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Thread: Battery explosion with Fenix P1D

  1. #1
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    Default Battery explosion with Fenix P1D

    Yesterday during testing runtime my P1D went "Big Bang".

    It was a really big explosion, the treading was not able to withstand internal pressure and the P1D went off, one piece banging my head, rocketing off into a concrete wall leaving marks both on my head and on wall.

    Surprisingly the explosion left little impact on the P1D itself, it still works as advertised. The thread is a little loose, but with some tape applied to it works; the bezel has been dented a little bit, and the battery holder is also off a bit.
    The often criticized HA was scratched a bit, but surprisingly not much considering all things.

    Here are a few pictures:

    http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/614/fenix6om5.jpg


    Battery

    http://img452.imageshack.us/img452/4115/fenix1xn0.jpg
    Front

    http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/3230/fenix5gd0.jpg
    Battery holder

    Sorry I have no pictures of my head.

    Over sized images replaced with links.
    Last edited by Unforgiven; 07-09-2007 at 09:28 AM. Reason: rule violation

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    What brand was the CR123 battery?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel_sk View Post
    What brand was the CR123 battery?
    It was was a cheap chinese with a "PW Powerstation" label on it.
    It is on sale in Europe by several vendors through the Internet.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    I can understand how a light with two batteries might explode, but how does this happen with a single battery light?
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic fluke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Hmm.
    I'm only using Panasonics and known brands from now on.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by SoSa View Post
    It was was a cheap chinese with a "PW Powerstation" label on it.
    It is on sale in Europe by several vendors through the Internet.
    I would stay away from these cheap batteries. You can get quality batteries from US at reasonable prices.
    I got my energizers from fenix-store for $1.75/battery including shipping. Not the cheapest, but compared to EU prices (and the dollar is weak), it's pretty cheap.

    How much did you pay for these chinese batteries?
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic fluke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    I just got 12 Panasonics from Hong Kong For $18.99 Shipped and Insured.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic fluke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    I have been asked where I got the Panasonic CR123A's from.

    I have No connection with this site.

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/HKAsiaMall

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Thanks fluke, I'll check that store.

    Well, SoSa I am glad nothing that bad happened and you are OK.
    It's another reason for me to buy only known brands of batteries (especially in 2 cell flashlights).
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Sorry to hear this SoSa

    Depending on the circumstances, such a disaster can happen with all brands of batteries.
    Certainly the building quality of more costly batts. are better, but depending on the elapsed time, temperature and discharging load (over discharging), it can happen.

    Fortunately it's rare, but it can be.

    How long did it last, until it happens and at which brightness-setting was the light (if it is not the 1-stage LuxIII version)?

    Best regards

    ____
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Sosa, you are a really lucky fellow, you did not even lose your Fenix (nor your head). Congratulations !!!


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    DUDEEEE BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE LITHIUM.
    VERY TOXIC


    Please read this thread and it's cautions/warnings/procedures:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=78843

    Wish you the best.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Yikes! Glad you are alright. Was the light hot from the runtime testing? I bet you won't be doing those tests again soon.

    Geoff

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    The Battery is still on sale and the price is Euro 1,39 which is USD 1.89. I would not call that cheap.(At least not in the US)

    You know, the most interesting thing is it happened without warning. The battery was in the flashlight for a couple of months now. I did not use this light much (short nights, and my latest purchase is a Lumapower). Yesterday night I took the P1D for a walk and was a bit shocked that the battery is almost dead. Returning home i put in on a desk and switched on to see how much juice was left in it. After a few minutes the light started flickering. It was not hot at all.

    I leaned over it to see what is going on, and this was when he battery exploded. The light jumped off the desk, and piece of it hit my head. Interestingly the battery was left on the desk hissing and sparkling. Actually it burnt a hole into the tablecloth and left a mark in the wood itself.
    Last edited by SoSa; 07-09-2007 at 07:34 AM. Reason: typo

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Ouch - but by the sound of it, it could have been a great deal worse. It will serve as another compelling reason not to buy El Cheapo junk cells. A warning needs to be circulated about these particular ones.

    How long into the run-time test was it? And did you leave the light tailstanding while it was running, or were you holding it? Did you notice anything unusual just before it blew?

    I think this thread probably belongs in the "Flashlight Electronics - Batteries Included" forum.

    Edit: you have just answered my questions while I was writing my post - thanks.
    Last edited by DM51; 07-09-2007 at 07:44 AM.
    Resistance is futile...

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Thanks for clearing this up. So the battery was overdischarged and started venting.

    It's absolutely important to determine the usage of these cells by ascertainment a reduced output and not completly draining the batts.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom
    It's cheaper to get a high quality light than spending money for many cheap lights.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    I must admit, the cause could have been overdischarge due to faulty battery. ( I did not think it is empty)

    It is a P1D CE and was on primary.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Thanks for the warning, I have run down cells very low in my P1D-CE before, to the point where the light flickered a little, although the cells were still fine when I dumped them. Now I will dispose of them when they dim and not use them deliberately after that.

    I'm using some mitsubishi "black diamond" cells that I got on ebay quite cheaply right now. Only observation is the light likes to get very warm right at the end of the discharge curve before it suddenly gets very dim.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Very important: READ: http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=124776

    And this quoted from: http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=114455

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie View Post
    IMHO, there are quite a few rather ignorant folks who like to pretend to be experts. If you really don't know what you are talking about, you shouldn't say something is safe when it truely is not. I'm not an expert either, but I do have the skills to read...

    Duracell 123A nasties:
    Thermal degradation may produce hazardous fumes
    of manganese and lithium;
    hydrofluoric acid;
    oxides of carbon and sulfur
    and other toxic by-products.

    Notes to Physician
    1) Potential leakage of dimethoxyethane, propylene carbonate and lithium trifluoromethane sulfonate.
    http://www.duracell.com/oem/safety/pdf/2003_9.pdf

    (Hydrofluoric Acid is definitely not something one should even think about messing around with.)

    (Alot of these byproducts are just as nasty as what comes out of a Li-Ion rechargable cell.)



    Energizer's take on things:
    Under normal conditions of use, the battery is hermetically sealed.

    Ingestion: Swallowing a battery can be harmful.
    Contents of an open battery can cause serious chemical burns of mouth, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract.
    If battery or open battery is ingested, do not induce vomiting or give food or drink. Seek medical attention immediately.
    CALL NATIONAL BATTERY INGESTION HOTLINE for advice and follow-up (202-625-3333) collect, day or night.

    Inhalation: Contents of an open battery can cause respiratory irritation. Provide fresh air and seek medical attention.

    Skin Absorption: Dimethoxyethane, dioxolane, and lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate may be absorbed through the skin, causing
    localized inflammation.

    Skin Contact: Contents of an open battery can cause skin irritation and/or chemical burns. Remove contaminated clothing and
    wash skin with soap and water. If a chemical burn occurs or if irritation persists, seek medical attention.

    Eye Contact: Contents of an open battery can cause severe irritation and chemical burns. Immediately flush eyes thoroughly with
    water for at least 15 minutes, lifting upper and lower lids, until no evidence of the chemical remains. Seek medical attention.

    Note: Carbon black is listed as a possible carcinogen by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithi...oxide_psds.pdf


    Please don't pretend to be an expert when you are not, and pass supposedly "informed" opinions.

    (P.S.- I'm not an expert on batteries either, but I can read...)
    Last edited by bombelman; 07-09-2007 at 07:52 AM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    cheap unknown batteries are alot more likely to explode.

    for they have LOUSY QC

    and the process in making them is not "perfect"

    their safety features may not work at all.
    if killing was legal, i would have killed countless number of people...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Ouch - but by the sound of it, it could have been a great deal worse. It will serve as another compelling reason not to buy El Cheapo junk cells. A warning needs to be circulated about these particular ones.

    How long into the run-time test was it? And did you leave the light tailstanding while it was running, or were you holding it? Did you notice anything unusual just before it blew?

    I think this thread probably belongs in the "Flashlight Electronics - Batteries Included" forum.
    During the walk I used it on primary for less than an hour. As I mentioned formerly i used it very little (ten minutes, or so). After returning home i left it resting for an hour and wanted to see how much juice was left in it. The runtime of P1D on primary is more than two hours.

    I put it on a desk tailstanding to se how much energy these particular batteries are holding. Before the explosion nothing unusual happened. It did not get warm or anything. Just a few second before the explosion the flickering I mentioned formerly.


    I put this thread into this section intentionally to show how resilient modern led flashlight are, but if you think it should belong to another section it is fine, but I do not know how to transfer.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Wow, thanks for the thread and photos. I sure have my suspicions about whether the expensive brands of batteries are really any different from the cheap ones except for the higher price tag making some executives rich. I certainly notice a chemical smell coming from expensive lithium cells just like from cheap ones. I happen to have bought a few 123 lights recently but overall I think AA lights continue to make a lot more sense. E.g. the Fenix L1D CE is a little smaller in diameter and just 15mm or so longer than the P2D, has exactly the same features and about the same performance, but has close to zero operating cost (NiMH AA cell) and I've never heard of a NiMH AA exploding in a light.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    This is bad. This would be the first single-cell thermal runaway we have seen on CPF. Thankfully it was not a brand name cell or we would really be in a pickle, though one should exercise caution no matter the brand.

    SoSa, if you have touched any of the residue or inhaled any of the fumes, go to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Tell him that you believe you may have been exposed to Hydrogen Fluoride. HF is a dangerous acid that goes right through your skin and attaches to the calcium in your bones. The PDF Bombelman links to should probably also be printed out and given to your doctor if you have been exposed to any of the battery's fumes or residue.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    This is bad. This would be the first single-cell thermal runaway we have seen on CPF. Thankfully it was not a brand name cell or we would really be in a pickle, though one should exercise caution no matter the brand.

    SoSa, if you have touched any of the residue or inhaled any of the fumes, go to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Tell him that you believe you may have been exposed to Hydrogen Fluoride. HF is a dangerous acid that goes right through your skin and attaches to the calcium in your bones. The PDF Bombelman links to should probably also be printed out and given to your doctor if you have been exposed to any of the battery's fumes or residue.
    Great advice as always from the orange one...I think I shall name him "Yoda carrot"

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* abvidledUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by SoSa View Post
    The Battery is still on sale and the price is Euro 1,39 which is USD 1.89. I would not call that cheap.(At least not in the US)

    You know, the most interesting thing is it happened without warning. The battery was in the flashlight for a couple of months now. I did not use this light much (short nights, and my latest purchase is a Lumapower). Yesterday night I took the P1D for a walk and was a bit shocked that the battery is almost dead. Returning home i put in on a desk and switched on to see how much juice was left in it. After a few minutes the light started flickering. It was not hot at all.

    I leaned over it to see what is going on, and this was when he battery exploded. The light jumped off the desk, and piece of it hit my head. Interestingly the battery was left on the desk hissing and sparkling. Actually it burnt a hole into the tablecloth and left a mark in the wood itself.
    Not from these was it ?

    http://translate.google.com/translat...3Doff%26sa%3DG

    http://translate.google.com/translat...3Doff%26sa%3DG


    Don't appear to be available in UK, apart from

    http://www.qualityflashlights.co.uk/...hp?csoportid=7

    As inc CR123's

    I understand this can happen with just one CR123, after mechanical shock, if dropped.

    BTW, are 3 threads on this really necessary ?
    Last edited by abvidledUK; 07-09-2007 at 09:59 AM.
    Batteries, batteries, I need more batteries ........

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    This is bad. This would be the first single-cell thermal runaway we have seen on CPF. Thankfully it was not a brand name cell or we would really be in a pickle, though one should exercise caution no matter the brand.

    SoSa, if you have touched any of the residue or inhaled any of the fumes, go to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Tell him that you believe you may have been exposed to Hydrogen Fluoride. HF is a dangerous acid that goes right through your skin and attaches to the calcium in your bones. The PDF Bombelman links to should probably also be printed out and given to your doctor if you have been exposed to any of the battery's fumes or residue.
    Carrot,

    Thank you, but it is summer here and all the windows were open for good ventilation. I did not touch any of the residue without protection.

    Nevertheless, thanks a lot!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by abvidledUK View Post

    Yes, those are the sources. I did not want to name them, but they are selling at least in the U.K., Germany, Austria, France and Hungary.
    Last edited by SoSa; 07-09-2007 at 10:04 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    This is bad. This would be the first single-cell thermal runaway we have seen on CPF. Thankfully it was not a brand name cell or we would really be in a pickle, though one should exercise caution no matter the brand.
    I'm still trying to figure out how this type of thing can happen with a single cell. If it is even remotely possible, it could logically happen with any brand of battery.

    Also, how do you exercise caution with a single-cell light? Other than holding the light with welding gloves I'm stumped.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Hello SoSa,

    Glad to hear that you are OK.

    I am not sure what happened, but a wild guess is that the cell shorted out internally causing it to rapidly vent.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* WildChild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix P1D after battery explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by cliff View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out how this type of thing can happen with a single cell. If it is even remotely possible, it could logically happen with any brand of battery.

    Also, how do you exercise caution with a single-cell light? Other than holding the light with welding gloves I'm stumped.
    Internal short, small hot spot then thermal runaway?

    Can an internal short happen when discharging?

    I think most Li-Ion laptop battery packs explosions were caused by internal shorts. But was it during discharge or during charge?

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