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BATTERIES AND TRAVEL


TSA and SLA CELLS: OUR BATTERIES

Always explain our battreies are SLA. Our batteries, though tilt-safe, should still be charged in a vertical position. Never store these batteries face down or on it's side for any length of time like thirty days.  

Never charge any (the) battery in a closed box, it needs to vent. 

All batteries vent, OXY and HYD are bi-products of charging and discharging.  OXY and HYD are what power the Shuttle.  The use of Pelican cases is Ok for travel, make sure the vent is open for pressure to change. Seal the case if using on a boat or at sea level so it floats.

Use the chargers direct to the wall, preferably no strips or APC's with joules or any other interference between the circuit and the charger.  Use the red caps on the airlines or storage while traveling as an additional safety precaution. The TSA will go easier on you (if they are not aware my batteries), SLA's are not under scrutiny. 

Keep batteries (other types) and equipment with you, or in carry-on baggage - not in your checked baggage! In the cabin, flight crew can better monitor conditions, and have access to the batteries or device if a fire does occur. (Lithiums are the culprit)

Sealed Lead Acid

Nonspillable Wet Cell Equipment:
Containing nonspillable wet cell batteries (gel cell or absorbent glass mat) can be carried as cargo. Or may be carried in Camera Bags - The equipment with the battery installed must be protected from short circuit and securely packaged. The package must be marked "Nonspillable" or "Nonspillable Battery."  

Use the red caps provided with the Black Box or Tuxedo. Thats why they are there. We have a special kit labeled "Idiot TSA Kit" for three dollars plus 1.25 postage which includes two caps for those that threw their red caps away. 

The Power-Sonic valve regulated sealed lead acid batteries are maintenance free, easy to handle, rugged and economical. It has a characteristic of high discharge rate, wide operating temperature, long service life and deep discharge recover.
• Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology for superior performance.
• Valve regulated, spill proof construction allows safe operation in any position.
• Approved for transport by air. D.O.T., I.A.T.A., F.A.A. and C.A.B. certified.
• U.L. recognized under file number MH 20845.
• 
Case material is ABS, high-impact plastic resin, styrene, or a polypropylene-polyethylene copolymer with high resistance to chemicals and flammability.


LITHIUM SMALLER BATTERIES LIKE BP-511

If original packaging is not available for spare batteries, effectively insulate battery terminals by isolating the batteries from contact with other batteries and metal. Good electrical tape over the contacts. Cheap electrical tape leaves residue.  Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewelry.

Place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag, or package, or place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals. Isolating terminals prevents short-circuiting.

Take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

If you must carry a battery-powered device in any baggage, package it to prevent inadvertent activation. For instance, you should pack a cordless power tool in a protective case, with a trigger lock engaged. If there is an on-off switch or a safety switch, tape it in the "off" position.


NiCAD vs Ni-Mh vs LITHIUM - ION

In the last 25 years, manufacturers have invested huge research dollars to advance the technology of batteries. The main focus has been to produce a lighter power supply.  Battery weight has been the greatest challenge.  By studying and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of battery chemistry the best selection can be made.

Nickel cadmium (NiCad)
The "Ni-cad" is the oldest rechargeable chemistry and is relatively less expensive then other alternatives and these batteries have proven to be fairly durable and good in cold weather environments

Ni-cad batteries are more likely to take more recycles, charges then their Ni-Mh cousin. The downside is the "memory affect problems" associated with older Ni-Cads.   The second generation Ni-cad batteries came onto the market, on higher end professional grade cordless tools claiming no problems.

Cadmium is considered  to be a hazardous waste item.   They are also heavier than Ni-mh batteries.

Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-Mh)

These batteries were made to be environmentally friendly and with a higher capacity than NI-Cad.  But with every storm comes a silver lining or more appropriate the calm before the storm.

More powerful battery option produces internal resistance and its associated heat generation. It is this heat production that’s causes some flash units to overheat and is 75% of the problem, and that leads to shutdowns and some photographers to quit drinking, or is it they start drinking. 

Naturally it is the most expensive flash’s that do this. That’s because the Nikon boys don’t want to repair their flashes under warranty.  They lose money.  

Ni-Mh uses a hydrogen-absorbing alloy for the anode instead of cadmium. Like in NiCd batteries, nickel is the cathode.'



In fact some chargers for the Ni-Mh batteries include fans onboard so the batteries don't overheat.
 Some flashes like the METZ 76 have two fans on the flash for cooling. That uses up juice.

Heat is what is produced when the battery is be charged or discharged.  Up to the safety threshold of 130 degrees Fahrenheit.  This damages the battery, and the result is the NI-Mh gives you less re-charges, and a shorter life cycle.

This “doth not maketh” the consumer happy-happy.  The higher amperage, lower weight and of the typical Ni-MH battery is offset by its shorter life cycle and thus higher cost.

Metal hydride batteries are not well known for cold weather performance.,

Lithium-ion

The newest chemistry has advantages and disadvantages.  It weighs less and is smaller of the three chemistries and works well in cold weather.  

Li-ion batteries need more elaborate chargers to control the charge and discharge to each cell so they are consistent.  Longer recharge times so the cells balance themselves and they are a far more complex system usually not repairable and Lithium Ion Batteries are not rebuildable.

This prevents damage to your Li-ion battery pack. It also suggests longer re-charge times to allow for rebalancing cell to cell differentials and more sophisticated battery chargers. This all adds to the cost and complexity of the design.

 Another factor is the human factor cost.

These batteries are expensive to replace some costing 50-70% of the new tool. Also in the past five years, it is not spoken much but there have been reports of Lithium plants blowing up.  Never ever try to open or dispose of a Lithium battery improperly. It is one of those chemistries with notches on the handle.

It can sometimes erupt or explode in high heat - hot cars, direct sunlight, etc, or sometimes after tampering. a more dangerous battery than the others
-- permanent damage to battery if stored at too-low discharge level, so be careful and keep these charged well. 

Exposure to air with Lithium and any of the contacts touching will result in an explosion. The bigger the battery the bigger the explosion. I have seen a cell phone battery explode on our counters when the gentleman unhappy with it’s performance, slammed it down.  A Ford pickup truck went into flames from a laptop Lithium and caused the largest recall in battery history.

All that most of us need to know about the new rules is that you can't pack any spare (i.e., not plugged into a device of some sort) lithium-ion or lithium metal batteries in your checked luggage. You'll want to take any spares in your carry-on luggage instead, and you'll want to pack as few of them as possible to avoid getting into the aforementioned legal dispute.

The new rules have nothing to do with terrorism, but are a safety measure aimed a preventing the batteries in a cargo hold from blowing up all on their own. "Lithium batteries are considered hazardous materials because they can overheat and ignite in certain conditions," said the FAA.  Safety testing conducted by the FAA found that current aircraft cargo fire suppression system would not be capable of suppressing a fire if a shipment of non-rechargeable lithium batteries were ignited in flight."

So if you flew somewhere for New Year's Eve and you packed some spare lithium batteries, you'll want to be very careful about your return trip. If you fear you may wind up exceeding some lithium content threshold in your carry-on luggage, you may just want to seal your spares in anti-static packaging and ship them back home.

Dafynitions

Run Time is the amount of work a tool can do before its charge runs out.
Life Cycle is how many times the battery can be recharged during its life time.

Amp-Hour Rating indicates the how long the battery lasts




 © copyright aljacobs Stardate 10-18-2012