I thought I posted all of this information somewhere, but I can’t find it now. There’s a lot of what I’d loosely call “hysteria” about the relative safety of what’s also loosely called “RC lipo”. If you’re considering using Turnigy, or other “hobby” RC lipo batteries, you need to use them correctly, and like anything else with a crap ton of power stuffed into a small package, they get pretty dangerous, pretty fast.
Endless Sphere has, without a doubt, the largest collection of users of RC lipo, especially for vehicles like bicycles and motorcycles. Their thread on RC lipo use for noobs is here. Read it, or suffer the consequences of your own ignorance. There are several threads linked there, you can’t go wrong reading them all.
Another quick read is the from here: Lipo Usage Best Practice. Avoid Both the Hazards and the Fear.
Most of the best work on lipo use is, naturally, from the RC model community. Granted, we’re using bigger packs, and the consequences of catastrophe are much more serious, but the practices still apply. There are plenty. Plenty of people using them without incident. That said, in no way would I say they’re intrinsically safe, any more than the 4 gallons of gas between my legs on my gas bike is “safe”. Or the bullets in a gun are “safe”. Or a butane lighter is “safe”. Getting my drift, here? Good.
Here’s a good one-page review of procedures and warnings: Lithium Battery Safety Guide via iCharger NZ, with a link or two of additional information.
My personal experience with RC lipo was that they are simply amazing, and like no other battery I’ve run. They simply dump a crap-ton of current, plain and simple, and after running CALB blue LiFePo4 for a summer, I’m ready to switch back to the Turnigy hard-cases and build a nice big pack out of them.
For my own reference there were several threads ranging from helpful, to full-on trainwreck regarding sort of a “lipo, yes or no?” question. For whatever reason, they get more trainwrecky as they get newer and the information about using RC lipo should be getting better. Go figure.
Here’s the first, and really very informative. No drama, either, when ElMoto was a different place than it is today: LIPO Batteries
The next, enter a few more players, and some interesting actual experience and advice from those who have messed with it: RC lipo: what’s the verdict? After page 6 or so it goes into other chemistries.
Finally, the latest, and a full-on trainwreck: Choosing my Battery Pack!
Apparently some people have come to some fairly intractable conclusions. Other than some basic advice about checking the packs well before putting them together, and the usual under/over charging cautions, there’s not my substance about actual use and practices, unfortunately, and you’re better off looking at the Endless Sphere links above for that information.