Barbecue grill for a safe charging station?

vincent

Well-Known Member
Is using an outside grill and keeping it a few feet from the house a safe charging setup? Seems like that might be an easy thing to do..
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
A grill is not a charging setup. LOL I had no idea what kind of question that was! Then the thought came to me you are talking about a fire prevention container. I've seen videos where some pretty severe forces are coming from exploding cells, so I would put a strap over it to keep the lid in place. A cheap steel grill will probably get a hole burnt through it.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Is using an outside grill and keeping it a few feet from the house a safe charging setup? Seems like that might be an easy thing to do..
I see little reason it wouldn't be a LOT safer than most other places. Perfect? Bullet proof? Maybe not. A good idea? It sounds like a good one from where I'm sitting...
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I don’t really want to spend $1000 on a big fireproof box so any other suggestions

I will change the title to try and make it more clear
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I agree with AHicks. Even those thousand dollar flammables cabinets aren't 100%. There are bbq grills and there are bbq grills though, so some are going to do better than others, but it sounds like a good idea. It's not too likely that you'll ever get have a real test of its effectiveness though. I work at a lab where we have quite a few flammables cabinets and not one has ever done more than meet regulatory safety requirements and provide some peace of mind. Knowing where the nearest exit is provides more peace of mind! ;)

TT
 

Kayakguy

Well-Known Member
I agree with AHicks. Even those thousand dollar flammables cabinets aren't 100%. There are bbq grills and there are bbq grills though, so some are going to do better than others, but it sounds like a good idea. It's not too likely that you'll ever get have a real test of its effectiveness though. I work at a lab where we have quite a few flammables cabinets and not one has ever done more than meet regulatory safety requirements and provide some peace of mind. Knowing where the nearest exit is provides more peace of mind! ;)

TT
Many barbeques are built from cast aluminum. I wonder if a lithium fire would get hot enough to burn a hole thru the aluminum, as it is an easily melted metal. Just wondering.

I've also seen the suggestion to use a kitchen range oven as a charging chamber. They can take very high temps (as when in self-cleaning mode), and the gas ones (at least) have a vent for releasing gases. Might be worth it to get an old one to use for this purpose. I don't think my wife would smile on my using hers.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Guess I could get an old oven but a grill would look a little less junky sitting in my yard
Blah
Keep the suggestions coming
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I don't know for sure, but the idea that the alum cover may melt at a lower temp is a possibility. That in mind, pick out a junk grill with a steel cover and avoid anything with an alum cover. I haven't seen one of those in a while now anyway!
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
If you can find a cheap steel grill, then I think it should work.

One concern would be heat though, if in direct sunlight. The inside of a closed grill can get pretty hot, which isn't good for battery life.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Is using an outside grill and keeping it a few feet from the house a safe charging setup? Seems like that might be an easy thing to do..
Not sure on the grill but I replaced the cheap chargers that come with the Espin and XPs with a little better charger that has a fan. The old chargers got very hot...
 

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
How about masonry blocks? If you happen to have enough yard/acreage and a place to put it so it isn't too unsightly.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Don't you all think at some point that it is safer, simpler, and likely cheaper to just purchase better quality batteries and chargers? And be fussy with how you handle them?

Having said that, there are battery bags that are a good option for holding a battery while charging, or you can use a big concrete flowerpot outside.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Don't you all think at some point that it is safer, simpler, and likely cheaper to just purchase better quality batteries and chargers? And be fussy with how you handle them?

Having said that, there are battery bags that are a good option for holding a battery while charging, or you can use a big concrete flowerpot outside.
The charger on the left was purchased on Aliexpress for around 60 US. I bought 2. They work great and the fan kicks on right away. They do not get as hot as the black one on the right and I believe also charge a little faster...
 

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vincent

Well-Known Member
Well I have several bikes and am not inclined to just throw all these batteries away cheap brands or not
I do have a grin satiator and it charges quite a few of them
Also on the cheap chargers I put a strong fan to keep them cool
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Well I have several bikes and am not inclined to just throw all these batteries away cheap brands or not
I do have a grin satiator and it charges quite a few of them
Also on the cheap chargers I put a strong fan to keep them cool
I understand all that but you need to realize that a fire or explosion will cost you quite a bit of money.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The charger on the left was purchased on Aliexpress for around 60 US. I bought 2. They work great and the fan kicks on right away. They do not get as hot as the black one on the right and I believe also charge a little faster...
Its the fan'd chargers that are more vulnerable, because they have a two-cent mechanical part that, if it fails, allows the charger to overheat and then bad things happen. The fanless ones that use radiant heat to cool themselves are actually more fault tolerant - in that one respect. I'd say ALL cheap Chinese chargers are to be avoided. I've had three of them fail on me. No failures in the years since I went to using Mean Wells, which are effectively the same underlying tech as a Grin Satiator without the fancy UI (I have one of those too).


Also, do yourself a big, fat favor: Learn your charge times for your charger (i.e. how much time it takes to add 1 volt to a given pack) and then use this cheap tool as a fail-safe power cutoff. Those chinesium chargers are infamous for losing their ability to stop adding volts. Two of my three failures were chargers that kept on charging.


61KgD31CEnL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


And finally, slower charging is safer. Use an adjustable charger to add in 1a or less. everyone wants fast but thats not good for the battery and really not good for a cheapo battery. If you know how much time until your next ride, and you know your charge increment over time, you can dial your charger down to give you only what you need in the time alloted. This one at work in my basement garage is feeding the pack 0.20 amps. Less than 11w of output.

pxl_20210223_172616305-e1625440989678[1].jpg
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I understand all that but you need to realize that a fire or explosion will cost you quite a bit of money.
You do understand the point of all this is to try and contain that potential, right? To minimize any damage should a fire occur?

Regarding quality batteries, are you suggestiong the batteries that came with his production bikes be replaced? What would you recommend he replace them with, specifically?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Regarding quality batteries, are you suggestiong the batteries that came with his production bikes be replaced? What would you recommend he replace them with, specifically?

That's a judgement call.

I'd say that unless the battery cells are from Panasonic, LG, or Samsung you should junk the batteries and the bike if you can't replace them with something safer. The vast majority of e-bike battery fires are from no-name batteries or charger systems, even though those probably represent a minority of e-bikes in today's fleet. Just sticking to products from well-known brands probably increases your safety more than any physical battery safety measures you might be taking or should be taking. Ideally you should be doing both.

I'd also say that if you drop the battery or have a bad crash on the bike it would be very wise to replace that battery.
 

FrankR

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Milky Way Galaxy
Well, you certainly got my attention with this thread.

I admit that I worry about this stuff quite a bit. Those of us who have participated in the China wild, wild west of ebikes should all be worrying.