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my HD45 got really hot! Overheated CR123

Fringe

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
996
Man this thread is disconcerting and makes me want to sell all my two cell lights! Please say it isn't so.
 

Fringe

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
996
I don't know anything about that. I still have yet to get much into the object that powers my addiction.
 

kennyj

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
395
Location
Orlando, FL
All this talk of battery issues is making me fear my 2x18650 WA1111 Maglite...

Although, I've had the first battery get quite hot in that sucker several times, and I've gone through several dozen cycles with two sets of LG Chem 18650s and haven't had any problems yet.

I agree with the notion that it's likely a QC issue. The popularity of CR123A-powered devices is skyrocketing, in large part due to flashlights... the fact that you can get several CR123A-powered lights at Wally World and Target now, in addition to the increasing popularity of things-not-made-by-Maglite with fire and police, means that there's going to be more and more competition and that there's going to be more and more effort to bring manufacturing costs down. They ain't just for flashaholics anymore.
 

cmacclel

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
5,018
Location
Sweden
What I Don't understand is that I thought all these Lithiums had PTC protection. If the PTC worked then how can the cells got hot enough to melt the heatshrink covering or even worse vent from being overheated? If the PTC's worked we would'nt have to worry about anything.

Mac
 

ouchmyfinger

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
265
Location
nyc
cmacclel said:
What I Don't understand is that I thought all these Lithiums had PTC protection. If the PTC worked then how can the cells got hot enough to melt the heatshrink covering or even worse vent from being overheated? If the PTC's worked we would'nt have to worry about anything.

Mac

see this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/115844&highlight=PTC

While I don't really claim to understand exactly what NewBie did, he seems convinced that many batteries have their PTCs somewhat damaged by the manufacturer in order to squeeze a little more juice out of the cells.

edit: I can't keep all his threads straight, there is also another that goes into more detail on this issue with primaries.
 
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kennyj

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
395
Location
Orlando, FL
That's actually really scary... and stupid. Don't they realize it's only a matter of time before people start getting hurt, and retaliate with class-action lawsuits?
 

NewBie

*Retired*
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
4,944
Location
Oregon- United States of America
I don't know that I can buy the cell wrapper shrinking causing the battery to get blazing hot.

I've not seen this shrinking to this extent, happening on other cells.

The shrinking was probably an aftermath type thing, once the cell got hot. The battery wrapper does shrink with heat, but I can say I've seen it split like that, or shrink to that extent before, even with all my testing I have seen. The shrink amount may be different with this brand cells.

The temperature to make this stuff shrink is typically extremely high, so I can just imagine how hot that cell was that you could not hold!

Most likely, the cell got hot, and then the wrapper shrunk.

Also, consider the wrapper itself has a thickness. I am seeing 5-7 mils thick on a few I have here. This would actually provide a physical barrier, even if it split.

Example:
123shrk.png



Does the HD45 also have a coating on the inside of it's barrel, which would also provide a likely insulator, on top of the physical barrier cause by the wrapper thickness?

If something goes wrong within a Lithium Primary, or a Lithium Secondary cell, the PTC is not going to do much good at all. All the PTC can do is interrupt the external load by increasing in resistance. If you abuse a cell (or even if you don't), and something happens internal to the cell, there isn't much that mechanical, chemical, or electrical protection can do. Basically things are SOL, and take cover.

This is especially important for Lithium Secondaries, aka Lithium-Ion, Li-Ion, 18650, ICR17735, r123, and others. Why is it more important? You keep using them, over and over, and if there is some sort of damage, such as discharging them too low, discharging them beyond their 1 to 2C ratings (many of the small r123 cells have a 1 or 1.6C rating on the datasheet (with only a few that are specified for 2C) -ahem, when the reseller is willing to provide it...), over-charge, charge at too fast a rate, got too hot on the dashboard of a car, mechanical damage (small dent on body), etc. later on, you keep cycling the cell, increasing the likelyhood of a problem.

BTW, personally I'm not likely purchase any Lithium Secondary cell where the original manufacturer's datasheets are not provided. This is especially important with cells comming out of China, as their specifications vary widely, and one *must* run the cells within their specifications, or you are in fact abusing it.

One of the better spec'd r123 Li-Ion cell's datasheets is found here, and I noted a few things on it:
http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/r123.doc

If you are going to switch to Li-Ion, I'd encourage folks to brush up on things, found in this thread:
http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=106242&page=1&pp=40
 

k-2

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
41
Just catching up on the primary lithium threads.

I've twice seen the type of wrapper shrinkage that nakahoshi shows on his Titanium cell. I loaded my PT Surge with 6 new Energizer AA L91 lithiums (and 2 dummy AA's - the bulb would blow with >6 L91's. Also, the dummys were correctly placed, one on each side, given that the holder is 4 series x 2), and perhaps 2 weeks later, I removed the battery pack while playing around. All of the cells had severe wrapper shrinkage
wtfsign.gif
, exposing the underlying metal, just as in nakahoshi's picture. The light was indoors the whole time, ambient temperature <80 degrees F, not exposed to sunlight. The longest that I ran the light with those batteries was less than a minute at a time, probably not more than 5 minutes total. The light never got hot to my knowledge. The light still worked at full brightness when I noticed the wrapper shrinkage. The only thing I could think of at the time was that the L91's did not like to be kept in an airtight container (the PT Surge is dive rated to 500 feet). Since lithium primaries give off a distinct smell, it seems logical to me that they give off a "gas" constantly, although I would guess that it would reach some sort of equilibrium within the light. This equilibrium would be at a higher pressure in a dive rated light vs. a light such as a Surefire. Perhaps the increased pressure somehow caused the wrapper shrinkage (or battery bulging)?
icon3.gif
The light has since been loaded with alkalines and put in my car. The light and alkaline batteries work fine, almost one year later.

The other time was recently, when I loaded my Elektrolumens "My Little Friend" 3 x lux3 LED light with 4 new Energizer AAA L92 lithiums. I left it on for 2 hours straight to observe runtime and brightness. It did get hot, but I could always hold it. Ambient temperature was <80 degrees F. When I took the batteries out of the holder, one of the batteries had severe wrapper shrinkage, exposing the underlying metal. It was not any warmer than the other batteries, and none of them were hot. Sorry, I did not test its voltage.

I've never seen this with NiMH batteries, and I have run an Osram 64623 12v 100w bulb for over 10 minutes straight in a 3D Mag with 12 4/5A's. It got so hot that the black plastic inner ring on the switch itself melted, (Kiu socket, Mag switch) jamming the switch. The only way to turn it off was to unscrew the end cap. IT WAS HOT! But the batteries were fine.

Just my observations. Hopefully this will stimulate more discussion. For instance, heat may be a reasonble explanation for the Titanium and L92 wrapper shrinkage. But what about the L91's in the PT Surge. Is the airtightness of the PT Surge the cause? If so, the Surefire battery holders certainly are airtight and water proof, although to what depth? I will leave the explanations to the experts.
stupid.gif
 

nakahoshi

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
1,083
Location
Dulles VA
I would contact energizer and get there take on the situation! I have sence moved to Li-Ions.
 
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