Battery Safe?

jkvt

Active Member
I think I'm probably overthinking this, but if there is one thing I want to overthink, it's whether or not a battery is going to catch fire.

I ordered a custom build bike from a company in China. They have been REALLY good to work with, super responsive, knowledgable, etc. They also have great reviews on Alibaba (although not a ton of reviews). No, this is not Frey but components and pricing is comparable so I really feel as confident as I can in them. They're not just a "cheapo" bike manufacturer.

Anyways, the battery should be using Samsung cells, nothing generic. I get paranoid about batteries and living in a colder area, I can't store them in the garage all year. I was planning on getting an ammo case, venting it and putting it in the basement since it is heated down there. It's not a perfect situation since smoke and fire rises, but the box should prevent potential fire spread issues.

Does this at all seem like a reasonable plan? In hind sight I should have just ordered a domestic battery so I sleep better. That said they are CE certified, which may not mean a ton in the US as far as regulation goes but it's something for sure. My only concern is that this is not a US company. If a US company sold faulty batteries they could be held accountable but this company is in China.

Thanks very much!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
You could instead order your battery from EM3EV, a china shop owned by an ex-pat Englishman. Everyone raves about his quality, although I've never owned his product. Robotic spot welds. Fused cells, etc. , Might cost you $200-400 more. Worth it not to worry?

I keep my ebikes and batteries in an attached garage, Here in N, Illinois it gets down to -10F outside worst case for a few days, and maybe it hits 10F in the garage, I put my shrink wrapped batteries inside cinder blocks now. I had the ammo cases, but I never vented them. The ebike packs in cases sit on the bikes.

NYC has had quite a few battery fires in the past 12 months, and sadly a few people have died. I saw an article wjere an Underwriter Labs rep was tooting the U.L. horn about how their battery standards could reduce the number of poorly made batteries. I would agree. Buy a battery from a someone who cares about safety,

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/obsolete-manufacturing-standards-suspected-65-020000165.html
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
You could put an old refrigerator in your garage with a 40 watt bulb in it to keep it warm and figure out a way to vent it outside. If they truly are Samsung cells and not knock offs with a Samsung logo on them, then they should be fairly safe. There probably are a few reputable manufacturers in China, but I wouldn't know how to tell the good ones from the bad ones on Alibaba. One thing is for sure, you probably aren't going to save a whole lot of money buying from a reputable one because doing it right and not cutting corners drives the cost up.
 

jkvt

Active Member
Thanks for the replies. I don't *think* they would lie about the cells... but obviously I can't be sure. We spent a solid month going back and forth on specs (mostly not upsells although some minimal upsells) and they are always super responsive, even since the bikes were shipped. It's tough to be a judge of character over text chat, but they always seemed very interested in making what we were looking for. Also should point out we went with one of the more expensive sellers.. still a significant savings over what the bikes would have cost here, a bit less than what a Frey would cost.

Point being, my gut is that what we are getting is safe, but I am just trying to not leave anything to chance.
 

c2zinn

New Member
Region
USA
Potential Lipo fires are no joke, I know two people that had their "Hoverboards" explode into flames while charging, one of them losing their home! I would recommend finding a UL listed battery and charger for your bike, that was the first thing I looked for when shopping for my new bike.

Charles
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Potential Lipo fires are no joke, I know two people that had their "Hoverboards" explode into flames while charging, one of them losing their home! I would recommend finding a UL listed battery and charger for your bike, that was the first thing I looked for when shopping for my new bike.

Charles
I'm afraid there are confusing terms for n00bs.
LiPo typically refers to those highly fussy RC packs. Go up in smoke if run to low and up in smoke if overcharged.
Hoverboards as a reference don't give us any indication as to what the batteries were. There's more to the story...
@harryS has referred to his hoverboard packs and I have several of the same.No issues, but I charge in a vented ammo can. BTW They have decent 18650 cells.
I would recommend finding a UL listed battery and charger
China doens't give a hoot. Devices have been rated and tagged as UL approved but if they lie there are ZERO repercussions.
 

c2zinn

New Member
Region
USA
I'm afraid there are confusing terms for n00bs.
LiPo typically refers to those highly fussy RC packs. Go up in smoke if run to low and up in smoke if overcharged.
Hoverboards as a reference don't give us any indication as to what the batteries were. There's more to the story...
@harryS has referred to his hoverboard packs and I have several of the same.No issues, but I charge in a vented ammo can. BTW They have decent 18650 cells.

China doens't give a hoot. Devices have been rated and tagged as UL approved but if they lie there are ZERO repercussions.
Modern 18650's use the same type polymers as todays hobby battery packs used in RC helicopters. Biggest difference is manufacturing and component quality, I will always buy sanyo's if possible.

Believe whatever you want, If an electrical device isn't UL listed you likely won't find it in my home. My family is worth more to me than gambling on some fly by night company producing dangerous products. IMO any company that would go through the trouble and expense of having their products UL certified would probably have a certain degree of integrity and not fall into YOUR so-called "Lying Chinese Companies" category.

At the end of the day when I plug my UL rated ebike battery up to my UL rated ebike charger my anxiety's over Lipo fires are practically nonexistent, I still follow proper protocols any time I'm charging high energy batteries.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Modern 18650's use the same type polymers as todays hobby battery packs used in RC helicopters. Biggest difference is manufacturing and component quality, I will always buy sanyo's if possible.

Believe whatever you want, If an electrical device isn't UL listed you likely won't find it in my home. My family is worth more to me than gambling on some fly by night company producing dangerous products. IMO any company that would go through the trouble and expense of having their products UL certified would probably have a certain degree of integrity and not fall into YOUR so-called "Lying Chinese Companies" category.

At the end of the day when I plug my UL rated ebike battery up to my UL rated ebike charger my anxiety's over Lipo fires are practically nonexistent, I still follow proper protocols any time I'm charging high energy batteries.
Nope. Not correct. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide 18650 cells are not the same as LiPo. lithium-ion polymer batteries.
It’s naive to think that Chinese makers actually meet UL standards.
In the eBike world UN38 ratings on cell packs is a tougher standard.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hmmm. I always thought pouch packs and can batteries have the same soup inside, but it's wound in a roll in the can's, vs more a deck of cards in the pouch.