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Battery hold down and containers


Bill Strong
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We had two battery issues at Gingerman.

 

One. Lipo battery caught fire.

Two. On tbe focus rollover tge battery was mounted in the rear spare tire area with a marine box and nylon belt takedown. The belt failed allowing the battery to fly around the cockpit.

 

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Marine battery boxes with straps need to be banned, they do absolutely zilch when asked to contain 30-60 lbs exposed to high g-load. (learned during demo derbys)

 

We use a heavy plastic wheelchair battery box mounted in a fitted angle iron base welded to the floor with all-thread on the long sides holding another piece of angle to the top.

Crash tested!

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The plastic box is just to contain the acid from a broken battery.  It's not the tie-down mechanism.  Our battery was secured with all thread and angle iron.  The plastic box around it was responsible for nothing but surrounding the secured battery.

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17 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Marine battery boxes with straps need to be banned, they do absolutely zilch when asked to contain 30-60 lbs exposed to high g-load. (learned during demo derbys)

 

Marine battery boxes are not up to the task.  You'd never see those things in an offshore racing boat either.

 

Ours is constrained at the bottom with angle and a section of channel on top with a section of rubber in compression.  

 

I also built a divider between the trunk space and the cabin, in the event of a wreck the battery could be punctured, I do not want to be sharing space with it.

 

Ryan

Empty Pockets Racing

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I cant believe those batteries passed tech inspection...

 

That is horrible.

 

 

Those plastic battery boxes & straps are designed to contain the liquid or vapor, not to restrain the battery itself.  There needs to be a mechanical tie down inside the battery box to hold the battery in place.  Steel and Allthread are good solutions.

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1 hour ago, Huggy said:

I cant believe those batteries passed tech inspection...

 

That is horrible.

 

 

Those plastic battery boxes & straps are designed to contain the liquid or vapor, not to restrain the battery itself.  There needs to be a mechanical tie down inside the battery box to hold the battery in place.  Steel and Allthread are good solutions.

 

I don't believe that anyone has ever asked us to open our battery box to show the mounting in order to pass tech.  Which is a bit surprising now that I think about it.  Ours would pass, but still...

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15 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

Where the battery ended up

 

 

The HOT terminal is not insulated either... that could have been ugly on several counts. Imagine getting smacked in the head by that and THEN the damn thing shorts across the terminals and starts a fire or blows up! Remember kids, the kill switch doesn't work if the terminals are shorted.

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I'd rather be smacked in the helmet with it than catch it in the middle of the chest .  I have seen many battery boxes opened In tech to see how the batteries are mounted ..  bet all will be opened up now ,but who would hold one in with a strap ..   wa never mind .

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Since the top of the three pics posted is our car, the battery is tied down with a metal bracket system(from Summit I believe), the marine box was modified to fit around it as the rules say it needs to be in a sealed container(if I remember correctly?) The strap only keeps the lid on the box.

 

As this has no become a teachable moment, time for it to either be written into the rules that it isn't allowed, or it remains as it is now as a "bad idea" and we call people out for doing what they thought was enough.  Not every team is a team of race car pros that knows what will happen in a crash and could cause harm.

 

Since tech is now mainly a check of safety items anyway, just make this one more thing they add to their checklist.  Heck, for the next couple races, bring along 20-30 or the metal tie down kits and sell them to teams that don't have batteries mounted securely.

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I found an XS Power metal case that was slightly larger than our LIFEPO battery.  I used some leftover A/B foam to take up the extra space in the box.  Welded the box to the floor board, fabbed a bar to bolt the battery in and made an aluminum lid for it.  That being said, I've been considering moving it into the engine bay.  Both for safety and so I can put a passenger seat in the car when doing track/testing days.

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There should be no problem with a strap holding the top of the plastic battery boxes in places, as long as the battery is properly bolted to the chassis/unibody of the car through the battery box.

If the battery is properly secured, it's not going to bounce around and destroy the box. 

S. 

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21 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

So... 

 

I went around the line of cars at the Gingerman lunch time red flag and too pics of battery Installs20170827_113022.jpg

 

That strap cranked down over that sharp edge just bothers me.  While that edge on the battery isn't sharp enough to cut your skin, ANY motion and it will saw it's way through that strap.

 

Straps should not be allowed as the primary means of battery retention.  The cheesy commercial kits at Autozone and Advanced aren't very good either, they use small diameter J hooks with a plastic bar over the top of the battery. 

 

Either buy or fabricate an all metal solution for battery retention.  The rules already require a barrier between the battery and the driver, after you have an all metal retention system, add a box or other barrier (e.g. trunk partition) if your battery shares space with the driver.

 

Ryan

Empty Pockets Racing

Edited by reidry
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To the guy that says we should be embarrassed. No.

We learn from this. You as car builders have to think about where stuff can end up in a car crash. I am a car builder too. We get focused on making the car work and sometimes put the stuff like this on the "To Do List" that never gets done.

So this is why I post this stuff. Not to get you guys pissed off. But to get this shit fixed so no one gets hurt. We all have to go to work on Monday. Explaining to everyone at work why you have a Diehard battery stuck in your shoulder should not be something you have to do.

 

All the batteries that I could see on pitlane during the Red Flag.

 

https://goo.gl/photos/tC4DLxn23hEsEFEW7

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This is not much different than the cool suit cooler flopping through the cockpit of the Continental Mustang that did some flips last year. 

So let's not get negative. Let's get everyone educated on how to make a good solid mounting system for the battery, what a good place to put it, how to vent, and containers to use. 
Not everyone has $$$ to spend on a custom system. So what alternative is there?

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