Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 21, 2018, 04:00:22 AM
Home Help Login Register
News:

CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Lithium ion battery fires in luggage/flight kits
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Lithium ion battery fires in luggage/flight kits  (Read 2499 times)
Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 691

« on: October 13, 2015, 12:03:17 PM »

The FAA just published a   new SAFO for lithium ion batteries in carry-on and packed luggage.   This SAFO a very good read for GA pilots - and CAP pilots/air crew!!!.  Nothing scares me more than a fire in flight... from whatever source.  A fire in the back seat, or the baggage compartment caused by a poorly packed spare battery in a flight bag or overnight kit would be a disaster.  How many of us carry a 'backup battery' for our iPad, phone, or other gadget!??!

Imagine if this video recorded battery fire had occurred in the luggage compartment of a CAP C172, C182 or C206!  This YouTube video is in an Airbus, with a flight crew trained, ready, and equipped to take action.  I don't think the outcome would have been good in a GA cockpit.  It would be very tough to 'Avigate' 'Navigate' and 'Communicate' when my Cessna cockpit is full of flames and fumes!  Read the SAFO, and perhaps use it in an aircrew safety talk.
Logged
Майор Хаткевич
200,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,059
Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 12:55:17 PM »

As anything sensitive, it has to be packed right. I just picked up one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012NIQG5E?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

HUGE battery.

Certainly don't want this: http://i.imgur.com/9q2N9HQ.gifv
Logged
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »

Good to know. This is talking about spare phone batteries with exposed terminals, not battery packs with a usb port for charging a tablet. If you do bring a spare phone battery, it needs to be kept seperate in a plastic container so nothing metal can contact the leads.

Incidentally, many phone manufacturers also warn about aftermarket batteries installed in phones. If your phone has a $20 Amazon battery, it needs to be kept ventilated so it won't overheat. There was a story on our local news not too long ago where a girl went to sleep with her phone under her pillow, and woke up with the pillow in flames. Cheaper batteries seem like a deal, but overhead wear out much more quickly than quality batteries.

Logged
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 691

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 02:09:26 PM »

Good to know. This is talking about spare phone batteries with exposed terminals, not battery packs with a usb port for charging a tablet. If you do bring a spare phone battery, it needs to be kept seperate in a plastic container so nothing metal can contact the leads.

True, however Capt Hatkevich's embedded video is applicable to batteries whether from reputable manufacturers, or in the unit as designed.  Drop a battery on concrete or a hard floor?  Think again about putting it back in your iPad or phone.  The odds are it's "OK"... for use on the ground where you can chuck it out the window of your house or car if it starts the runaway sequence.  Not so easy to do if it's packed in your RON kit.  I carry a couple of the USB battery pack extenders (each individually sealed in a ziplock bag) for my tablet.  If either of these storage units get banged or dropped they're history.
Logged
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 02:21:53 PM »

As a technician for Samsung, and 9 years in the cell phone business, I can assure you it takes a lot more than a drop on a hard floor to damage a cell to that extent. The gif he posted involved repeated hard strikes with a hammer, directly to the battery itself. They are made quite durable, you're in more danger from it overheating due to a piece of metal crossing the contacts than you ever would be from a drop on a hardwood floor.

I can show you a video where a battery was put in a microwave, and another where a phone was boiled to the point the battery exploded. Neither is really a safety concern, or in any way applicable to anything we do on a day to day basis.

I guess better safe than sorry, but unless you have a case study where a battery dropped on the floor and then exploded, I wouldn't necessarily worry about it.
Logged
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,215

« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 02:40:16 PM »

http://blog.alaskaair.com/card-reader/

"A credit card reader on Alaska Airlines flight 17 from Newark to Seattle overheated shortly after 7 a.m. Monday. (yesterday, Oct. 12).

The credit card reader, a mobile device which is used to take payment for onboard food and beverage purchases, began smoking from what appeared to be the battery compartment of the device.

While there were no flames at any point during the flight, the flight crew did use a fire extinguisher to stop the device from smoking while the captain made arrangements for an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York."

Mike
Logged
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,319

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 09:20:14 PM »

There is a simple solution for the exposed terminals on batteries.
It's called tape....  A little black electrical tape and the problem is solved.
Logged
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,893

« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 09:29:34 AM »

This is my bread and butter. I'm a FAA regulator of HAZMAT when transported by air. These batteries make some nasty fires. About a year ago, I spent some time at the schoolhouse at the FAA Tech Center near Atlantic City. They lit off a pile of lithium ion batteries and a pile of lithium metal batteries. Hot hot hot fires. The metals were still burning after an 8 hour class...A good percentage of the fires related to lithium batteries do come from after market replacements. They come from overseas and usually fall short of the quality standards we have domestically.

Here is a fact sheet produced by the ASH Division regarding batteries:
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/faa_airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf

These fires aren't a new thing. There have been a number of hull losses related to battery fires in the past decade. Take some time to learn the facts!
Logged
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 691

« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 01:10:44 PM »


Here is a fact sheet produced by the ASH Division regarding batteries:
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/faa_airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf


Thanks,  Very helpful!

The 'fact sheet' is very good information.  Can you explain why "External chargers are also considered to be a battery" within these guidelines?  How would you suggest 'taping' a charger's terminals (and would a "terminal" be the prongs pushed into the 12v wall socket, the contacts for the battery, or something else?

Also, what suggestions (if any) beyond what is in this fact sheet would you take with equipment loaded in the baggage compartment of a SE piston GA aircraft (like a C182, PA28, etc.?).  In an operational environment, it isn't likely that spare battery packs of any sort other than small fully charged units would be in original packing.  Do you suggest something else?  I've observed vibration and movement of items in the baggage compartment, as well as stuff shifting even when packed in an RON kit or pilot flight bag.
Logged
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,319

« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 02:14:18 PM »

Regarding taping of the battery terminals. You have to tape the terminals when you dispose of the batteries, in the proper way of course.
Taping the terminals of spare battery packs during transport/storage is just a good safety procedure.
Logged
ALORD
Member

Posts: 73
Unit: PCR-CA-123

« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 03:49:48 PM »

Taping the battery terminals is good practice, but it is not external shorts that usually cause LiPo fires. Most are intrinsic failures of the battery, caused by conductive particles ( microscopic and metallic) causing failures between cells. Part of this is a manufacturing problem. Another factor is the high density of lithium, achieved by thinning the substrate to produce higher energy batteries in smaller packages. Although cheap batteries fail a lot, even good batteries can fail cataclysmically. By using Lithium Ions instead of metallic lithium, the batteries are becoming very safe, but trauma to the battery can create very tiny shorts internally, which can, and often will, result in "Thermal Runaway" of the battery. They burn like a willie pete grenade if they run amuck, and fire extinguishers won't even touch the thermite-like quality of the fire. Don't put holes in them!

A. Lord
Logged
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,893

« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 03:54:22 PM »


Here is a fact sheet produced by the ASH Division regarding batteries:
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/faa_airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf


Thanks,  Very helpful!

The 'fact sheet' is very good information.  Can you explain why "External chargers are also considered to be a battery" within these guidelines?  How would you suggest 'taping' a charger's terminals (and would a "terminal" be the prongs pushed into the 12v wall socket, the contacts for the battery, or something else?

Also, what suggestions (if any) beyond what is in this fact sheet would you take with equipment loaded in the baggage compartment of a SE piston GA aircraft (like a C182, PA28, etc.?).  In an operational environment, it isn't likely that spare battery packs of any sort other than small fully charged units would be in original packing.  Do you suggest something else?  I've observed vibration and movement of items in the baggage compartment, as well as stuff shifting even when packed in an RON kit or pilot flight bag.

Good questions. The external charger is not the AC charger that you plug into the wall. It's more like the one that Capt Hatkevich linked to. I used to fly a lot for CAP. Never had the need to carry a spare battery for the phone/laptop/tablet/etc. You're more likely to have to carry spare flashlight batteries. Best practice is to keep them in the manufacturer packaging until needed.
Logged
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 691

« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 03:57:55 PM »

Regarding taping of the battery terminals. You have to tape the terminals when you dispose of the batteries, in the proper way of course.
Taping the terminals of spare battery packs during transport/storage is just a good safety procedure.

Taping is a common suggestion.  I've found that the amount of time the tape is left on the terminals, environmental factors (temperature and humidity), and the type of tape affects whether there's potentially problematic residue left on battery terminals.  I don't think tape is a 'good' solution for anything but very temporary protection against externally created shorts.  The discussion about deterioration of the individual cells is interesting.  There are videos and reports online of batteries going thermal when in the unit being powered (laptops, phones, ipads, ipods...).
Logged
sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,215

« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 04:57:20 PM »

It's interesting that one of the aircraft fires was started by the Li-ion batteries in an ELT. From the incident report:

The aircraft was a parked, unoccupied and electrically un‑powered Boeing 787 aircraft on the ramp at London Heathrow Airport. The ground fire on ET-AOP (an Ethiopian Airlines B-787) was initiated by the uncontrolled release of stored energy from the lithium-metal battery in the ELT. 

Neither the cell-level nor battery-level safety features prevented this single-cell failure, which propagated to adjacent cells, resulting in a cascading thermal runaway, rupture of the cells and consequent release of smoke, fire and flammable electrolyte.

The trapped battery wires compromised the environmental seal between the battery cover‑plate and the ELT, providing a path for flames and battery decomposition products to escape from the ELT.

a) The trapped ELT battery wires created a short-circuit condition, providing a current path for an unplanned discharge of the ELT battery.

b) The ELT battery may have exhibited an unbalanced discharge response, resulting in the early depletion of a single cell which experienced a voltage reversal, leading to a thermal runaway failure.

c) The Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) protective device in the battery did not provide the level of external short-circuit protection intended in the design.


This ELT in the 787 is located in the ceiling forward of the vertical stabilizer and is not accessible without removing interior panels. The fire burned through the crown of the fuselage. Boeing repaired the plane and it went back in revenue service. At the time of the fire, July 2013, the manufacturer of the ELT estimated there were some 6,000 of these ELTs in service. A world-wide check of the ELTs found 28 with pinched wires.

Intermediate report - 17 pages
https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422edeee5274a13170001d3/S4-2014_ET-AOP.pdf

Final report - 182 pages
https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/55d43f8d40f0b6091a000001/AAIB_2-2015_ET-AOP.pdf

Mike
Logged
ALORD
Member

Posts: 73
Unit: PCR-CA-123

« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 07:06:47 PM »

I am guessing that these ELT batteries were not Lithium-Ion Secondary ( rechargeable) batteries but Primary ( Disposable) Lithium metal batteries, which can actually be a lot more dangerous. ( I have not heard of anyone using rechargeable batteries in an ELT on purpose) Shorting out a Lithium Secondary battery, like a Lithium Thionyl Chloride battery would be bad, they can go "boom". There is probably more of a chance of a fire or explosion with a Li-Ion due to the very persnickety charging profiles Li-Ions demand. I manufacture APRS trackers, and since these are often flown in high altitude (Edge of space)  balloons, I have had to experiment with various Lithium batteries. I found that the Energizer "Ultimate Lithium" AA batteries don't explode with pressure changes, freeze at -30, or go into thermal meltdown in ordinary operation. I imagine that if I took a fresh pack and placed a dead short across it, it would burst into flame like a brand new Tesla...

A. Lord
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Lithium ion battery fires in luggage/flight kits
 


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.087 seconds with 26 queries.