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Old 24-02-2023, 14:42   #1
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The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

Hi, the first thing I must state is that I am NOT Electrically Competent, I am however a mechanically competent person and cruise for 5 months permanently in the Baltic Sea each summer. I am only providing information here, it will be totally up to you how you use this information.

With the developed worldís push towards electrically powered vehicles I wonder how many people are fully aware of the life threatening (this is NOT an exaggeration) dangers they possess.

Because of Global Warming the drive towards EVís has been relentless, it has possibly outstripped normal research and development.

I know this will likely be the start of a hugely controversial issue within various Cruiser / Sailing Forums and, really I would have expected this to have already been addressed (It may have been and I personally may have missed it, but I donít think so). It is one that I am definitely NOT competent to provide any answers to, only my personal opinion and research.

Lipo batteries have great promise of lots of power, fast charging and comparatively light weight, whatís not to like? Well, please read the following, it may save your life.

These batteries are totally unsuitable for use on any boat, because of the probability of us being offshore at the time when the worst can happen and the speed at which it can happen makes it life threatening.

So for the people that donít know the dangers, what can happen is this. (Now please remember, I am NO expert)
These batteries can go into whatís called ďthermal runawayĒ and when this happens they initially give of at least three gasses (it may look like smoke but its far worse) all three are extremely poisonous and flammable, two are lighter than air and the third is heavier than air. Without looking it up again, I can only remember one of the gasses and its name will tell you all you need to know. Itís Hydrogen Cyanide, it is usually followed quickly by ignition of the gasses.

Itís also the speed at which it all happens, from the first sign there is a problem, to an explosion (although the expert has a different name for it!) can be a matter of seconds, so if you are in your bed onboard, you are in serious trouble.

Already a Norwegian ferry company has banned all EVís including hybrid vehicles and I think thats just the start because fire fighting these is a big problem. In a video I found it said fire fighters took 36 hours to extinguish an electric car fire!

We have two Brompton folding bikes on board which I was planning to electrify this year but have now changed my mind. I still have my phone plus two Ipads, but thatís a risk I am prepared to take, now I know the dangers I will prepare for them.

I have attached a few links below, its up to you to do your own research, please do not shoot the messenger!

If you just do a search on YouTube and look for the ďLit & PhilĒ website (with a drawing of an elephant), itís 1 hour 20 long but worth watching some of it. This link starts in the middle for some reason!



Norwegian Ferry company bans all Electric Vehicles including Hybrid.
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/n...ps-208942.html

Take care
Colin McGinnis
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Old 24-02-2023, 15:03   #2
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

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Originally Posted by ColinIOM View Post
H really I would have expected this to have already been addressed (It may have been and I personally may have missed it, but I donít think so).
It has been , several times and quite exhaustively.
Here's a 189 post thread on the subject for starters
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...o4-194142.html
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Old 24-02-2023, 15:04   #3
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

Which lithium chemistry are you concerned about? They are not all the same.
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Old 24-02-2023, 15:08   #4
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

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Which lithium chemistry are you concerned about? They are not all the same.
He's talking about LiPO
"Lipo batteries have great promise of lots of power, fast charging and comparatively light weight, what’s not to like? Well, please read the following, it may save your life."

Note however that both of his links use the sloppy "Li-Ion" designation which confounds rather than elucidates.
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Old 24-02-2023, 15:11   #5
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

How many times do we need to go over this?
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Old 24-02-2023, 15:27   #6
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

I agree completely. I never plug my car in my garage at night. I plug it in my friendís garage so I can burn his house down instead.

Seriously though, the risks from electric cars is tiny. Where do people get this crap from?
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Old 24-02-2023, 16:12   #7
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

Let me be the first to scream in terror and throw my phone into the water.
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Old 24-02-2023, 16:14   #8
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

LiPo

FYI.

A lithium polymer battery, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer battery (abbreviated as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly, lithium-poly and others), is a rechargeable battery of lithium-ion technology using a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte. High conductivity semisolid (gel) polymers form this electrolyte. These batteries provide higher specific energy than other lithium battery types and are used in applications where weight is a critical feature, such as mobile devices, radio-controlled aircraft and some electric vehicles.


Lithium polymer cells have evolved from lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries. The primary difference is that instead of using a liquid lithium-salt electrolyte (such as LiPF6) held in an organic solvent (such as EC/DMC/DEC), the battery uses a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) such as poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) or poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVdF).


Polymer electrolytes can be divided into two large categories: dry solid polymer electrolytes (SPE) and gel polymer electrolytes (GPE)

Safety:

All Li-ion cells expand at high levels of state of charge (SOC) or over-charge, due to slight vaporisation of the electrolyte. This may result in delamination, and thus bad contact of the internal layers of the cell, which in turn brings diminished reliability and overall cycle life of the cell. This expansion / swelling is very noticeable for LiPos, which can visibly inflate their flexible pouch due to lack of a hard case to contain their expansion.

The safety characteristics of Lithium Polymer batteries are different from those of lithium iron phosphate batteries, a.k.a. LiFeP, LFP which chemistry typically is considered the safest type as to minimizing the potential for combustion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer_battery

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Old 24-02-2023, 16:21   #9
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

No WAY!!!!

I had an old MacBook with the battery kind of external on the bottom of it. It was so swollen that the battery didnít work anymore and I would sit with that thing on my lap using it. I had no idea it could explode and catch on fire so easily. Lucky.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
LiPo

FYI.

A lithium polymer battery, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer battery (abbreviated as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly, lithium-poly and others), is a rechargeable battery of lithium-ion technology using a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte. High conductivity semisolid (gel) polymers form this electrolyte. These batteries provide higher specific energy than other lithium battery types and are used in applications where weight is a critical feature, such as mobile devices, radio-controlled aircraft and some electric vehicles.


Lithium polymer cells have evolved from lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries. The primary difference is that instead of using a liquid lithium-salt electrolyte (such as LiPF6) held in an organic solvent (such as EC/DMC/DEC), the battery uses a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) such as poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) or poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVdF).


Polymer electrolytes can be divided into two large categories: dry solid polymer electrolytes (SPE) and gel polymer electrolytes (GPE)

Safety:

All Li-ion cells expand at high levels of state of charge (SOC) or over-charge, due to slight vaporisation of the electrolyte. This may result in delamination, and thus bad contact of the internal layers of the cell, which in turn brings diminished reliability and overall cycle life of the cell. This expansion / swelling is very noticeable for LiPos, which can visibly inflate their flexible pouch due to lack of a hard case to contain their expansion.

The safety characteristics of Lithium Polymer batteries are different from those of lithium iron phosphate batteries, a.k.a. LiFeP, LFP which chemistry typically is considered the safest type as to minimizing the potential for combustion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer_battery

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Old 24-02-2023, 16:43   #10
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
No WAY!!!!

I had an old MacBook with the battery kind of external on the bottom of it. It was so swollen that the battery didnít work anymore and I would sit with that thing on my lap using it. I had no idea it could explode and catch on fire so easily. Lucky.
YEAH WAY!!!!

FYI:

What are the signs of a MacBook battery swelling?
The most obvious sign that something is wrong is a bulge under the keyboard that pushes some keys up so that they are not level with the rest. But you may also notice that the seam along the edges of your MacBook start to come apart. The lid probably wonít close properly, the keyboard and trackpad may not work properly, and the MacBook probably wonít sit on a flat surface without rocking.

Why do MacBook batteries swell?
There are a couple of possible reasons:

The battery is quite old. As batteries age, the chemical reactions that provide energy fail to complete. That creates gasses that cause swelling. Those gasses are flammable and possibly toxic, so itís important to properly deal with a swelling battery.
There is a fault with the battery, and the membranes that separate different layers donít do their job of keeping those layers apart. The layers coming into contact with each other can also cause swelling.

What to do if you notice a bulging battery
First, donít panic. You should take it seriously because it could be dangerous.

Unplug your MacBook from mains power.
Move it somewhere cool and put it on a non-flammable surface.
Copy your data onto an external hard drive or USB stick.
Shut down your Mac.
If you have an older MacBook with a removable battery, follow the instructions to dispose of the battery responsibly.
If the battery is not removable, the best option is to book an appointment at your local Apple Store, if you have one or with an Apple Authorised Service Center. You will need to have the battery replaced and any damage to your Mac repaired.

How to prevent MacBook battery swelling
As we said earlier, there are two possible causes of your MacBook battery swelling. You canít do much about a manufacturing fault. However, you can mitigate the risk of swelling associated with an aging battery. The thing that determines the age of a battery isnít the passing of time but how many times itís been charged. Age is measured in charge cycles. So, to minimize the risk of your battery swelling, you should reduce the number of times itís charged. There are a number of ways to do this:

Donít keep it plugged in all the time. Charge it when the battery gets low, then when itís charged, unplug it.
Reduce the drain on the battery by using less power.
Using less power may seem impossible. You canít determine how much power your Mac needs to run, can you? Well, actually, you can. The more CPU cycles your Mac uses, the more energy it uses. So, avoiding processes that use lots of CPU power will help. And you can do that by closing applications and browser tabs when youíre not using them.

Chotu, so now you know the rest of the story.
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Old 24-02-2023, 17:25   #11
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

For the most part Lipo, or Lithium-polymer batteries are not used a lot on boats, unless its in hand held devices, or other small appliances.

One of the major uses for Lithium-polymer batteries is in EV (Electric vehicles), so I'll be sure not to park my EV car on my boat from now on.

Colin, you mentioned numerous times that you are not an expert, and are not "electrically competent" (your words, not mine). Well, you've got no argument from me!

However, might I recommend that you do a little research into the subject matter of your next post prior to hitting the submit button.

By and large, the "Lithium" battery most people would consider installing in a boat nowadays would be Lithium Iron Phosphate, or LiFePO4.

I highly recommend you peruse the attached article from the John Adey, the President of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ABYC_LFP_Testing.pdf (251.5 KB, 190 views)
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Old 24-02-2023, 17:45   #12
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

All very interesting. A guy I dealt with is fire/ rescue……he is no fan of lithiums……but it seemed only because he had dealt with so many lithium fires.
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Old 24-02-2023, 18:08   #13
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

I am not an expect. if the frig and freezer keep running I am happy
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Old 24-02-2023, 18:22   #14
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

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All very interesting. A guy I dealt with is fire/ rescueÖÖhe is no fan of lithiumsÖÖbut it seemed only because he had dealt with so many lithium fires.
Again, it cannot be said enough times - there are many variations of Lithium based batteries using different chemistries. LiOn, LiPo and LifePo4.

There is no history of thermal runaway or fire with LifePo4 batteries, which are the kind used on boats!

It is a mistake to simply refer to "lithium" as if it is one thing when in fact it represents a category of different types of batteries.

Recent testing of LifePo4 batteries (see link posted above!) show it was not possible for the testers to make the batteries catch fire, and they tried.
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Old 24-02-2023, 18:41   #15
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Re: The Dangers of Lipo Batteries

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Originally Posted by jordanbigel View Post
It is a mistake to simply refer to "lithium" as if it is one thing when in fact it represents a category of different types of batteries.
It's also a mistake to refer to Lithium Ion or Li-Ion when discussing the various attributes of Lithium based batteries.


LCO, LMO, LTO, LFP (LiFePO4), NCA, NMC ... are all "Lithium Ion" batteries with different chemistries.


And LiPo (Lithium Polymer) is not a chemistry, it's just a generic descriptor for various types of Li-Ion cells that use an electrolyte in polymer form(either dry solid or gel) rather than liquid. There are several chemistries used for LiPo.
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