Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Swelled up Phantom 2 "smart batteries"... :(

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Help' started by Joel27, May 13, 2014.

  1. Joel27

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, i have 3 DJI phantom 2 "smart" batteries, 2 of them have swelled up for no apparent reason and they aren't even 3 months old! I have NEVER overcharged them(although theoretically you can't) i have NEVER left them unnatended, and i never run my Phantom2 under 30% charge. Needless to say i am extremely pissed off, that these EXPENSIVE batteries, are swelling up after less than 3 months of use! Is this common? has anybody else here had that problem? Should i keep using them? DJI hasn't returned my emails and i have US$320 worth of batteries that i am simply scared to use or charge given they might explode! They still give me full 20 minutes to 30% flight time which is normal, but i don't think i should keep using them... Any help/suggestions please? thanks
     
  2. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    hi Joel welcome to the forum. I can't speak to any other aspect but I know that most people would strongly advise you to never run a LiPo (or any, really) battery with physical damage, swelling, etc. sure they might work but for how long? what if you're a hundred meters in the air and it decides to explode, catch fire, or simply stop passing electricity and your Phantom falls out of the sky?
    I know it sucks losing the money and I wish you the best with your attempt to get some sort of compensation, but I'd rather burn $300 buying new batteries than losing the whole Phantom, or your house catching fire or something more serious
     
  3. Joel27

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah... i know. I wouldn't want to risk it, but what i'd really like to know is how common this is? In my case 2 out 3 baterries damaged in so little time, makes me consider selling the phantom! Nobody has cash to burn on 160 dollar batteries that are gonna crap out on you 2 or 3 months later. I dont know i'd like to know how common this problem is, because if its really common i'm selling the phantom while its still worth something.
     
  4. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    hopefully some other knowledgeable folks will jump in, but I can tell you around here I've seen people talking about VERY long lifespans on their batteries... year plus, hundreds of cycles. There's always the possibility that you got a bad batch, whoever you bought them from damaged or stored them incorrectly, or perhaps something you're unknowingly doing is causing them harm.

    I'm certainly no LiPo expert, I've been in this game only a few months but when I get into something I dig pretty heavily into it. I'd recommend researching common causes of LiPo battery swelling and maybe you can figure out if it's something you've inadvertently done?
    I googled "common causes of lipo battery swelling". over DIScharging seems to be a common thing I'm seeing, as is overheating during use.
    happy reading :)
     
  5. Joel27

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah thanks. Already did some research, i rarely run the packs under 40% charge, RARELY, so thats definitely not it. I've only noticed a little heating after the packs puffed up, the one that is not puffed gets less warm... I'm running the phantom with the h3-2D gimbal it came with with a go pro hero 3+ camera, a fat shark 5.8 ghz transmitter for FPV, and a DJI Mini iosd module. This is a very commonly used setup and i get 20 minutes of flight time befor reaching 30% charge. I've never let them go under 30%. A lot of people run this setup without problems, but if this is gonna be a problem then the phantom has got to go. I need that fpv and flight data.
     
  6. Ozzyguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Townsville,Australia.
    Compared to the good battery are the terminals discoloured at all? Perhaps if the were making bad contact they overheated during use.
     
  7. Joel27

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    no they look fine... no greenish build up or dirt or anything, i always check the contacts to make sure they are clean... they look fine :/
     
  8. Ozzyguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Townsville,Australia.
    This doesn't help you now but I am in the habit of checking with a Multimeter the cell voltages whenever I unwrap a new battery. If the are excessively low or out of balance send em back. Did you purchase DJI direct of from a dealer. If from a dealer you can get a warranty claim much faster than sealing with DJi . It's why I will NEVER purchase DJI direct. Their customer service as you know is almost non existent.
    I can't understand how in the days of the internet that they can treat their customers with such contempt. Alter all we can let THOUSANDS know about it in the click of a mouse. Try looking up your countries equivalent of a consumer assistance department. In Ausrtralia they can offer legal advice and go into mediation with a company to resolve your issue if it's breaking any laws by supplying a faulty product.
     
  9. Joel27

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't return them, the return window expired... so frustrating.
     
  10. Ozzyguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Townsville,Australia.
    Well it may suck but you may just have to chalk this up to experience. Perhaps buying them one at a time will help ensure you don't get a run from a batch. Buy from a dealer not DJI and check the battery before you even so much as charge it. This way they will not be able dodge a warranty claim by saying that you have already used it.
     
  11. CactusJackSlade

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    113
    I'm reviving this thread because I just now have 1 out of 4 of my Phantom 2 batteries is now puffing and only will give me about 10-12 minutes flight time. I've never run them below 30% and use the stock charger. Interestingly, this is the original battery that came with the kit. The other 3 batteries I ordered along with it at the same time are fine...

    This is a pisser because they are so expensive... Anyone else having issues?
     
  12. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    batteries (in general) are way more sensitive than most people realize. Most consumer batteries are wrapped in a protective shell but our Phantom batteries are quite exposed, one hard bump on an exposed area can damage a cell.

    What I do know is that swelling in a Lithium battery is considered very dangerous. I would highly recommend against using that battery anymore, there are even warnings in the DJI documentation about swollen batteries. I know they're expensive but that battery is just aching to explode (hence the swelling, there's a bad reaction going on in there) or best case simply stop working... I know they're expensive but would you rather swap a $150 battery, or be flying your $1000+ Phantom around when it either explodes or drops from the sky ?

    better safe than sorry with batteries imo
     
  13. planedr

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Großbissendorf Germany
    I'm thinking it has to do with the add ons. Most of the battery problems I've read about are with people who have added all kinds of crap to the stock system. We use electrical load charts when adding equipment to our helicopters and have to stay within a load limit. You can't just throw stuff on and expect it to perform the same. The batteries were designed to handle a load, when you add extras it puts additional load on them. I'm thinking most of these are operator induced failures.
    my opinion.
     
  14. CactusJackSlade

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    113
    I might agree about add-on's, if they were like way out of the norm.

    The Phantom 2 kit comes with the dedicated Hd-3D gimbal so I do not consider that an add on.... and the vTx, which I did add on is only 300 mw per hour.... and the Phantom comes with a wire hanging out the side just for this purpose. If 300 mw.hr is enough to fry a battery they are not engineering these batteries properly.

    I have a lot of experience wit Lipo's, I've been in the hobby since before they started using Lipo's. My experiance is that a good quality battery when treated properly will last a LONG time and many cycles. When 1 out of 4 is puffing, I feel something is wrong with that particular pack.... IMO
     
  15. willis

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you post a picture of what that would look like? I sometimes think one of my batteries might be slightly swelling but I think I'm just being over critical... maybe not though

     
  16. CactusJackSlade

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    113
    Can you pick out the bad one? ;-)
     

    Attached Files:

  17. willis

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome... I mean not awesome, but thanks for posting... I noticed on one of the batteries I have the inside seems to appear close to the cutaway plastic (on the 3 hole side) but it isn't anything like that and it isn't touching the plastic or approaching the plastic in any form of a curve. It is just closer than the other 3 batteries are to it.
     
  18. Joeg1937

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Estero, FL
    I have had this same problem, as I'm sure many others have also, i charged my battery right after flying and the battery was warm not hot and also didn't use it for awhile , now after reading so many posts here on the forum, I wait till the battery has cooled off and only charge to 40% so far so good but please do not fly with that swollen battery! you will have a catastrophe on your hands! while charging it could catch fire and while flying it could catch fire, so throw them away before your tempted to go out and fly," one more time" good luck !
     
  19. Sanababit

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi i have 2 swollen batteries also, how old where your batteries and how did you go about the exchange, i ask because batteries are almost 3 months old with about 40 charges on one and 30 on other

    Sana
     
  20. jodaddy23

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    tucson arizona
    I'VE had a little swelling like that on some of my batteries , still using them , work fine .