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UL Targets Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

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Jim_E
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Platinum
I'm trying to avoid them....
Jim_E   8/6/2013 9:22:12 AM
While our cell phones, laptops and tables have them, I'm trying to avoid Lithium-Ion batteries elsewhere.  I'm a bit of a LED flashlight junkie, but I've avoided any that take the more powerful 18650 and 14500 Lithium-Ion batteries after reading about over-charging and over-discharging fires!

I'd love to have the extra power, but it's not worth the risk for me, especially if I can't just charge the things unattended.  Maybe I just need to build a concrete charging hood and place it on my granite countertops....

I'll just stick to AA and AAA for now until something better comes along that doesn't have the propensity to explode and catch fire.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: lithium-ion battrey fires
Charles Murray   8/5/2013 6:23:48 PM
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Up to now, the problem has been one of underestimating the potential overheating issues involving lithium-ion, Gorksi. This is a trap that has snared a few engineers. Better testing methods, particularly those that consider internal shorts, should help. The question is how many of the makers of big li-ion battery packs -- like those used in autos and aircraft -- will take advantage of this.  

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Suprised UL is not already involved
Charles Murray   8/5/2013 6:16:24 PM
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Naperlou, UL previously had standards covering battery packs for portable applications using all kinds of cell chemistries, including lithium-ion. What's new here is that UL is creating an internal short circuit test method for inclusion in the lithium battery safety standardc UL 1642. This addresses the problem that has been written about a lot -- internal short circuits related to separator failure.  

Gorski
User Rank
Platinum
lithium-ion battrey fires
Gorski   8/5/2013 3:50:47 PM
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Since there have been a spate of lithium-ion battery fires lately, I was surprised that UL is just now geting into the act. The overheating must have shown up before. Every battry made until now has not been perfect. Who was hiding this overheating problem, and why?

Gorski
User Rank
Platinum
lithium-ion battrey fires
Gorski   8/5/2013 3:50:37 PM
Since there have been a spate of lithium-ion battery fires lately, I was surprised that UL is just now geting into the act. The overheating must have shown up before. Every battry made until now has not been perfect. Who was hiding this overheating problem, and why?

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Suprised UL is not already involved
naperlou   8/5/2013 9:15:35 AM
Chuvk, frankly, I am suprised that UL has not been involved in lithium-ion battery certification before now.  It seems that we have to have problems before it is decided that it would be good to have a third party certification.  With laptop batteries it took fire in some Apple laptops to get this going.  With cars and planes, again it seems that we needed fires before this was done.  Considering that the volatility of the chemistry was known at the start, this seems short sighted.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
A Good Vent
tekochip   8/5/2013 9:03:06 AM
Having recently been injured by a lithium battery explosion, I think a good vent
is important in the cell.  These cells build up pressure so rapidly that there
needs to be a means of safely releasing the pressure safely, not explosively.

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