Death by charging Li-ion battery explosion

Gauss163

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Sadly, a German man was killed yesterday by projectile fired into his chest from “a regular charger for two AA batteries”. A reminder that even "regular" battery charging can sometimes be dangerous. There is not yet any further info on the make/model of the batteries or charger.

Update: reports in the German press claim that it was Li-ion batteries, and that the explosion produced shrapnel that penetrated his heart (thanks to Kilovolt for the German search keywords). Probably they were 18650 cells.
 
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parametrek

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

This is as far as I know without precedent. Maybe it was a wrong battery/charger combo? Lithium L91 (non-rechargeable primary) in a li-ion charger could probably make fireworks.
 

Kilovolt

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

The Bild says it was a charger for two AA lithium batteries which would mean 14500's.
 

Gauss163

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

The Bild says it was a charger for two AA lithium batteries which would mean 14500's.

That would certainly be more likely. Could you please give a link, since the Google search I did when I originally posted this thread still fails to find any mention of Lithium or Li-ion batteries in reports on this incident.
 

markr6

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/man-germany-killed-aa-battery-charger-explodes-57356604
Abbenseth said the device that exploded was "a regular charger for two AA batteries" of the kind used in small electronic devices such as radios. He said the cause of the explosion was still being investigated and wasn't immediately able to name the make or model of the charging device.

Not to belittle the police spokesman (Abbenseth), but not everyone is a battery expert, or flashaholic! He probably got information about the general size of the batteries, which are basically impossible for your everyday user to differentiate between AA alkaline, lithium, and 14500 Li-Ion.

Crazy either way!! That would take some serious force. But who knows, maybe he had a health condition to begin with.
 

Gauss163

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

@markr6 Yes, that's the same as the article I linked in the original post from AP. Perhaps the cops remark "the kind used in small electronic devices such as radios" was meant to distinguish the cells from more common NiMh AAs (and something may have been lost in translation).
 

markr6

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

@markr6 Yes, that's the same as the article I linked in the original post from AP. Perhaps the cops remark "the kind used in small electronic devices such as radios" was meant to distinguish the cells from more common NiMh AAs (and something may have been lost in translation).

I'm sure they intended that to mean the size, but we can't really assume they know the difference since most people have no idea that there is a li-ion equivalent to standard AAs.
 

Kilovolt

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

That would certainly be more likely. Could you please give a link, since the Google search I did when I originally posted this thread still fails to find any mention of Lithium or Li-ion batteries in reports on this incident.


Bild says a charger for two lithium batteries:

https://www.bild.de/regional/hambur...ing-das-geraet-in-die-luft-56841782.bild.html


I suggest you Google 'akku ladegerat' and then 'News' and you get several other sources.
 

Szemhazai

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

The quote is :
ZH220_E.jpg

Ein Ladegerät dieser Art soll in dem Bürogebäude explodiert sein
Google translate => A charger of its kind to be exploded in the office building

This is ZH220E Smart 2 Slot LED Display Micro USB 5V that you can get from gearbest:
https://www.gearbest.com/chargers/pp_1383040.html

I think that most probably poor guy put there lithium primary cells from his mouse or similar device.
 

markr6

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

I saw that photo. I figured they just grabbed something similar online, not that exact one. But I can't say for sure. There's so many that look alike now, you never know. Regardless, a primary battery in a charger...never tried it!
 

Gauss163

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

I think that most probably poor guy put there lithium primary cells from his mouse or similar device.

News articles claim that the explosion occurred in a "Solar technology" company, so the employee might have been a techie, so possibly more informed about Li-ion safety than a random layperson, i.e. less likely to make such a novice mistake.
 

Szemhazai

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

I was working in a power tools company for some time, everybody knows about liion, nimh, nicd, lipo, lifepo... Everybody get their Air's and mouse sets - one day I saw that one charger was flashing yellow (ERROR) so I've checked whats going on - guess what was in the charger :grin2:
 

Gauss163

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

^^^ Yes, people do mistakenly charge primary cells. But also Li-ion cells can explode while charging. Without any further details we can only speculate which is more likely. Hopefully they'll release more details so that we can learn something from this incident, e.g. possibly there is a defective charger or bad batch of cells, so we can warn others about such defects.
 

Modernflame

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Re: Death by charging AA battery explosion

Crazy either way!! That would take some serious force. But who knows, maybe he had a health condition to begin with.

Terribly tragic. A pre-existing health condition is unlikely. The caption under the photo on Bild says he's 26. Later in the article, it says he succumbed to his wounds on his 27th birthday!
 
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