Putting devices powered by Batteries Plus cells in your mouth?

DoctorMemory

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The Olight T20 New Tactical 380 Lumen XP-G2LED Flashlight (hereinafter the “Olight flashlight”) is a handheld flashlight which measures approximately 5 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches and weighs approximately 2.08 ounces. 12.The Olight flashlight requires two lithium metal batteries in order to operate. 13.Prior to the incident at issue, the Olight flashlight was sold online at Amazon.com and other online retailers. 14.Mr. Joyner owned and used the above-described Olight flashlight model for several years. 15.Mr. Joyner’s Olight flashlight was powered by two Nuon brand batteries manufactured and sold by Batteries Plus. 16.On the evening of November 6, 2017, Mr. Joyner pulled into the parking lot of Lowe’s home improvement store in Bradley, Illinois to inspect his vehicle for possible problems. 17. Mr. Joyner began inspectinghis vehicle underneath the automobile’s hood and subsequently placed his Olight Flashlight in his mouth. 18.Shortly thereafter, the Nuon batteries inside the Olight Flashlight exploded in Mr. Joyner’s mouth, causing the flashlight to become lodged in the back of his throat. 19.The explosion caused fatal injuries which led to Mr. Joyner’s death at approximately 8:30 p.m. on November 8, 2017.

http://drmemory.com/Olight/Lawsuit.pdf :duh2:
 
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archimedes

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Re: Putting Batteries Plus cells in your mouth?

Also, OP, would you mind adjusting your thread title to better clarify the situation described.

It currently seems to erroneously imply that the batteries were not contained within the flashlight.
 

DoctorMemory

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Re: Putting Batteries Plus cells in your mouth?

Also, OP, would you mind adjusting your thread title to better clarify the situation described.

It currently seems to erroneously imply that the batteries were not contained within the flashlight.


Done. I'd still suggest not putting them in you mouth whether ala carte or in some device. The problem here wasn't the Olight's.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Re: Putting Batteries Plus cells in your mouth?

This story sounds like one posted awhile ago. IIRC, the problem may not have anything to do with the flashlight's lithium-ion battery. It might have been because he short-circuited the car battery with the metal light. Something like that.

Anyway, regardless of the real cause, it's probably best not to put anything in your mouth that isn't safe.
 

Kestrel

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Re: Putting Batteries Plus cells in your mouth?

I'm not convinced that these were a pair of LiIon cells ? I see that Batteries Plus sells multiple Nuon SKU's including both CR123 primaries & LiIon rechargeables.

As the user had a failure from a pair of cells during use, that could indicate a pair of mismatched/defective CR123's - LiIons tend to fail during charging, and while Cr123's are extraordinarily safe when used individually, there have been numerous incidents of severe failure when used in series.
 

archimedes

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Agree, I had read "lithium metal batteries" as primaries, which would indeed be more likely to fail in the stated manner.
 

Kestrel

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I confess to having two minds on the matter; on one hand, with quality US-mfg CR123's so easily available, I have little sympathy for any part of the supply chain representing China-mfg CR123's. In fact, long ago I ran into a few Nuon CR123's myself; after reading reviews on them, I was pretty happy to burn through them & get back to quality cells. It's been a while, but I seem to recall that some of the imported cells didn't have the extent of integral safety devices that US-mfg CR123's do.

But if you read through the entire .PDF (I read pretty fast so not an issue), the legal complaint is (of course! :rolleyes:) extremely broad in reach, and would condemn any CR123 due to its defective design, and the fact that safer designs were available (perhaps 1.7v Lithium Primaries or even single 18650 IMR's ?). I of course would have a significant issue with that perspective, lol.
 
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DoctorMemory

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I have read all the posts here, very interesting. If you look at the manual for the T20 (see http://DrMemory.com/Olight) you'll see it requires "Two CR123A lithium batteries or RCR123 rechargeable batteries" so their was no 18650 in use. I doubt he picked up a pair of RCR123 so we can assume he had CR123A cells.

Now a CR123A should be a much, much safer cell than an 18650. The CR123As are not known for just sitting there and suddenly having a thermal runaway like an 18650 or other Li-ion cells. They can't fail during recharge because they aren't rechargeable. And the CR123A doesn't have a flammable liquid electrolyte like an 18650. So I've always thought of lithium metal primary cells like the CR123A to be very safe and stable, and will be ready to use after ten years on the shelf.

But you folks say putting two CR123As in series has caused accidents. Interesting! I certainly can see why paralleling two primary cells is a very bad idea. But I had no idea that putting them in series would be a problem. I can't think how this could happen -- not saying it didn't, just saying it puzzles me. Are accidents also found when putting Lithium primary cells in series such as AA or AAA lithium metal cells? I have many devices with 2 or 3 or 6 AA in series, some lithium, some alkaline. Are they safe?

So, let's see. I have two CR123A cells in series connected to a load. If one is defective and is a dead short -- the light will try to light up on 1/2 voltage, and if it does it will pull no more than a typical current through the good and bad cells. Let's say the bad cell is open or at a high resistance. Light just wouldn't work. Defective cell at half voltage -- both cells would run under the typical current.

So how's this supposed to work out from an engineering explanation?

The only way that two series cells can blow up that I am aware of is to have the outer wrapper tear on the top cell. The outer jacket of the top stacked cell is connected to the (+) terminal on the lower cell. When the case of the lower cell is connected to the flashlight tube (typical) and then the upper cell shorts to the flashlight tube, it will get nasty.
 

DoctorMemory

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the legal complaint is (of course! :rolleyes:) extremely broad in reach, and would condemn any CR123 due to its defective design, and the fact that safer designs were available .

I believe they were going to also sue God for making us with eyes that need light, the sun for leaving for the night. But seriously, you are correct that the suit will sue anybody and everybody, only costs a few bucks to get them served. Sometimes it's just plain overkill. Sometimes the proximate cause of the accident may be a surprise and you'd best make sure you are suing anyone who could possibly be at fault.
 

LED Monkey

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It does happen! It happened to me with 2x cr123 primary batteries in series in a flashlight (not in my mouth thank God) while i was holding it in my hand with the light turned on and I was outside with no body behind the light where most of the energy blew out of the light. You could see there was a lot of heat generated with a loud bang and smoke. I now use 1x 16650 li-ion in that light, yes the light survived and works again after replacing the tail cap switch.
 

archimedes

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.... I had no idea that putting them in series would be a problem.... Are accidents also found when putting Lithium primary cells in series such as AA or AAA lithium metal cells? I have many devices with 2 or 3 or 6 AA in series, some lithium, some alkaline. Are they safe? .... So how's this supposed to work out from an engineering explanation? ....

There are many threads on CPF discussing this in detail.

Extremely brief and oversimplified explanation = mismatched cells in series can lead to reverse charging. And bad things happen when primary cells are reverse charged.
 

Dan O.

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So, let's see. I have two CR123A cells in series connected to a load. If one is defective and is a dead short -- the light will try to light up on 1/2 voltage, and if it does it will pull no more than a typical current through the good and bad cells. Let's say the bad cell is open or at a high resistance. Light just wouldn't work. Defective cell at half voltage -- both cells would run under the typical current.

So how's this supposed to work out from an engineering explanation?


You seem to have the misconception that a constant current drive circuit will draw a constant current from the batteries. The constant current drive delivers a constant current to the LED. Since the LED will consume a constant power at a fixed current input, the high efficiency driver must extract a constant power from the battery. As the battery voltage drops, the current that the battery must deliver to maintain constant power must increase (watts = amps * volts). When one cell in a series goes bad it’s not just a dead short (v = 0) but creates a resistive load in series with the good battery. The voltage across the pair can be much less than the normal voltage that one battery would supply but the driver still demands constant power so the current goes way up. Unless the driver has a safety limit it could present a near short across the battery stack and thus dumping the energy of the good cell into reverse charging the defective cell. When this happens it goes boom.
 
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