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Leaking LiPo? maybe?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jermz, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Jermz

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    I took one of my batteries out today after flying my phantom. And it felt a little wet on my hand. Not a lot of moisture, but enough I could tell it was a bit damp. I'm not sure if it leaked or not. I didn't notice a smell, but didn't know to look for one.

    The battery did seem to take a long time (more than usual) to charge, but I didn't time it, could have just been me.

    I did have a crash yesterday where the battery compartment popped open. I didn't have my batteries marked, so I don't know which one it was.

    The "leaky" battery has no noticeable damage to it, but I'm kinda scared of all the craziness with lipo batteries. For the moment I've put it in its bag, inside a cinder block on top of a metal storm shelter lid, with a small paving stone above it, the safest place I could come up with.

    Is there a way to tell if the battery is bad? Am I over reacting? What's the best way to discharge the battery if I need to? I only flew for 5 minutes or so, so the battery probably still has half a charge on it.

    I'm prepared to throw it away, and am expecting I need to. I just want to make sure before doing it.


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  2. ElGuano

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    Lipos shouldn't leak liquid. If you really punctured one, it would either billow black caustic smoke like crazy, or pop in an actual explosive flame. These things are really high energy.

    You can try testing the cells to see there's any major imbalance (a decent indication of damage), and if you just can't trust it and want to decommission it, either connect a 12v automotive bulb to it and let it discharge in a safe area (it'll take a few hours), or submerge it in salt water overnight.

    Here's a good discussion on disposal: http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-how ... o-disposal
     
  3. LandYachtMedia

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    +1. They don't leak, they catch fire if they are punctured.

    Any liquid didn't come from inside the batt.
     
  4. OI Photography

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    The batteries can get a little warm when being drained, it's possible yours just generated a little condensation if the conditions were right.
     
  5. Jermz

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    Being that it's less than a week old, I don't want to dispose it. I just want the thing to be safe. It really has no signs of damage, I'm not sure if it banged anything the crash (I banged the side of a horse trailer) or if it just popped out at the end.

    I'll leave her outside in the blocks for a bit, and inspect her. There's no sign of rain, so she'll be ok over night. If she doesn't look bubbly or have any more leakage or smell then I'll probably keep her.


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  6. Jermz

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    What would be the best means of testing it?


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  7. ElGuano

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    Check the voltage of each cell through the balance connector, either with a low voltage buzzer/voltage checker or a multimeter.
     
  8. Jermz

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    Looked at her this morning, wasn't puffed up, didn't smell. It's probably just condensation. It sounds like it would have looked bad this morning if it was really an issue.


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  9. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    They puff when charged if they have issues, it may not stay puffed if it sits. I would only charge it outside until you determine that it is OK. I used lipo bags for charging then I store them in a metal box. Don't mess around with a known bad lipo, drop it in a bucket of salt water for a few days then toss it out in the trash.

    Check out this video of exploding lipos...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VswaFOrVM6I
     
  10. Jermz

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    It was never puffed, just a tad damp coming out of the phantom, really just looks like condensation


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  11. ElGuano

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    Jermz,

    First of all, kudos to your diligence, and your preparation in case something is really awry with the battery. Note that a bad battery doesn't always puff. If something happened to it and a cell over-discharged, you may not notice until after a flight (or five). A cell developing higher internal resistance may simply go out of balance faster, or it may build up heat during discharge, or it may start to puff (or worse). It sounds like maybe nothing bad has happened to your pack, so as long as you keep a close eye on it for the next few cycles after use and during charge, it may be just fine. If it were me, I'd probably use and watch, but discharge and toss at the first sign of anything anomalous.
     
  12. Jermz

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    I will keep a very close eye on it while it charges, and the first time it's used. I'll put it in something safe this next charge.


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  13. Jermz

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    It charged well all the way to CV mode, with red green flashing light. It keeps cycling through balancing the cells. It'll balance 1, 2, then 2 & 3, then show it's charging them all, and go back to balancing. It's seems to be taking longer in CV than my other battery.


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  14. gbshovel

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    They don't catch fire always, Ive shot them with 22cal and no fire or explosion.
     
  15. OI Photography

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    You must have been quite disappointed considering your testing methodology :D