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Old 01-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Battery Safety

With all of us tinkering in one way or another with electric vehicles, what steps can be taken to protect yourself or your vehicle from damage caused by the battery pack in case of an accident.

For example, lets say due to poor planning basjoos had a battery bank in the boattail of his civic. He gets rear ended and two things could happen;

1. Battery acid leaks out damaging components, (Minor)
2. Batteries are twisted in ways that terminals either touch or short against other metal causing sparks which can ignite interior components.

Are these outlanding scenarios or are their ways to safely house the batteries in our converted vehicles ....

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Old 01-10-2009, 05:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've seen enough batteries blow up/vent gasses/spray acid all over everything, that when I do my EV I'll definitely seal any battery chamber in the car, and vent the chamber to the outside.

I once had a lawn/garden battery I was charging spray me in the face good when I pulled a cap to check acid levels - the vent tube was blocked! I was really glad that I wore glasses!

...sure cleaned 'em up good...
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You could also put a fuse inline between each battery/module if you were so inclined. That would minimize the effects (duration) of a short.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Safety precautions should be taken with batteries just as they should with gasoline.

It just makes sense to use fuses, have batteries solidly bolted down, prevent anything from shorting the terminals, etc.

Simple, reasonable precautions are all that's necessary.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My safety policy:

Don't touch the red wire to the black wire.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My commuti-car battery box was factory built with an aluminum plate box holding the batteries mounted with the bolts in slots instead of tight holes so if it's hit by another vehicle it can move up to a foot before coming in contact with other parts of the vehicle.
battery boxes should be covered and vented to the outside of the vehicle, they should also have a way to hold the batteries in place if the vehicle flips over or is hit, I've seen main battery cables run thru rubber hose as an extra insulator when they are run thru fire walls or near the other cables or areas that they might get abrasion from.
You just need to remember that your batteries have enough energy in them to move your vehicle for many miles, and you don't want that energy to be released all at once.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Atomic Ass View Post
My safety policy:

Don't touch the red wire to the black wire.
LOL! Excellent policy!

...otherwise it'll be one of those "Hey, watch this!" moments...
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
My commuti-car battery box was factory built with an aluminum plate box holding the batteries mounted with the bolts in slots instead of tight holes so if it's hit by another vehicle it can move up to a foot before coming in contact with other parts of the vehicle.
battery boxes should be covered and vented to the outside of the vehicle, they should also have a way to hold the batteries in place if the vehicle flips over or is hit, I've seen main battery cables run thru rubber hose as an extra insulator when they are run thru fire walls or near the other cables or areas that they might get abrasion from.
You just need to remember that your batteries have enough energy in them to move your vehicle for many miles, and you don't want that energy to be released all at once.
Excellent points all. I wish I had the money to buy one of the several of those I have seen on eBay...
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Atomic Ass View Post
My safety policy:

Don't touch the red wire to the black wire.
My City-EL is a confusing mess of primary,secondary, and all that unnecessary computer charging circuitry. One of the first things I did was unclip a battery post and tried to hook up a "start" booster since those 4 batteries won't hold a charge worth beans!.

Shower of sparks! Lots of wired are scorched and taped up; so maybe I did touch the red to black!

This morning everything was fine until I backed into the garage. Last few inches- click; *BAM* - right into the wall. Maybe I should put the red and black wires together intentionally and put it out of its misery!
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I guess I would say that labeling all battery posts and wires would also be a safety feature.

They really all do look the same, and it is easy to confuse wires that should not touch, with those that should.

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