The Fast Electric Section of the MPBA Handbook
To promote interest and enjoyment in radio controlled fast electric power boating, by running regatta’s and to be the authoritative voice of fast electrics in the UK within the MPBA.
2 ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE SECTION
To be carried out by a committee of officers. The running of the section is subject to the Constitution and Rule Book of the Model Power Boat Association which will take precedence over these rules.
3 OFFICERS OF THE SECTION
Chairperson, secretary, treasurer, publicity officer, safety officer, and supplementary officers as required.
4 DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Control of general and committee meetings. Supervision of section regatta’s.
Administration manager of the section. Organise and confirm regatta dates and venues. Prepare provisional regatta schedules.
Keep accounts of all financial transactions. Ensure that a copy of the sections yearly statement of accounts is deposited with the General Treasurer of the MPBA within 28 days of the section AGM.
4.4 PUBLICITY OFFICER
Advertise and Circulate information
4.5 SAFETY OFFICER
Advise and control safe operation at all regattas.
4.6 SUPPLEMENTARY OFFICERS
Assistants to the above as necessary. International regatta co-coordinator, to liaise with other countries, and to control and supervise all activities connected with the running of the Fast Electric Section international regattas, if any.
5 APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS.
5.1 Officers of the section may be appointed at any time.
5.2 In the event of there being more than one candidate for a particular office and they fail to agree among themselves as to who should withdraw, appointment will be by election at a general meeting.
5.3 In the event of there being insufficient nominations for the post required, a general meeting must be called, to invite nominations.
5.4 The posts of chairperson, secretary and treasurer must be held by separate individuals
6.1 A general meeting may be called by the committee at any time, with a minimum of one months’ notice. An agenda must be provided within the notice of meeting.
6.2 An extraordinary general meeting may be called at any time, with a minimum of one month’s notice, by:
6.2.1 The section chairperson
6.2.2 A majority of section committee members
6.2.3 A minimum of twelve paid up members of the MPBA.
7.1 The Fast Electric Section shall organise an annual National Regatta which, when appropriate, will include world championship eliminators.
7.2 Dates, and formats should be provisionally established by the committee each year at such a time as to permit appropriate publicity.
7.3 Entry fees should be set by the committee at such a level and structure as to encourage maximum participation in all events and early pre-entry.
7.4 The officer of the day, chairperson or secretary may change regatta formats to cope with special conditions as they occur.
7.5 The Fast Electric Section shall attempt to organise an annual SAWS event dependent on weather and water availability.
8.1 The section should equip itself for the purpose of running regattas, wherever possible equipment should be borrowed or hired, not purchased.
9 RULE CHANGES
9.1 The rules may be amended at a general meeting or by email vote at other times.
10 THE FAST ELECTRIC SECTION POLICY DOCUMENTS
10.1 The section operates two policy documents, they are:
10.1.1 The Fast Electric Section health and safety document and policy.
10.1.2 The MPBA policy for caring for children and vulnerable adults.
These documents must be read and adhered to by every member.
General Competition Rules
A battery safety limit of 43 volts off load is applicable to any multi-boat class. For straight line classes a maximum of 60v off load is applicable.
Competitors should be affiliated to the MPBA and clearly display their club numbers on all boats.
Clarification 7 July 2022 –
All models for the M class must have a permanent registration number. This permanent number is to be in the form – GB XX XXX (where XX XXX is your MPBA number). For example GB SF 154
This number must be unchangeable and be put firmly on the model. It cannot be placed on example: a lid, the sponsons or any other removable part. For hydro’s the permanent number can be on the outside, bottom part of the middle section.
The numbers and letters that make up the registration number must be black on a white background. The height of the letters and numbers is set at 20mm. The class in which the model is used does not have to be stated on the model.
3 Race Numbers
A bolt must be provided on all multiboats to securely fix an upright number board. Boards measure 80mm by 80mm and are white with a black number of 10mm line thickness and 70mm height. A number must be fixed to both sides to make it visible from both sides of the boat. Only a single number board is permitted. Number boards should not be transparent to any degree.
It is preferred that these are of foam polystyrene construction. Re-circling of buoys is not permitted under any circumstances except for sub-surface classes.
5 Dangerous Driving
The Race Controller may penalise bad driving practices by disqualifying the driver from the heat. Hitting an identified dead boat will also result in disqualification from the heat. In the event of disqualification, the competitor must retire from the heat immediately. A penalty of one lap to be imposed by the Race Controller for blatant disregard of an instruction e.g. when directed to go wide to safely avoid a dead boat.
6 Number of Boats
A boat may be run by more than one competitor in each event, but only if one is a senior and the other a junior. A maximum of 6 boats are permitted in all classes.
7 Starting procedure
One minute before the race the pit area should be cleared of all non-race personnel. Competitors should check boats, frequencies and numbers will be checked by race control. Competitors will be asked to switch on radios and place boats in the water. The Caller/Time Keeper will announce prepare to start “within the next 10 seconds”. Within 10 seconds the race will be started with “go”. For surface drive classes only a 10-second mill time will be counted down so all competitors can clearly hear it.
8 Race Completion
At the end of the race time, a seconds count will start. Boats will complete the lap they have begun. The caller/Timekeeper will announce the boat number and time in seconds for each boat as they cross the Start/Finish line to the Race Controller who will record the time in seconds. The last lap will not be recorded if the elapsed time is over 60 seconds. In this case DNF will be recorded on the score sheet.
All boats must have a detachable safety isolation loop fitted to isolate the motor power supply. All telescopic transmitter aerials must have a device fitted to the tip to reduce the risk of eye injury e.g. a practice golf ball.
MPBA FAST ELECTRIC SECTION CODE OF CONDUCT
The Public Interest
- In your role as a member of the MPBA you shall have regard for the public health, safety and environment.
This is a general responsibility, which may be governed by legislation, convention or protocol.
If in doubt over the appropriate course of action to take in particular circumstances, you should seek the counsel of a fellow member or official.
- You shall have regard to the legitimate rights of third parties.
The term Third Party’ includes all MPBA members, or competitors, or members of ‘the public’ who might be affected by your actions, without their being directly aware of the events.
- You shall ensure that within the section you have knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, regulations and standards, and that you comply with such requirements.
As examples, relevant legislation could, in the UK, include the Child protection Act, Disability Discrimination Act, Data Protection or Privacy legislation, and you should ensure that you are aware of any legislation relevant to your MPBA responsibilities.
In the international context, you should be aware of, and understand, the requirements of law or legislation such as EU law and regulation.
- You shall conduct your activities without discrimination against MPBA members, other competitors or the general public.
Grounds of discrimination include, but are not limited to race, colour, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability.
All persons have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
You should adhere to the relevant law within the jurisdiction where you are and, if appropriate, the European Convention on Human Rights.
You are encouraged to promote equal access by all groups in society, and to avoid and reduce ‘social exclusion’ wherever opportunities arise.
- You shall reject and shall not make any offer of bribery or inducement.
Duty to Relevant Authority
- You shall carry out work or study with due care and diligence in accordance with the relevant authority’s requirements, and the interests of all MPBA members. If your judgement is overruled, you shall indicate the likely risks and consequences.
The crux of the Issue here, familiar to all professionals in whatever field, is the potential conflict between full and committed compliance with the relevant authority’s wishes, and the independent and considered exercise of your judgement.
If your judgement is overruled, you are encouraged to seek advice and guidance from an official or MPBA member on how best to respond.
- You shall avoid any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest between you and your relevant authority. You shall make full and immediate disclosure to them if any conflict is likely to occur or be seen by a third party as likely to occur. You shall not disclose or authorise to be disclosed, or use for personal gain or to benefit a third party, confidential information except with the permission of the person in question.
- You shall not misrepresent or withhold information to a member of the MPBA, or take advantage of the lack of relevant knowledge or inexperience of others.
Duty to the MPBA
- You shall uphold the reputation and good standing of the MPBA in particular, and the MPBA in general, and shall seek to improve MPBA standard; through participation in their development, use and enforcement.
As a Member of the MPBA you also have a wider responsibility to promote public understanding of the MPBA – and its benefits – and. whenever practical, to counter misinformation that brings or could bring the MPBA into disrepute.
You should encourage and support fellow members in their development and, where possible, provide opportunities for the development of new members. Enlightened mutual assistance between MPBA members furthers the reputation of the MPBA, and assists individual members.
- You shall act with integrity in your relationships with all members of the MPBA and with members of other clubs or general public with whom you have contact.
- You shall have due regard for the possible consequences of your statements on others. You shall not make any public statement in your capacity as member of the MPBA unless you are authorised to do so. You shall not purport to represent the MPBA unless authorised to do so.
The offering of an opinion in public, holding oneself out to be an expert in the subject in question, is a major personal responsibility and should not be undertaken lightly
To give an opinion that subsequently proves ill-founded is a disservice to the MPBA.
- You shall notify the MPBA if convicted of a criminal offence or upon becoming bankrupt or disqualified as a Company Director
This does not apply, in the UK, to convictions spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, to discharged bankruptcy, or to expired disqualification under the Company Directors Disqualification Art 1986.
Not all convictions are seen as relevant to membership in the MPBA and each case will be considered individually.
MPBA Members Competence and Integrity
- You shall seek to upgrade your knowledge and skill, and shall maintain awareness of technological developments, procedures and standards which are relevant to the MPBA. And you shall encourage your fellow members to do likewise.
- You shall not claim any level of competence that you do not possess. You shall only offer to do work or provide a service that is within your competence.
You can self-assess your own competence for undertaking a particular job or role by asking, for example,
- Am I familiar with the technology involved, or have I worked with similar technology before?
- Have I successfully completed similar assignments or roles in the past?
- Can I demonstrate adequate knowledge of the specific application and requirements successfully to undertake the work?
- In addition to this Code of Conduct, you shall observe whatever clauses you regard as relevant from the MPBA statute and any other relevant standards, and you shall encourage your fellow members to do likewise.
- You shall accept responsibility for all your activities within the MPBA and for the members who are defined in a given context as working under your supervision.
RACE OFFICIAL’S JOB DESCRIPTIONS
The Race Controller is responsible for all matters relating to the running of a race. In exceptional circumstances they can be overruled by the Officer of the Day or the Safety Officer. Otherwise the Race Controllers decision is final. It is expected that the Race controller will apply penalties where required.
Before the race
- The Race Controller shall call up all competitors and Race Officials.
- All boats must be visible when stationary in the water including when they are upside down. A boat failing to meet this requirement will not be allowed to run. The Race Controller will refer such boats to the OOD for a final decision.
- Race numbers and frequencies will be checked before the start of every race.
- Then check that both buoy judges are in place, and are aware of which buoys they are judging. Check that the lap counter, and the rescue boat person are in place.
- Check the competitors are ready, and then hand over to the Caller/Timekeeper to start the race.
During the Race
- Competitors should inform the Race Controller of any ‘dead boat’ as soon as possible. However, you should watch out for ‘dead or slow moving’ boats during the race and inform the competitors immediately of their position on the course. Also, instruct competitors to go inside or outside of the obstruction. Any competitor ignoring this instruction will be given a 1 Lap penalty.
- Competitors driving a recovering dead or slow boat have a responsibility to give way to boats that are still racing. Failure to do this may be penalised as dangerous driving.
- Check with the driver of a ‘dead boat’ if it needs rescuing. (Usually only if it is in danger of sinking).
- Any competitor who hits the ‘dead boat’ or rescue boat will be immediately disqualified from the race.
- Dangerous or erratic driving should be penalised as follows. Depending on severity:
- For a first and minor offence – verbal warning.
- For a second minor offence or a more serious offence – 1 lap penalty.
- For a very serious offence or continual disregard of penalties for other offences – Disqualification
- During the closing seconds of the race, make sure you are standing next to the Caller/Timekeeper. You will need to hear clearly the number and time given for each competitor as they pass the finish line. Write the seconds down on the score sheet. Competitors have 60 seconds to complete their last lap. Any boat not completing in this time will be recorded as DNF. (did not finish). Any ‘dead boats’ during the race will be also recorded as DNF.
After the race
Write down the lap scores from the lap counter in the top left hand box on the score sheet. Write down the called time in the top middle box. Write down the number of buoys missed from the judges in the top right box.
- Calculate the scores for each competitor and fill in the race sheet in accordance with the race timing guide.
- Those completing the race will be credited with one extra lap. Penalties incurred will be: – 5 seconds added for the first missed buoy, then one lap deducted for each buoy missed thereafter. Therefore: – 4 buoys missed = 3 laps deducted and 5 seconds added.
- Call up the Race Control Official for the next race. Do not leave the race control area until the score sheets are handed over in person. Inform the next Race control official regarding the racing schedule time, and any adjustment, which may need to be made to bring the schedule back on time.
Caller / Timekeeper
- Announce to the competitors: – the duration of the race, including mill time for mono and hydro classes. The type of course and direction, make certain everyone is happy, and understands the above.
- Ask competitors to place their boats in the water and stand back. A pit crew person may hold the boat in the water.
- Announce prepare to start “within the next 10 seconds”. Within 10 seconds start the timer and the race with “go”.
- For surface drive classes only, the 10-second mill time should be counted down so all competitors can clearly hear it. A “clean start” is announced if no boats have crossed the start line within the 10 seconds. Any boat crossing the start line within the 10 seconds will have a 1 lap penalty.
- The remaining race time should be announced at: – half time, two minutes, one minute and 30 seconds remaining.
- At the end of the race time, the caller timekeeper must tell the lap counter to stop recording laps. The Caller/Timekeeper will start announcing the boat number and time in seconds for each boat as they cross the finish line to the Race Controller who will write down the time in seconds. Once all boats have been recorded as seconds or DNF the race over announcement is made.
- Check all counters are set to zero. The lap counter should only record numbers spoken by the caller timekeeper. For submerged drive classes the lap is counted the first time boats cross the start/finish line. For surface drive, classes’ boats are not counted the first time, because of the mill start.
- The lap counter must stop recording laps at the end of the actual race time. The caller timekeeper will inform you of this.
- At the end of the race make certain that the race controller has recorded all lap scores, then set the lap counters to zero.
Buoy Judges 1 & 2
- Judges will be assigned the buoys they are to watch by race control. For the Triangle course a 2-1 split. For the Oval course a 2-2 split. Judges will record boats going the wrong side of buoys, by writing down the boat number. A boat, which climbs over the top of a buoy, shall not be counted as a missed buoy. Re-circling of buoys is not allowed under any circumstances. This practice should be brought to the attention of the race controller immediately.
- At the end of the race, report to the race controller even if, there are no misses to report.
- The rescue person should wear the club life jacket at all times. Preferably they should be a competent swimmer. They should also have familiarised themselves with the safe operation of the outboard motor.
- The race control officer will decide when the rescue boat will be launched. The rescue boat will take priority on the course at all times. Competitors will be warned the rescue boat is on the course. Any boat hitting the rescue boat shall be immediately disqualified from that race.
- Junior members are NOT allowed to operate the rescue boat.
MPBA FES HEALTH AND SAFETY DOCUMENT AND POLICY
With regards to fast electric model boat racing and spectators.
The sport or hobby of fast electric model boat racing, whilst looking spectacular, has proven to be one of the safest of the modelling hobby pursuits in the UK and there have not been any recorded accidents or incidents since the formation of the MPBA Fast Electric Section. The MPBA Fast Electric Section, which was formed to promote and organise fast electric racing in the UK, is affiliated to the NAV1GA.
Members from MPBA Fast Electric Section have been competing in Europe and at the World Championships for a number of years.
THE MPBA BELIEVES THAT BY PRODUCING A SAFETY DOCUMENT IT WILL GIVE GUIDANCE TO OFFICIALS, RACERS, AND SPECTATORS.
FALLING, TRIPPING, SLIPPING, DROWNING, AND BEING STRUCK BY AN OUT OF CONTROL BOAT, INJURY TO HANDS FROM PROPELLERS, FALLING FROM RESCUE BOAT, EYE INJURY FROM TRANSMITTER AERIAL’S, DANGERS FROM RE-CHARGEABLE BATTERIES.
- Slipping, tripping, falling, the people most at risk are the officials and drivers at the waterside during the racing, spectators are also at risk.
- Drowning, everyone at the waterside is at risk, especially non-swimmers and young
- Being struck by an out of control boat, at risk will be spectators, drivers, officials within five meters of the water’s edge, and wildlife such as waterfowl.
- Risk of injury to hands from moving propellers, at risk will be assistants who start the
- Boats in the water, drivers and assistants working on the boats in the pits, spectators after a boat has left the water.
- Falling from the rescue boat, at risk are the officials who operate the boat.
- Eye injuries from transmitter aerials, at risk are the officials, drivers and assistants in the start or rostrum area.
- Risk of injury from re-chargeable batteries disintegrating or catching fire within a model boat or while the battery is being charged. At risk are the officials, drivers and assistants in the start or rostrum area also drivers and assistants in the pits.
EVALUATING THE RISK
THE OFFICER OF THE DAY
The officer of the Day must look at the slipping, tripping, falling risk, and decide if he/she needs to erect a tape exclusion zone or safe spectators area where this risk manifests itself due to uneven surfaces, steep or wet banks, debris and rocks, where a fall would lead to the person going into the water, especially spectators. Evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW, and put the appropriate precautions in place, including highlighting the risk at the drivers meeting at the start, using the officials on the day to steward and advise spectators of this risk.
The officer of the day must satisfy himself that he has assessed the conditions at the lakeside, i.e. depth of water at jetty or side, beach entrance, can you stand up if you fell in at edge of water. Is it suddenly shelving, is there a lifebelt and rope at hand, is it good condition, is everyone at the event aware of the dangers. Evaluate the risks as HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW and put in place measures to inform and to protect, where possible perhaps a lifeguard may be needed.
BEING STRUCK BY AN OUT OF CONTROL BOAT
The officer must evaluate the risk and put in place a catch netted area if spectators are nearby.
Evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW and if needed put in place the necessary precautions and inform those at risk.
THE RISK OF INJURY BY ROTATING PROPELLER
The Officer of the Day must check that all boats have a safety isolation loop fitted to avoid the risk of injury from rotating propellers. Drivers and officials must be made aware of the need to remove safety isolation loops whenever the boat is removed from the water. Evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW this can be assessed by previous cases, as low risk, but the risk should be brought to everyone’s attention.
FALLING OUT OF THE RESCUE BOAT
The officer of the day should ensure that the correct procedures are in place, for the use of the rescue, boat buoyancy jackets must be worn at all times in the boat. Evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW, this should include whether the officials in the boat are competent and trained.
INJURIES TO EYES BY TRANSMITTER AERIALS
The officer of the day should ensure that all transmitters, fitted with telescopic aerials, have a device to reduce the risk of eye injury, i.e. a practice golf ball, or foam ball, or some such device. Drivers wearing glasses reduce this risk. Evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW.
RISK OF DISEASE IN THE WATER
The officer of the day should evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW, They should regularly remind officials, drivers, assistants, and spectators of the dangers of still, or stagnant water and point out the need for latex gloves and personal hygiene at all times. Based on experience, the risk to all the above has only been assessed as LOW or less, but this does not mean that the assessment does not need to be made at every event.
RISK OF INJURY FROM RE-CHARGEABLE BATTERIES
The officer of the day should evaluate the risk as HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW. A separate evaluation should be made for each cell technology. The following technologies are currently in use: Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Lithium Polymer (LIPO or LiPoly) and Lithium Iron Polymer (LiFePO4). New technologies must be subject to a full risk assessment before their use is permitted. Separate assessments must be made for operational use within a boat and charging in the pit area. The risk of injury while the battery is within a running boat is usually LOW while the boat is in the lake but the risk when a boat comes ashore must be evaluated. The officer of the day should ensure that batteries are charged in a suitable manor with precautions appropriate to the cell technology. The risks associated with charging conditions at each event must be evaluated.
ALWAYS ASSESS THE RISKS, BASE THAT ASSESSMENT ON NOW AND HOW IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST. IS THE RISK MORE OR LESS THAN USUAL, ARE MORE PRECAUTI ONS NEEDED OR CAN THEY BE REDUCED,
DO YOU NEED TO SEEK A SECOND OPINION?
Because of the nature of the environment and the location of most of the events, careful consideration and assessment is required.
- The course should be set out to give the largest safety margin to spectators and competitors, with the distance between the water’s edge and the spectators to provide a safety zone.
This should be obtained by erecting a designated line by the use of poles and marking tape. If needed signs should be erected to state: PLEASE DO NOT PASS IN FRONT OF THIS TAPE AS MODEL POWERBOATS CAN BE DANGEROUS AND MAY LEAVE THE WATER AT ANY TIME, OR MAY START WITHOUT WARNING!
- An exclusion zone may be needed around the pits and drivers area, also the officials and Signage should be provided to state: ONLY COMPETITORS AND RACE OFFICIALS PAST THIS POINT PLEASE!
- The officials will keep strict control over the radio frequencies.
- All race boats will have a safety isolation loop fitted to break the electrical circuit between motor and battery to make the boat safe, a radio kill switch is NOT acceptable.
- All racing classes will start in the water as “dead boats” in the water.
- At all MPBA Fast Electric Section events, a powered rescue boat will be used, the conditions for its use lies with the officer of the day and health and safety guidelines.
- The MPBA provides third party insurance to the MPBA Fast Electric Section and all MPBA members. All International competitors and other individual competitors racing at a MPBA Fast Electric Section competition must have their own third party insurance and proof of it before they will be allowed to race.
Internationals competitors must have insurance through their own National body.
- A first aid kit will be made available at every meeting, but unless administered by a person qualified in first aid designated by MPBA Fast Electric Section, the responsibility falls to the
- ANY DECISION MADE BY THE OFFICER OF THE DAY ON ANY MATTER IS FINAL, WHETHER IT IS A HEALTH AND SAFETY OR OTHER MATTER.
- Ensure that the area used for any event has minimal environmental damage and is left free of litter.
- The model boats used by MPBA members may be electrically powered. The radio control systems used with model boats will also be electrically powered. The electrical power may be derived from:
- Primary Cells
- Secondary Cells otherwise known as rechargeable cells or
MPBA members are expected to operate these cells in a safe and responsible manner. To assist the members in this objective the MPBA Fast Electric section has issued members with guidance on cell handling.
The model boats used by MPBA members may be electrically powered. The radio control systems used with model boats will also be electrically powered. The electrical power may be derived from:
1) Primary Cells
2) Secondary Cells (otherwise known as rechargeable cells or batteries).
Batteries may be any of the following:
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Batteries must be of the Sub-C size or smaller.
Lithium Polymer (LiPo) or Lithium Ion Polymer (Lifepo4)
Will include the Polymer series (with a nominal voltage of 3.7 volts) And the Ion series (with a nominal voltage of 3.3 volts). Lithium packs will be defined as: number of cells wired in series with an optional number of series packs wired in parallel.
A 5S2P would have a total of ten Lithium cells wired as two packs of 5 cells wired in series and then those two packs connected in parallel.
A 5S1P would have a total of five Lithium cells wired in series with no paralleled. When paralleling packs 2P is the maximum allowed.
Classes will define allowable battery usage by cell count for NiMh and for the Lithium series of batteries. LiPo batteries will also be defined by battery weight. A ‘pack’ is defined as the cell(s) wired in series or parallel or any wiring combination that is used to provide electrical power to the speed control for the purpose of driving the electrical motor(s).
Contestants are cautioned to keep their wiring as simple as possible to make it easy for a contest director/technical inspector to confirm class conformance. Inspectors may require that batteries and or other components be removed from the model to make a ruling.
All batteries will be removable from the model by use of some type of connector arrangement. It is prohibited to “hard-wire” in the batteries. Hard wiring installations is where electrical connections are physically cut apart or de-soldered to allow removal of the battery. The battery/pack/cell is only recharged by the application of an electric current to the battery. Any method of recharging or partially recharging a battery/pack/cell by any other means is not allowed.
The pack must be made up of only one type of cell chemistry. In multiple speed control/motor installations the total pack voltage must be used as the supply input to each speed control.
Rules and Guidance for the Use of Lithium Based Cells/Batteries
Advancements in the design and manufacture of Lithium based cells has meant that the risk of cells catching fire has been almost eliminated. To reduce the risk of cells being damaged the following procedures should be followed:
- Always use an intelligent charger which has settings for your type of cell.
- Never combine cells/batteries from different manufacturers.
- Always use a balancer when charging, either integrated into the charger or stand alone.
- Do not charge at greater than the C rating recommended by the manufacturer.
- Do not charge hot cells.
- Do not charge batteries in the boat.
- Do not discharge cells when the air temperature is too cold. Cells should be warmed first when the air temperature is around freezing.
- Do not discharge at a level greater than the manufacturer’s recommended C rating.
- Do not discharge below a voltage of 3.0v per cell for Lipo cells.
- Check cells/batteries regularly when they are being charged.
- Always ensure that batteries are secured in the hull before running the boat.
- Dispose of cells in the appropriate manner.
- When carrying out maintenance on batteries ensure that the grey/silver sack is never damaged or altered, and ensure that the cell tags and connectors are fully insulated from one another.
The following changes are allowed across the board for all classes of competition whether it be for physical problems of getting cells into a boat or for class weight restrictions
- Removal of the plastic covering to enable batteries to comply with the required weight limits or physical problems of getting cells into a boat is permitted.
- Competitors are able to change the connectors if they wish.
- The wires can be changed as long as they are capable of taking the expected current load.
- Please make sure that all other terminals apart from the one you are working on are covered with an insulating material to avoid the possibility of a short circuit. On completion of alterations please ensure that all connectors are insulated and that all cell terminals are covered with polyimide tape or another suitable heatproof insulation material ( fibre glass tape is also suitable) this will ensure that there will not be a short circuit from any wires including balance leads.
- NEVER ALTER THE GREY/SILVER PLASTIC CELL SACKS IN ANY WAY
These measures should only be carried out by competent people. If in any doubt as to your own ability you should take advice from someone that has the required experience.
Sometimes balance leads break away from a cell tag due to fatigue. The cell connection therefore has to be repaired or the battery thrown away. The latter is not an economic solution so it will be necessary to take the above precautions to re-solder the wire.
The same safety measures also apply where individual cells are purchased and connected to make a battery, and also where a battery is purchased that has no leads attached.
General safety regulation valid for all Classes
All individual clubs are at liberty to devise their own classes
The following rules are valid for all Fast Electric classes:
- All boats must be equipped with a so-called emergency circuit breaker. The emergency circuit breaker must be connected in such a way that in case of emergency, the competitor, start assistant, recovery boat or any another person can interrupt the power between motor and batteries.
- All boats must be equipped with a kill switch for the Radio control equipment that is operated from the outside of the boat. If the receiver is supplied by a so-called BEC system, then the competitor has to prove this to the starting judge.
For Lipo batteries the voltage of a single cell cannot exceed 4,23v and for LiFePo not higher than 3,65vper cell.
Overcharging of batteries is not allowed. This is the case when at the voltage check a voltage is measured higher than the maximum voltage multiplied by the number of cells used. If this is the case, the competitor has over charged the cells, or used an inappropriate charge mode in order to obtain a higher voltage. The competitor is then disqualified. The competitor has to state the type and number of cells used to the people in charge of weighing and measuring batteries.
Pressing Lipo cells that have “ballooned” in any device to press them back into their original shape and size, whether it is before use, after charging or after a race in or outside of a boat is strictly forbidden out of a safety aspect. Batteries that have “ballooned” should not be used anymore for safety reasons.
Heating of batteries is allowed up to 40 degrees Celsius. Heating of batteries is only allowed in solid state heating cases.
On every Race Platform a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, fire blanket and bucket of dry sand has to be present. It is up to the Platform Judge to verify the presence of these items. There is to be no racing until these items are accounted for.
Lithium Metal Fires
Lithium Metal fires must be tackled with a specialist lithium extinguisher, commonly sold as a L2 extinguisher. A sodium chloride extinguisher is not suitable for use on a lithium metal fire. Cells/batteries not containing Lithium as a pure metal do not require a L2 extinguisher.
Proper Operation of A123Systems High Power Lithium-Ion Cells
Do not short circuit. These cells are capable of very high currents.
DO NOT rotate the negative tap (cap) relative to the can; this can cause internal damage to the cell. Note that the can is the positive terminal and the cap is the negative terminal.
|Nominal voltage||3.3 V|
|Nominal capacity||2.3 Ah|
|Nominal dimensions||Diameter 26 mm Ht. 66.5 mm|
|Nominal weight||70 g|
Charging parameters: CC-CV (constant current – constant voltage)
|Recommended charge current (0 – 60 degrees Celsius ambient temp.)||3 A|
|Recommended charge voltage||3.6 V|
|Recommended cut-off current for CV hold||0.05 A|
|Recommended float-charge current (-20/+60 degrees Celsius)||3.45V|
|Maximum continuous charge current(-20/+60 degrees Celsius ambient temp.)||10 A|
|Maximum recommended charge voltage||3.8 V|
|Maximum allowable charge voltage||4.2 V|
|Fast charge time:||15 min|
Discharging parameters (-30 /+60 Degrees Celsius ambient temperature)
|Recommended discharge cut-off voltage||2.0 V|
|Maximum continuous discharge current||60 A|
Temperature parameters (skin temperature)
|Maximum recommended cell temperature||70 Deg’ C|
|Maximum allowable cell temperature||85 Deg’ C|
|Allowable storage temperature range||-50/+60 Deg’ C|
For prolonged storage of the cells they should be charged to 50 % state of charge. Check the voltage every 6 months and charge if required.
Disposal and Recycling
For disposal your countries regulations apply. Do not incinerate.
Understanding “C” Ratings
All rechargeable batteries have a “C” rating – this tells you how intensively the Battery can be used to power a motor.
Batteries are rated by voltage and capacity; capacity is stated in mAh (milli amp hours). This is a measure of how much the battery holds. In an electric boat, one key determinant for the power train is the amount of amps that a Battery can deliver. The battery pictured is rated at 11.1 volts, 2200 mAh.
The “25C cont” means 25C continuous; the “40C burst” refers to how fast the Battery can be rapidly discharged for a SHORT time period, something like 15-30 seconds; look at this as the “supercharger” rating – to be used rarely. The second set of numbers – 55A cont/88 burst – is what this battery can deliver to the system considering its capacity – 2200 mAh.
The two ratings – mAh and “C”, combine to tell you how intensively this battery can be used with the following formula:
Continuous amp draw = (mAh * 0.001) * (C continuous rating) Continuous amp draw = (2200 * 0.001) * 25 = 55 Amps Continuous
Burst amp draw = (mAh * 0.001) * (C Burst rating) Burst amp draw = (2200 * 0.001) * 40 = 88 Amps Burst
This particular battery can deliver 55 amps to the system continuously; if needed and the system can take it, it can deliver a short burst of 88 Amps for 15-30 seconds.
Why Are The “C” Ratings Important? Good question – because if you over-discharge the Battery, it will get VERY hot and possibly catch fire.
Your boats motor is the key determinant for how many Amps you need for your Boat. Amp ratings are readily available for motors, so there should be no mystery as to what’s needed. As a safety factor, if the motor needs 25 Amps, using a Battery that can deliver 50 Amps places a nice safety factor into the system – you can’t force feed a motor more Amps than its rating unless you intentionally over-prop it – then you’ll either burn it out or if you exceed the Battery’s rating.
As with any high performance battery, due consideration should be given to the safe handling and charging of batteries. As a responsible user of high performance batteries you will adhere to any of the manufacture recommendations on charging and discharging.
MPBA members are expected to operate these cells in a safe and responsible manner.
Appendix 1 – Racing Number
Appendix 2 – Kill Switch
TWIN LOOP / DOUBLE LOOP / FLAT TO DECK
The plug size is free
The LOOP must break the circuit between the drive batteries and the motor
The LOOP plug must be completely removable
The LOOP must consist of two sockets with twin or double plug The LOOP must be red and have a diameter of at least 20mm
The cable strength must be sufficient to avoid breakage while pulling out
The LOOP must be accessible
Appendix 3 – Battery Class Rules
See the Race Rules Addendum