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AA Batteries heating up during severe hail storm.

  1. Aug 16, 2015 #1
    Once during a severe hail storm (it lasted a few minutes and looked like it had snowed everywhere),
    my friend starting jumping around as if something was burning him, and he pulled 2 AA batteries out of his pocket and threw them outside. They were really hot and quickly melted a hole in the hail/snow where they fell.

    There was nothing in his pockets except the 2 batteries.

    I thought there would be a simple science based answer to this but when I asked somebody quite knowledgeable previously I got looked at like an idiot.

    I have wondered about this question on and off since it happened 10 years ago, and have never had an answer.
    Maybe someone here can explain what caused these batteries to heat up?
    Was it anything to do with the storm?


  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2015 #2
    It could be that whatever clothing he was wearing had a high content of metals or other electrically conducting substance.
    When dry the conductivity would be there but quite low, but added water could increase it a lot, this providing enough current to heat things up considerably.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  4. Aug 17, 2015 #3
    I forgot to mention we were indoors so he didn't get wet. He moved out the door to throw them as he didn't want to burn the carpet
  5. Aug 17, 2015 #4


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    there's nothing in a storm that could cause that ...
    you need to look at the material and what else may have been in his pockets with the batteries

    The ONLY way the batteries could have heated up is if their terminals were being shorted out

    EDIT ... just noticed you said 10 yrs ago .... I suspect the story has changed somewhat
    and details have been omitted / forgotten with the passage of time

  6. Aug 17, 2015 #5
    Thanks for the answer. I'm confident i have the details correct still,
    however i agree you are most likely correct that it must have been the fabric conducting, and the storm a coincidence.
    There was certainly nothing else in his pocket.
  7. Aug 17, 2015 #6


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    Its quite possible that the insulation on one cell was damaged and that allowed the other cell to short the first. The insulation might have been damaged by dropping the cell of similar. Its not hard to do.
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