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Eneloop Pro venting gas

battery eneloop re-chargeable

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#1 Oceanus

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:22 AM

Yesterday I had an Eneloop Pro battery venting gas inside my flash. Consequently, I had to use a tool to open the battery compartment due to overpressure inside. When placing all four batteries in a smart charger it indicated that one of them was completely discharged. No visible signs of anything wrong. 

 

I have used various Eneloop batteries since 2010, and never before had any problems.

 

Considering how popular Eneloop batteries are among underwater photographers I was surprised to read that Panasonic clearly states they should not be used in airtight appliances - because they may release hydrogen gas if misused:

 

Please do not use eneloop Ni-MH in underwater lights or other airtight appliances

 

Link to Panasonic Q&A. Scroll down a bit. 

 

Have anyone else experienced Eneloop batteries venting gas?


Edited by Oceanus, 02 April 2018 - 01:23 AM.

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#2 troporobo

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:05 AM

Interesting. I had never heard of this before and never seen the warning about UW lights.  I've been using these batteries since they became available and never had a problem.  I suppose the key question is what constitutes "misuse"? Rapid multiple discharges would seem to be within spec.



#3 ChrisRoss

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 11:37 PM

Interesting, sounds like something written by lawyers.  Yes something bad could happen, but the liklihood is extremely low.  If you don't use eneloop batteries what do you use??, Alkaline batteries can also generate gas as can regular NiMH and NiCd. 


Edited by ChrisRoss, 02 April 2018 - 11:39 PM.


#4 Oceanus

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:01 AM

Hydrogen generation can happen, however very rarely. Of all batteries I have used I was really surprised it happened with an eneloop, and also my newest set - 4 months old. No problems whatsoever with previous sets. I've done a charge - discharge - charge cycle in the charger, and it seems fully charged. Will try them again. 


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#5 Aotus

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:13 PM

i just read the short article here, http://wetpixel.com/...-use-in-strobes

 

and was very disappointed. I JUST received my new enloop batteries in the mail yesterday for use in my strobes. now i have to decide whether to use them. I get it, there are plenty who use them and it works great, so i should be fine. it would help me make up my mind if i knew 1) why enloops are thought to be the best for strobes, and 2) if all the alternatives that I could use have "potentially" the same problem.



#6 Oceanus

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:21 PM

i just read the short article here, http://wetpixel.com/...-use-in-strobes
 
and was very disappointed. I JUST received my new enloop batteries in the mail yesterday for use in my strobes. now i have to decide whether to use them. I get it, there are plenty who use them and it works great, so i should be fine. it would help me make up my mind if i knew 1) why enloops are thought to be the best for strobes, and 2) if all the alternatives that I could use have "potentially" the same problem.


As far as I know all batteries can generate gas, and you will probably not be safer with any other brand. Underwater photographers use eneloop due to their good performance. I will continue to use mine, with no worries. Statistically, this is extremely rare.


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#7 adamhanlon

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:37 AM

I agree and plan to continue using Eneloop and Eneloop Pro in my strobes. I have been testing the Ikea Ladas too, but the results are thus far inconclusive.

 

It will be interesting to see how the strobe manufactures react....

 

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#8 diggy

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:03 AM

There is one thing though with these batteries (eneloops) that you have to keep in mind. Use smart chargers that prevents over or under charging. I had an issue once where i had charged several eneloops on different chargers (not smart) and one of my strobes stopped functioning. After trying to figure this out for a while a pro-underwater photographer pointed out that if the batteries used were not all equally charged there can be an issue. As the strobe was under warranty Inon replaced the same without giving the reason why this happened. Here is what they wrote:

 

When the camera battery is low , the triger signal from camera is not recognized on Z240 strobe, Z240 recongnize it as "noise"
And it cause some circuit trouble.
Also dual sync cable loss the signal power, and the reason for this trouble.
 
For the resolution
Please use single cable
And to connect second strobe, please use slave optical cable from the main Z240 to sub Z240
 
INON said Single cable, it doesn't loss the signal power.
 
A charger such as or similar to this is highly recommended : https://www.bhphotov...ry_charger.html
 
Of course this probably applies to all batteries i guess. 
 
Just added my two bits for what its worth.
 
Diggy

 

 

 

https://www.bhphotov...ry_charger.html


Edited by diggy, 04 April 2018 - 02:03 AM.

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#9 Oceanus

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:06 AM

There is one thing though with these batteries (eneloops) that you have to keep in mind. Use smart chargers that prevents over or under charging. I had an issue once where i had charged several eneloops on different chargers (not smart) and one of my strobes stopped functioning. After trying to figure this out for a while a pro-underwater photographer pointed out that if the batteries used were not all equally charged there can be an issue. 

 

That maybe what happened in my case. I have two sets of eneloop pro, and a smart charger taking eight. Normally I pick all 8 fully charged out the charger and put them in the flashes. I was in a bit of a rush that morning, and may have put a discharged battery back into the flash. I'm running charge - discharge - charge cycles in the smart charger on all my eneloops this week, and I will do my best to "misuse" them on upcoming dives. 


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#10 troporobo

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:51 PM

Yep, what Diggy says, use a smart charger!  They may seem expensive, but pay for themselves in the long run.  I really like the Maha / Powerex version that does "soft"charging and has a "recondition" cycle that I use on all batteries about twice a year.  My experience is anecdotal, but those two factors seem to extend the life of the batteries.  I have some Eneloops that are 6 years old and still performing like new.

 

https://www.bhphotov...rt_Charger.html



#11 MarkD

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:19 PM

This warning by Panasonic doesn't appear to be new. Here's a link to a thread that's 8 1/2 years old, discussing Sanyo's then recommendation that Eneloops should not be used in waterproof lights:

http://www.candlepow...terproof-lights

There must have been very many Eneloop cells used in underwater strobes since then. It would be interesting to know what are the circumstances of use in strobes that might lead to hydrogen venting. I would suppose that any increase in pressure within a sealed battery compartment might be a greater functional concern than a risk of hydrogen conflagration when the gas is released?



#12 ChrisRoss

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 12:36 AM

Like I said it is written by lawyers, in my experience they don't understand risk, there are two components to risk consequence and likelihood.  Lawyers only ever look at consequence.The biggest risk I think would be over pressuring the battery chamber, the hydrogen might ignite and hydrogen is very easy to ignite and make a flash fire, but as hydrogen also disperses very quickly, actually igniting the mixture is less likely.  The reason the warning is there is so that the manufacturer can say I told you not to do that in the event of a problem. 

 

The venting of gas is most likely when charging - over charging or if you put a weak cell in with good cells and the other cells charge the cell beyond its capacity.  The key thing for any charger is that it needs to control the charging of each cell individually.  To avoid mix ups I keep my batteries in small plastic cases that hold 4 batteries each so I can keep them in sets, I try to pull out each set from the strobe and replace it with a new set so I don't get charged and discharged cells mixed up.  The discharged cells I generally try to put straight on charge if possible.



#13 okuma

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 05:34 PM

I used these for about 8-9 years in two housings and 4 Z240 strobes with out any problem.

Just recently changed to PowerX as I felt it was just time to get some new batteries!

I was not aware of the off gassing warning..


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#14 bear35

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:58 AM

Retra recommend using Eneloop Pro in their strobes... I have never had a problem using them.



#15 Interceptor121

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:22 PM

I use an Ansmamm smart charger that checks individually each battery and once charge is detected it switches to trickle current.
I have used different brands of batteries with this charger and never had an issue
Do not spare money on a charger and get a good one that doesn’t ruin the battery. Also charge at the slowest speed available never use fast
This for me has always worked


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