Proper Care of Your RC LiPo Battery
RC LiPo batteries are considered to be better than the other types of RC batteries, like the NiMH or NiCd batteries, which were earlier used to run most of the electronics consumer devices. These newer generation Lithium Polymer batteries are lighter in weight, can hold more power and offer better discharge rates than their Nickel Cadmium batteries or the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries counterparts. On the downside, LiPo batteries do not last as long and if the batteries are damaged or punctured it could lead to a fire. It is important to take care of LiPos while using and storing them.
I personally keep logs of my LiPos and include data such as number of charges.
Effective tips for storing and using RC LiPo batteries safely
Whenever you find a LiPo battery to be a bit swollen or damaged in any way, it should not be used any longer, and in fact should be properly discarded in order to avoid any kind of danger. The faulty LiPo battery should be disposed of immediately, following specific LiPo disposal best practises. Obviously, it is better not to buy any used LiPo battery, even if it is claimed to be in good condition as you can not know the batter history.
If it is a multi-cellular (2s-6s) LiPo battery, care should be taken to maintain the same voltage throughout all the cells, to avoid any fires and even potential explosions. LiPo battery should always be charged with the compatible balance charger such as an IMax B6 ; similarly it should be discharged with the balance discharger.
The charging process of a LiPo battery should be closely monitored and the battery in charge state should not be left unattended; so that if the battery becomes over heated or in the case of smelling or detecting any sign of fire, smoldering or smoke during the charging process, the charger can be unplugged immediately, avoiding the potential of a fire.
LiPo batteries should always be charged, discharged or stored within special fire proof bags or metal ammo box or any other kind of fire proof container; so that any sudden fire from the battery can be prevented from spreading beyond the storage bag or box. We cannot predict the occurrence of a fire in the case of LiPo battery; although overcharging of the battery or over discharging with carelessness can easily cause the battery to catch fire.
LiPo batteries should not be stored in overly hot temperatures, as they are in fact quite sensitive to heat. Therefore, care should be taken to store these batteries in a cool, dry area. It is best not to put these batteries inside of a metal container orstorage box in overly hot weather.
LiPo batteries are usually transported by land or sea when being transported over long distances, as aviation laws do not permit the carry of this kind of batteries by air. So if you plan on buying or replacing a LiPo it is best to place the order well before the actual date of requirement.
The LiPo batteries should always be packed in insulted cases, provided by the manufacturing company. Each battery should be packed separately and it is better not to pack with any other pieces of equipment of luggage hat may crush or damage the battery.
All LiPo batteries should be stored away from any kind of moisture and humid weather, to ensure the longevity of the batteries, even though the manufacturer may claim the batteries to be fully waterproof. (Yeah right@!)
Your LiPo batteries should not be fully discharged, before storing. It should be noted that 50% – 70% charge and voltage is maintained within the battery, while storing it safely. Fully discharging a LiPo battery can damage t and most LiPo battery chargers detect cell voltage and do not allow recharge if the cell has been over discharged.
The most important thing is to keep a log of the date you bought the battery, the number of charges, time to charge and discharge as well as the storage time or times between usage.
When I use my Lipos in my drones and quadcopters I use a voltage monitor and alarm which I can monitor remotely during the flight…so if there is any abnormal cell activity or voltage drops I can immediately and rhe UAV.