How To Safely Use, Charge, and Discharge Lithium Polymer (Lipo) Batteries
Lithium polymer batteries are great for RC aircraft, but they have an explosive chemistry that must be treated with caution.
Prevent this from happening to your batteries by following these tips:
Store Li-polymer batteries in a flame proof LipoSack while charging. - Charging your lithium polymer batteries in a flame proof LipoSack can contain a fire should it occur. It could mean the difference between a minor clean up and the loss of your house or car. Also make sure that the storage area is well ventilated.
Read the manual – The importance of reading your battery and chargers manual cannot be emphasized enough. The battery manual will state the proper charging rates and times.
Use common sense – Don’t charge batteries unsupervised. Even when you do everything right, incidents can occur. Also, do not charge lithium polymer batteries in your car. A flame out can be disasterous if it occurs inside a vehicle.
Use the right battery charger – Charging a lipo battery with a charger designed for other batteries will cause problems, and will probably result in a fire.
Charge lithium polymer batteries on a fire proof surface – It’s really important to charge lithium polymer batteries on a flame proof surface such as concrete. In the event of a fire, a fire proof charging surface will stop it from spreading, or at least slow it down significantly.
Keep a fire extinguisher, or bucket of sand near the charging area – If a fire does occur, you don’t want to be running around looking for something to put it out with. Water will not help put out a lipo fire. Being a conductor, it will cause a short circuit and could even make the fire worse.
Don’t charge lithium polymer batteries near flammable substances – Lithium polymer batteries are flammable enough as it is. Don’t make the problem worse by storing flammable substances near charging batteries.
Check lithium polymer batteries for swelling prior to charging and each use – A puffed battery is unstable, and can be in danger of exploding. If you see a puffed battery, immediately disconnect it from the charger or aircraft and put it in a bucket of water. Dissolve a few tablespoons of salt in the water to aid conductivity, and leave the battery in the bucked for about 4 days. The salt water depletes any power remaining in the battery by creating a short, and it can’t catch fire while underwater. After the four days are up, take the battery out and cut off the connectors (which may come in handy for other projects). You can then dispose of the battery in the trash. The battery no longer contains toxic metals, won’t harm the environment, and by using the salt water you’ve guaranteed that it won’t catch fire. This should be done as soon as you see a puffed battery. You can’t salvage a puffed battery, the best you can do is to dispose of it safely.
Never charge a lithium polymer battery in a model – If you charge a lipo battery in your RC airplane or helicopter, you are risking the total loss of your model. Only charge lithium polymer batteries on a flame proof surface, in a LipoSack.
Make sure the charging leads are connected properly – Connecting positive to negative and negative to positive can cause a major fire.
Don’t overcharge batteries – By their very chemistry, lithium polymer batteries cannot be discharged to a potential of less than 3 volts without damage. For the same reason, don’t charge them to over 4.2 volts. This means that you have to land your rc aircraft before the motors stop turning. Some aircraft come equipped with a voltage cut-off, others do not. If you don’t have a voltage cut-off, then land as soon as you sense the propeller or rotors slowing down.
Double check that the charger settings are correct – Lithium polymer battery chargers require you to set the battery configuration. Ensure that this configuration matches the battery you’re charging, or else your lipo could get overcharged and explode. Some chargers automatically sense the battery configuration, but make sure that the setting is correct regardless. They have been known to be wrong on occasion.
Balance lipo batteries – Lithium polymer batteries have balance connectors, designed to make sure that each cell in the pack has the same charge. If this isn’t the case, some cells can become overcharged and explode.
Never let the battery leads touch – If the battery terminals touch each other, the battery will short circuit and, in most cases, be destroyed. If this happens and you get a puffed battery, dispose of it by following tip 9 above.
Don’t ever store / charge lithium polymer batteries in your car – Unless you hate your car. Batteries can and do explode, and if this happens inside a vehicle the result is usually catastrophic. On a hot day, temperatures can rise inside the car and cause stored packs to rupture.
In the event of a crash, remove the battery and supervise it for at least 4 hours – A crashed plane’s battery can appear fine, but can have an internal short circuit. This short circuit can cause an explosion, even hours after the crash occurred. A LipoSack is a great place to keep a battery that’s been in a crash. If enough time elapses and nothing happens, then your battery is probably fine. If you see puffing, dispose of it immediately following the instructions in tip 9 above.
Li-Polymer batteries for Remote Controlled Toy Free Shipping Worldwide
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Sunday, August 9, 2009
Li-Polymer batteries for Remote Controlled Toy Free Shipping Worldwide
Posted by ANDY C at 8:54 PM
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