LiPo Batteries for RC Devices
Radio-controlled models or also known as RC models are radio-controlled devices. They have different shapes and sizes, the most common being in the form of cars, boats, planes, helicopters, quadcopters, drones, robots and train locomotives. RC model applications is a hobby for people of all ages and nowadays they are becoming more and more popular.
How do RC LiPo Batteries Differ from Regular LiPo Batteries?
They are devices that have very high consumption. Ordinary lithium-polymer batteries can yield only a maximum of 2C to 3C current (two to three times of their nominal capacity). In order to operate these models with ordinary batteries, they need to have a very large nominal capacity. That is why, everyone who designs RC devices or is interested in them knows that there are dedicated models, designed especially for their toys, whereas a regular LiPo battery would not do the same work.
The advantage of RC lithium polymer batteries is that they are small in size, don’t weigh much and at the same time, they can deliver very high currents from 20C to 100C (20 to 100 times their rated capacity). Hence, the main reason they are good for RC devices. Another important advantage of these batteries is that they can be charged with more powerful chargers without damaging them or seriously shortening their life cycle.
Charging LiPo Batteries:
Before using a charger for the first time, always read the user manual and safety instructions. Also, make sure to follow the charging policies for LiPo batteries listed below to avoid any damages.
- Always use a charger designed for LiPo rechargeable batteries.
- Always charge the batteries away from flammable materials, liquids or surfaces.
- Never charge the lithium polymer battery inside the device unless it has been designed this way.
- Before charging, wait for them to cool down.
- Always use the relevant charging program. You can choose the right program by taking in to account the number of cells that are contained in the main battery and the corresponding voltage indicated on the battery label.
- Always check the voltage of the LiPo batteries before charging them to make sure they are not below the minimum safe voltage. If this is the case, it means that the battery has been subject to excessive discharge or has failed and should not be charged.
- Never recharge the battery with a charger that is higher in volts, than the one listed in the manual.
Storage and Disposal
The best place to store your LiPo battery is in a protective bag or in ? steel container. Please keep in mind that if a fire does happen, a chemical reaction is highly likely to happen therefore it would be good to have a chemical fire extinguisher at hand.
It is recommended to keep them at a moderate temperature. Heat will damage your LiPo batteries and diminish their lifespan. LiPo battery will last roughly 250-350 cycles depending on the application. Hence, it is best to keep a record of how many times they have been used so you know when they should be replaced. It is not worth trying to push the limit on these batteries because the consequence of doing this can be harsh.
One of the main benefits of having LiPo batteries is that they can be disposed of in your regular trash if you make sure that they are fully discharged. Keep in mind that if you are discharging your LiPo batteries it would be better if you do it outside in an open area to reduce the risk of starting a fire.