'Smart' Car Battery Charger catches fire!
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    Default 'Smart' Car Battery Charger catches fire!

    Staying on the 'Smart' Car Battery Charger theme I thought I should create a separate thread about a fire recently in an Adelaide workshop caused by an overheated 'Smart' car battery charger.
    I think there is great cause for concern when you consider how many people are using these chargers at home.
    Apparently most 'Smart' Chargers can't cope with batteries with high internal resistance and end up overheating and in the case above causing a fire!
    Not sure what brand the charger was which caused this disaster but I wonder what companies like ctek, projecta, etc. are incorporating into there chargers to avoid overheating (and a fire) when attempting to charge batteries with high internal resistance?

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    Last edited by raver; 11th April 2017 at 05:08 PM.

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    Apparently most 'Smart' Chargers can't cope with batteries with high internal resistance and end up overheating and in the case above causing a fire!
    The physics behind that claim would not seem to tally with the claimed outcome.

    A high load resistance implies a lower current, lower power and logically less heating effect.

    Ohm's law states I = V/R where V=voltage (volts), R= resistance (ohms) and I = current (amps)

    Power law states P= V^2/ R where P= power in watts, V=voltage (volts) and R = resistance (ohms)

    Any links to the charlatans that are making this claim ?

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    Hang on. What's the difference between a law and a theory?

    '92 205 Mi16
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The physics behind that claim would not seem to tally with the claimed outcome.

    A high load resistance implies a lower current, lower power and logically less heating effect.

    Ohm's law states I = V/R where V=voltage (volts), R= resistance (ohms) and I = current (amps)

    Power law states P= V^2/ R where P= power in watts, V=voltage (volts) and R = resistance (ohms)

    Any links to the charlatans that are making this claim ?
    So in effect the opposite... low internal resistance could potentially cause overheating?

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    Quote Originally Posted by raver View Post
    So in effect the opposite... low internal resistance could potentially cause overheating?
    potentially cause overheating?
    Not in a properly designed and tested charger. All designs should incorporate some form of current limiting or "crow bar" shut down if the maximum design load current is exceeded. As well as some form of fusing if the device draws too much mains current.


    low internal resistance
    However we could probably safely assume maximum (initial) temperature rise would occur when charging a battery with a low internal resistance


    I'd suggest the charger that caused the workshop fire is likely to have failed catastrophically in the power electronics section.

    We may never know if the charger was being as intended as the manufacturer intended.

    There lesson here is to be mindful of electrical approvals and use a product that has SAA approval (JAS-ANZ certification) or CE mark certification for products from Europe.

    A "lashing" of commonsense also helps, ie keep any electronic device away from combustible materials , especially when in operation and left unattended.
    Last edited by robmac; 11th April 2017 at 05:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    Hang on. What's the difference between a law and a theory?
    I've never been busted for breaking the theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    Hang on. What's the difference between a law and a theory?
    Nicely put here:

    In general, a scientific law is the description of an observed phenomenon. It doesn't explain why the phenomenon exists or what causes it. The explanation of the phenomenon is called a scientific theory. It is a misconception that theories turn into laws with enough research.
    What Is a Law in Science? | Definition of Scientific Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Hmm! not quite right. A law (or putative law) can be part of the web of propositions constituting an explanatory hypothesis or theory. Being a theory is not to be the explanation of some phenomena of interest but an explanatory attempt. There can always be "in principle" (&, as the history of science shows, in fact as well) more than one explanatory hypothesis capable of having the appropriate explanatory relationship with any amount of empirical evidence one can generate by research.

    This is not to say that there isn't just one true theory which really is the actual reason why the relevant phenomena are as they are. It is just to note that it's extraordinarily difficult to see how one could justify any claim to know which of a variety of rival hypotheses constitute the true one.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist,one of my areas of academic expertise is philosophy of science :-)

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Hmm! not quite right. A law (or putative law) can be part of the web of propositions constituting an explanatory hypothesis or theory. Being a theory is not to be the explanation of some phenomena of interest but an explanatory attempt. There can always be "in principle" (&, as the history of science shows, in fact as well) more than one explanatory hypothesis capable of having the appropriate explanatory relationship with any amount of empirical evidence one can generate by research.

    This is not to say that there isn't just one true theory which really is the actual reason why the relevant phenomena are as they are. It is just to note that it's extraordinarily difficult to see how one could justify any claim to know which of a variety of rival hypotheses constitute the true one.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist,one of my areas of academic expertise is philosophy of science :-)

    cheers! Peter
    It's very much dependent of your own interpretation I'd suggest. And it's well known that not all academics agree on details.

    EDIT: And who I am to argue? Especially in view of the fact zero "knowledge "will be added to the thread topic.

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    You are making me remember the philosophy classes of eons ago. With hindsight, scientific method/philosophy should form part of all science and engineering courses. It's as important to grasp as statistics.

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    Icon6 Different worlds have different misconceptions of course

    Perhaps in zero knowledge expansion, observable evidence properly documented trumps theory, and theory when easily replicated as experiments by others and confirmed by observable evidence becomes established empirical basis for such "laws"

    and zero + zero in some worlds equals zero.

    But lets not argue.

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    In this context Ken, operations with zeros are playing with fire. Deep philosophical and arithmetic do do........

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    Icon14 Astronomical !

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    In this context Ken, operations with zeros are playing with fire. Deep philosophical and arithmetic do do........
    Almost a zero sum game? or the philosopher V physics of various realities.?

    Ken

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    Was it the charger itself or the hydrogen generated by the charging process that started the fire?

    This makes my brain hurt much less than physics does

    Andrew

    Quote Originally Posted by raver View Post
    Staying on the 'Smart' Car Battery Charger theme I thought I should create a separate thread about a fire recently in an Adelaide workshop caused by an overheated 'Smart' car battery charger.
    I think there is great cause for concern when you consider how many people are using these chargers at home.
    Apparently most 'Smart' Chargers can't cope with batteries with high internal resistance and end up overheating and in the case above causing a fire!
    Not sure what brand the charger was which caused this disaster but I wonder what companies like ctek, projecta, etc. are incorporating into there chargers to avoid overheating (and a fire) when attempting to charge batteries with high internal resistance?

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    The amount of hydrogen produced during charging is likely small. And one would expect an explosion from hydrogen.

    And the OP did say
    overheated 'Smart' car battery charger
    The full story is here: No Cookies | The Advertiser

    And it seems a solvent cleaning tank was ignited by the overheated charger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    And it seems a solvent cleaning tank was ignited by the overheated charger.
    A spokeswoman for the MFS said the workshop was gutted by the blaze which started about 10.40am this morning, causing $500,000 damage.

    She said fire cause investigators believe the Hoey Racing Motorcycle Engineering blaze was caused by an electrical failure near a solvent pressure cleaning bath which then ignited vapours in the bath.

    “A worker was cleaning motorcycle parts in the room at the time and tried to extinguish the fire,” she said.

    “However, it’s believed that the burning solvent bath tipped over and caused a running fuel fire to quickly spread throughout the room.
    Spokesperson was not quite as definitive as that Rob. Would need the actual report that is given to the other investigators to pin point the actual rather than suspected fire source, doubt it will come out unless the fault was due to a product malfunction and might jeopardize public safety.

    I guess we will have to wait for more information.

    Ken

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    Pendant input accepted and my error acknowledged.

    However hydrogen would not seem to be involved. Which,after all, was the key point of the reply.

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    Pedant with a slight bit of past experience in such Fire/Arson reports, grovels with shame at pointing out that small point, please accept my abject apologies. Maybe we will never know.

    Ken

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    I shall resist responding* on the scientific epistemology point in the spirit of limiting the thread hijack. I didn't start it though!

    cheers! Peter

    *further exploration available via email upon receipt of a pm

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