How to take care of Lipo Battery

Lipo care

The following are just good practices with Lipo

Discharge level:
I have used 80% depth of discharge as my standard for years and it works extremely well. There is mounting evidence that the latest high quality LiPo can endure deeper discharges much better than prior ones, but testing is still limited.

Handling :
LiPos are fragile. Just handle them like eggs. I know they can crash good in most cases until you hit a cement wall or something hard like that!  Every crease,bing,bump,etc. creates a pressure point which leads to accelerated salt crystals growth.

Cheap chargers :
My advise is not to use them. An accurate high quality charger / balancer will extend the life of your LiPo and in conjunction with high quality fast charge (3-6C) capable LiPo will reduce the number of batteries you need, make LiPo management much simpler and greatly increase your flying time and enjoyment.

High C rate charging:
I have charged at 2C and higher for many years now. I have proven to myself that quality LiPo charged and balanced on quality equipment does not adversely reduce their life. I am currently charging at 2C and replacing over 80% capacity in under 15-20 minutes on many of my LiPos.

I keep reading online that charging at greater than 1C reduces life and that the slower charges are always best.  I don’t believe that at all.  I use a FMA Powerlab 6 and a Icharger 106b+ and I always charge over 1c, mostly 2c and more with parallel board to charge more batteries at the same time.  With my two chargers, I can have 12 batteries ready to go in about 15-20 minutes…  This year with my new Graphene 1300 4c 65c, my goal is to charge them at 5c.

Break-in:

I usually try to go easy in the the first 5 charges, but now I don’t care much at all.  But it is a good practice to go easy for the first 5 charges, don’t drain them too much and you should be good to go after that!

Proper storage :
Approx. 3.85 volts per cell(50%) in a cool location. IMO with today’s fast charge capable LiPos and high rate capable chargers there is little sense in leaving LiPos charged just in case the weather turns nice.

 

First sign of a LiPoly going bad:

Most often, the first signs of a LiPoly starting to go down hill will be cells not staying balanced.  As well, more time will be taken in the CV stage of charging / balancing.
If the battery is marginal to begin with, you could also notice a decline in power, but often this is so gradual that it is not noticed until it gets really bad or you happen to fly a newer / better battery.

 

C rate in simple terms

Here’s the easy way to find your battery’s discharge rate, just multiply the number from the C rating by the pack’s capacity. Keep in mind that 1000 milliamps equals one amp. Here’s an example, using an 14.8V 1300mAh 65C

14.8 volt 1300mAh -60C
1300 milliamps = 1.3 amp
1.3 Amp x 65 = 84.5 amps continuous discharge

This means that you can safely draw up to 84.5 amps continuously from that 14.8V 1300mAh 65C without doing damage to your battery. I hope this helps clarify the most misunderstood aspect of electric flight.

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