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18650 Battery Safety

Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by TheDudeNextDoor, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    This is a controlled short that shows what can happen when an 18650 shorts out. I'm not suggesting this WILL happen, just illustrating that these batteries pack a lot of power, and you want to take precautions to insure something like this doesn't happen. The first and most important step is to be certain your battery cells are legit (i.e., OEM with quality control) and that you use and charge correctly. Not trying to scare anyone. It's just important to know what can happen with faulty batteries and/or incorrect usage.

    Click to play YouTube Video


    Edit: Hopefully I am not breaking a rule by specifically talking about battery safety here. Would that fall into the "no discussion of internal elements"?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
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  2. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

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    There is no rule against discussing internal elements. Some manufacturers don't like it but there is nothing to prevent it.

    I gather that you are thinking of this rule:
    • If you have a question or comment regarding material safety, post it in General Discussion. Do not post it in a model thread.

    Again, we don't forbid discussing anything, we just ask that the discussion not disrupt model threads.
     
  3. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    Yes, that was the rule I was considering. Thanks for the clarification.
     
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  4. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

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    No point in scaring folks inside a vendor thread when it applies to all battery devices. I will be first to admit that batteries need to be treated with respect.

    I have a phone battery that is 3 times its proper thickness, but hasn't pierced yet. I'm not sure how to dispose of it safely...

    I actually don't even like touching it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
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  5. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    My point was not to scare anyone but to answer the question "What do you mean by 'blow up'?"
     
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  6. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

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    Oh no, I understand. Not criticizing. That is valuable info.
     
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  7. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

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    I didn't think you were trying to scare anyone intentionally, but you have to admit that could be a bit frightening to someone completely new to Li-ion batteries.
     
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  8. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    Absolutely agreed, which is why I prefaced the video. But it is kind of hard to define "blow up" any more specifically without using an example, other than just providing synonyms.
     
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  9. Joel W.

    Joel W. Deplorable Basement Dweller Accessory Maker

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    This video actually makes me feel a tiny bit better about 18650's. I was waiting for the explosion but really it just vented quickly to where it produced thrust like a rocket engine over a few minutes time. Seal that inside a metal/plastic container with no vents and look out though!
     
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  10. Jokermachine

    Jokermachine Well-Blown Member

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    Pro mountain biker Mark Weir lost most of his home to fire due to a li-on battery charging failure. I charge mine in a covered cooking pot with the lid slightly raised in case of off gassing and store them in the same type of pot. (Making sure the ends are insulated) I Once left one on my nice oak hutch and it leaked some chemical and ruined the wood finish. So be really careful and also stick with a major brands like panasonic. Mine were cheap trust fires.
     
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  11. RastaBuddhaTao

    RastaBuddhaTao Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    Wow what a great thread! The 18650 is what is in all laptops. The 18650 is what is in every laptop and they make billions of them every year and e-cig industry stole it. Sony wasn't happy because of the liability if used incorrectly as @TheDudeNextDoor pointed out but to @pakalolo point that is an extreme case. There are safer chemistries out there now I recommend IMR which are the safest to date to my knowledge. Things like monitoring the charge and discharge voltage, using batteries in matched pairs and rotating after each use if in series, monitoring charge and discharge voltage and appropriate storage, and not over charging over discharging are good for battery health. As long as you find a quality battery from a reputable source you shouldn't have any problems. Most of the battery safety issues that I have read about have been with stacked batteries on a totally unregulated DIY e-cig build with battery chemistries other than IMR.

    When handled correctly they are an amazing fast and powerful battery with the best energy density on the market thus the movement in the power tool and other portable tool industry.

    With all that said I would like to work to devise a standard set of test that would be utilized to ensure lots of batteries are safe. What would everyone like to see? I was thinking over current, over voltage, over temp, reverse polarity, wrapper abrasion, puncture resistant, contact surface scrape test... any others? any that are a waste of time? I buy large quantities wholesale and would like to devise a set of test to qualify a new battery and then a set of quality checks for future lots and would like the input of some users
     
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  12. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

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    You and @CentiZen should talk.
     
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  13. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    well, for me, it is LiFePO4 chemistry, and A123Systems cells, specifically.

    Less power density, for sure - an 18650 is only 1100mAh, and a 26650 (my standard cell) is only 2200mAh. But the current output is unsurpassed - 70A continuous/120A burst, more environmentally friendly, the safest chemistry - no fire proof charge box required, fastest recharge - able to recharge a 26650 in 15 minutes, and longest lifetime - able to recharge >1000 times to 90% capacity. $10 per 26650.

    i can get 90 minutes of power-on, honest to god vaping run time from a pair. for my style of usage i recharge about every 3 days or so.

    and i'm an Elon Musk fanboy - if it is good enough for the Tesla, it is just fine with me.
     
  14. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

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    Yes LiFe have a lot of advantages. I hope they will be able to improve the power density because currently it's their main draw back... The ones you use in your Bud Toaster are very bulky unfortunately.

    IMR are a good compromise but I don't get why they don't build them with protection circuits? They die gracefully when over discharged but they still die like other Li-Ions cells... But protection circuits are known to fail sometimes, meaning they are not a panacea anyways...
     
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  15. RUDE BOY

    RUDE BOY Space is the Place

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    Not true at all. My Samsung QX laptop doesn't use 18650s or even a common cylindrical shaped battery.
     
  16. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

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    I think he meant Li-Ion chemistries instead. Phone and laptop batteries have custom flat form factors and are indeed not those mighty little cylinders.

    Now that I'm thinking of it, I think I saw some LiFe cells having more a long brick form factor, that could be maybe an alternative to investigate for the Zion2 @RastaBuddhaTao ? :) Two stacked cells in a flat rectangle shape could maybe fit in your design (a 2S1P battery)...

    Could allow to draw even more amps, be way safer and I think the must with LiFe is the uber fast charging time.
     
  17. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

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    Nevertheless, the most common battery for laptops is a pack of 18650 cells.
     
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  18. dUbmethod20

    dUbmethod20 Keepin it foggy

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    That's an impressive charge time. Are you using a smart charger or is that just characteristic of the A123 system bats? I have an aspire cf sub ohm and an lg 18650 for my fuhattan but both batteries take around 6 hours to charge from 3.2v up to 4.2
     
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  19. RUDE BOY

    RUDE BOY Space is the Place

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    Nevertheless saying All laptops use 18650s is not true in anyway on gods green earth no matter what.

    None of the newer slimmer laptops use 18650 battery packs as they will not fit under the keyboard.
     
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  20. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    the charge time is fast because LiFePO4 can handle up to 10A charging current. Also, low voltage for these 3.3v cells is 1.6v ... my system has a 4.5v cutoff, so it never gets so low as to damage the cells. i could get more run time if i changed the voltage regulator but i would need to re-specify the MOSFET to use a lower gate voltage.

    and, yes @KeroZen, they are bulky (about 1" diameter) and heavy (70 grams each). i've played around with attempting to mate two cells directly to the cube, but for this current vape design, that just doesn't work well.

    also, for what it's worth, i've never seen 18650s in a laptop (Dell, HP, Surface) - much too thick. well, maybe the Dell - that battery brick is pretty big and i've never taken it apart.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  21. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    Here's a good illustration of why you don't want to leave these devices in a hot car. The first three pics were from a car with a dual-18650 box mod in the console and the last one was from an IPV3 (also dual 18650) in the driver's-side door of another car. The mods were left in the cars for +/- six hours and vented. Not mine, by the way, just to be clear.

    Again, I'm not trying to scare people but awareness is essential, and a picture does way more justice than words. Have a parking plan when on the go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
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  22. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

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    http://bfy.tw/LQR
     
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  23. Joel W.

    Joel W. Deplorable Basement Dweller Accessory Maker

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    That is some good advice right there!
     
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  24. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

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    Do we have any proof, or even reason to believe that the ambient heat in the car is what set these batteries off? These are box mods, not laptop batteries, and the chance is probably significant that these were cheap batteries or devices that may be responsible for the failures rather than just the heat.
    While not recommended behavior (doh), I know a guy who left his laptop in a car in the sun in Phoenix for a whole summer, with no fires or problem. I think he told me his battery pack had to be replaced because it wouldn't take a charge, but not because it blew up.
     
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  25. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

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    It's an excellent question that I asked myself as well. I did research the photos but could not find anything definite. More than likely, it was not just the heat but a combination of intense heat and faulty batteries. Bottom line is that intense heat is definitely damaging to the batteries and could be dangerous as well. I never leave my mods in my car (summer or winter) to protect the batteries and to avoid any possible dangers. Awareness + precaution = safety.
     
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