £146 so why double my quote.
I have a brick build shed.

I have around 20 batteries so itís not expensive to me

microgyros

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 02:29:25 PM »

Good sunny morning from Yellowcraig.  :-)
...
free would be better  {-)
The free version could be made from steel soup cans, screwed onto a board.
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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2020, 02:47:39 PM »

Thatís a creative idea  :-))
I could screw them to the brick wall

malcolmfrary

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2020, 09:17:06 PM »

In the fire service we called that the "chip pan challenge" - can you carry one all the way outside without flames/smoke causing you to drop it.  :o   

Perhaps 1 in 10 attempts went well.
As I recall what I was told about the chip pan challenge, if carrying a flaming pan, it had to be behind you, if it was behind you, you couldn't see where you were going. If it preceded you, the flames were directed at you, if you were backing out fast, the burning pan was going to land on you when (not if) you tripped.  So the best answer for us amateurs was to apply distance.  Or a fire blanket.
With a real fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it, a chip pan is easy.  A burning LiPo doesn't really have a cure.  Once the LiPo has spent itself, there is a good chance of putting the building out.
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RST

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2020, 09:39:58 PM »

I have a dry powder extinguisher and a fire blanket in my house amongst other things located with some thought for effective  use.

Does anyone even use chip pans these days??? I'm lucky enough to have some basic fire training (maybe not so basic looking back!) but surely nobody still uses them now?  Still seems an exercise we have to go through in training anyway though, I guess it's valid for other things.


I've never heard of "chip pan challenge" -I was tought you never move it in the first place.

I haven't had any consumer electronic devices with li-po in them so far so I was a bit surprised to see the analogy with mobile phones.  There's more an issue there with leaving the usb charger left plugged in, covering it or using a cheap one.

As I produce ever smaller models these days (storage + likely of finishing a project) li-po seems very attractive, but I can't promise maintenance charges and safe storage so they're still out for me.

...horses for courses and folk still get in trouble with lead acid so what can you do apart from heed the advice on everything (there is no such thing as common sense).
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kinmel

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2020, 10:59:08 PM »


Does anyone even use chip pans these days???

I've never heard of "chip pan challenge" -I was tought you never move it in the first place.

The fire service has worked hard to discourage chip pans, mainly because of the numbers of people seriously injured trying to take a burning pan outside.
The phrase came about because when an ambulance arrives at the incident, the crew would ask about the casualty -  "one adult male failed the chip pan challenge" told them everything they needed to know.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2020, 09:02:56 AM »

I have a dry powder extinguisher and a fire blanket in my house amongst other things located with some thought for effective  use.

Does anyone even use chip pans these days??? I'm lucky enough to have some basic fire training (maybe not so basic looking back!) but surely nobody still uses them now?  Still seems an exercise we have to go through in training anyway though, I guess it's valid for other things.


I've never heard of "chip pan challenge" -I was tought you never move it in the first place.

I haven't had any consumer electronic devices with li-po in them so far so I was a bit surprised to see the analogy with mobile phones.  There's more an issue there with leaving the usb charger left plugged in, covering it or using a cheap one.


Chip pans still listed in Argos, so they are out there.  Not everybody has the ability to have a dedicated deep fryer.
Good teaching to not move a burning pan, but that only applies if the teaching has happened and if its remembered in the moment of panic.  Lack of teaching is the normal state, panic the default recation for the majority of the population.
No consumer devices containing LiPo?  Look around.  See a laptop or tablet or cellphone?  All stuffed with LiPo batteries, but they are in a controlled environment determined by the manufacturer who is motivated by the need to not be sued.  Modellers using them create the environment that they work in, and usually think that because it's their baby, it won't hurt them.  Just as true of lead acid, NiCad and NiMH, but the energy is not as tightly packed.  It's when the energy "comes out sideways" in a great rush that the problem shows itself.
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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2020, 09:08:52 AM »

When as a very young teenager I drained cleaned and refilled our chip pan,  I promptly set it on fire when installing the chip laden basket as it overflowed {-)



Fortunately back then these were so common place that a tv safety campaign was demonstrating what to do with a thoroughly dampened tea towel. Fortunately I did not panic and I put the fire out.


My dad a fireman at the time wasnít sure wether to praise me or belt me one  <*<

mbm999

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 10:55:59 AM »

Some interesting comments, thanks.

I think on balance I will be cautious and try and mitigate as much of the risk as possible - at least until i feel a bit more confident with them.

@Kinmel - "Whether being stored, or charged, they are in an outdoor weatherproof chamber where they can burn with no risk at all." - does this mean you also store them outside?

I, like Colin, really don't have the space to be able to isolate them indoors (in the house or garage) so outside is looking favourite, however, do i bring them in when the weather is freezing or conversely hot!

Cheers,
Mark



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kinmel

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 11:13:25 AM »

For the last 4 years my Lipo batteries have been stored outside all year round without any problems.  All modern electric vehicles have a huge Lipo pack that needs no special weather protection.
My waterproof store is a concrete paving slab base with breeze block walls and the sloped roof is another slab which lifts off when I need a battery. A smaller identical unit is used for charging the Lipos.
Cost less than £20 and needs no maintenance.
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justboatonic

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2020, 01:14:51 PM »

Some interesting comments, thanks.

I think on balance I will be cautious and try and mitigate as much of the risk as possible - at least until i feel a bit more confident with them.

@Kinmel - "Whether being stored, or charged, they are in an outdoor weatherproof chamber where they can burn with no risk at all." - does this mean you also store them outside?

I, like Colin, really don't have the space to be able to isolate them indoors (in the house or garage) so outside is looking favourite, however, do i bring them in when the weather is freezing or conversely hot!

Cheers,
Mark
I have heard some people store them in a freezer, not that Id recommend that! Unless or until a lipo pack is being 'worked,' it's pretty much inert. Something has to happen before they'd ignite, for example short circuited, over charging etc.
Every instance I know about a lipo igniting has been caused by over or incorrect charging or a short circuit. Obviously I dont have knowledge of every lipo in the world catching fire so that's a bit anecdotal!

If you store lipos outside, make sure they dont end up sitting in water for extended period and not subject to greatly fluctuating temperature variations. Id also ensure no little critters can have a nibble on them as well!
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JimG

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2020, 08:14:54 PM »

While the LiPo may survive being stored in a freezer it must be allowed to warm up to room temperature before charging, they must never be charged at a temperature below freezing as this damages the cells beyond repair. Similarly hot packs after use must be allowed to cool down before charging. Info online gives the temperature range for charging between 0 and 50 degrees although it is best to keep them in the middle of the range.There were early reports of problems with fully charging warm cells then taking them outside in cold conditions. As the capacity of the cells is reduced when cold this leads to them being overcharged for the conditions and there was the risk of them going into thermal runaway. I couldn't find discussion of this online so it may not be a problem with todays cells.
Jim
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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2020, 11:08:23 AM »

I went ahead and ordered the rack not knowing the quality but looking at the quoted weight I thought it must be substantial steel.

I bought from the cheapest supplier Caboodle
Forget the claimed next day delivery


Happy with it 100%
Shown are just two of my 4s 5000ma batteries, soon fill this up


mbm999

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2020, 01:12:56 PM »

That's a bit of a beast!

Curious where you are going to store/mount it?

Mark
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Taranis

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Re: Lipo storage/charge medium
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2020, 01:21:33 PM »

Hi Mark
I have a brick built shed.
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