Li-Ion Battery Safety

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Papabravo, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Two workers at the GM Tech Center in Warren, MI were injured today, one seriously, due to an explosion of a Lithium Ion Battery. If you have them anywhere near your person be very very careful and be very very afraid.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/...ype-battery-blamed-explosion-GM-s-Tech-Center

    GM won't say what type of battery it was, but the article named the OEM of the battery and what type it was.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  2. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Well being GM we can basically assume it was an industrial sort of experimental Li-Ion for running cars. So I'm sure it wasn't a normal cell battery or computer battery.
     
  3. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    They said that extreme testing was being done on the battery. I don't know exactly what they were doing, but the biggest warning we can give people in this forum is to be careful of testing Li batteries at elevated temperature. When we ordered a thermal chamber for Li battery testing, the manufacturer of the thermal chamber was very concerned and would only sell the chamber with additional safety precautions. The thermal limit was capped at 125 deg. C and the heating element was changed to one that would not ignite explosive gasses. Also, a blow out port was added, and the door with window was replaced with a solid door.

    Of course Li batteries are prone to thermal runaway and catching fire or exploding. Most of us are aware of this, but when testing in a chamber, there is a significant risk of a larger explosion. Above a certain temperature, the battery will outgas, and any spark or flame will ignite it. A standard thermal chamber will almost certainly cause an explosion if the temperature setting is too high. The heat causes the outgassing, and the standard heating element is hot enough to cause ignition. It's one of those mistakes that anyone might make without thinking about it.
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Anything that will make a car go 100 miles or more (I'm thinking 300 miles actually, since that is what I get) has a butt load of energy, be it gasoline or electricity. I'm not afraid of technology, but I accept it's limitations as part of my use. Gas is safe because it is fairly inert, unless ignited. Batteries are also safe, unless you do something to damage them.

    So when you are afraid, ask yourself this, would you rather walk 10 miles, or drive? Gas may be with us always, but then again, maybe not.

    I remember a storage scheme using a flywheel/motor/generator. It was rated for 600 miles, but the flywheel spun up at ¼ million revs in a vacuum. I couldn't help wonder what would happen in a car wreck with it. It disappeared.

    Same thing with the EEStore cap, which has been vaporware to date. A 600 Farad capacitor with a (what?) 40KV rating? Destroy that component in a wreck and see what happens. I suspect it would make a good weapon.
     
  5. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    My point was that even professionals like the automakers and the Mythbusters will make mistakes that occasionally might have ahhhh...suboptimal results. I just smile now when some whiny little noob complains about the TOS for the board. If they want to win a Darwin award they can do it without our help.
     
  6. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    They have some at the near by zoo. Never seen one explode though.

    Roll up your windows, you don't want to be eaten.
     
  7. Papabravo

    Thread Starter Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    That was as funny as a rubber crutch. (Rim shot!!)
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  8. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    F1 cars are perfecting the kenetic energy recovery from braking right now. They've only had it 1 or 2 years so far to perfect it. .
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Regenerative breaking has been with us for a long while. You can only recover so much, as the Laws of Thermodynamics are not going to be cheated, but you can improve the efficiency a little.
     
  10. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    and make it cheaper for a worldwide roll out...
     
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