We always travel with our digital devices, such as cellphone, laptop, camera and so on. Therefore, battery is an important part of our trip. If the way of transportation is by airplane, can we bring batteries on a plane? How large batteries can we bring onto a flight?
Installed and Spare Batteries
- Installed Batteries
If the batteries are installed in devices, you can put it into your carry-on bag and bring it on board personally. Or you can put it into your checked baggage better with some protection methods.
- Spare Batteries
If you have to bring spare batteries which are not installed in any device, they are not allowed to be transported with your checked baggage no matter how large they are. You can only bring them on board with your carry-on bag.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, although the battery of it is installed in the device, you cannot bring it on board in your carry-on bag or checked bag. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Battery Explosion Risk
How large batteries can we bring onto a flight?
First of all, we have to know how to measure a battery? Watt-hour rating (Wh) is applied to measure a battery.
- Watt-hour rating (Wh)
Most batteries have watt-hour rating (Wh) displayed on their case. So you can directly see how powerful they are.
If there is not, you can calculate by yourself. Using a computational formula that watt-hour rating equals to multiply the voltage (V) by the amp hour (Ah). If the battery is rated in milli-amp hours (mAh), divide your final answer by 1000 to arrive at the watt-hours. V x mAh / 1000 = Wh.
- L-ion Batteries under 100Wh Rating
The batteries that power your phone, laptop and camera are usually under the 100 watt-hour (Wh) rating.
If the batteries are installed in devices, you can put it either into your carry-on baggage or checked baggage.
If we’re carrying a spare battery that’s not in one of these devices, it must be in your carry-on baggage only.
- L-ion Batteries 100-160Wh Rating
They are more powerful batteries, and can be found in industrial equipment such as power tools and mobility aids between 100 and 160Wh.
First of all, you must have approval from your airline before flying.
If the battery is installed in a device, it can be carried in either checked or carry-on baggage.
If the battery is a spare one, it must be in your carry-on baggage only. There is a limit of two spare batteries per person. These batteries must only be packed in carry-on luggage and should have their terminals individually protected to minimize the risk of contact other metal objects in your luggage.
- L-ion Batteries 160Wh Rating and above
You can’t carry lithium batteries above 160Wh unless they are for wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
These batteries must be transported as declared dangerous goods cargo.
How to Carry Your Batteries Safely?
Short-circuiting batteries have been responsible for numerous on-board fires, so it’s important that all spare batteries have their terminals protected properly.
You can protect your batteries by:
Keeping batteries in original retail packaging
Insulating the battery terminals by taping over exposed terminals
Placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch
It’s also a good idea not to travel with your batteries fully charged. Keeping charge levels at 40-70% will keep the particles that store energy in their most stable state during travel, minimizing the risk of thermal runaway.
How to check battery quality for travelling?
Damaged batteries can be dangerous. Whether they’re dropped, smashed, overheated or mistreated in other ways, lithium batteries can become unstable and have been known to ignite fires due to mistreatment. Batteries show clear signs of being unhealthy. Such signs include bulging, discoloration, squashed, deformed, split case, leaking fluid. If your battery shows any of these signs, it should be replaced.
Batteries don’t last forever and it’s important to monitor them. Continual discharges, over-charges and quick-charges will eventually reduce the battery’s overall capacity and health.
For all the passengers’ safety, please comply with rules of Airline and pay attention to your batteries.
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