Jump to content




Photo

2016 Guidelines for Shipping STAND-ALONE Lithium Ion Batteries


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1264 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 17 May 2016 - 09:23 AM

This informative PDF from Panavision describes how to ship lithium ion batteries or travel with them on passenger aircraft.

 

As of April 1, 2016, lithium ion batteries must now be shipped as Class 9 Dangerous Goods, and a restriction has been implemented on the bulk (three or more) shipment of UN3480 lithium ion batteries as cargo, including checked luggage, on passenger aircraft

 

From Panavision http://www.panavisio...ies_revised.pdf

 

Also good info at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration http://phmsa.dot.gov...ravel/batteries


  • 0




#2 Kalle Folke

Kalle Folke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Other
  • Stockholm

Posted 17 May 2016 - 01:26 PM

Hi,

I'm just about to ship my Arri 416 kit to New York from Europe and maybe someone who understands this better can help me how this effects me?

 

I want to ship three OBB-2 onboard batteries. On the batteries theres a label that says "the equivalent lithium content is less then 8g" and that it's "tested according to UN manual of test and criteria chapter 38.3"

 

Will I be in trouble if I pack it together with the other gear in the flight cases? Should I ship them separately? Sorry if this seems like something I could easily look into myself, but English is not my first language and I'm having a hard time taking in all that text...

 

Thanks! Kalle


  • 0

#3 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2182 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 17 May 2016 - 02:03 PM

The leaflet only covers passenger aeroplanes. Presumably they will go as cargo. The OBB-2 is 80Wh so that's OK. The carrier will advise but it seems that you can pack them with the equipment, but not send them separately.

http://www.dhl.co.uk..._batteries.html


  • 0

#4 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4743 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 May 2016 - 02:13 PM

Cargo does get mentioned, I gather at least one cargo plane has been lost due to a battery fire. You'll have to use suitable packaging and possibly have documentaion from the manufacturer. Check with your carrier in advance about separate batteries.


  • 0

#5 Kalle Folke

Kalle Folke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Other
  • Stockholm

Posted 17 May 2016 - 02:28 PM

Thanks!

I'll contact DHL tomorrow when they open to see how to proceed. It's not easy reading those documents...

The info on the batteries I've gathered so far:

Arri OBB-2 onboard batteries for Arri 416

Lithium-Ion

92,16Wh (calculated with the formula Ah x V = Wh that is written in the linked documents)
3,2Ah
28,8V
Tested according to UN manual of test and criteria chapter 38,3
the equivalent lithium content is less then 8g
 
According to this thread (http://www.cinematog...howtopic=60980) there's 8 sets of 2 cells in parallel. Does this mean that there's 16 cells?

  • 0

#6 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4743 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 May 2016 - 04:10 PM

Here's an example of the Certificate - its from PAG in this case.

 

https://www.paguk.co...rTransLiIon.pdf


  • 0

#7 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2131 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:14 PM

the equivalent lithium content is less then 8g

 

Not sure what that's got to do with anything. The fires are caused by the extremely flammable organic solvents used in lithium batteries. The electrodes in a lithium battery are separated by a porous polymer layer that's about as thick as tissue paper. If that gets ruptured, the electrodes can touch, producing a white-hot arc that boils the solvent. When the pressure gets high enough the cell ruptures and the vaporized solvent bursts into flame.

 

None of the combustion  products produced are particularly toxic; the main problem is an uncontrollable fire starting in a confined space.

 

According to UL, a sure-fire (so to speak) way of getting Lithium batteries to explode is to put them in a decompression chamber, which is why aviation authorities are so concerned about them


  • 0

#8 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 428 posts
  • Director
  • OG from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 17 May 2016 - 11:13 PM

Pretty much out of the loop here. I've shipped a hundred small Lithium Ion batteries through USPS over the years and no one's ever had a problem. Is it really that bad? The post office is the only cost-effective way I have of shipping certain things.


  • 0

#9 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1032 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 18 May 2016 - 01:05 AM

Most annoying is so few people at the actual airport have a clue.. 

 

Last year I boarded a flight with no problems ,and within the legal limits for under 160WH batteries.. but was then questioned in transit ! at Dubai by a 16 year old kid who had no idea.. he then suddenly decided I was ok to board the next flight,based solely on my destination.. Copenhagen .. !!.. its a lottery every time.. and largely dependent what part of the world you are traveling from/to.. 

I would always have a back up plan to source locally.. some officious little Napoleon will take them at some stage.. 


  • 0

#10 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4743 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 May 2016 - 01:59 AM

Here's a demo of a battery fire created by shorting the terminals. There are a number of burning laptop videos on line. 

 


  • 0

#11 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2182 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:29 AM

Pretty much out of the loop here. I've shipped a hundred small Lithium Ion batteries through USPS over the years and no one's ever had a problem. Is it really that bad? The post office is the only cost-effective way I have of shipping certain things.

If you haven't declared them it is that bad. Here you're merely likely to have them destroyed, in the US you may be likely to be jailed.


  • 0

#12 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11220 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:37 AM

Not sure what that's got to do with anything. The fires are caused by the extremely flammable organic solvents used in lithium batteries.

 

I suspect that's what sustains the fire. Quite often what causes the fire is either short circuits caused by contamination of the battery with metal particles, which may puncture the extremely thin separator layers, or the fact that mistreated batteries can begin to form metallic lithium on the electrodes, the same way an electroplating bath operates. Ordinarily, lithium ion batteries contain absolutely no metallic lithium (other lithium-based batteries do). They contain lithium salts, compounds of lithium. If actual metallic lithium forms, a fire risk is created, since lithium is pyrophoric - that is, it will spontaneously catch fire in air, at normal temperatures.

 

Again, there is not actually supposed to be any metallic lithium in lithium-ion batteries. If there is, the battery is broken.

 

If it was just the lithium it wouldn't be so bad, but as you say, other battery components tend to be ignited by the flammable metal or the heat of a short, and that's where the real issue comes from. Eight grams of lithium is actually quite a lot by volume, as lithium isn't very dense, but the real problem is burning solvents and plastics.

 

P


  • 0

#13 Kalle Folke

Kalle Folke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Other
  • Stockholm

Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:44 AM

DHL couldn't give a comforting answer so I'm heading to a specialist in shipment of dangerous goods to get this sorted. Will report back what I find out.


  • 0

#14 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1032 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 18 May 2016 - 05:23 AM

I really think its a bit of over kill TBH.. big fires have started in cargo planes,carrying alot of lithium but not properly stored.. any professional battery iDX /PAG etc. is securely incased. 3 or 4 for personal camera use pose a minuscule risk..50 fake iPhone chargers on a flight are much more of a worry.. its the bulk freighting, from China flight I don't want to be on..  


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 18 May 2016 - 05:24 AM.

  • 0

#15 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2131 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 18 May 2016 - 05:36 AM

Here's one I prepared earlier.

Note:

1.Sequence has been slightly edited for dramatic effect :rolleyes:

2. The battery contains two cells so the two separate fireballs are authentic.

3. This was shot in broad daylight so that gives you some idea of the ferocity of the flames

4. The same thing happened spontaneously in a person's lounge room ...

 

http://www.930thursday.com/Fire.mp4


  • 0

#16 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2131 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 18 May 2016 - 05:48 AM

 

 since lithium is pyrophoric - that is, it will spontaneously catch fire in air, at normal temperatures.

 

 

Not lithium. It just rapidly  turns a lead-grey colour. All alkali metals above sodium (Potassium etc) will however do this. The only other metal that does that, oddly enough, is plutonium.


  • 0

#17 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1032 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 18 May 2016 - 05:59 AM

sure anyone can set these things on fire and make them explode in a lab or a wheel barrow.. the planes themselves have batteries.. yes 787 Dreamliner looking at you :).. but professional camera batteries are not known to do this ever really..  all these American outfits with acronyms are really just trying to scare us all to death, to justify their nefarious goals... and then the whole world has to comply to them.. its like a bad B movie from the 50,s.. Reds with lithium ! must be stopped !  enough I say !..  


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 18 May 2016 - 06:07 AM.

  • 0

#18 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4743 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 May 2016 - 07:18 AM

I suspect it's aimed at the cheap Chinese batteries, rather than those provided by the broadcast battery manufacturers, which are tested to the required level and you can get certificates for. The rules basically ensure that the terminals on the batteries are covered, so are good practise for transporting them. This has been around for a few years now, so noithing new.

 

http://www.flyingmag...-battery-danger

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-31709198


  • 0

#19 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 428 posts
  • Director
  • OG from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 18 May 2016 - 07:44 AM

 

 

If you haven't declared them it is that bad. Here you're merely likely to have them destroyed, in the US you may be likely to be jailed.

You're saying with this new classification or always? Our legal system has bit too much on its plate to worry about batteries in the mail.


  • 0

#20 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1032 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 18 May 2016 - 07:44 AM

Dont get me wrong Im for safety of course.. but I do believe there is a certain culture of fear being propagated by these various agencies mostly emanating from the US..  .. and the IATA is one of them.. and i have to fly alot with gear and its really become a pain ,all these sometimes rather stupid rules.. like my tiny bag of kimchi being confiscated as a liquid ! .. but going off on a bit of a tangent..  probably need another Gin.. morning Vicar.. 


  • 0


Ritter Battery

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Zylight

Pro 8mm

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Zylight

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Pro 8mm

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam