For your Sunday evening amusement, and as an explanation of why I’m not particularly keen on powering my wearable projects with exciting lithium chemistry:
You’ve got my attention.
Nothing in that article says they were using Lithium batteries. It was an SLA that got shorted. Any battery that gets shorted will cause some sort of (serious) failure, not just Lithium. It’s the end-user’s job to learn how to properly handle the type of battery they’re using. Proper insulation is only one of many steps.
So a series of planning, execution and decision items were poorly implemented and lithium batteries are the work of satan.
I was implying that if I can create this much havoc with lead acid (that had the grace not to explode with its terminals shorted) then imagine what fun I could have with lithium!
I aborted deployment of three of my twelve #ExcellentBirds at Burning Man this year because
(1) the were getting Very Hot
(2) they had thin, dry, wooden shells
(4) they were going to be unattended
(5) they had lithium power cells
It’s not that alkaline cells couldn’t have started a fire-- it’s that lithium cells were even more able to start a fire.
And this was not intended to be fire art.
This is why I use fuses on every single battery connection, and insulate the connection to the fuse.
What kind of fuses? If automotive, in what kind of holder? If microelectronic (is that the same thing as a “polyswitch”?) what types? Where in the circuit do you put them?
I use these automotive fuse holders, and put them in line with the positive terminal of the battery. They are waterproof. Once I conned them to the positive terminal, I fully insulate it to make sure nothing can short it out. As an extra precaution, you could also remove the fuse during shipping. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047XSM06/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0047XSM06&linkCode=as2&tag=leftventcom-20&linkId=P7HYWIQ2Q3SWPPND
I’ve updated the post above with a pic of the Beetle that was supposed to be powering it. Poor little bugger didn’t stand a chance…
Piece of duct tape and WD40 will fix that right up.