Nowadays, there are several types of batteries, with different types of chemical composition. For example, the lithium battery, which has become a trend in the market for some twelve years now. It is relatively cheaper to manufacture and yields much more than other batteries with different chemical compositions.
Lithium battery safety comes at the top of the list for anyone who manufactures these battery packs. The certifications for battery packs are important in order to ship any lithium battery products anywhere. Shipping battery packs without the UN38.3 test is forbidden due to the hazardous incidents that have come to notice in recent times.
UN38.3 is a test that must be passed by the battery packs in order to get shipped. This regulation was passed in 2016, so if a company wants to make shipments of lithium-ion batteries they must pass the test and need to certify that their batteries have passed the UN38.3 test.
Composition of LITHIUM BATTERY
The lithium battery consists of 4 main internal parts:
- Anode: This is composed of graphite. Its main applications are to get positive charge flows, that is, it receives electrons.
- Cathode: This is composed of cobalt oxide, and acts a negative part that ensures the yielding of electrons.
- Separator: Its function is to separate cobalt oxide from lithium. It is usually composed of a semipermeable material, which allows only one type of element to pass through – in this case, lithium ions. The separator is soaked with a solvent which is at most times ether.
- Lithium-ion Layer: It is separated from cobalt oxide.
The user of the battery undertakes to accept the risks and responsibilities of using the battery. Since the manufacturer and the distributor cannot control the correct use of the battery (a charge, discharge, storage, etc.), they cannot be held responsible for damage caused to people or property.
Many objects that we use in everyday life can cause serious material damage and bodily injury if they are not used in accordance with a few basic rules. The same is true for lithium batteries which can be dangerous if they are not used and handled correctly. Indeed, improper use of your battery can create a risk of fire or explosion.
Some Rules to Follow for Charging Your Battery:
- Before charging your battery, carefully inspect its packaging to check for damage or deformation. In the event of a fault, do not charge it.
- Be absolutely certain that your charger is correctly configured for the battery you are going to charge. Both voltage and amperage should be correct. Two checks are better than one. A significant overload is undoubtedly the destruction of the pack and the risk of combustion. In addition, only chargers specifically designed for charging lithium batteries should be used to recharge this type of cell.
- You must charge your batteries on a fireproof surface. Do not charge the battery on a flammable surface such as carpet, parquet, or the like. Charge the battery on a heat-resistant, non-current-carrying surface to prevent damage from a short circuit or possible charging problem.
- Do not charge near flammable materials, liquids or solids, wooden furniture, etc.
- Never charge a swollen, leaked, or damaged battery.
- Never recharge a hot battery or immediately after use; let it cool before recharging.
- There is no point in trying to increase the current to reduce the charging time because if this allows the moment of the passage from the first to the second stage to be reached more quickly, the filling phase will last longer. In addition, the increase in the charge current would directly affect the life of the battery.
- If you overload a lithium battery it produces hydrogen. There is therefore an overpressure and heating which can go as far as the explosion of the element. Li-ions are protected against temperature rises and overpressures by internal protection circuits (BMS / PCM).
- Once the charge is complete, never put the pack back on the charge to “inflate them to the full” because from the first moment the charger will send a strong current, which risks causing overheating leading straight to combustion.
- If you detect a rise in temperature, it is abnormal: Stop everything!
Other Precautionary Rules to Follow:
- A damaged pack following an impact (crash) is potentially dangerous and can catch fire following an internal short circuit. A damaged pack may take more than 10 minutes to catch fire. A short-circuited pack, even for a very short time, must be placed under surveillance because it can take more than 10 minutes to catch fire after the incident.
- In the event of a big shock on your battery, you should no longer use it. Get closer to a recycling center near you to have it recycled.
- If any electrolyte from the elements gets in contact with your skin, wash it off with plenty of soap and water. For contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly with cold water and see a doctor immediately.
- Only use the battery for your bicycle and not for other purposes.
- Do not try to open, cut or crush the battery.
- Do not throw the battery away from the places intended for the collection of lithium batteries.
- Avoid short circuits at all costs; if this happens, a very high current will flow through the battery and could result in loss of electrolyte, gas, significant heating, or even an explosion. This type of problem can also be caused after prolonged contact of the battery with water or when used in an environment above 55° C. In the very unlikely event that the battery ignites, do not use water to extinguish this fire, take sand or an extinguisher for electric fires.
- Do not store the battery in a place that is too hot (above 40° C) or too cold (-5° C). The ambient temperature should ideally be between 5° and 40° C. For example, do not leave your battery in a vehicle or in direct sunlight.
- Before recycling your battery, discharge it slowly and completely first.