Lipo batteries have a high energy density as well as a good depth of discharge. That is often why they are the primary pick for anyone looking for batteries.
However, a drop in performance is observed after a certain period of usage. So you might be wondering what would be a good lipo battery alternative?
Well firstly, li-ion batteries serve as a good alternative to lipo batteries. They are both long-lasting and affordable. The same characteristics also apply to NiMH batteries. Moreover, LFP batteries are pretty great too. They are more stable and have a longer lifespan compared to lipo batteries.
And if you’re looking for more details, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Simply keep reading and we’ll hook you right up!
What are Lipo Batteries & Where are They Used?
Lipo in lipo batteries stands for Lithium-polymer. They are generally used in radio-controlled (RC) cars and aircraft. But they are also common in mobile phones and drones and basically any electric vehicle.
Now, lipo batteries differ from other lithium-based batteries in a number of ways. Firstly, compared to other lithium-based batteries, lipo batteries provide a higher density of energy.
They use a type of gel polymer as an electrolyte that has a higher conductivity. Especially if you look at them in contrast to other lithium batteries.
Plus, they are lightweight as well, which makes them highly suitable for drones and phones.
Yet, despite their high power capacity, there are still problems that you might run into.
So, let’s have a look at the issues that you can face with lipo batteries.
3 Good Alternatives to Lipo Batteries
There are few alternatives to lipo just how there are alternatives to rc nitro fuel. These lipo alternatives provide close to the performance obtained through lipo batteries.
Let’s get into them right away!
Unlike lipo batteries, lithium-ion or li-ion batteries use a liquid electrolyte. These Li-ion batteries have been around longer than lipo batteries. And they are not only long-lasting but also hold a high density of energy!
And these characteristics are what make li-ion batteries a suitable alternative to lipo batteries. In addition, they are also more affordable compared to lipo batteries.
So, you can rest assured that these batteries will last you longer. Plus, as a bonus, they are more budget-friendly as well. And that makes it easy to replace with its own kind when required.
Here are some good quality li-ion batteries on the market right now:
But one thing to remember is, that lipo batteries are definitely more lightweight than li-ion batteries. Also, there is sometimes a chance for li-ion batteries to leak their liquid electrolyte. Which is unlikely to happen in lipo batteries.
Now, can you use nimh batteries instead of lipo? Certainly! Therefore, another alternative to lipo batteries is Nickel Metal Hydride or Nimh batteries.
Not only are they cheaper than lipo batteries, but also have a longer lifespan. Additionally, they are also low maintenance, so you can’t certainly opt for them.
Here are a few Nimh batteries that you can use as alternatives to your lipo batteries:
Unlike lipo batteries which only have 150 – 300 charge cycles, NiMH batteries have 300 – 450. Which does make NiMH more durable in comparison.
However, NiMH batteries require complete discharging before you can charge them again. While you don’t need to do the same for lipo batteries and charge them directly instead.
You will also have to consider the lifespan of the nicad battery.
Now, are you concerned about safety, and thinking, are nimh batteries safer than lipo? Yes, they mostly are, but incorrect use can always raise the risks!
Lithium Ferro phosphate (LFP) or lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are a safe alternative to lipo batteries. They can last for around 1500 to 2000 charge cycles!
Plus, since they have a more stable chemical property than lipo batteries, they are also safer. And due to their high energy capacity, they can go weeks after charging once.
But if these aren’t enough, they are actually more lightweight than lipo batteries as well. And while generally lipo batteries already charge super-fast, these just charge slightly quicker.
However, they are often difficult to find in the size you’re seeking just how your preferred rc wheel nut sizes are hard to get. And the same applies to their chargers as well. And they are less budget-friendly than any of the batteries mentioned above.
Since they are hard to find, here is an LFP battery and charger that we recommend:
I hope they are helpful for you!
Dangers with Lipo Batteries
Are lipo batteries really that dangerous? Well, they can be. Because while lipo batteries are generally safe, they can still be dangerous when improperly handled.
So, let us go through some of the dangers real quick.
Damaged Lipo Battery
To start, you must never store, charge or discharge a lipo battery that is damaged. Sometimes a puffy lipo battery is also a good sign of a damaged one.
So it’s best to avoid using that battery again.
The risks associated with those are usually related to inhaling toxic fumes. But sometimes, it can also lead to fires, especially when mishandled.
However, if only one of the cell of your lipo battery is damaged then you can fix it easily. Here’s a video that can help you with that-
Storage & Charging
When storing, charging, or discharging your lipo batteries, make sure to use a fire-proof bag. If you can’t find those, an ammo box made of metal works well too. Or any container you can find that is fireproof.
It’s good to be safe because simple setoff is enough for a fire. For instance, a small and internal short circuit can easily result in a fire. And with lipo batteries they happen suddenly, yet spread rapidly.
A good way to prevent this is to try not to overcharge your batteries. However, it’s hard to predict when it will happen.
But, are lipo batteries safe when not charging? Nope. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. So fireproof containers are the best way to go.
And if you’re wondering how to recharge a lipo battery, you can charge lipo batteries using balance lead too!
Discharging Lipo Batteries
You shouldn’t leave your fully charged lipo batteries lying around for more than a few days. So, how to discharge a lipo battery for storage?
If you have a battery with a full charge that you won’t be using, discharge it first. And then you can go store them safely.
Plus, try not to leave lipo batteries unattended while they’re charging or discharging. That way you could handle any situation before it gets out of hand. Now be it the smoke coming out of the batteries, or when they start swelling up.
A good thing to know for users is how to safely discard a damaged lipo battery. That way you’ll know what to do when your batteries get swollen.
Now, these were some of the dangers with lipo batteries that you should be aware of. But what should you do when your lipo batteries are no longer usable?
Well, you can always purchase new ones. That, or you could look into some alternatives to lipo batteries. And we have just the ones for you! Just keep reading.
What’s a good alternative to battery power?
A good alternative to battery power is something known as a supercapacitor. Now, these devices are in a solid state. Not only are they resilient to temperature changes but they also have a high power density. Additionally, they also have a long lifespan which is another notable advantage.
What are graphene batteries?
Graphene batteries are the future. They are still under development, however, graphene would allow super-fast recharge for your batteries. They possess an ability that also lets them hold that charge for a long period. Therefore, adding up to the increased lifespan of the batteries as well.
Are alkaline batteries better than lithium-based ones?
No, alkaline batteries are not better than lithium-based ones. It’s known that alkaline batteries can provide a good amount of power for a long time. However, they tend to lose their strength after a while. While lithium batteries can provide a strong surge of energy more consistently.
That’s about all we had for you on the lipo battery alternative. Hope we helped you find the alternatives you were looking for!
Try to store your lipo batteries at room temperature to ensure they last longer.
Thanks for reading till the end! Be careful and good luck!