LiPo Charging Box

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

 

One of my favorite hobbies is to fly remote control airplanes. I normally fly electric planes so I am always having to charge batteries. I use LiPo batteries for my planes and I have heard that they have the potential to be dangerous if not monitored well. I read that if something goes wrong in the battery they can catch fire and easily burn down a house. I try to be as safe as possible on most things and charging LiPo batteries is no exception, so I made a charging box for my batteries.

My charging box is constructed from a military ammo box I got at a yardsale. This box is great for charging my batteries in because it is made very well. It is made from metal with a heavy duty lid that can cam down really tight. If I had this box sitting on something inside my house and a battery catches fire inside the box, I’m sure that the box would get hot enough to potentially cause a fire outside of the box. To remedy this, I lined the walls of the box with sand bags.

The sandbags are super simple to make. I just took some sand and poured it into some Ziplocs. I did, however, cover the ziplocs with duct tape before I put the sand in them. I did this because I didn’t want the ziplocs to tear and sand get all inside my house. The ziplocs serve two purposes, like stated before they will help absorb heat in case a battery catches fire. It also serves as a built in ‘fire extinguisher’. My hope is that if a LiPo catches fire in the box, then the fire will melt through the duct tape and ziploc and the sand will pour onto the lipo and smother it and hopefully extinguish the fire. Now I have never tested this, nor do I hope to ever find out if it works, but it is a precautionary step that I have taken.

To charge the battery I need a charger in of the equation. The charger I use is a Dynam Supermate DC6. I mounted the charger to the outside of the box by bending some aluminium into little brackets that stick into the heat sink fins of the charger and also bolt to the wall of the ammo box. To get the charging wires from the charger to the battery I drill two holes in the side of the box with a step drill. I did not want the wires to be cut by the edges of the holes I drilled so I put a rubber grommet into each hole. I then stuck the wires through the holes and I was ready to charge.

One extra thing I did to the box was I added some velcro to the inside of the lid so that I could store all of the charging leads that came with my charger more easily. Now my different leads are always right in my charging box where I need them.

Here are some pictures (sorry for the poor quality, I had to use a different camera) . . .

 

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