For those who play with model airplanes or RC cars, Lipo batteries are no longer strange. Recently, more and more people have used and learned about Lipo batteries through unpiloted aircraft. To better understand Lipo batteries, the following article will introduce you to the tips for using Lipo batteries, and the difference between Lipo batteries and other batteries.
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The difference between Lipo batteries and other batteries
Most batteries on the market today have the same structure, which has three main components: the positive end, the negative end, and the electrolyte solution.
At the same time, the anode and cathode are separated from each other by polymer material to prevent contact with each other to avoid short circuits. Batteries will generate volume and storage thanks to chemical reactions between the electrolytes of the anode and cathode of the battery.
However, other batteries, such as nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) and lithium-ion (Li-ion), will use a liquid electrolyte solution. For example, potassium hydroxide solution is commonly used as an electrolyte for Ni-Cd batteries. As for Lipo batteries, a gel-like substance called lithium polymer will be used as the electrolyte, which will form a skinny and long porous layer.
Material Separator Plate Between Two Poles
Not only different in electrolyte material but Lipo batteries are also replaced with anode or cathode plates in polymer materials. This material will make Lipo batteries more compact and lighter than batteries that use positive or negative centers to separate. Furthermore, this material also helps to remove excess air during electrolysis.
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Some tips when using Lipo batteries
In order to be able to use Lipo batteries longer, you should refer to a few tips below, which will help you store and use Lipo batteries properly.
- The battery life will decrease when the battery is at a high temperature, so after using, the hot battery should never be charged or used. Thus, keep in mind that the biggest enemy of Lipo batteries is temperature.
- Lipo batteries will not perform well in cold weather, which will affect the battery’s performance. Lipo batteries work based on chemical reactions, so the lower the temperature, the more it can affect the device and cause damage. So Lipo batteries are not a good choice in the weather cold.
- When a Lipo battery explodes, it is considered a chemical fire, so you should prepare a Class D fire extinguisher around the charging / discharging area for your safety. In addition, you can place Lipo batteries on concrete or ceramic surfaces to limit the possibility of fire or explosion.
- Usually, when buying electronic products, people have a tendency to choose used batteries to save costs and protect the environment. However, for Lipo batteries, do not buy used products because we do not know how these batteries have been damaged, and they contain many dangers for users.
Causes of damage to Lipo batteries
A swelling phenomenon known as electrolytic breakdown occurs after using the battery for a long time. You will see it very clearly for Lipo batteries because its shell structure is not as complex as other batteries. This process occurs because the electrolyte solution decomposes itself over time, releasing sets of gases consisting of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. They continue to expand and put more and more pressure on the battery case, causing them to be protected.
In other words, a swollen battery also means that the battery is overheated and is easy to cause an explosion, so you should not use the battery in the room.
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Aging of the battery
Each type of battery has a shelf life and will begin to deteriorate over time, counted from the time it is first activated. The ions have to move from the cathode to the anode in a reverse cycle to generate energy. This process will form thin films made of lithium at the poles, which will reduce the binding of lithium ions to the electrolyte. This causes the battery’s performance to degrade over time, a natural, inevitable process.
Notice when using Lipo
When charging the battery
To ensure the safety of users, you should note a few issues while charging Lipo batteries as follows:
Do not charge the battery near flammable materials.
The charging place must be ventilated, not wet, and avoid areas with high temperatures.
Do not charge overnight, which will overload the battery bottle and cause an explosion.
Do not use damaged chargers or batteries that show signs of damage.
When fully charged: it is recommended to use for three days and not leave the battery full for a long time because the battery will swell and reduce battery quality, even causing damage. At the same time, do not leave the battery in a place with high temperatures, as this will shorten the battery life and cause a fire or explosion.
Store when not in use for a long time: store in a dry, room temperature place with a battery level of about 50%. It is recommended to check every six months and charge the battery to 50%.
The way to handle the Lipo batteries problem
Should choose chargers with voltage and output current suitable for the battery, and only charge to 45 – 50% of the battery and then store it. Similarly, fully charge it every few days and then discharge it to 45 – 50%. After a few times, the battery will deflate again, and then you take the tape to wrap it tightly and use it.
Dispose of batteries properly.
You mustn’t dispose of batteries in the trash without discharging them and disabling them. Alternatively, you can take the battery to a scrap center where it can be disposed of or recycled.
The above article has provided information about Lipo batteries and some valuable tips. During use, you should also check and observe it regularly to prevent failure and fire. Hopefully, the above article will be helpful, and you can apply it in your life.