Chargers are an integral part of FPV, crucial for powering up your batteries. However, charging LiPo batteries is not as straightforward as it might seem, as they require specific care and handling during charging. It’s crucial to understand how to safely charge them
Let’s get into the details.
Connecting a LiPo to a Charger
Charging LiPo batteries with modern LiPo chargers has become relatively easy. Typically, all you need to do is plug in the XT60 and balance connectors, set a few parameters, and you are good to go.
Understanding your charger’s modes can help you maintain and extend the life of your batteries:
- Balance charge: This mode enables the charger to monitor each cell’s voltage and keep them balanced while charging the battery. It’s the safest and most recommended way of charging your LiPo battery.
- Storage charge: This mode brings each cell to storage voltage, which is usually between 3.80V – 3.85V, depending on the charger.
- Discharge: This mode attempts to drain the LiPo battery. However, it can be extremely slow, depending on the charger’s discharging power.
Why Balance Charge?
Since every cell in a battery is slightly different, cell voltages might vary after a flight. Charging a battery with imbalanced cell voltages without plugging in the balance cable might result in some cells being overcharged, which could be dangerous. Most modern LiPo chargers have balance charging as the default and only charging mode.
How Fast Can I Charge?
Charging your LiPo at 1C or lower is recommended as it puts the least amount of strain on the battery. For example, for a 1500mAh LiPo, charging at 1C means setting the charge current to 1.5A (1C x 1500mA), and for a 900mAh battery, that is 0.9A, and so on. However, it’s crucial to understand your LiPo’s specifications before charging at higher rates.
Choose Location Wisely
Always charge your batteries in an area clear of flammable items and materials. If charging indoors, try to do it near a window or door for safety.
Never Charge a LiPo Battery Unattended
Most LiPo-related fires occur because the person left the room while charging. Regularly check the temperature of your LiPo during charging; they should remain cool. If it starts to warm or swell, stop charging and investigate.
Parallel charging can be an efficient way to charge multiple batteries at once. However, it might not be the safest method of charging LiPo batteries due to the potential risk of overcharging.
Handling and charging your LiPo batteries properly is crucial for both your safety and the lifespan of your FPV drone. Misuse or negligence can lead to potentially hazardous situations.
Always ensure to follow the correct procedures and safety precautions when charging your LiPo batteries. Knowledge and caution are your best tools when dealing with this essential, yet delicate, part of your FPV drone setup!