A lithium polymer battery, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer battery (abbreviated variously as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly and others), is a rechargeable battery of lithium-ion technology in a pouch format. LiPo battery are much lighter weight, and can be made in almost any size or shape. And it offers much higher capacities, allowing them to hold much more power. LiPo battery offers much higher discharge rates, meaning they pack more punch.
Lipo battery has been gaining in popularity in the radio control industry over the last few years, and are now the most popular choice for anyone looking for long run times and high power. Batteries are the aircrafts’ power source, so it is dangerous if you do not use it right. Therefore, I will list out some tips about batteries’ maintenance common sense and attentions.
1. Do not overcharge
A good charger will automatically disconnect when batteries are full powered, but some chargers are not because the components get old or other reasons. When it comes to charging your LiPo battery is very important to never leave a LiPo to charge unsupervised. The batteries come with Minivet have auto-disconnect function, but for some DIY user, many chargers allow you to set a charging rate, although most batteries can support up to 5C charge rates (which makes charging your battery much faster, minivet battery is 5c). Its always best to charge at 1C or less as this means the chemicals inside your battery will gain energy slower which keeps them more stable and ultimately means your battery will have a much longer life in terms of charge/discharge cycles.
2. Do not over-discharge
The discharge curve shows the voltage of a discharged Minivet LiPo drop down after 3.7V, and discharging below this will definitely damage the cell. Some users always over-discharge a battery when flying minivet because of the only one battery. It will seriously reduce battery life, so to prepare 2 or 3 batteries is important. Minivet gives warning after its battery’s voltage lower than 10.8v, to land the aircraft in time after the warning is needed.
3.Stored with a partial charge
LiPo packs should be stored with a partial charge. Check the battery’s instructions and determine the recommended voltage or capacity level for storage. Most manufacturers suggest storing LiPos between 50% and 70% charge capacity and voltage. While LiPos hold their charge well in storage, they do slowly lose voltage over time. When storing packs long term, check the voltage and capacity monthly. If it dips below the recommended storage voltage, it is best to discharge the battery and add a fresh charge, or at the very least, top off the existing charge appropriately. Always use a fire proof LiPo safety bag, metal ammo box, or other fire proof container when you are charging, discharging, or storing your LiPo batteries. Store them in adry place and suggest temperature is 10~25°C.
4. Inspect for damage
LiPo packs should be regularly inspected for damage, as a small problem can result in a meltdown over time. A telltale sign of LiPo damage is swollen or puffed-up cells. This indicates irreversible damage and a potentially hazardous situation.
5. Proper lipo transport
transporting LiPos, keep them away from the heat. Do not leave them in the trunk on a hot sunny day. Keep them in a cool, dry location. Anything over 140°F can easily damage the packs. LiPo packs do have the ability to melt down on their own. Transport LiPos alone and in their own case. Never travel with the pack installed in the vehicle. This could prevent collateral damage if the pack goes bad. Some manufacturers even produce LiPo carrying cases, which are insulated and prevent LiPo mishaps from turning into disasters. Make sure that your batteries are properly padded in whatever box you’re using to ship them. You never know what will happen to that box while it’s being shipped!
Package of minivet battery
6. LiPos do not like cold temperature
LiPo batteries do not work well in cold weather. The colder it is, the shorter your run times will be due to the slowing down of the chemical activity within the battery. If it is below 14F (-10C), LiPo usage is not recommended at all. Your battery could cause your R/C vehicle to suddenly fail without warning in these temperatures.