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Thread: Eneloop's safe in Waterproof lights??

  1. #1

    Default Eneloop's safe in Waterproof lights??

    Can any of you battery experts shed some light on the warnings provided by Eneloop not to use their batteries in waterproof lights? My friend recently asked me this question. What are the chances of anything actually happening in a Fenix, Olight or ITP light. He wasn't asking about a dive light, just a standard IPX8 handheld light

    Quote from Eneloop:

    Can eneloop be used in Underwater Lamps?
    No. Do not use it in equipment that must be air-tight.
    Such applications do not have a function to stop the discharge
    of electricity, and when more than one battery is
    used, it may cause the batteries to over-discharge. This
    in turn can trigger the generation of hydrogen gas inside
    of the battery, and since air-tight equipment
    is designed to prevent gas from being diffused,
    the contaminated gas may cause an
    explosion when the equipment is switched
    on.



    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop's safe in Waterproof lights??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nice-Light View Post
    Can any of you battery experts shed some light on the warnings provided by Eneloop not to use their batteries in waterproof lights?
    No more light needs to be shed; the information you have quoted from Sanyo tells you everything you need to know. If you use a light that takes two or more batteries in series, and you over discharge the batteries, and the light has an airtight battery enclosure, then flammable gas may collect in the enclosure and present an explosion hazard.

    There are a lot of mights and maybes in that scenario, so you will have to weigh up how much risk you are willing to take. Nothing may ever happen, but if it did you couldn't say you hadn't been warned...

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    Default Re: Eneloop's safe in Waterproof lights??

    you would be surprised how many batteries are not specifically DESIGNED FOR being in a sealed containment, many of them of different types have safety like valves that are sort of dependant on there being only one atmosphere of pressure on the outside .
    like - the li-ion has a safety disconnect that when pressure internally in the cell rises VRSES the pressure on the other side, the safety disconnects, when in sealed containers the pressure internally can be changed by another one of the cells failing, so minor problems can get worse within containment.

    Some totally sealed containment devices have seals that by the mere closing of the item is builds up extra pressure, heat and cold change the pressure due to expansion and contraction. like flashlights that look like Pumps with the extensive waterproofing.

    the enloop specifically has a re-sealable top pressure releace valve, that if there was external pressure on the valve it would not releace as quickly, that valve keeps the cell containment from bursting when the cell internally gasses.

    Valid, it is ALL valid, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and be carefull with it. like having proper cutoffs (to insure no reverse charge), NEVER chargeing in the sealed environment, and watching for large temperature differentials, AKA leaving the sealed item sitting in the sun, doubbley bad.

    on the other hand, SOME crappy china ni-?? & Li-ion batteries wont even HAVE a safety releace, are they designed FOR scuba diving ?? no they will just blow up because they have no releace at all :-)

    at the least capture the hydrogen with them catalizing pellets things and your just left with compressed gas, and not compressed explosive gas. then dont charge sealed, and evacuate fresh air and cool after charge before sealing. lots of things you can do to prevent any occurance of that. and being pro-active is better than a legalease disclaimer.
    Last edited by VidPro; 09-25-2009 at 07:02 PM.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop's safe in Waterproof lights??

    Bah, just legal speak from Sanyo to cover their asses.

    Just use some common sense and you'll be fine.

  5. #5

    Default Eneloop gas venting?

    Hello,

    I was performing a runtime test on one of my 2AA lights...I threw in some fresh Eneloops and started the test..About an hour into the test i noticed the rubber boot on the clicky was puffed out like a balloon..I immediately ceased the test..The head of the light was a little warm but not hot. When i opened the light to see what was going on there was a definite pressure release..Both cells seemed fine, nothing leaking ..Is this something I should have expected or is it out of the ordinary? Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Warm air expands.

  7. #7
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    ahh no, it isn't warm air, its hydrogen.

    NiMH were once considered to be used as "Hydrogen Batteries" or hybrid cars

    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel-...ydride_battery
    There is an inherent risk with NiMH chemistry that overcharging will cause a buildup of hydrogen, causing the cell to rupture. Therefore, cells have a vent. Hydrogen will be emitted from the vent in the event of serious overcharging
    usually this occurs during charging, not discharging, although once after using my SLPP4AA Lux with Eneloops the light expelled gas upon disassembly to charge it...so its likely that some gas is given off during discharge, and it exaggerates itself when accumulated in a sealed container upon release. My eneloops are still working today

    There are also previous threads on this
    Last edited by Illum; 04-07-2010 at 08:21 AM.

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    Flashaholic* Vesper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Searching around for similar experiences to what just happened to me... I just had this exact thing happen to me. My 2xAA Quark suddenly had its rubber clicky swell up like a grey walnut. Opened it up and the light vented out. One of the two AA eneloops that was running the thing now has a slightly bulged base on it (wobbles on its end). A bit freeky and random - the eneloops were pretty new and fairly freshly charged. Wish I knew that something had actually triggered it.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    What was the voltage of the bulging eneloop after you removed it from the light?
    Tiefer, tiefer, irgendwo in der Tiefe gibt es ein Licht

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Vesper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post
    What was the voltage of the bulging eneloop after you removed it from the light?
    It's 1.31v. The other is about the same. I wonder if it's just a faulty battery from the start somehow.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
    It's 1.31v. The other is about the same. I wonder if it's just a faulty battery from the start somehow.
    OK, that's odd.

    The next test could be to examine the internal resistance of the bulging cell. Even a charged cell might get reversed polarized if the internal resistance is out of balance. The way to test this is to measure the voltage of each cell individually while under load. Maybe the bulging cell will show a much lower voltage when you put a load on it?
    Tiefer, tiefer, irgendwo in der Tiefe gibt es ein Licht

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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Hey,
    This happened to me before on a set of old energizers that haden't been charged for at least a year. I used them in my eagletac p20a2 and luckily, I read the instruction manual before putting in the old energizers. It said that Nimh batteries can release gas during discharge. The switch boot will be inflated.

    I put in the batteries and turned on the light while letting the flashlight sit on my counter to run down the batteries (bad idea) and I noticed that the switch boot had become puffy like a marshmallow.... Good thing i read the instruction manual, I quickly unscrewed the tailcap and heard what I thought was an old man farting slowly .

    Just think, if the batteries didn't come with vents, how many flashlights would be in flashlight heaven right now??

    Do a few discharge cycles on the eneloops an it should be fine. After I did some cycles on my old energizers, it works perfectly with quite a long runtime.

    Good luck!
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    I'm slighty concerned about gases venting also. In the Eneloop handbook.pdf they tell you not to use them in underwater lights because of the gases they vent. Should we be concerned about IPX standard lights and gases not being able to vent from them?. Normally I remove batteries from device's if not in use for more than a week. For people that leave them in until practically drained, over a long period of time, they should be concerned, right?.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Just don't breathe the gas vented..... could make you loopy
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    This tend to happen to 2AA flashlight that use a low voltage 0.9V-4.2V driver and an imbalance set of battery. These driver keep on drawing power even when the voltage drop below the safe 1.8V (0.9V per cell).

    When you have 1 cell at 1.0V and the other is empty at 0.0V, the driver still pull power and cause the empty cell to reverse polarity. Then the empty cell will vent hydrogen gas which lead to the bulging rubber boot.

    The reverse polarized cell can be fix by simply charging it again. However, there will be permanent damage to the vented cell. From my own experience, my Rayovac Hybrid AA suffer a permanent lost of 100 mAh in capacity after it vented from reverse polarity in a high power (1A) 2AA flashlight. If you use the damaged cell again in the 2AA light, you are creating an ideal condition for the venting to occur once more time.

    Many battery manufactures contribute to this battery imbalance problem by only offer charger that require you to charge in pair. (Sanyo NC-MQN06U)

    Pair charger + imbalance cells + 2AA w/ 0.9V driver = free hydrogen generator

  16. #16

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    so which 2 aa torchs have driver that cuts at 1.8volts. and wouldnt that interfere with folks that like to run alkalines?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerwax View Post
    so which 2 aa torchs have driver that cuts at 1.8volts. and wouldnt that interfere with folks that like to run alkalines?
    The only 2AA torch I know of that cuts out around there is the newer minimag LED it cuts out about 2v or so. At higher current levels there isn't much left in alkalines at 1v each anyway, maybe a few hundred mah at 50ma or less current.... less than 10% I would guess.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    if i give someone a 2 aa light as a gift, they will stick alkalines in it, get crappy performance on high, voltage drop rapidly, but itll still work and for some time. if its got a voltage shut at 2 volts.. gee i dunno. 200 mah at 50ma is 4 hours of a small amount of lite, but that might be better than shutting off. nothings ever simple.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerwax View Post
    if i give someone a 2 aa light as a gift, they will stick alkalines in it, get crappy performance on high, voltage drop rapidly, but itll still work and for some time. if its got a voltage shut at 2 volts.. gee i dunno. 200 mah at 50ma is 4 hours of a small amount of lite, but that might be better than shutting off. nothings ever simple.
    The problem with giving LED lights to people is they won't buy but the cheapest batteries that will fit in them so you are better off buying them cheap lights instead of good ones because the good lights tend to want better batteries or rechargeables. I have a dorcy 2AA 80 lumen light that will work down to about 1v and I think takes about 700-800 ma off fresh batteries.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    The Liteflux LF3XT (with the 2AA extention tube) is one high power light with a programmable cutoff of 1.8V.

    For casual user, it is hard to beat the Home Depot Husky 1AA LED flashlight. This was available during xmas time for $5 per pair. It is as bright as a regular incandescent MiniMag 2AA. A good alkaline AA will power this light for a solid 8+ hours then go into a "glow" mode. Before giving them away as gift, I usually drop in a Energizer L91 Lithium AA which will run for 24+ hours. It is a "vampire" light so it will COMPLETELY drain all battery including rechargeable.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    I had 8 brand new, freshly charged eneloops in my TK45. Devided to do a runtine test, after 15 minutes I saw that the 2 switches were puffed, so I immeadetly stopped the test. There were no damage

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* ico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop gas venting?

    Can the eneloops still be used after they have vented out some air/hydrogen as someone said?

  23. #23
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    Default Eneloops not for waterproof lights?

    Looked at the package for my new pack of Panasonic Eneloops (from Amazon, made in Japan) and it says, "Do not use in water proof flashlight or any device with an air tight battery compartment." Hmm, that would eliminate a lot of my use (flashlights, GPS...)





  24. #24
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    Default Re: Eneloops not for waterproof lights?

    My new OralB electric toothbrush is water proof and sealed, and has a NIMH battery in it. Maybe Panasonic's legal dept. included that warning to protect themselves from a very rare event in which a sealed flashlight becomes a pipe bomb?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Eneloops not for waterproof lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by louie View Post
    Looked at the package for my new pack of Panasonic Eneloops (from Amazon, made in Japan) and it says, "Do not use in water proof flashlight or any device with an air tight battery compartment." Hmm, that would eliminate a lot of my use (flashlights, GPS...)
    All batteries has a pressure vent and for that reason must not be used in a air tight compartment. Most people (and manufacturers) ignore this.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Eneloops not for waterproof lights?

    I have an old Princeton Tec headlamp that has a platinum catalyst in the battery compartment to safely remove any hydrogen by slow reaction with the oxygen in the compartment. I don't know if it could deal with a fast venting.

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