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Thread: Lipo up in smoke! (cough, cough!)

  1. #1
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    Lipo up in smoke! (cough, cough!)

    I'm wiring up my DRXL/Gladiator and this is my first experience with using Lipos in parallel. I have read that using mismatched charges can lead to large currents, but somehow when working late in the day and bench testing that didn't occur to me. I was using two 2200mah 3s batteries at the time.

    Remember that scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase cuts into the turkey and it bursts open, pouring smoke? Picture a blue turkey with a Turnigy logo... Yep. It looked just like that. Scared the crap out of me. I'm really glad I had the garage door open at the time. I ripped out the connector and tossed it outside. No flames, but LOTS of smoke!

    I'm not certain because the evidence was destroyed, but I think the pack that burned up had a nearly full charge. It was pretty old but hadn't started to puff before the incident and had been working fine. The other cell had about 11.9 volts and doesn't seem to be damaged.

    What else do I need to keep in mind when working with a parallel battery setup? One experience like this was enough, thank you.

  2. #2
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    Are you sure that your parallel adapter was indeed parallel?
    If you soldered that wrong, you might have simply shorted the two packs.

  3. #3
    FPV Techanic RonSII's Avatar
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    A 'nearly full charge' is not enough to match a fully charged lipo.... so it would have tried to take a hefty charge from the good lipo. I always make sure each pack is identical in volts among other things....

  4. #4
    Co-Pilot rlage's Avatar
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    I was completely against lipos in parallel. So the result is here. Since the internal resistance is so little, any difference in voltage means a lot of Amps between lipos.
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  5. #5
    Instructor Pilot Channel 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlage View Post
    I was completely against lipos in parallel. So the result is here.


    While I understand a lot of people have paralleled LiPo's without a problem, I personally feel if the cells of both batteries are not matched from the beginning and through the subsequent charge/discharge cycles cradle to grave, doing so is asking for trouble.


    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

  6. #6
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    The battery that fried was the one with the greater charge, BTW.

  7. #7
    Instructor Pilot Channel 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GawainReif View Post
    The battery that fried was the one with the greater charge, BTW.

    That makes sense as it was probably dumping an uncontrolled charge into the other battery at a rate that exceeded it's discharge capacity and the rest is history.


    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

  8. #8
    Navigator Airborne's Avatar
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    They do make parallel boards with polyfuses, probably worth the extra $5 to those unfamiliar with the concept of equilibrium.


    http://www.readymaderc.com/store/ind...oducts_id=2985
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  9. #9
    Sky Pirate & FPV Outlaw SecretSpy711's Avatar
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    I recently had an incident where I didn't realize I already had a 500mAh 3S plugged into my parallel charge board. I then plugged a 3000mAh 4S into it and saw smoke. I immediately unplugged everything. On inspection, the smoke was actually coming from the connector adapter between the board and the smaller battery, which completely burned up, probably very quickly which then broke the circuit, saving both batteries.
    youtube.com/secretspy711
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  10. #10
    Instructor Pilot Channel 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne View Post
    They do make parallel boards with polyfuses, probably worth the extra $5 to those unfamiliar with the concept of equilibrium.


    That's all fine and dandy, but it doesn't solve the discharge side of the problem.


    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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