Issues with international bike battery transport

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Damon
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Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Damon » 29 Dec 2011, 9:07pm

Hello

After 7 months of cycle touring through Europe with our children we have unsuccessfully tried to bring home to Australia our daughter's bike battery. Although lithium-ion batteries are accepted, it far exceeded their power limit. The airline refused to take it today in Paris and so we have had to leave it there, pending us organising a courier. It was originally purchased in Europe so we have not dealt with international transfer or shipping. Replacement cost in Australia is very high so we are keen to try and get it home before it is disposed of at Paris airport.

Neither Australia Post or express couriers will deal with such batteries.

Does anyone have any advice or experience on how we could get it to Australia?

Thanks.

Tonyf33
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Tonyf33 » 30 Dec 2011, 4:00am

There's a document online stating that the maximum legal allowable rating for transporting a Li-ion battery is 20Watt/hour with an aggregate max of 100w/h for more than a single battery.
Even transglobal wont ship wet cells/lithium-ion batteries.
Good luck hunting

sailorp
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby sailorp » 30 Dec 2011, 9:13am

That's interesting
I work with seismic survey companies who have enormous Lithium batteries to power their AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles...survey submarines to you). The AUVs work underwater for hours at a time, (following oil pipelines etc) so their power capacities must be many magnitudes larger than cycle batteries. I'd bet that the survey companies have found a way to move their kit between countries. Let me check after the New Year Holiday, and I'll post a reply if it's useful.

Ayesha
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Ayesha » 30 Dec 2011, 9:49am

Equipment for 'Working purposes' are put on a Temporary Export Carnet.

The owner of the equipment sign a document attached to the list of equipment which states the equipment will return to its country of origin within a specified time scale.

The Carnet goes to the consulate of the destination ( where the work is to be done ) country for approval.



When I sent equipment to Australia for Automotive testing, batteries are bought locally on arrival.

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Mick F
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Mick F » 30 Dec 2011, 9:53am

Tonyf33 wrote:There's a document online stating that the maximum legal allowable rating for transporting a Li-ion battery is 20Watt/hour with an aggregate max of 100w/h for more than a single battery.
I have some Li-ion batteries for DIY power tools. Big chunky batteries at £50+ each.

They are (only) 24W/hour. How are these transported from China where they are made? Can they only come across in packs of four per shipment?

If a drill or circular saw can use a big battery of 24W/hour, how big are bike light batteries?
Mick F. Cornwall

pete75
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby pete75 » 30 Dec 2011, 10:21am

The power tools and batteries come in by the container load on merchantmen. I suspect the difficulties described only apply to stuff going by air.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby [XAP]Bob » 30 Dec 2011, 3:45pm

There is always the option to sell it over here, and buy again.

Or to find a shipping company, not an air freight company...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Tonyf33
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Tonyf33 » 31 Dec 2011, 3:55am

Mick F wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:There's a document online stating that the maximum legal allowable rating for transporting a Li-ion battery is 20Watt/hour with an aggregate max of 100w/h for more than a single battery.
I have some Li-ion batteries for DIY power tools. Big chunky batteries at £50+ each.

They are (only) 24W/hour. How are these transported from China where they are made? Can they only come across in packs of four per shipment?

If a drill or circular saw can use a big battery of 24W/hour, how big are bike light batteries?

As pete75 says it relates to air transportation, the OP was referring to courier hence why i did not feel the need to clarify it not referring to commercial ship based transportation that come in sealed unpressurised containers that take months, which your diy tools will have likely have come over in.

Damon
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Damon » 31 Dec 2011, 9:36am

Thanks for your replies. The Emirates website is a little ambiguous but at the airport they claim a maximum of 160Wh, our battery was 400Wh.

http://www.emirates.com/fr/english/imag ... %2E08%2E07)%20-%20rev%2E02_tcm320-239104.pdf

We thought we were doing the right thing by carrying it on as carry-on and not checked-in but they wouldn't let us carry it on, either. It is now at their desk waiting for collection but I am now back in Australia. It is going to be really difficult to organise shipping. Any takers?

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Mick F
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Mick F » 31 Dec 2011, 9:52am

400W/hour? :shock:

I take it that this bike battery is for propulsion, not lighting.
Sorry, I should have sussed that at the beginning. If it is that big, I see the problem!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Phil_Lee
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby Phil_Lee » 1 Jan 2012, 12:01am

It will certainly have to go surface.
And that ain't gonna be quick or cheap.
The only reasonably priced method I can think of is to find someone who is emigrating in your direction and is prepared to pack it with their household goods, which would be effectively free, as it wouldn't increase the volume to any measurable extent (it's done on what proportion of a container the load takes). Finding someone who is prepared to trust you on a package for international shipment isn't all that likely though.

I'd guess that you'd have been better off selling it here and then replacing it there, but that's going to be more awkward to do remotely.
Do you have any friends or relations near to where the battery is now to organise a sale for you?

gilesjuk
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby gilesjuk » 1 Jan 2012, 1:03am

It's one thing to ship something and another to put it on a passenger plane where it could start a fire or create an explosion.

pete75
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby pete75 » 1 Jan 2012, 12:56pm

A few years ago you'd just need to get the battery to commit a crime and the government would have shipped it to Australia for you.. :wink:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Jan 2012, 2:01pm

Post it..

There is an old challenge "how would you get a safe to the top of snowdon?"

The answer is to post it, makes it someone else's problem...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

sailorp
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Re: Issues with international bike battery transport

Postby sailorp » 4 Jan 2012, 12:31pm

Damon, I promised a response.
Some helpful industry contacts have produced info from various airlines and airfreight companies.
Embargoes are being placed on transport of lithium batteries following fires started by these batteries in aircraft or during cargo handling on the ground, and the situation is still developing.
The limitations stated are quite technical:
One airline advisory states that RLM fully regulated Lithium Batteries Class 9 as per section I of PI968-970 and ELM lithium metal batteries as per section II of PI968-970 are embargoed, but RLI and ELI batteries are acceptable to certain limits.
Other airlines quote batteries UN3090 and UN3480, and UN3481 with rated capacity of >100Wh, as being embargoed.
Further, the information I received indicates that more and more airlines are imposing restrictions, which is causing concern to the folks in our industry who have to ship this equipment worldwide for commercial purposes.
I realise that this does not help your case at all, as it confirms the situation you find yourself in, rather that suggesting a solution.
I don't suppose the situation is goinig to improve much either...speaking as a reluctant frequent flier I would rather the airlines err on the side of caution when imposing restrictions of this nature.
Regards Phil