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Print 33 comment(s) - last by meesohonee.. on Mar 5 at 11:32 PM


A burnt PSP shell shows the damage from the exploding battery.  (Source: ClickOnDetroit.com)
Minor injuries sustained in lithium fire

Rather than let Apple corner the "flaming personal entertainment device" market, a Sony PlayStation Portable has caught fire while in the pocket of a middle-school student in Michigan.

According to the report from Warner Middle School
, the fire occurred at approximately 9:00 AM this morning, when the battery of the PSP apparently overheated and exploded, causing a lithium fire. The fire burned a hole in the student's pants and caused minor burns to his leg.

The school was placed on lockdown in order to allow emergency personnel to enter the building and administer first aid, and the child was taken to a local hospital for further treatment. Police are undergoing an official investigation -- it is not known at this time if the PSP was on when the explosion occurred.

While lithium battery fires have been big news of late, including new restrictions on air travel on January 1st, the major suspects have been laptop computers, due to the larger-capacity cells used -- but the probability of a portable game system to be carried by a child may cause some parents to consider extra precautions.


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How possible....?
By mdogs444 on 2/7/2008 9:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiousity...

What are the chances a battery in a hybrid car could catch fire like this? I could see that as a quite a terrible thing - considering that there is flammable liquid (gasoline) on board...




RE: How possible....?
By Chris Peredun on 2/7/2008 9:59:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
What are the chances a battery in a hybrid car could catch fire like this? I could see that as a quite a terrible thing - considering that there is flammable liquid (gasoline) on board...


All current hybrid vehicles are using nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs rather than Li-Ion, so the odds are fairly low. A failing NiMH cell can give off hydrogen gas, but a lithium fire is probably a greater risk.


RE: How possible....?
By Lastfreethinker on 2/7/2008 1:03:35 PM , Rating: 3
Which is ironic because the use of NiMH makes hybrid cars more toxic and an bigger danger to the environment then a Hummer.


RE: How possible....?
By clovell on 2/7/2008 1:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
Chevy is contracting development of Litium Ion batteries for future use in the Volt.


RE: How possible....?
By meesohonee on 3/5/2008 11:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Next Gen Hybrid. Pretty nice.


RE: How possible....?
By OdinX on 2/7/2008 3:31:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
All current hybrid vehicles are using nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs rather than Li-Ion, so the odds are fairly low. A failing NiMH cell can give off hydrogen gas, but a lithium fire is probably a greater risk.


This must be the true Secret of NiMH!

oh yes I went there


RE: How possible....?
By therealnickdanger on 2/8/2008 1:42:34 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, I need to find that on DVD.

OK, done:
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-NIMH-2-Disc-Family-Fu...


RE: How possible....?
By Kenenniah on 2/7/2008 9:59:52 AM , Rating: 3
Probably about the same as the gasoline catching fire itself. Never heard of a fuel line catching fire in a non-hybrid gasoline vehicle?


RE: How possible....?
By mdogs444 on 2/7/2008 11:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
Personally - I havent heard of one catching fire - outside of an accident where the line has been ruptured, but im sure it happens.


RE: How possible....?
By tjr508 on 2/8/2008 12:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
There have been many many recals of leaky injectors that are prone to causing engine fires.


RE: How possible....?
By JimmyC on 2/11/2008 7:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
a*b*c=x


C'mon....
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/7/2008 12:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rather than let Apple corner the "flaming personal entertainment device" market,


Okay. I know it's real cool to bash Apple and all, but this is just ridiculous. Of all the Lithium Ion battery incidents, you mention a singular instance of an iPod catching on fire. Why?

Vanilla




RE: C'mon....
By Chris Peredun on 2/7/2008 12:26:33 PM , Rating: 5
Joke
Something said or done to provoke laughter or cause amusement, as a witticism, a short and amusing anecdote; something that is amusing or ridiculous, esp. because of being ludicrously inadequate or a sham; a thing, situation, or person laughed at rather than taken seriously; a farce.


RE: C'mon....
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/7/2008 12:36:42 PM , Rating: 3
Tired
banal: repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse.

:)

V.


RE: C'mon....
By jamdunc on 2/7/2008 1:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
More importantly, why do you (and other people as well) sign your posts. It says your name at the top of your post so why repeat it? Do you think people are stupid and don't know it was you who wrote it.

Call it a pet peeve of mine if you wish.


RE: C'mon....
By clovell on 2/7/2008 1:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
Like those guys who drive a Tundra and have big block letters on the top of their windsheilds that say T-O-Y-O-T-A just in case you couldn't figure it out.


RE: C'mon....
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: C'mon....
By chick0n on 2/8/2008 9:41:12 AM , Rating: 1
Cuz apple fanboys are stupid.


RE: C'mon....
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/8/2008 5:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
Just for the record, I don't own a single piece of Apple tech. I just get tired of the constant bias against Apple on this site.

Vanilla


RE: C'mon....
By JakLee on 2/7/2008 5:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Joke
Something said or done to provoke laughter or cause amusement, as a witticism, a short and amusing anecdote; something that is amusing or ridiculous, esp. because of being ludicrously inadequate or a sham; a thing, situation, or person laughed at rather than taken seriously; a farce.

and
quote:
Tired
banal: repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse.

:)

V.

I would have voted you both up if I had had the option still - that was great for today!
Kudo's to you both!


RE: C'mon....
By djkrypplephite on 2/7/2008 1:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Sony owns that market anyway.


The PSP was off at the time of the incident...
By NickWV on 2/7/2008 9:28:04 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Police are undergoing an official investigation -- it is not known at this time if the PSP was on when the explosion occurred.


according to the child's father:

quote:
"It was unbelievable, because it wasn't on. It was just in his pocket," said the victim's father, Harold Clay.


that was taken from the same source as the article.




By mdogs444 on 2/7/2008 9:33:31 AM , Rating: 3
But as always - you only take what the person filing the report "says" with a grain of salt. Just because they claim something, does not make it factual.

However, even if it was on, it still should not have caught fire in his pocket.


By Chris Peredun on 2/7/2008 9:51:06 AM , Rating: 2
There was a bit of a time-delay between the writing and posting of this article - that information was not available at the time.

Also, remember that the PSP has a "sleep" mode, where it consumes very little power but is still technically "on."


RE: The PSP was off at the time of the incident...
By TomZ on 2/7/2008 1:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Being "on" or "off" is probably irrelevant. In order to catch fire, there would have to be an electrical short which could happen with the device on or off. The short could be even in the battery itself, which was the case with many of the laptop batteries that caught fire.


By mindless1 on 2/7/2008 9:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Or a failure of the battery container. A properly designed device using Li-Ion should always have an internal fuse or switched circuit (if not in the pack itself) so a short external to the battery pack should not cause failure / fire.


Not worth it
By mindless1 on 2/7/2008 10:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, some devices simply should not use lithium tech batteries. When a product is designed for the larger (typically NiMH) alternative it need not make the device that much larger in many products. Being as small as possible isn't important enough to risk (not just the user but potentially others in the vicinity).

Li cells may also raise the initial and cell replacement cost, maybe it's time we stopped trying to increase power density as much as possible and started focusing more on universal recharging stations for consumer products, a standardized charge interface on a product casing so even a child can do it. If there are enough recharging stations and a good fast recharge rate the user can adapt just as they do to any battery tech.




RE: Not worth it
By bldckstark on 2/8/2008 12:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, yeah. Now you're on to something. Many of my current technological devices have a mini-USB port for charging. The ones that don't are the ones that the company is trying to make more money on each of the $29.95 car, house, boat, plane, and night time solar charger.


RE: Not worth it
By killerroach on 2/11/2008 10:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
The PSP can recharge through its mini-USB connection... I do that on a regular basis, in fact.


Li-Ion?
By djkrypplephite on 2/7/2008 1:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
Why the hell are we still using lithium ion and not lithium polymer?




RE: Li-Ion?
By mmntech on 2/7/2008 2:48:22 PM , Rating: 3
They're six and one half a dozen of each other. Li-ion cells are paced into normal cans while LiPos are flat packs. The term Li-ion is frequently misused to identify both types. The PSP uses LiPos as far as I know. The packs are too small and light for cans.

Unfortunately, fire is a potential risk with all lithium based batteries. Lithium reacts violently in the presence of oxygen so it they burst, they burn. Nine times out of 10, the battery being abused, punctured, or charged improperly causes these fires. I use them a lot with RC planes. You don't need to fear them but you do need to be a little more careful.


Jig Kick battery
By gumbi18 on 2/7/2008 5:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this kid had modded his battery to create a jig kick? This mod involves opening the battery casing and removing a pin from an IC on the battery motherboard, if done wrong the battery will explode. However as the PSP was in his pocket I doubt he was modding it that second.




RE: Jig Kick battery
By Radius3000 on 2/12/2008 6:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
I actually punctured the battery pack when making a pandora battery. I was afraid that the battery would catch when in the PSP, but I've used it several times and it functions normally with no apparent problems. I've not had to charge it since the alterations though. I guess it's time for an experiment.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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