If you own an RC vehicle you must be familiar with lipo batteries. Most of the RC vehicles run on lipo batteries. One of the most common problems with them is their overheating issue.
So what causes lipo battery overheating and how to deal with this issue?
Lipo batteries get overheated when you overcharge them or use them for too long. Since their building materials consist mostly of metal the heat reacts quickly. Overheated lipo batteries are dangerous. To avoid them from overheating properly charge or discharge them. Also, store them appropriately.
Those are only the highlights of today’s talk. Wanna learn more about them? Then keep up with us until the end.
Let’s get started!
What Makes Lipo Battery Overheat?
Lipo batteries come in various types. Whichever type of lipo you are using you must have noticed their overheating characteristics. Lithium ion batteries are made of iron, nickel, magnesium, cobalt, magnesium oxide, and titanate.
Most of these components are metal and are highly affected by heat. Especially cobalt in the case of lipo batteries. The cobalt compound used in Lipos also varies depending on the lipo battery types.
When lipo or NiMH batteries overheat it happens because the charges get slammed to them. If the charging current is high it means heat. The lipo batteries aren’t supposed to be charged above the temperature of 45°C or 113°F.
Similarly, it shouldn’t be discharged above the temperature of 60°C or 140°C. If your lipo battery is getting charged or discharged above this rate it’ll overheat.
The construction of lithium ion battery makes it even easier to spread the heat. That’s why the charging and discharging temperature should be maintained properly.
Other than this obvious cause the following can be the reason for overheating too-
- Faulty battery connection
- Too much pinion gear
- Using overused lipo battery
- Running your RC vehicle too hard
- Dead cells in the battery
- Improper use of electronics
- Poor ventilation of the RC vehicle
If your RC lipo batteries have overheating issues these are what could have gone wrong.
What Happens When Lipo Battery Overheats?
You’ve learned the cause behind the overheating lipo battery. But what about the outcome of it? Is it dangerous?
The answer is yes, it is dangerous. Overheated lipo batteries will fail to work or malfunction. In the worst-case scenario, it may catch on fire or explode.
It is one of the main reasons why the battery life gets shortened. Because the overheating causes the fluid inside battery to evaporate faster.
When that happens the internal construction of the battery gets damaged. The more the battery heats up the faster the chemical reactions take place.
This wears out the battery life too. An overheated battery can also cause harm to the devices. A bulging lipo battery can cause sparks or explode.
Best not to use them and discard lipo batteries accordingly.
How to Avoid Overheating Lipo Battery?
Prevention is better than cure. So, why not avoid the red flags to keep your battery safe? If you wish to keep your lipo battery from overheating maintain the following tips-
Charging & Discharging Properly
Although it’s shocking, many people don’t know the proper procedure for charging or discharging. So, check with us again if you’re following the proper protocol.
Before you charge the battery let it be at room temperature. It shouldn’t be hot.
Once it’s at the normal temperature, place it in a lipo safe container. Like the COLCASE Upgraded Fireproof Explosionproof Lipo Safe Bag. It’s fireproof and you can charge your battery by keeping it there. You can check latest price on amazon.
With this safe bag, you don’t have to go running after toolboxes to charge LiPo.
Now, connect the battery with the designated charger. Avoid using different chargers and charge only between 3-4.2 volts per cell. However, stay aware of connection break issues in your lipo charger
You’ll be able to monitor it using the light indicator on the lipo battery charger. Lastly, unplug the battery as soon as it’s done charging.
Storing the Lipo Battery
You shouldn’t store the lipo battery when it’s fully charged. Similarly, you shouldn’t store it when it’s completely discharged. Charging or discharging the lipo battery for storing should be done properly.
Remember to keep the voltage read at a safe level. Battery discharging should be at 3.8 volts for each cell. After obtaining the right voltage level, store it in a lipo-safe container.
Be mindful of the temperature you’re storing it at. Make sure it’s kept at room temperature and away from any flammable material. The average temperature should be 10 to 45°C.
If you store it for over 3 months, keep it at 23°C. The humidity level should be 65±20% RH. keep the voltage between 3.6 to 3.9 volts.
Check up on the battery once a week for any sign of damage or swelling. Also, check with a multimeter of the lipo battery’s discharge rate since storing.
Recharge if the voltage is lower than 3 volts per cell and store again accordingly. Avoid any sort of physical damage to your lipo battery.
This should be enough to keep it away from overheating or malfunctioning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Before we finish a few more information for you-
How long does a Lipo battery last?
A Lipo battery usually lasts between 150 to 250 cycles. The maximum charge cycle for a lipo battery can be 300. It takes about 2 to 3 years lifespan for a lipo to reach that cycle. Proper usage of it can lengthen its life expectancy.
How to avoid overcharging the Lipo battery?
To avoid overcharging use a charger with a light indicator. There are many Lipo chargers that have small lights added to indicate the charging phase. The light should blink once the battery is fully charged.
Why is my RC battery emitting smoke?
If your battery is emitting smoke chances are that it’s overheated. It usually happens when you overcharge your battery. The fluid inside the battery gets evaporated thus creating smoke. These smokes are toxic and flammable. So be careful with handling them.