Lipo battery lifespan - RC Groups
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Feb 14, 2013, 03:29 PM
pressurerat's Avatar

Lipo battery lifespan

Hello all,
I am back in the R/C hobby after about a 8 year hiatus. I am flying helis specifically. As I go, I have been digging out my old gear and equipment. I just found all my old lipo packs. They were all made in 2004, and I doubt if any of them have over 30 cycles. My question is; do lipo batteries batteries go bad with age, or just the number of times used? I'll get brave later and try to charge one, but thought I'd ask first. TIA!
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Feb 14, 2013, 03:45 PM
Registered User
ggcrandall1's Avatar
LiPo deterioration depends on how they were stored. If they were set to the storage value (3.85V/cell), and in a cool place, and they were pretty good batteries in the first place they might still be good.

Go ahead and charge them. But be sure you are using a good balancing charger. But if your charger is a old as the batteries you might think seriously about upgrading to a newer charger.

Once the battery is charged put a load on the battery and measure the discharge rate. Use a wattmeter to measure the discharge current and voltages. Do not discharge the battery below 3.3 to 3.4V/cell under load. After the load is removed the battery should rebound to about 3.7V/cell.

Feb 14, 2013, 04:34 PM
Frankenstein recycled packs
rampman's Avatar
Once a lipo is built the fuse is lit, some may argue that once charged the fuse is lit.
Even the round cell lithium cells used on motherboards and other electronic applications only have a 10 year shelf life and that is WAY longer than our high power delivery lipo's life.

Feb 14, 2013, 04:57 PM
Registered User
Joe 1320's Avatar
Lots of variables.... Quality of the chemicals, storage conditions, and use all contribute to the lifespan. Some lipos I've used for several years, some die in 6 months of daily use.
Feb 14, 2013, 09:46 PM
Electric baptism 1975
DavidN's Avatar
2004 batteries were not anything as powerful as those we have now. Good brands were 15- 25C, bargain brands were significantly inferior. They may work but have power output significantly less than new ones. I believe in 2004 shelf life was estimated at 3+years; but newer construction may be better. I have just retired some TP batteries after 5 years. They were taking longer to balance, still working but a new battery jumped the amps from 45 to 56. At least fly 3 mistakes high till you have a few flights on them.
Feb 14, 2013, 11:34 PM
Registered User
flydiver's Avatar
2004 lipo + heli > don't even bother. Get new batteries.
Heli EATS lipos.
Feb 15, 2013, 04:53 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by flydiver
2004 lipo + heli > don't even bother. Get new batteries.
Heli EATS lipos.
this helis are VERY hard on lipos with only EDFs coming close
8 year old packs are not going to work very well ether way in a modern heli
lots of cheap packs out there now too
EPBuddy has some good ones pretty cheap if your in the US
Feb 15, 2013, 03:40 PM
pressurerat's Avatar
Yeah they are pretty old. They were Thunder Power batteries, and were really good packs at the time. I cant find my old lipo charger, so I guess I need to get some modern stuff anyway. I never had a watt meter, I really need one of those as well it seems. Its all coming back to me a bit at a time.
Feb 15, 2013, 04:01 PM
Electric baptism 1975
DavidN's Avatar
Good news is that prices of everything including the watt meter are heading for the basement and you may not need as large packs as before to do the job, a further saving.
Feb 15, 2013, 06:12 PM
Go Hawks!
cryhavoc38's Avatar
if those packs were still good, chances are the C ratings are so low that they wouldn't be good for too many power plants these days unless you were to use them for some fun slow fly type planes.
9 year old TP packs..perhaps 5c, maybe 10c?
Feb 16, 2013, 04:07 PM
pressurerat's Avatar
I cant believe the selections/options there are now for everything. Its a little overwhelming. There are so many products available!
Feb 17, 2013, 09:51 AM
That's a funny word
Even before charging them one should look for a suspect cell. The very first thing should be to check all cell's voltages. One that is very much lower than all the rest of it's siblings is suspect until further testing commence.
Feb 21, 2013, 05:54 AM
pressurerat's Avatar
I finally tested those batteries and to my surprise, they actually held a good charge. They lasted for about a good 10 minutes of flying each. I used to use them for my old Ikarus Piccolo (which is long defunct), now the only thing they fit is my double horse 9116. I found my old charger and it seems to work, so I'll plug them up and see if they will take another charge. I still need a new charger, so hopefully I can choose one soon. I cant believe how cheap chargers are now compared to 2005 prices. It seems like you can get a really decent one for under 50 bucks. So many choices......
Last edited by pressurerat; Feb 21, 2013 at 06:02 AM.
Feb 21, 2013, 10:26 AM
Registered User
The eventual life of your batts will be decided on how you treat them and a good charger is a factor in that equasion,the under $50 crowd are not usually very good,an excellent recomendation would be to look at spending a bit more and get something that will do it's job with accuracy.
Feb 21, 2013, 10:31 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by pushy galore
It seems like you can get a really decent one for under 50 bucks. So many choices......
Not really. You can get a cheap one for under $50. A "really decent one" will be $90 minimum (iCharger 106B+).

And these are the two best vendors in the US to buy a charger from. Both provide excellent customer service and will be more then happy to help you determine what you need.

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