Lithium Batteries Explode in the Sun- Attention Tips

Oct 08, 2019   Pageview:168

For a long time now, Lithium batteries, especially lithium-ion ones, have been making headlines for many reasons. Decades ago, ever since its discovery, lithium cells had been appraised for their massive technological contributions in the electrical field of science. Being an advanced version of its predecessors, lead-acid, and nickel-based cells, lithium batteries have managed to lessen the burdens involved with battery flaws. Their ability to retain more charge capacity and provide high energy density have favored them in the eyes of many users over other forms of battery technology. Its use has grown significantly in recent years, and there are potential promises to an even better improvement of the batteries every day.?

However, with every advantage comes a disadvantage. Like all technologies, lithium batteries have their benefits as well as limitations. This does not make it any less of an excellent type of cell, if not the best kind. Setbacks are a common occurrence for exemplary inventions, and these batteries are nothing less than a blessing bestowed upon science and technology. One should realize that for them to get the most out of their lithium batteries, they will have to understand both the advantages as well as the limitations. This may be the only way they can be utilized to exploit their strengths and try as much as possible to avoid their weaknesses.?

Recently, there have been occasional reports of incidences where lithium batteries tend to explode. Now such observations cannot be ignored or registered as propaganda as evidence has undoubtedly been provided, and research has proven it to be possible. However, this article will help differentiate the truth from the myths by discussing the effects of lithium batteries when exposed to too much sun.


Do lithium batteries explode in the heat?

Before trying to acquire a straight-forward answer to such a question, one has to understand the immediate effects of exposing lithium batteries to too much heat. When exposed to intense direct sunlight, the battery will tend to heat up. This may force the vent in the cell to release its electrolyte and hydrogen gas which is not a good thing. Overheating any battery reduces its lifespan and possibly forces it to vent out the toxic or dangerous gasses held within it such as hydrogen. As we all know, hydrogen is very reactive with heat as it is one of the elements used in explosives.?

However, the sun’s rays may not be as hot enough to explode a lithium battery. Since the rays that heat the earth’s surface are a million times less hot than the ones at the source, it might not be enough for a reaction. However, different lithium batteries contain various concentrations of chemicals and reactive gasses. If they happen to be exposed to intense heat from the sun for a very long period, then it wouldn’t come as a shock if the cell happens to explode. However, when exposed to any other kind of direct heat, it most definitely will explode without caution.?

How do lithium batteries explode?

Lithium batteries are dangerous by nature, and if they aren’t handled with extra caution, serious consequences such as explosions may occur. This goes without saying that your battery should be treated as though it were one of the most valuable items in your procession. Inside the cell, lies a precautionary measure installed against short-circuiting. This is a thin porous slip made of polypropylene that prevents the electrodes from coming into contact with each other. In any case that the separator is breached, the electrodes will come in touch, and it will result in things heating up quickly.?

The cell is also filled with an easily flammable electrolyte that heats up very fast when exposed to heat. It also gets extremely reactive when it comes into contact with oxygen. Need you be reminded that there is the presence of hydrogen gas in the cell which is also as reactive with heat as the electrolyte. When all this happens, the reaction may be very exothermic that it might cause an explosion. Keep in mind that the electrolyte is mixed with a compound capable of burning your skin like acid.?

What are the safety strategies for an explosion??

Safety strategies for handling batteries have been around ever since the cells’ invention. You must be keen when it comes to observing such precautions because carelessness can lead to undesired consequences. Ignorance seems to be man’s fundamental error, especially when it comes to reading manuals provided with careful guidelines on how to handle such reactive materials. Such safety precautions may include the following:?

1.Do not use lithium batteries for unspecified uses.

2.Do not charge non-rechargeable lithium batteries as these could lead to the suspected explosions.

3.Keep the batteries out of children’s reach.

4.Do not force the discharge of the battery as it may cause the gas to be vented out, and an explosion may occur.

5.Do not heat, disassemble, or dispose of lithium batteries in a fire.

6.Do not insert batteries into machines with the polarities reversed.

7.Do not scratch or peel off the resin film or insulation on the surface of the battery.?

8.Wrap the batteries when disposing to avoid short circuits

9.Read the battery’s manual that comes with the pack before handling it.

10.In the case of leakage or suspicious smell, keep the battery away from heat as this could cause fire or explosions.?

11.Do not expose batteries to direct sunlight and high or very low temperatures.?

12.Avoid battery contact with water as this may cause heat to generate from within.?

13.Do not reuse damaged, expired, or worn-out batteries.?

14.Do not solder batteries directly as this may damage the insulation and cause fire, heat generation, leakage, or even explosions.?


Final thoughts

However, much news may come up with a lithium battery exploding; such occurrences are rare as the batteries are safe and mature technologies. Battery manufacturers have put in a lot of effort to install safety precautions that help prevent the failure of their cells. These precautions also significantly reduce the damage that failure can cause.

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