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Sep 21, 2019, 11:05 AM
Ronaldo Nogueira
ronaldopn's Avatar
Thread OP
Question

Why is it so hard for people to take proper care of their lipo batteries?


I see people using puffed lipos everywhere not only in my club.
I fly hard 3D/XA and usually replace my lipos when my telemetry starts giving me 3.5V alarm in the middle of the flight. This means voltage sag is reaching a critical level for me and packs are getting tired.
I normally sell my lipos to club members as there's still plenty of performance for sport/ scale flying. I give them perfectly squared lipos with hundreds of flights just to see the same packs completely puffed one or two weeks later
Why is it so hard for people to take proper care of their lipos?? I push my packs really hard, (balance) charge them at up to 5C at the field but they never ever get puffed!
It can't be that difficult, lipo rules are known and simple.
Ronaldo
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Sep 21, 2019, 11:15 AM
A man with too many toys
Puffed LiPo batteries are not always an indication that they should be discarded. I have found that some brands are naturally a little on the soft side but still have excellent performance and hundreds of flights left in them.

I have a Power Lab 8 and that computes battery health for each cell on each charge. If you have the proper equipment you will know if the battery is actually bad or not. Puffing is not a reliable way to judge battery health.

Now I do agree that a badly puffed battery should not be used but a little puffing is OK.

.
Sep 21, 2019, 11:17 AM
Ronaldo Nogueira
ronaldopn's Avatar
Thread OP
BTW, for the new flyers, here are the secrets to keep your LiPo batteries in the best condition:

  • Make sure your power system does not pull more than 20C from the packs (less is better).
  • Never drain your packs below 3.7V/ cell (use a timer or even better, telemetry). If you land at 3.7-3.8V your packs are already at storage level, nothing else is needed;
  • Never leave your packs fully charged for a long time (my personal rule is only a few hours), discharge to around 3.8V using a proper lipo discharger;
  • ALWAYS balance charge, never use any other option;
  • Get a powerful lipo discharger with automatic shutdown at preset voltage, the discharge option of most chargers is just too slow;

Ronaldo
Last edited by ronaldopn; Sep 24, 2019 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Characters in bold
Sep 21, 2019, 11:20 AM
A man with too many toys
The biggest problem with new EP flyers is they don't time the flights and fly until they hit the ESC cutoff. That's really bad for LiPo batteries.

.
Sep 21, 2019, 11:26 AM
Flying a Falcon or a 3D model.
fauconnier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldopn
BTW, for the new flyers, here are the secrets to keep your lipo batteries in the best consition:
  • Make sure your power system does not pull more than 20C from the packs (less is better).
  • Never drain your packs below 3.7V/ cell (use a timer or even better, telemetry). If you land at 3.7-3.8V your packs are already at storage level, nothing else is needed;
  • Never leave your packs fully charged for a long time (my personal rule is only a few hours), discharge to around 3.8V using a proper lipo discharger;
  • ALWAYS balance charge, never use any other option;
  • Get a powerful lipo discharger with automatic shutdown at preset voltage, the discharge option of most chargers is just too slow;
Ronaldo
I agree on everything, it is word-for-word what I always do.
Sep 21, 2019, 11:29 AM
Ronaldo Nogueira
ronaldopn's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
Puffed LiPo batteries are not always an indication that they should be discarded. I have found that some brands are naturally a little on the soft side but still have excellent performance and hundreds of flights left in them.

I have a Power Lab 8 and that computes battery health for each cell on each charge. If you have the proper equipment you will know if the battery is actually bad or not. Puffing is not a reliable way to judge battery health.

Now I do agree that a badly puffed battery should not be used but a little puffing is OK.

.
I'm not saying it is not possible with some brands but that has not been my experience even with cheap ones. I've had many LiPos always pushing them really hard and the only ones which got puffed were the ones I used when I was starting in the hobby (totally due to my lack of knowledge at that time).
I do agree that puffing is not the only sign of LiPo health but I never bothered checking IR as I don't have a proper meter (Wayne Gilles device).
Sep 21, 2019, 11:36 AM
Ronaldo Nogueira
ronaldopn's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
The biggest problem with new EP flyers is they don't time the flights and fly until they hit the ESC cutoff. That's really bad for LiPo batteries.

.
Yes, I've seen that many times and not only with newbies. That is the second scariest thing I've seen with electrics right after not having a throttle cut switch.
Sep 21, 2019, 11:43 AM
Registered User
OhBee's Avatar
It's called LAZINESS! A common malady in todays instant gratification society.
Sep 21, 2019, 11:49 AM
Flying a Falcon or a 3D model.
fauconnier's Avatar
I think one of the biggest problem is believing what is written on the batteries. I never assume that they are more than 20C, if I am wrong, it's a bonus.
Sep 21, 2019, 12:17 PM
Registered User
I use a Low voltage alarm on every flight, helps confirm the battery is ready and the added weight is negligible for my style of flying. To discharge I bought a cheap LED light bar from amazon. 7 inch bar puts out a ton of light and discharges at a decent rate. I just soldered on some EC3s to the bar and sometimes use the battery for my night bike rides. 1 2200 gives me about 1.25hrs of light before my lipo alarm goes off.
Sep 21, 2019, 06:08 PM
AMA #937780
garyji's Avatar
All great comments above. If you are not following those guidelines, you SHOULD!!
I have many lipos of all sizes years old that are still very flyable.

G.
Sep 21, 2019, 06:59 PM
Rust: The poor man's Loctite.
TomM's Avatar
When I buy a lipo I always write the date of purchase on it.
I ONLY charge at 1C and balance charge.

I have packs that are 10 years old and still square, withing balance specs, and flying planes.
I have packs that lasted 6 flights and puffed and I threw them out in weeks .

Life is a crapshoot.
Sep 21, 2019, 07:16 PM
jofro
Yesty, while flying my large 127mm EDF delta jet I used rather old (8years) set of lipos 4x 6S/4Ah/40-50C rated, hooked as 12S/8Ah. No sign of swelling on the packs but there was some surge while taking off and during few passes by, when power was over 80%.
This power set up can draws up to 240Amps on full stick so the highest C-rated packs with higher capacity as 5Ah is an ideal.
I find this is the good sign to mark the packs and use them in lower current draw models to make most of. (Short surging footage)
2019 0920 154706 027 (4 min 47 sec)
(Inefficient current/voltage power surge)
Sep 21, 2019, 11:42 PM
WJH
WJH
A Humbled Pilot
WJH's Avatar
You can't get people to change the oil in their car, what makes you think they can be educated on the simple preventive measures to keep their lipos in top shape? Majority of people are stupid, the ones who aren't are a pleasant surprise.
Sep 22, 2019, 02:28 AM
Registered User
I've been flying electric for thirty years now and Lipos from the early 2000's in all of those years I've only had five packs give me puffing problems. Usually I discard packs (properly and safely) when I know that they are no longer performing to my satisfaction.


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