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Li-Ion Safety while charging and using these cells

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by SilverFox, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Norseman

    Norseman Loaded Pockets

    Sep 4, 2013
    Likes Received:
    As long as someone will be home I will put a big empty pot on the stove and place the charger in it. This way if God forbid a battery flares up the chances of a fire are minimal.

    ...just a little tip I thought I would share.
  2. etc

    etc Loaded Pockets

    Nov 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    That is smart.

    To add to the excellent OP:

    Primary Lithium CR123A are even more dangerous than Li-Ion, by far. These are the cells that come with Surefire lights, sometimes called SF123A but in reality there seem to be just 2-3 factories that make them, it's basically Panasonic cells plus foreign ones.

    I highly recommend not using cheap foreign CR123A cells, not only do you get lower capacity, but I just don't trust foreign manufacturers with a highly combustible product.

    Two things to watch out for when using Primary 123s:

    If you using in series - i.e. a Surefire type light that takes 3x123 and you insert one depleted one and 2 good ones - the good ones will attempt to charge the depleted bad one. So don't mix cells. Once a pair of cells is married to a light, keep it there until they are completely used up. Don't take 2 semi-used up 123s from a 6P and insert them into 9P, adding a new one.

    Secondly, 123s are afraid of shock. Do not hit them or smash them or seat on them or put them at the bottom of a backpack and then something heavy on top of it. They will be set on fire and you will get spectacular and very pretty fireworks show emitting very toxic hydrophloric acid gas that's deadly.

    Run a little experiment -- outdoors -- set a used 123 on something hard like a rock and then smash it with a hammer and you will get an idea of what it can do. Hint - stay away from the toxic fumes. You will get very pretty blue flame out of it that seems to keep going and going.

    Better yet, fire up a youtube video about 123s on fire when put in a vice and such.

    I think the same concept applies to Lithium Energizer L91s AA cells. They look like alkaline AAs but they are not even close in substance.

    Back to OP, not sure if mentioned already, but don't want to overheat Li-Ions while charging. To prolong their lives.

    Why primary cells? They are awfully convenient at times. When traveling, you don't have to bring a charger with you and can just discard used up 123s. They are very light, way lighter than 18650 cells and perhaps more importantly, 123s keep ticking in very cold weather that stops everything cold. -40 will shut down Li-ion. So there is definitely a place for 123s as well as Li-Ions.

    * Mental note: If you away from civilization and need to start a camp fire for food and such and have access to a depleted 123, you can use it to start a fire.