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Lithium Ion battery fire..........again.........


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#1 pauldudeck

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 09:15 AM

http://www.reelchica...fm?StoryID=1794

Who says li ion is safe? This can happen to any battery, ESPECIALLY a cheap knock-off that does not have the proper circuitry.....
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:21 AM

Paul,

Interesting. As you know, I made the switch to Dionics not long ago based on a couple years of use in the field by friends of mine. The reports have been fantastic. My battery bag shed 15+ pounds and my rig lost two to three pounds depending on how it is configured while gaining substantially more watt hours.

Was the fire hazard a concern for me? A little, but it really reinforced the issue of quality control to me. A friend showed me these cheap Chinese lithium-ion batteries and chargers before I bought from you, but I opted to stick with Anton Bauer. Obviously, I'm not foolish enough to say that nothing could ever happen with your products but I feel much safer (this is why I emailed you over the holidays wondering if I should still leave Dionics on their chargers while away). So, I ask, what is your take on all these fires? As you say, any battery can catch fire; are there just a lot more people using batteries and chargers than ten years ago? Is it the chemistry? Do you think Hytrons are safer than Dionics?

Thanks Paul.
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#3 pauldudeck

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

Lithium ion is the only battery that has a flammable electrolyte, hence the main concern for safety. The issue lies in ALL li ion batteries, however, Anton/Bauer does get approval for our safety circuits and pcb's directly from the cell manufacturer. Most other companies do not have that approval. This means that our cell manufacturer will back us up in the unlikely event that something happens. The cell manfacturers would just wash their hands for companies that do not have approved circuits.

Also, here is something to remember. A Dionic 90, and most batteries around the 100wh range, have a total of 12 cells in them. 3 sets of 4 cells. The 3 sets in parallel is what gives you the extended run-time. A 130wh, or so, battery is 4 sets in parallel. A 150/160wh is 5 sets, etc. Well, NO cell manfacturer recommends that you put more than 3 sets in parallel because it is so hard to monitor each pack. The more packs you have, the greater the risk for bad monitoring. And, with lithium ion, since each cell is 3.6v, if one cell dies, your whole battery is dead. So, the more cells you put into the battery, the greater the risk of having a bad cell that will render your whole cell pack useless.

Now comes another fun part. If you have all of these cells in a pack, all it takes is one to short and vent, which again, venting is essentially a flammabe electrolyte. One cell vents, gets hot, catches fire, which in turn catches the next cell, etc......Now you have more cells in a package to get hotter and have a potential of causing more damage.

Our Dionic 160 is totally different from any other battery out there. We use a special military spec cell that is rated for high currents, which is why ours costs more money. However, the life span will be a lot longer than the others and there are only 2 cell packs of 4 cells (8 cells total) in this battery.

Bottom line; you asked "are HyTRON's (NiMH) safer than Dionic's (li ioin)".............YES! And, yes, it is LITHIUM ION chemistry that is the issue......

I hope this helps and sheds some light....

Paul
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for the honest and informative response. I had a feeling that might be the case, but it is so hard to get manufactures to admit anything today. Guess we'll all get to see where these issues take our industry over the years to come....
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:09 PM

Scary story. Part of me is starting to think about storing my battery case in a fireproof enclosure in the garage...hopefully it would never be an issue but gee, would I feel proud of myself if it ever was. Sort of like having all of your computer data backed up; it's all about playing the risks (says the guy who lost a TB of Firewire drives last year and is about to install a RAID5 backup system with redundant Firewire drives behind that).

Paul, if I'm understanding correctly, we are at less risk with the Dionic 90's due to the pack design than the 160's? I think the camera truck fire a few years ago started with 90's though, yeah?
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#6 pauldudeck

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:23 PM

Scary story. Part of me is starting to think about storing my battery case in a fireproof enclosure in the garage...hopefully it would never be an issue but gee, would I feel proud of myself if it ever was. Sort of like having all of your computer data backed up; it's all about playing the risks (says the guy who lost a TB of Firewire drives last year and is about to install a RAID5 backup system with redundant Firewire drives behind that).

Paul, if I'm understanding correctly, we are at less risk with the Dionic 90's due to the pack design than the 160's? I think the camera truck fire a few years ago started with 90's though, yeah?


Charles,

You are at less of a risk with a 90wh battery than any other larger li ion, EXCEPT the Dionic 160. I am saying that because we use a different cell in our 160 wh battery and there are only a total of 8 cells, which are prismatic, not cylindrical. In other 160wh batteries, there are at least 20 cells............I think you can do the math!!!

And, the truck fire in Chicago was started by another li ion block battery. There just happened to be a steadican rig, complete with Anton/Bauer batteries, in the truck and were also damaged. We evaluated all of that gear and the damage to the Anton/Bauer gear was only from heat due to the other fire.

From what I understand, the same thing happened to cause this fire also.....

Paul
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#7 Jon Beattie

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:31 PM

I was on reduser.net they have a thread going about this subjet too. one of the guys posted a link to this company http://www.liposack.com/ they make fire proof bags to put lith batteries and chargers in. Pricing is actaully really good considering what they stand to save. They gear their products to model rc stuff. But for charging and transport, or anytime a battery is not on your rig it may be well worth it.
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#8 MarkKaravite

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:18 AM

I work quite often in Chicago, and the local rumor I heard is that both fires were in fact started by LiIon blocks. Fletcher is switching all their blocks to Nickle Metal Hydride cells for this very reason. Has anyone heard of any problems with Panavisions's Genesis block batteries? I believe those are LiIon as well.

In regards to storing Dionics 90s safely, aren't they supposed to live on a charger when not in use. Paul, maybe you can clarify the recommended storage for Dionic's when not in use. Has a Dionic 90 ever caused a fire? My equipment storage room is directly below my kid's rooms, so that's a concern. Building a fireproof storage setup is definitely on my mind. The questions is, do they have to be on chargers all the time?

Thanks,
Mark
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#9 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:40 AM

Has an AB Dionic 90 EVER had an issue with bursting into flames? This is all fairly alarming, but I store gas for a mower and Snow blower in my garage as well, I am sure that's a lot more flammable. Lighting could strike too. I don't mean to make light of this subject, but I also don't like spending a lot of my time worrying about very unlikely things to happen. Larger batteries and chargers from rental houses tend to get kicked around, rained on, and generally miss treated. I could see this being a little higher risk. I really don't want to replace my 10 Dionic 90s. If we are truly at risk, AB needs to step in and offer recalls.

Jeff
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#10 pauldudeck

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:49 AM

Guys,

There is no need to be alarmed. NO Dionic battery has ever had a failure like this. We use the best protection circuits out there and we even added one extra one to go above and beyond.

Also, Anton/Bauer manufactured ALL of Panavisions Genesis battery systems and they are NiMH, just like the CINE VCLX system. There are no travel restrictions or anything with them.

As for Dionic 90's, when not using them, keep them on the charger. If not using them for extended period of time, like more than 4-5 months, then discharge them to about 40% of capacity and let them sit in that state. This is the best for li ion.

Paul
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:35 AM

As for Dionic 90's, when not using them, keep them on the charger. If not using them for extended period of time, like more than 4-5 months, then discharge them to about 40% of capacity and let them sit in that state. This is the best for li ion.


Sadly this sort of information is more useful right now than it normally would be (thanks WGA/AMTP!)
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#12 Wolf Seeberg

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:52 AM

Jan 08 Rules for transporting Lithium Batteries on airliners:

(My interpretation ? no guarantees ? I am not liable etc?.)

1. Lithium Ion NP-1 Batteries must be ?installed in a device? to be allowed in checked baggage.

2. Spare Lithium Ion NP-1 Batteries (not in equipment) are allowed in Hand Carry in the cabin only. Tape up the contacts of the Batteries to prevent shorts.

Short read of latest info:
http://safetravel.do..._batteries.html
And
http://safetravel.dot.gov/tips.html
And
http://safetravel.dot.gov/how_to.html

Best government guide as of 9 Jan 2008:
http://www.faa.gov/a...d_batteries.pdf

From FAA:?The research also shows that an explosion will not result from shorting or damaging either lithium-ion or primary lithium batteries. Both are, however, extremely flammable. Primary lithium batteries cannot be extinguished with firefighting agents normally carried on aircraft, whereas lithium-ion batteries are easily extinguished by most common extinguishing agents, including those carried on board commercial aircraft.

Lithium Ion NP-1 Batteries contain 5.76 gr. of Lithium total (less than 8gr. aggregate).

Consider:
Keep NP-1 in the container with the snap on lids. Now they are now in ?equipment? and cannot be shorted or damaged by pressure. You can ship them in checked baggage. Maybe the ?cap? is enough.

Missing pic shows Np-1 holder which encloses the whole battery in plastic with a flip open lid as seen on the rear of Sony cameras.

missing pix due to size limit showing cap of NP-1

These we sell www.wolfvid.com
Also: Discharge all Lithiums to the point where the built in safety circuits shut them down. Now there is no energy in them and they are near total safe. Use a small 12V light bulb. Recharge when arriving at location. Remember you are on the same plane as your Batts.

For questions about TSA ?prohibited items? or other air travel security measures go to: http://www.tsa.gov or contact the TSA Contact Center at: 1-866-289-9673 or TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov

FedEx: 1-800-Go FedEx (800-463-3339) or 901-344-3000 (Outside US)
Press "81" for the Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials Hotline
Fed Ex rules have 260 pages: http://images.fedex....ippingGuide.pdf
UPS: 1-800-554-9964 Hazardous Materials Support Center

For info from Anton Bauer call (203) 929-1100 ask for Jim in Sales



Definition: aggregate:
ยท A total considered with reference to its constituent parts; a gross amount:


the table below is from http://safetravel.do..._batteries.html

GUIDE TO RULES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008
Type Of Battery/Batteries In Checked Baggage In Carry-On Baggage:
Lithium Metal Battery, Installed in a Device (up to 2 grams lithium) Permitted 1 Recommended 1
Spare Lithium Metal Battery (Not Installed In a Device) (up to 2 grams lithium) (up to 2 grams lithium) Forbidden Permitted in carry-on baggage 2
Lithium Metal Battery, Spare or Installed(over 2 grams lithium) Forbidden Forbidden
Lithium-Ion Battery Installed in a Device (up to 8 grams lithium equivalent content) [This applies to NP-1] Permitted 1 Recommended 1
Spare Lithium-Ion Battery (Not Installed in a Device) (up to 8 grams lithium equivalent content) [This applies to NP-1] Forbidden Permitted in carry-on baggage 2
?Special Case?Up to 2 Lithium-Ion Batteries, Spare or Installed (between 8 and 25 grams aggregate lithium equivalent content) Spare Batteries: Forbidden! Installed in Devices: Permitted 1 Spare Batteries: Permitted 2Installed in Devices: Permitted 1
1. Although you may carry some devices and installed batteries in checked baggage, carrying them in carry-on baggage, when practicable, is preferred. Whether in checked or carry-on baggage, ensure that devices remain switched off, either by built-in switch/trigger locks, by taping the activation switch in the ?off? position, or by other appropriate measures. 2. Be sure to take protective measures to prevent against short-circuits. See our spare battery tips and how-to pages.

Jan 08 from IDX. More from IDX (310) 891-2800
http://www.idxtek.com/P-006.pdf
PRINT THE ORIGINAL PDF AND INCLUDE IT IN YOUR LUGGAGE!:

Missing pic of file, just go to the lnk


I have not been able to find the equivalent from Bauer.


From the Press and net: Finally the information and videos below are silly and wrong in blaming batteries for mishaps. To dispel some of these urban myths it takes a little reading and - gosh - thinking. None of this has anything to do with normal careful NP-1 transport.

http://www.reelchica...fm?StoryID=1794
Lithium Polymers (not NP-1) are really dangerous when purposefully overcharged:
These are stupid videos of people driving nails thru batteries:
http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related watch the end ? this is what happens when you purposefully overcharge a LiPo batt.

Purposeful overcharge of LiPo batteries has nothing to do with NP-1 is so stupid its not funny
http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
or the site recommends using a safety sack for LiPo charging
http://www.liposack.com/video.htm

"Fire On-Board a United Parcel Service (UPS) Airlines Flight 1307
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Philadelphia, PA, February 7, 2006. This government investigation shows that the fire on board had nothing to do with batteries at all. Initial press reports were alarmist and wrong in blaming batteries.

http://www.ntsb.gov/...pening_text.htm

Following press report is wrong:

Missing pic shows burned FedEx plane with obvious holes in the upper part of plane

"...Several items were removed from the cargo and taken to the NTSB lab in Washington, DC, for further examination. Several of the items were lithium ion batteries from laptop computers. [lithium ion batteries are often referred to as ?rechargeable? or ?secondary? lithium batteries.] In many cases, portions of the batteries had burned. It is not known at this time the role that these types of batteries may have played in the fire..."

More video possibly fakes: Here an exciting scary video for the ADD crowd:
http://www.gearlog.c...ear_with_ba.php or
http://www.youtube.c...ear_with_ba.php -------- end
wolf in LA just commenting
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#13 Jerry Gonzalez

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:10 PM

http://www.reelchica...fm?StoryID=1794

Who says li ion is safe? This can happen to any battery, ESPECIALLY a cheap knock-off that does not have the proper circuitry.....


(Sorry, I hadn't used my complete REAL NAME. I'm reposting with my complete REAL NAME after carefully LOOKING AROUND.)

The article and comments make the assumption that the battery itself ?just caught fire? without further reviewing possible contributing factors. I would like to assume that this battery was damaged while out on the rental. It could have been dropped and severely damaged without showing external signs. Next, what if the charger was the lead suspect? Could it have been dropped or damaged?

Unfortunately, we all make the assumption that EVERYTHING we pull into a wall outlet will not fail. A national news networks use about 100 190wh Li-Ions without issue. So, in fairness to all, every aspect linked to this fire should be studied - starting with the outlet. Let?s base the probabilities of such occurrences on statistical probability and not on hysteria and ?the sky is falling? methodology.

As for Fletcher switching batteries?probably a good idea since it's commonly known fact ?oh, don?t worry, it?s a rental...? goes a long way. Turn it in "as-is" and run!


Jerry Gonzalez
Trigram Pictures, Inc.
PO Box 144098
Coral Gables, FL 33114-4098

+786.206.6005 Office
+786.543.1378 Cell
+818.358.8669 LA
+ 5.351.4072 MxCity
+480.393.5240 Fax


http://www.trigrampictures.com
email: jerry@trigrampictures.com
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