Li-Po Battery Safety

Safety Alert: Lithium Battery Dangers

Lithium batteries are becoming very popular for powering the control and power systems in our models. This is true because of their very high energy density (amp-hrs/wt. ratio) compared to Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cds) or other batteries. With high energy comes increased risk in their use.

The principal risk is fire which can result from improper charging, crash damage, or shorting the batteries. All vendors of these batteries warn their customers of this danger and recommend extreme caution in their use.

In spite of this, many fires have occurred as a result of the misuse of Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly) batteries, resulting in loss of models, automobiles, and other property. Homes, garages and workshops have also been burned.

A lithium battery fire is very hot (several thousand degrees) and is an excellent initiator for ancillary (resulting) fires. Fire occurs due to contact between lithium and oxygen in the air. It does not need any other source of ignition or fuel to start, and burns almost explosively.

These batteries must be used in a manner that precludes ancillary fire. The following is recommended: