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Thread: Battery Awareness

  1. #1
    BananaMan
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    Battery Awareness

    Note as at Jan 2014 , Please note this guide is an older one , many of the points and links are still very valid , but may have been superceded by newer technologies ... please reference other stickies as well to round out your vaping education
    AVF is not an online university , stickies are for reference and education , they may have become outdated . Treat them as a reference only and search for the newest postings to be more up to date
    FM (Moderator)

    Specifically, battery awareness of using Lithium-Ion cells in mods. Users of fully electronic e-cigs (510, eGo, 901, 905, etc) need not be as concerned but please do read this.
    Whether you've purchased a commercially made mod, or built your own, it is important to know of the dangers posed by charging and using these batteries.

    Rechargeable Li-ion cells are commonly used in led torches where high capacity and good current draw is required. As such they are as equally useful in e-cig mods, both for extended vaping without battery changes and to satisfy the current requirements of hungry atomisers. They do however have limits as to how much and how fast they can be charged/discharged, this is where the safety aspect comes into play given that many mods actually stress batteries far more than your average Cree torch can.

    At best, overcharging a li-ion battery will shorten its life. Worse though, if left uncontrolled, it will heat up, vent (liquid inside expands and escapes to the outside air) and possibly catch on fire and/or explode. Over discharging a li-ion battery will also shorten its life and once a certain point is reached will become "dead flat" and not recharge at all.

    There are basically 2 variants of the Li-ion battery commonly used in mods - either protected or unprotected. Protected batteries have a small circuit board on one end which limits the upper and lower voltages, and usually, the current draw as well.
    Unprotected cells have none of this and is where the greatest danger lies. They MUST be charged in a charger that has voltage and current sensing to ensure that the batteries are not overcharged - the chargers are not expensive, you just need to select the correct one when purchasing. Most mods have no electronics to limit voltage so the onus is on you to swap/recharge your unprotected batteries before they drop to a voltage they cant recover from.

    Current draw is a big issue. The batteries we use are often expected to give out more current than they can actually produce which can lead to much shortened life expectancy. Possible venting (or worse) may result if drained too hard. Shorting a Li-ion battery, particularly if fully charged, is likely to cause an explosion that will result in nasty consequences.
    Most protected batteries should have a limiter built in to eliminate over-current discharge, but some don't and, as it's not foolproof anyway, as much care should be taken with protected cells as unprotected.

    ANY mod you own should have vent holes in the bottom (facing away from the user) to expel gases released from a stressed battery.

    Mod owners should also look at the newer types of battery becoming available:
    Firstly, the Hi-Drain. This is a protected Li-ion battery with high current discharge capability and can supply enough current to run most mod/atomiser combinations.
    The second is the LiFePo4. This is a relatively new chemistry battery which is much safer to use (they don't need protection circuitry). The downside is that the capacity for the same size package is much lower than Li-ion batteries and also has a lower cell voltage.


    The following picture demonstrates what I've been saying here. The batteries are unprotected and the charger is normally sold for charging protected cells - they were supplied by a US vendor for use with their mod.



    The batteries had only just been put on charge; the owner (a forum member) turned away and almost straight away one cell vented and started to smolder. The actual cause is unknown at this stage, whether one of the batteries internally shorted or the charger faulted is not clear. Suffice to say though, it could have been much much worse.


    The bottom line is: Don't use unprotected batteries, buy the correct charger, make sure you have vent holes in your mod. And keep in mind what can happen..

    -Mildew
    Last edited by Fatman; 18-01-14 at 07:15 PM.
    JudeaB, scaramus and Genecigs like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Good advice Mil, something I was told many years ago and have always kept in mind, a D cell nicad contains the same chemical energy as a hand grenade.
    Cells have probably increased in capacity 5 fold since then.
    it is safer to charge LiPo's in a position that can cope with a foot long jet of flame, they are capable of it.
    ideally outside on a metal surface. if thats not possible, never leave them alone and keep a watch on the cell temperature.
    In order of useful: Provari V2 and V1, vamo, eGo twist, Katana v3, Hex, Orion v2, LavaTube, eGo x 6, VMAX, 510N, Tick V2, Tick V1, noEgo 18650, noEgo 14650 , Indulgence x 2, 905 6v mod, KR808D



  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Very interesting Mil

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    yeah you should check out lithium battery fires on youtube. They are pretty scary. I have heaps of large capacity lithium polymer batteries for my RC stuff. I really wouldn't want one of them to pop in my house when I wasn't there. I never charge them unattended and I have yet to see one go up. I have discharged them too much and they puff up and get pretty hot.

  5. #5
    AussieVapers approved Vendor
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Great write up Mildew.

    Very well said.

    even noobs like me can understand it

    U ROCK MIL

    Keep it up.
    http://www.ecigswarehouse.com.au
    Use Discount code "aussievapers" for 5% off.

  6. #6
    BananaMan
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Place holder

  7. #7
    Del
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Excellent write up Mildew, except you have me too scared now to turn on my charger! I think I will be fine though, have protected batts and the correct charger for those. Still frightening stuff for a mechanical twit like me.

    Del
    The original and the best !

  8. #8
    BananaMan
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Hi Del,
    As you know it was never my intention to scare people into not buying/using a mod, but simply to make members aware of the potential danger.
    You'll be fine, and so will everyone else if they get the right gear and use it correctly.

  9. #9
    Del
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    Tis ok Mildew I've mustered up the courage and charged some batts all fine but I wont be leaving them unattended anymore like I used to do. It's sound advice you have given and I thank you for warning us all of the dangers.

    Del
    The original and the best !

  10. #10
    ECA
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    Re: Battery Awareness

    How true,
    Protected battery and good chargers are a must. i would also recommend they not be left on overnight (Worst time for a fire).

    Andy

 

 
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