An anthology of lithium-chemistry failures in flash lights

Gauss163

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they are computers and can do a lot of analysis and show information about the battery. This is not necessary to keep the battery safe.
My Bosch cordless drill with LiIon batteries does not have all this stuff, but I expect that it is safe anyway.

Again, no one claimed that fuel gauges are required for protection. Why do you keep posting such strawman arguments? This only serves to divert the discussion from the important matters at hand.
 
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tandem

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For those following along the US National Fire Protection Association has in this white paper a useful summary of UL, IEEE, and IEC standards relevant to consumer electronics.

Some standards pertain to the physical characteristics and response of individual cells (interesting to us of course) while others are more concerned about multiple-cell systems.

HKJ, I don't eye my multi-cell lithium-ion powered tools with contempt or fear either, although I do stay on top of safety recall notices from their makers. Those tools have a less sophisticated battery management system than a laptop but are made somewhat safer through the use of alternate chemistries. Still I do store them in a metal cabinet when not in use because one never knows.
 

HKJ

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Again, no one claimed that fuel gauges etc are required for protection. Why do you keep posting such strawman arguments?

I did not write anything about fuel gauges.

Why do you post references to a book that is about laptop battery packs?
And to chips that are used in laptop battery packs?

Also comments like this makes my suspect that you are referring to laptops:

"Various international standards are followed by all reputable laptop manufacturers. These standards have played a major role in greatly improving the safety of laptop battery systems."
 

ChrisGarrett

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@tandem What precisely do you mean by a "known good" charger, light or cell, and how do you certify it as "known good"?

HKJ thoroughly tests out chargers, so many of us pay attention to his testing reviews.

He doesn't do lights, so we're in the dark there.

He does test batteries and cells, but he doesn't really do any long term testing, which I believe is more germane to a cell's 'safety,' than short capacity type tests, although I think that a reasonable person could assume that a well testing cell made by a manufacturer with a proven track record in the field, will be indicative of a safely operating cell over the life of that (those) cell(s.)

Chris
 

HKJ

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HKJ, I don't eye my multi-cell lithium-ion powered tools with contempt or fear either ....

but are made somewhat safer through the use of alternate chemistries.

Not that alternate, it might be IMR chemistry in most tools, but not LiFePO4.
Today a "top of the line" tool will probably use one of the 2500mAh cells that can deliver 20A or more. This type of cells are not completely safe, due to the high current they can deliver, but they are not hand grenades either.
 

Gauss163

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I did not write anything about fuel gauges.

Then what do you mean by your remark

they are computers and can do a lot of analysis and show information about the battery. This is not necessary to keep the battery safe
How is that remark relevant to the present discussion?
 
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HKJ

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Then what do you mean by "they are computers and can do a lot of analysis and show information about the battery. This is not necessary to keep the battery safe.", and how is that remark relevant to the present discussion?

Yes, that is mostly handled by the fuel gauge IC.
You forgot to comment on the rest of my statements about you bringing laptops into the discussion.
 

tandem

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@tandem What precisely do you mean by a "known good" charger, light or cell, and how do you certify it as "known good"?

Before answering that question, how does Lenovo (or HP or Sony or Dell or Apple or Toshiba or ...) determine what components to use in their laptop battery packs and battery management systems?

Let's assume they design, specify, acquire, and test components and vet suppliers. They test their own finished product of course. Even still, stuff happens and packs or power cords or chargers or entire products are implicated in fires and failures and injuries or are recalled before truly bad stuff happens.

In contrast, while very few here are involved in actual light design, specifying, acquiring, and testing is done in abundance. When components come up short those findings get shared.

In a perfect world failures of any consumer electronic or electrical product would not make it to market yet some continue to end up in consumer hands despite UL, IEC, IEEE, CSA, RoHS, CE and so on. At least in communities like this one, findings get into the hands of end-users willing to take the trouble to protect themselves.

No matter, we do our own investigations here, even if some of the product components might have legitimate standards compliance markings on them.

Cells have been unwrapped, protection circuits and materials employed examined, faults highlighted. Reliability of supply sources are discussed regularly and the good become institutions while the bad become jokes that sadly don't always fade from memory. Chargers are looked at under a microscope. We've seen lights crush tested, examined for Ingress Protection, current draw, over-discharge protection, mechanical stability, reliability, and thermal performance.

There are established makers putting out products that have stood the test of time, and there are newer makers who very clearly are interested in improving their products sometimes based on feedback from various CPF members.

We are our own systems integrators here which means of course that individual results will vary. Some will take into account the breadth of information available here, some won't. Some will place safety as their most important design criteria, others won't. Those who are price focussed above all else sometimes will not take good advice.

I wish the wall warts in all our homes got as much scrutiny as many of the products discussed here on CPF.
 

Gauss163

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Gauss163 said:
Then what do you mean by "they are computers and can do a lot of analysis and show information about the battery. This is not necessary to keep the battery safe.", and how is that remark relevant to the present discussion?

Yes, that is mostly handled by the fuel gauge IC.

Ok, then I presume we can ignore your prior contradictory claim that you "did not write anything about fuel gauges".

You forgot to comment on the rest of my statements about you bringing laptops into the discussion.

I'm still waiting for your reply to my earlier question, i.e. why do you think that your remarks about non-protective analytical capabilities such as fuel gauges has any relevance to the present discussion? If your viewpoint is based on a misunderstanding of prior arguments, then it is best to first address that matter before moving on to other matters that may simply be consequences of misunderstandings.

By the way, for the record, it was not I who first injected laptops into the discussion - that occurred in the OP of the recent discussion on safety.
 

Bullzeyebill

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Guys, let's attack the post not the poster. Keep the postings civil so that this thread can move on. Be good if the discussion does not go too far off topic. The title of this thread is: An anthology of lithium-chemistry failures in flash lights.

Bill
 

ChrisGarrett

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Guys, let's attack the post not the poster. Keep the postings civil so that this thread can move on. Be good if the discussion does not go too far off topic. The title of this thread is: An anthology of lithium-chemistry failures in flash lights.

Bill

My unsolicited opinion would be to delete all of the posts, mine included, after the OP and put it in the 'Smoke/Fire' sub forum and tack it to the top, allowing the OP to somehow add to it?

If you want to delete my rants from this thread, to clean it up, fire away.

Chris
 

Bullzeyebill

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I'm going to keep this thread open if it mostly relates to the OP's thread title, and members are not breaking CPF Rule 4. Look up those rules. At some point if the content of this thread improves relative to the OP's post #1 it may be moved to the Smoke and Fire sub forum. At this point most of the posts are a rehashing of threads that can be found in the SMOKE and FIRE sub forum. Those wanting to discuss laptop batteries, and other products using rechargeable lithium batteries, can start their own thread.

Bill
 
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HKJ

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Ok, then I presume we can ignore your prior contradictory claim that you "did not write anything about fuel gauges".

You can ignore it and answer some of the other questions, but that does not change the fact that I did not write about fuel gauges.

I'm still waiting for your reply to my earlier question, i.e. why do you think that your remarks about non-protective analytical capabilities such as fuel gauges has any relevance to the present discussion? If your viewpoint is based on a misunderstanding of prior arguments, then it is best to first address that matter before moving on to other matters that may simply be consequences of misunderstandings.

By the way, for the record, it was not I who first injected laptops into the discussion - that occurred in the OP of the recent discussion on safety.


You started talking about laptops in this discussion, it is you job to explain the relevance to flashlight. If you believe I am misunderstanding you, why do you not address that immediately with an extended explanation?
 

Gauss163

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@HKJ Let's not engage in fruitless arguments about semantics (fyi: the laptop battery battery subsystem that you refer to as doing "a lot of analysis and show information about the battery" is widely called the fuel gauge). But, again, I have no clue why you think that discussion of such is relevant here, since no one made the argument that laptop batteries are safer due to such analytical functions. Rather, these arguments have mentioned other fault-tolerant protective mechanisms not implemented in standalone chargers, as well as other salient differences, e.g. that much more attention is given to safety factors in the design of laptop battery systems, e.g. use of comprehensive fault-tree analysis / FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis).

I am not aware of these stringent safety measures being employed in any standalone consumer-grade charger. It is simply not economically feasible at that price point. Indeed, for example, Opus couldn't even afford to spend $0.50 for a better fan in the BT-C3100. Who know what faults may occur when components overheat due to failure of the fan, FETs, etc. Probably no one knows (not even Opus), since no one has done a comprehensive fault-tree / FEMA analysis. Caveat emptor!

In any case, since there has been talk of closing the thread if it drifts too far off topic, I suggest that we move discussion of safety comparison with laptops to the other ongoing thread about safety, where it is undoubtedly on-topic, being in the OP.
 
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dc38

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This is a chemistry failure related thread, is it not? I think that cell analysis equipment is quite helpful in preventing such failures. (Also, i think your usage of "semantics" is improper here, as you were the only one discussing what HKJ meant about 'fuel gauges')
 

Bullzeyebill

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Guys, let's attack the post not the poster. Keep the postings civil so that this thread can move on. Be good if the discussion does not go too far off topic. The title of this thread is: An anthology of lithium-chemistry failures in flash lights.

Bill

Gentlemen (women too?) please stop criticizing each over nit picky issues, including semantics. This thread is falling apart. Looks like my post has not been read. or is being ignored.



Bill
 
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SmokinH

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My friend had a c2 blow up on him with all stock surefire items in it ie p60 drop in and 2 surefire cr123 batteries. He wwas lucky he just got from the incident.
 

CuriousOne

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I also had battery explosion with flashlight.

I've got Streamlight Super TAC IR flashlight. Primary batteries run expensive, so I bought two unprotected, noname 16340 cells from Amazon. Charged them with Xtar WP6, inserted into flashlight and went to balcony to check how it works with rechargeables instead of primaries. After couple of seconds, flashlight started blinking and getting warm. I've unscrewed the cap and heard hissing coming from battery. I've took it out and throw away as far as possible, from balcony. It was about to land on earth, when there was loud POP, battery emitted flames, like rocket engine and it flied about 30 ft upwards!

Flashlight electronics was dead, LED itself was OK.
 
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