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Safe Disposal of Lipos with Video

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#1
Hello gang. Recently I have started a Tips n Tricks series and I am getting good feed back so far. Several people have asked various questions about how to work with heavy gauge wire for battery connectors and such. I have also seen a lot of people doing questionably safe things when disposing of lipo batteries. I decided today, since I recently had a brand new battery kill a cell that I would use that to make a how to get rid of lipos video.

The first thing I do when I have a bad or damaged battery is to drain off any residual power to make the battery as inert and safe as possible. I simply use the 12 v light bulb from my smoke stopper to drain of as much as possible. I leave it sit connected a minimum of 24 hours outside in a safe place. On higher c rated batteries like this one I will let is rest a few hours then put it back on the bulb another 24 hours as they tend to regenerate power over time for quite a while which is why just throwing them away is a REALLY bad idea as they can still cause fires at that point.

Once that is done I check it with a multimeter and look for the battery to actually be taking a charge from the meter itself. At that point is where I will start the video. I hope it helps you guys as well as make our hobby a lot safer and less chance of causing more issues then we have over batteries. Above all PLEASE stop puncturing them to make them burn its just bad all around.

 

DamoRC

Well-known member
#2
Great vid Psyborg. This is basically they way I dispose of my old lipos with some minor exceptions.

After fully discharging the battery with car bulbs I cut off the main connector and remove all the insulation from the main leads leaving about 2-3 inches of bared wire which I twist, shorting the battery and preventing it from developing more charge. I then repeat this process with the balance leads, and finally, twist the balance and main leads together. I then wrap the whole "braid" in electricians tape. I think in future I might enhance this step with a blob of solder.

DamoRC
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#3
TY sir! Good to hear you are not one of those people puncturing old batteries to get rid of them. The more people talk about how to do it right the less bad things I think we will hear about issues with lipos.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#5
Only thing near me is a state prison a state college a mental hospital and lots and lots of cow poo... No fancy stores of any note other then a Walmart and the local grocery store chain. None of which want anything to do with lipos or anything powered by lipos hehe. Oh yeah and a McDonald's which is the most likely place near me where people would possibly have or show any interest in lipos and what we do with them.
 

Namactual

Well-known member
#7
I use Batteries + Bulbs here as well. I have one right down the street and it worth it just for the piece of mind. If I did not have access to on though, I would definitely give PsyBorgs tip a shot.
 

Jrok57

New member
#11
Great video Psy!

Just one question about discharging the bad battery. When you hook up your light bulb, overnight in a safe spot, you are discharging it past the 3.3v per cell that we should keep in the battery? I have heard that you should always keep about 3.3 - 3.8 volts in each cell to keep the battery in good shape. But when you are disposing of it, you take the voltage to 0?

Thanks in advance
 

makattack

Pollen is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#12
Great advice! I had a damaged lipo (one cell was wonky, bad) that I discharged in the same way! This was Oct 2015, so it was a nice cool day and I didn't mind sitting out by the beach (in the City of Boston of all places!) to do this... a father/daughter walked by and got curious. I gave an impromptu science class on simple circuits, resistance, light and heat with a little bit of chemistry and physics thrown in (the need for thermal cooling of the chemical power source).


lipoBeach.jpg
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
#13
Just one question about discharging the bad battery. When you hook up your light bulb, overnight in a safe spot, you are discharging it past the 3.3v per cell that we should keep in the battery? I have heard that you should always keep about 3.3 - 3.8 volts in each cell to keep the battery in good shape. But when you are disposing of it, you take the voltage to 0?
Yep - for disposal you are trying to take all of the charge out of the cells - as close to 0 as you can get it.

DamoRC
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#14
Great video Psy!

Just one question about discharging the bad battery. When you hook up your light bulb, overnight in a safe spot, you are discharging it past the 3.3v per cell that we should keep in the battery? I have heard that you should always keep about 3.3 - 3.8 volts in each cell to keep the battery in good shape. But when you are disposing of it, you take the voltage to 0?

Thanks in advance
The whole reason for bothering to do this is safety. You want to drain ALL the power out of a battery that needs to be disposed of for what ever reason. This is due to the regenerative nature of lipos when resting. You drain them to zero so they have no energy to start a fire if punctured. I solder the main battery terminals so the cells can not regenerate after I take the energy down to 0 volts. This way if they are put in a land fill or taken apart for recycling there is no chance of fire if or when they get opened up.