Stories tagged exploding electronics

Jun
26
2008

ipods huddle for comfort after learning the fate of their siblings
ipods huddle for comfort after learning the fate of their siblingsCourtesy nic0
As I was innocently searching for images of fire, I came across pictures of...an ipod!? I do not normally associate spontaneous combustion with devices that I use on a regular basis outside of perhaps my stove or car. Thus I would expect flames to appear when I turn on the stove burner, not when I charge my computer. The culprit appears to be lithium-ion batteries .

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in today’s technology market. They are by far the most efficient and long lasting battery available. And for the most part, they are non-flame producing. The problem seems to be their sensitivity to heat. Most of us have experienced the warmth that a battery can produce. I have been known to use my old computer battery pack on sore muscles in a pinch. When the battery gets too warm it can become unstable and the normally separated positive and negative charges combine to create the exploding electronics phenomenon.

If you are concerned about unwanted domestic fireworks displays, you are not without recourse. Lithium-ion batteries have a relatively short life span (about 3 years) so check the manufactured on date on the package and do not save the batteries for a rainy day, use ‘em right away! Keep them out of hot cars and don’t set up shop on top of a radiator. But before you add a fire extinguisher as your next ipod accessory, remember the chances of your ipod jumping off its charger and igniting your carpet are relatively low. But hey, who can resist the headline Exploding Electronics? Its not only catchy but alliterative to boot.