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Thread: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

  1. #31
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Sounds to me more like a short somewhere, faulty charger would be just a guess. Even if the charger was pumping 3a+ in to a cell, it should not explode. Would of course get quite warm, not enough to cause an explosion(so to speak). Most cells are rated for 3a or higher that are high drain 18650's. If possible a dodgy/fake batch......not unheard of and it happens.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by night.hoodie View Post
    Can someone (ahem, HKJ) please comment on the possible or expected results of charging a cell that should properly be terminated at 4.2V (such as LiMn IMR) that is instead charged to 4.35V?
    As long as it is quality batteries I would not worry about it (I will reduce the cycle life of the battery). [...]
    It is not clear if the above intends to refer to a single overcharge event, or many overcharge events, e.g. always charging 4.20V cells to 4.35V (which is quite dangerous and should be strongly discouraged).

    I don't think we have enough data to judge the consequences of a single (or a few) overcharge events. It is possible that even a single event could cause enough damage that it could greatly increase the probability of later catastrophic failure. But I am not aware of studies that provide any general data on such.

    Better to be safe than sorry. Never overcharge Li-ion cells. That is cardinal rule #1 of Li-ion safety.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Further it is worth emphasis that overcharge behavior can be highly variable even for closely related cells, e.g. compare the overcharge tests below for the Panasonic NCR18650PF vs. NCR18650 PD. This makes it difficult to make general claims about such.


  4. #34

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    wow thanks. If it matters, specifically what I had in mind was to question whether since the higher 4.35V terminating cells need higher current for longer to achieve charge termination, if these factors existed somewhere, would that the combined factors of a current higher than ideal for the lower terminating cell and the extra amount of higher current charge time a charger may apply from its profile for the cell misidentified... cause a cell to incur invisible damage? Could the damage occur fast enough for the concept of thermal runaway to earn its own cool title to differentiate it from other destructive cell events? Thanks for giving me so many answers, many have already satisfied my question asked, and curiosity and confirmed my own suspicions that... "yeah, maybe, who knows? probably," and "depends."

    fwiw I like the vague "sounds more like a short" theory best

    Something happened in the early or middle of the charge cycle and shorted the cell, which is usually how thermal runaway presents. But we literally have nothing to examine here but the OP's memory. Wild theories are less likely to be correct or of value, but at this point, why not indulge in "maybes it was wild cats" or something?
    Last edited by night.hoodie; 03-25-2017 at 11:46 AM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    LiIon batteries are tested with over charge, they must not explode or ignite. Panasonic did make a mistake with the PD cells and fairly fast replaced them with PF (They got too hot when charged with 12V).
    As can be seen on the curves above neither battery has any problem at 4.35V, but only a little bit more and the cells starts heating up.

    I do not recommend charging any LiIon battery to 4.35V* (Except when it is rated for it), but I would not really worry if it happens, instead I would discharge the battery to below 4.2V asap.

    *Most people will probably already figured that out from my charger reviews, I do not like chargers going above 4.25V when 4.20V is selected.
    Last edited by HKJ; 03-25-2017 at 01:28 PM.
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Glad you & your wife are OK. Hopefully this is a good reminder to all of us about the vigilance and care of charging all cells. Also a good reminder that once flames are extinguished and harmful vapors dissipated it is good to keep the batteries and charger(stored unplugged out doors/garage) so that post event study can be done to determine the cause-it is also helpful in gaining reimbursement if items were indeed fake. I keep a "containment bag" as well as a jar of sand in addition to my fire extinguisher on hand when charging(sand is useful in quickly extinguishing flames). I sometimes have 5 or 6 chargers going simultaneously, although I use different switched outlets with power strips so I can cut power at the power strip or from a wall switch if a problem does occur. Thanks to all who have provided excellent feedback regarding possible cause & effect, I love deepening my understanding of charging...

  7. #37
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I've decided to adopt the wall switch strategy. It would have been nice to flip a switch on the wall on the way out and know that the power supply had been cut off. On another note, I bought an Efest charger from a vape shop yesterday. I think the Vape crowd has good success, but I just want to be sure it's not a fake. Can anyone tell from these pictures? I'm somewhat put off by the comics on the back, but I read HKJ's review of the device and its seems ok. Any thoughts?


  8. #38

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I hear about vape-related exploding batteries on a pretty regular basis. This is only the second flashlight-related exploding 18650 I've heard about. I don't think I would generally trust brick and mortar vape shops over reputable flashlight dealers like Illumn and Mountain Electronics when it comes to ensuring that their supply chain doesn't contain fakes.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I took a risk and opened it. Just completed a charge on a used 16650, now it's working on a pair of 18490's. I am a bit confused by the variation in voltage from one cell to the next since these have always been charged and discharged together.


  10. #40
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Per my (limited) experience the cells even if used in pairs, the voltages are not the same.
    Dave
    "two is one, one is none... three or more is fun."

  11. #41
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    FOLLOW UP. RTD made it right and refunded me for the batteries. Understandably, they wanted photos, which I was not able to provide, but when the facts came out they refunded my entire purchase immediately. Good customer service goes a long way!

  12. #42
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Sounds to me like a manufacturing defect with the affected cell. Anyone know the manufacturer of the base cell that would have been re-wrapped by AW?

  13. #43

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Amazon has a special problem. They call it "binning".

    Most folks are unaware that when multiple vendors sell "the same" item on Amazon, Amazon takes the items from all of them and stores them in ONE BIN at each warehouse. So if you buy a popular brand name charger that is available from ten vendors, you have no way to tell which vendor actually supplied the item.

    Amazon has very quietly conceded that they are aware some vendors are supplying COUNTERFEIT GOODS and that binning makes it impossible to tell which goods are counterfeit. So before anyone says the battery vendor supplied counterfeits...There's apparently no way to tell who the actual supplier was, when the goods came from a shared bin on Amazon.

    Amazon's lack of public comment on many issues (scammers, counterfeits, etc.) may eventually come back to bite them. This has been going on for several years, with no publicity from Amazon about the issues or solutions at all. FWIW.

    I've been tempted to do all my charging in a Dutch oven with the lid on, just in case. Except of course, I can't find one big enough for the cell phone and laptop.(G) I have made a point to add a fire detector on the wall above the area where these things are usually recharging at night though.

    Another unpublicized safety item: Ionization type smoke detectors (all the cheap ones) have a working life of 7-10 years, and then a build-up of simple dust and crud from the air usually kills them. They just stop working and don't go off--as I learned after a fire. If you are using a fire detector, please, even if you really do test it from time to time (not the battery test button, but an actual smoke test) THROW IT OUT when it is ten years old. The new ones come with a ten-year battery, making them cheaper to replace than they are to feed batteries.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Crazy world we live in when people will endanger the lives of strangers, go to the trouble to counterfeit items that retail at $5-20 just to make a dollar or too extra profit per transaction.

    I've ordered more than a few items from Edison Bright through Amazon, as well as RTD vape store for Efest IMR cells. Seemed trustworthy, but yah this is a reminder to us all to be cautious. Maybe I'll go scratch off those Efest counterfeit protection codes and check them online.

    The Amazon 'binning' and counterfeits thing is a serious problem, with all sorts of goods. I would normally hesitate to order cells through Amazon, rather stick to a trusted vendor like Illumination Supply (illumn), Battery Junction, LiIon Wholesale, Going Gear, etc.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Thanks, Redd and Joelbnyc. In retrospect, I believe I got the one faulty cell in a million, or perhaps two million. Having said that, however, I will never purchase either batteries or chargers from Amazon, because I've become hyper-vigilant about counterfeit products. I've since replaced my charger and some cells. Actually, one member of this forum graciously donated a charger and a number of proven cells to my cause. No issues since. I hope my experience will remind everyone to take care, to never leave charging cells unattended, and to have a plan of action in case of emergency.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
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  16. #46
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Quote Originally Posted by xdayv View Post
    Per my (limited) experience the cells even if used in pairs, the voltages are not the same.
    Per my limited experience (3*NCR18650B and 2*IMR16340) they charge and discharge with 0.001V precision Very often even display identical voltage on my DMM. All is needed -- same manufacturer, same batch.

    But! I have two Olight RCR123s. One of them was idle and another one got some service. Now they are always out of sync even when I charge them together.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    Unfortunately, I did not take photos. Only one cell vented (and that quite dramatically). The other was in tact, although the wrapper sustained damage from the fire. This is my first experience with a thermal run away, but I've always been the cautious sort. I ordered the batteries from RTD electronics and I inspected them prior to charging. No bulging, discoloration. The wrappers were complete. The initial voltage was 3.74 in one cell and 3.76 in the other. I obtained the NiteCore charger from Amazon. After the fire, I discarded both AW cells along with the charger. The charred remains of the guilty cell appeared almost inside out, splayed open like a hot dog left in the microwave too long. The electrical wiring in the walls is from 2002. I don't think the charger was fake, but the cells are a question mark. I've never used that site before.
    Perhaps, my advice would be considered an overreaction, but any new cell is being charged by my side for the first run. And I touch it and a charger periodically to be sure they don't warm up excessively. And only when I am sure the cell is OK I may leave it to charge unattended. But the first charge always gets supervision! Just my 2 cents

  18. #48

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I had almost similar issue, just I was nearby and reacted quickly and removed battery and thrown it away. What happened, that due to positive pin of charger being a bit longer than it be, and battery wrapper at top end being slightly damaged, when charger heated up, that long positive pin of charger shorted battery positive and negative terminals together. I heard a hissing sound, then see rapid smoke and fire from melting parts, but I've managed to quickly snap out battery from charger, so when short removed, explosion will avoided. I have photos of aftermath somewhere, can post, if anyone interested.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Please please post photos. Thank You for the explanation as to the cause of your mishap.
    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousOne View Post
    I had almost similar issue, just I was nearby and reacted quickly and removed battery and thrown it away. What happened, that due to positive pin of charger being a bit longer than it be, and battery wrapper at top end being slightly damaged, when charger heated up, that long positive pin of charger shorted battery positive and negative terminals together. I heard a hissing sound, then see rapid smoke and fire from melting parts, but I've managed to quickly snap out battery from charger, so when short removed, explosion will avoided. I have photos of aftermath somewhere, can post, if anyone interested.

  20. #50

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I don't know, is there a possibility the cell was just 'old'?

    I recall these 2200mAh AW 18650's being the first li-ions I ever got. They were for Solarforce host running a custom P60 drop-in. This is coming close to 10 years ago now surely so it makes me wonder how long and in what conditions the culprit cell was stored - I saw mention of 2002 somewhere back in the thread; should a cell that has been sitting idle for 15 odd years even be considered for sale, let alone use!?


    EDIT: LOL man am I tired!! The wiring in the walls was from 2002...anyway...I don't think there would be much demamd for these older cells anymore, surely...?? If that's so, there's still a chance these have been sitting around doing nothing for a good number of years. Food for thought..
    Last edited by Dio; 10-22-2017 at 05:08 AM.

  21. #51

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I have this exact battery which I use with a ProVari Provape that's about 5 years old, my charger is a Tenergy TN270. I've never had a problem using this specific battery, I use it because it was part of a package deal and the charger also.

    To be be safe I always use a lipo-bag and don't let them sit overnight on the charger. Charging LIPOs when I'm at work is always a concern too since my retriever is here and don't want a house fire.

    I was going to buy some 18650s Panasonics from Edisonbright through Amazon but this is a concern of they aren't monitoring their suppliers - I ended up going with some from 2300s olight since those work well with the device.
    Last edited by blueridgeman; 11-22-2017 at 07:15 PM.

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    My old Samsung Mp3 player, the warning is a bit rough, this from around 2012 pre Note 8.



    John.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    A related PSA...

    I went to home depot and bought a few 6x6 ceramic floor tiles (a good ceramic dinner plate would do as well).
    They cost about $3 each.

    My chargers now sit on a ceramic tile as an additional precaution to limit any overheating or fire damage. Even if a charger goes up, the tile isn't going to catch and neither is the surface under the tile.
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  24. #54
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Quote Originally Posted by zespectre View Post
    A related PSA...

    I went to home depot and bought a few 6x6 ceramic floor tiles (a good ceramic dinner plate would do as well).
    They cost about $3 each.

    My chargers now sit on a ceramic tile as an additional precaution to limit any overheating or fire damage. Even if a charger goes up, the tile isn't going to catch and neither is the surface under the tile.
    I use to leave my battery charger in the center of my cooker hob when i had to leave it alone for any leanth of time.

    John.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

  25. #55

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    I was thinking an old toaster oven would be a safe place to recharge batteries .

  26. #56

    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Yikes !

    I'll stick with the the lower power less volatile NimH battery.
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  27. #57
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

    Laptop explodes in Letchworth office



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z9190ruyIM
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

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