Press By Press December 17, 2017

For a while now, there are many videos and websites that are talking about how to safely use a LiPo battery. The reason for this concern was the multiple explosions of Samsung manufactured mobile phones, news that toured the entire world and hit strongly the famed technology company.

In fact, those explosions had nothing to do with the phones as such, but with the battery they used. Yes, exactly, we are talking about the famed lithium ion polymer batteries, better known as LiPo, which promise to deliver a major quantity of energy for a longer period of time.But this efficiency has a cost and is that if the battery does not charge and discharge in an adequate manner or is not stored safely; can get swollen, last for just a minute or, in the worst of cases, even overheat and burst into flames. Obviously this does not always happen, usually before exploding, the battery generates a series of warnings, such as a smell of molten plastic due to the rise in temperature, smoke or more subtly bulges, as it happens to any other conventional battery with the pass of time.

Why are LiPo batteries so fragile?

The reason for the fragility of these batteries lies in their power and size. That is, most standard batteries such as NiCd or NiHm, contain 1.2 volt cells, so they are very heavy and large batteries when you need more power. On the other hand, the cells of LiPo batteries are 3.7 volts, meaning that even with the same number of cells, an optimum level of power can be reached.

The reduction of cells is what allows having smaller and lighter batteries, which is greatly appreciated in the world of drone racing, but also amounts to an increased risk because the volatile electrolyte used exclusively in the LiPo, can get out of control or overheat and explode destroying not only the battery but also several components of your multicopter.

But before panicking, you need to know that there is a series of good practices that will help you avoid collateral damage and even extend the life of your battery, and none is crazy or impossible enough not to carry it out.

Good practices to charge your LiPo battery.

As we said, one of the factors that can have negative consequences in the life of your LiPo; or worse, generate large explosive disasters, is the process you follow to recharge your battery. Here we quote some of the safety tips that the experts have provided for the moment of charging our LiPo type battery.

Always use an intelligent charger: At the time of charging your battery, since conventional chargers continue to feed energy into the battery even though it is already charged, and this extra energy can cause overheating of it until it burst.

Do not charge your battery if it is still connected to your drone: A LiPo battery cannot be treated like the batteries of conventional cell phones that were the lesson that left us all the chaos of the Samsung Galaxy. Therefore at the time of recharging, please disconnect them from your race vehicle and put them to charge in a safe place, away from liquids or flammable elements and with a lot of ventilation.

Let your battery rest before charging: If you have just participated in a race or flight training, it is advisable to wait at least 15 minutes before putting your battery to charge, especially if it is still hot due to the use.

Good practices in regards to safety.

In this section we explain how to proceed under exceptional circumstances and what other implements you can use to avoid accidents with your LiPo batteries.

Do not lose sight of your battery when it is charging: Most of the times the LiPo tend to fail just during the charging process, so it is advisable never to trust and stay close by any inconvenience. So in case they get damaged, overheat or start smelling, you can disconnect it immediately to take it to a remote and safe area where you make sure it does not explode or, if it does, causes no harm but to itself.

Buy fireproof or flameproof bags: Although they are not a mandatory accessory, buying this type of bags greatly reduces the risks when charging, storing or moving your LiPo batteries, since in case of explosion or fire, everything will be restricted to the inside of the bag and the rest of your belongings will not suffer any damage.

Install smoke detectors in recharge zones: It is not necessary to buy the most expensive detectors, only one that is efficient enough and sensitive to the presence of smoke, so you can react on time and avoid any bad experience.

And there you have our tips for the responsible use of LiPo batteries, in future posts we will be talking about how to store your batteries safely and dedicate an entire entry to fireproof bags, so you can choose the most suitable for you.

Guest writer