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Precautions when using batteries
Precautions when using batteries

The first and most basic thing to understand is that there are two basic types of battery packs.

where the internal cells are just attached in an electrical circuit and there is no form of monitoring or regulation. This style includes most R/C car types, cell phone batteries (the electronics in the phone itself handles the monitoring) and some laptop batteries (also regulated by the laptop itself).

Any -quality- battery pack should be of the ""Protected"" type. If a battery pack has one (or more) of the following certifications you can be reasonably confident that it has a robust BMS circuit built in; EN15194:2017, UN38.3, UN-package, UL, CE, FCC, CB, ROHS.

However, problems can still crop up, possibly due to things like a factory defect, or long term damage from the vibrations and/or physical impacts that a bike is constantly subject to during use. It is therefore a wise choice to follow some common guidelines (hereafter referred to as ""best practice"") to prevent issues.

1.ONLY charge your battery pack in a fireproof location.

I absolutely WILL NOT charge my battery packs ""on-bike"". I personally recommend that you NEVER charge your packs inside the main living area of your house. In my case both battery and charger go into a large-ish metal toolbox that sits on a ceramic tile (from home depot flooring) outside in my screened-in back porch. I leave the toolbox open so that the charger gets plenty of air circulation. Listen to me, Li-ion fires are no joke [link], you must show a battery pack due respect!

2. Prevent overcharging
The BMS should prevent this from ever happening but why take a chance? Get an inexpensive wall timer and set it to limit charging time. I use , but if you do a search on ""plug in countdown timer switch"" in amazon you'll get a bazillion options.

3. Prevent over-discharge
Again the BMS should prevent this from ever happening by cutting off your battery power while the pack still has a safe internal charge, but why risk it? If you get down to the last bar on your indicator then stop and charge your battery as soon as you can. Yes I understand you could easily wind up on a long ride with no choice, if so then do what you have to do, just don't make it a regular practice to run so low.

4. Store with a proper charge level
If a Li-ion pack is going to sit idle for an extended period (say more than a week) then it should be charged or discharged until it's at roughly 50%. This will give you a far better battery life than leaving it fully charged and leaving it at a very low charge -will- degrade the battery fairly quickly. If you are leaving it idle for an even longer time, say for the winter months, you should check the charge every month to make sure it's still around 50% as Li-ion batteries self-discharge over time.

5. Inspect the pack regularly for damage or bulging
The pack on an eBike lives a somewhat rugged life and is subject to constant temperature changes, bumping, vibrations, and physical shocks. This makes it very important that you inspect the pack regularly (). Check the connectors for any damage, discoloration, or signs that something might have overheated/melted. Check around the connectors for any stress cracks or anything that looks unusual. The same with the body of the pack. MOST IMPORTANTLY watch for ANY signs that the pack is deforming or bulging. ANY PACK THAT IS DEFORMING OR BULGING NEEDS TO BE TAKEN OUTSIDE TO A SAFE, NON-FLAMABLE, LOCATION IMMEDIATELY! If you don't know how to decommission a damaged battery pack (let's be honest, nobody but a professional really does) contact your local fire department (non-emergency number please) and explain the situation and they will assist.

Following these basic guidelines should give your battery pack a long and happy service life and prevent any tragedies from occuring."

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