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Some Tips For LiPo Battery Safety

Dec 29th 2015 at 12:04 AM

LiPo batteries are generally safer and more environmentally friendly than NiCd and NiMH. LiPo batteries are becoming the most popular high performance RC battery and are used in RC cars, boats, planes, helis, multirotors and more. However, if charged, discharged, stored, maintained, or handled improperly, they can become extremely dangerous. This is a simple guide for safe LiPo battery ownership and use. This guide applies to all RC lipo rc batteries including all DJI Smart Batteries used in the Phantom 2 series and Inspire 1. Here we can recommend you Gens Tattu and Ace lipo batteries for you, Gens provides a whole set of battery system for customers in areas of electric cars, electric tools, RC planes, RC race cars, military equipment, solar and wind energy storage, and National Grid. Gens aiming goal is “serve the society with high quality products”.


Gens Tattu and ACE Lipo Batteries

Storing and Transporting your battery

If your rc car lipo battery are going to sit on the shelf for a while, they are happiest if the cells are at about 3.7 to 3.8 volts each. If you've just finished flying then chances are your batteries will be close to this but if you've charged your packs and then didn't use them, it's vital to have a method handy that will allow you to discharge your packs to this storage level. Some balance chargers have a discharge function but if you're running high capacity (mah) packs they can be slow to complete a discharge cycle. If you rig an alternate method just be sure that it won't discharge the packs too quickly as that can damage your packs making them very unhappy and a true LiPo Ninja can't have unhappy packs.

It's preferable to store your packs in a cool area where they can enjoy a relaxing chilled period of inactivity. Storing batteries in cars, trailers, sheds, etc can expose them to high heat which can degrade the materials in the battery making them not last as long and not hold as much of a charge.

Before putting batteries away after flying be sure to check them for damage as even minor looking dings and dents can cause internal shorting which can lead to a fire. If after putting your stuff away after a day of flying it would be a surprise to find out one of your packs is burning in the basement, no? LiPo fires are hot and intense as well as being difficult to put out. Avoid fires at all costs by understanding your batteries and by maintaining good habits for use, charging, and storage.

LiPo Battery Handling & Storage

  • Keep LiPo battery packs WELL out of reach of children.
  • Do not put battery packs in pockets or bags where they can short circuit.
  • Do not store or transport batteries where they can come into contact with sharp or metallic objects.
  • Do not store your LiPo pack in extreme temperatures below 0C or above 50C.
  • Always store your LiPo pack in a safe and non flammable container away from flammable objects. A LiPo Sack or metal / ceramic storage container is best.
  • Always store your LiPo?ˉs partially charged. They will maintain their performance levels over time and there's no need to cycle them unless stored for periods longer than 3-6 months.
  • Do not immerse the battery in water or allow the battery to get wet.
  • Do not dispose of in fire or heat.
When mailing or shipping LiPo batteries, always ship them at a 30% charged state for safety reasons.When storing batteries for extended periods, store at a half charged state. To dispose of a LiPo battery, discharge it fully then place it in a bucket of salt water for one week. To dispose of, follow your municipal battery disposal guidelines. Lipo Charging Charging Lithium Polymer or LiPo batteries have very specific charging requirements and MUST only be changed by specific chargers designed to charge lithium polymer batteries. We recommend only balance charging your lipo batteries. All good quality Lipo battery packs come with 2 leads. The main charge / discharge lead and connector and a balance lead and connector. Using a computerised balance charger to charge your Lipo batteries will ensure that all the cells in the battery pack have the same voltages. The voltage value is critical to the condition (during use) and safety of each cell, which we will cover more in this article.
  • Never charge Battery's unattended
  • Always use chargers designed specifically for charging LiPo battery's
  • Never charge LiPo batteries with chargers meant for NiMh, or NiCd battery's
  • Do not charge battery's on or near any flammable materials, this will help ensure that if there is a malfunction it can be contained with the least amount of damage and injury possible.
  • Always charge your battery in a fire proof container or LiPo safe sack. Do not charge your battery in your RC vehicle.
  • Always visually inspect your battery before charging and after charging.
  • Always allow your battery to cool to its safe ambient temperature before charging after its previous discharge cycle.
  • Monitor the resting voltage of your battery before charging, Do not charge any battery that has lower voltage than 3.0Volts in any cell.
  • Always select the correct cell count on your charger, please reference the chargers settings to the battery's label.
  • Never charge the battery exceeding 2C, C=the thousand value capacity of the battery (5000Mah = 10amp max charge).
  • Monitor the battery's voltage after charging to ensure that your charger has not exceeded 4.2V per cell.
  • Always double check to ensure that your charge leads from your charger and to your battery are of the correct polarity.

LiPo Balancing

For your multi-celled (2S and higher) LiPo to run at its best and last its longest, the individual cells need to be charged equally. The term for that is balancing.

A charger can't supply the same charge to all three cells. For example, if you have a 3S where the three cells are discharged to 3.1V, 3.3V and 3.7V and you plugged them into a non-balancing charger, the 3.7V cell would hit the maximum 4.2 volts well before the other two. And then it would exceed the maximum as the other cells continued to charge "C" destroying the cell and possibly resulting in a fire.

That's why every LiPo with one or more cells will have a balance plug (sometimes referred to as a balance tap). The charger uses the balance plug to monitor the individual cells while charging.

Conclusion

It is my hope that all RC hobbyists are responsible lipo users. This includes both using and maintaining lipos, as well as disposing of them properly when the time comes. All it takes is fully discharging a lipo to render it inert and safe, and then can be simply tossed in the trash. Being responsible for your lipos is not hard, it just takes some basic knowledge and a little bit of effort. So keep that in mind next time you have a lipo that needs retired.

http://rclipobatteries.blogspot.com/2015/12/some-tips-for-lipo-battery-safety.html

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