When I’m not tied up maintaining Oracle or blogging one of my favorite hobbies is flying (read crashing) radio controlled airplanes.
Filled with information about everything from lead acid to lithium polymer, Red Scholefield’s R/C Battery Clinic is a great reference for battery information for R/C and non-rc applications.
Red’s unique knowledge comes from years of working in the battery industry (for GE) and even more years of building and flying models. The one thing to keep in mind is that R/C flyers take their batteries more seriously than almost any other group. Loss of a battery in flight means a loss of control of the airplane which all adds up to a crash. With hundreds to thousands of dollars in the air there’s no room for error on your battery pack.
The concepts Red presents can be applied to other devices. Knowing how to properly charge and use rechargeable batteries will extend their lives considerably and though this site could be organized better there is still a wealth of information here.
rc, rc flying, batteries, battery, rechargeable batteries, nicd, nicad, lithium ion, lithium polymer, nickel-metal hydride
Don’t try this at home!
These guys took a lithium ion battery (you know, like we all have in our cell phones) and forced it so far into over-charge that it exploded!
Obviously any properly functioning charger on an undamaged battery would not cause this type of reaction. In fact, all lithium batteries have a charge limiter (either on the charger or battery) to protect the battery. For this demonstration the charge limiting was bypassed. Even with all the precautions they took it seems like it was a bigger explosion than expected.
This was set up with a radio controlled model airplane battery. Check out the video and be thankful for those charge limiter.
Technorati tags: explosion, battery, lithium ion