Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are a newer type of batteries often used in many consumer electronic devices. To determine if this is the right solution for your battery needs, you should first know its advantages and disadvantages.
LiPo batteries are preferred by most because it is lightweight and can be made in any size or shape. Even with the weight, it can carry higher capacities allowing it to hold more power. On the other hand, LiPo batteries are known to have a shorter lifespan. Actually, LiPo batteries have an average of 150-250 cycles.
Once you decided to use LiPo batteries, it is time that you consider best practices for safe and responsible ownership. Here are some best practices you should consider:
- Do not use damaged LiPo batteries: before using the batteries, you should first observe the packaging. If the LiPo batteries are damaged or appear to be puffy, do not attempt to charge, discharge, store or use it. It is imperative that you follow disposal protocols.
- Do not purchase used LiPo batteries: it is always recommended to buy a new one. If you buy a used one, you never know what the previous owner did with the batteries and they could conceal the damage.
- Use proper charger/discharger: when it comes to charging and discharging, always follow the instructions and use the proper tool. Keep in mind that it is important for the cells in the LiPo battery to maintain the same voltage at all times. If the voltages deviate, the battery will become unstable. This is dangerous. If you have a single cell LiPo, cell balance should not worry you but you still need to use the proper tool when charging and discharging.
- Read reviews: reviews like RC TopGeek will give you enlightenment when choosing the right LiPo chargers.
- Utilise the fireproof LiPo safety bag: when you are charging, discharging or storing, you should utilise the fireproof LiPo safety bag. Although LiPo fires are rare, they escalate quickly causing a lot of damage.
- Follow manufacturer recommendations: when batteries are overcharged, anything can happen. With this, you need to ensure that you always follow the manufacturer recommendations especially when it comes to filling the container capacity. You need to check how many mAhs the battery can safely contain.
- Do not leave your charging LiPo batteries unattended: when you leave the house, ensure that the LiPo batteries and other things are not charged or plugged. If you leave these things unattended, you cannot handle the situation as it arises.
- Follow proper discharge: if you want to maintain a healthy battery life, you should practice following proper discharge. Typically, you should not go below 3.2v per cell. Remember that a 2.9v cell or lower will cause permanent damage.
Do not use in cold weather: LiPo batteries do not function well in cold weather. Keep in mind that the colder it is, the shorter are the runtimes because of the slowing down of chemical activity. If the temperature is below 14°F, usage is not recommended. This is because the battery could cause the device to suddenly fail without warning.