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Lipo Battery Info

 

Lithium-Polymer Battery

 

Safety and Handling Instructions

 

Lithium-polymer batteries offer a variety of significant advantages over NiCd, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries for use in R/C electric

flight. It is very important to have a good understanding of the operating characteristics of LiPo batteries – especially how to

charge and care for them safely. Always read the specifications printed on the battery’s label and this instruction sheet in

their entirety prior to use. Failure to follow these instructions can quickly result in severe, permanent damage to the batteries

and its surroundings and even start a FIRE!

 

WARNING! Lithium-polymer batteries (LiPo) are ENTIRELY DIFFERENT than NiCd and NiMH batteries and must be handled

differently as well!! Great Planes® will not be held responsible for any and all incidental damages and bodily harm that may

result from improper use of ElectriFly™ brand lithium-polymer batteries. In purchasing these products, the buyer/user agrees

to bear all responsibilities of these risks and not hold ElectriFly, its distributors (owners and employees) and/or retailers

responsible for any accidents, injury to persons, or property damage. If you do not agree with these conditions, please return

the battery to the place of purchase.

 

Before and after every use of your LiPo battery, inspect all cells in the pack as much as possible to ensure no physical damage

or swelling is evident. Such signs can often indicate a dangerous problem exists with the battery that could lead to failure.

 

SAFECHARGE™ PROTECTION CIRCUIT

 

Select ElectriFly LiPo battery packs include a very small,

lightweight built-in “SafeCharge” circuit which constantly

monitors the voltage of each cell in the pack during charge. If

any cell in the pack reaches 4.20V (+/- 0.05V), the

SafeCharge circuit will automatically stop the charge process

for all cells in the pack entirely. The SafeCharge circuit

protects every cell in the pack from accidental overcharge, if

accidentally connected to a non-compatible charger, and

helps to make the pack more sturdy and rigid.

 

ElectriFly LiPo packs which contain the SafeCharge circuitry are

easily recognizable as they have a red 2-pin connector which is

used for charging the battery. Packs with the SafeCharge

circuitry are NOT designed for balancing of the individual cells in

the pack.

 

 

WARNING! NEVER apply a current of greater than 1.5

amps, or apply a voltage greater than 20V DC to the charge

lead of any ElectriFly LiPo battery which contains the built-in

SafeCharge circuitry. Otherwise, the SafeCharge circuit can

become damaged, preventing the battery from receiving a

proper charge and rendering all safety features inoperable.

 

BALANCING PLUGS

 

Select ElectriFly LiPo battery packs are configured for

balancing. Such packs do NOT include the SafeCharge

protection circuit, and do not include a red 2-pin connector as

described earlier. Instead, balancing packs include a unique

white connector which includes multiple wires (more than 2)

similar to the type of plug shown below.

 

 

WARNING! Packs with the balancing connector do NOT

include the SafeCharge protection circuit. NEVER attempt to

charge a pack which has the balancing connector with a

charger that is not capable of balance charging! Failure to do

so could result in damage to the battery and its surroundings,

and result in personal injury.

 

BATTERY VOLTAGES, RATINGS & APPLICATIONS

 

LiPo batteries can be assembled in many configurations.

Packs are most commonly found with cells assembled in

series, normally denoted with an “S”. For example, 3 cells in

series are often denoted as “3S”. Each LiPo cell has a

nominal voltage rating of 3.7V (with a minimum

recommended discharge voltage of 2.8V, and a maximum

charge voltage of 4.20V). The more cells assembled in

series, the higher the total voltage of the pack. But

assembling in series does not affect the overall rated

capacity of the pack as shown in the diagram on page 2.

 


 

Packs can also be assembled with cells in parallel, normally

denoted with a “P”. Adding cells in parallel increases the total

capacity and maximum discharge current of the pack, but

does not increase total pack voltage. Parallel packs are

almost always found with cells also assembled in series in

addition to parallel. For example, a common “series-parallel”

pack is “3S2P” as shown below, which is (a) 3 cells

assembled in series, plus (b) another 3 cells assembled in

series, and (c) both of those series configurations assembled

together in parallel. Most series-parallel packs are used for

larger aircraft where high current and capacity is needed.

Pack applications can depend on the number of cells in

series and/or parallel, but also pack capacity. Some of the

most common cell sizes and applications are:

CELL

CAPACITY # CELLS APPLICATION

640-750mAh 2S, 3S Slow flyers, foamies, small sport

aerobats and 3D’s

910-1200mAh 2S, 3S Foamies, small sport aerobats and

3D’s, small trainers

1500mAh 2S, 3S Bigger foamies, sport aerobats and

3D’s, trainers, small scale

2100mAh 2S, 3S Sport aerobats and 3D’s,

trainers, scale

3200mAh 2S, 3S Bigger sport aerobats and

3D’s, scale

IMPORTANT WARNINGS: Be sure to follow these important

warning statements regarding the charging of LiPo batteries:

• NEVER LEAVE A LIPO BATTERY UNATTENDED AT ANY

TIME WHILE BEING CHARGED!!

• NEVER charge a LiPo battery while it’s inside the model. A

hot pack could ignite wood, foam, plastic, etc.

• NEVER charge LiPo batteries with a NiCd or NiMH peak

charger! ONLY use a charger specifically designed for LiPo

batteries which can apply the “constant current / constant

voltage” charge technique (cc/cv). ElectriFly offers several

LiPo compatible chargers (www.electrifly.com) which can

be found at your local retailer.

• NEVER charge LiPo batteries at currents greater than the

“1C” rating of the battery (“C” equals the rated capacity of

the battery).

• NEVER allow LiPo cells to overheat at any time! Cells which

exceed 140°F (60°C) during charge can and USUALLY WILL

become damaged physically and possibly catch FIRE!! Always

inspect a battery which has previously overheated and do not

re-use if you suspect it has been damaged in any way.

• ALWAYS discontinue charging a LiPo immediately if at any

time you witness smoke or see the battery starting to swell

up. This may cause the battery to rupture and/or leak, and

the reaction with air may cause the chemicals to ignite,

resulting in fire. Disconnect the battery and leave it in a safe

fireproof location for approximately 15 minutes.

• ALWAYS charge a LiPo battery in a fireproof location,

which could be a container made of metal (such as an

ammunition box), ceramic tile, or a bucket of sand. ALWAYS

have an “ABC type” fire extinguisher available at all times.

Charging LiPo batteries:

1. Use a charge lead that directly mates to the connector on the

LiPo battery marked “CHARGE” or “TO CHARGER”.It is strongly

recommended to use pre-assembled charge leads which can be

found at most hobby retailers. Hand made connectors can be

unreliable and hazardous, providing poor physical and/or

electrical connections. ElectriFly’s “2-Pin/Banana Plug Charge

Adapter” (GPMM3105) is directly compatible with ElectriFly LiPo

batteries which have the red 2-pin charge connector (nonbalanced

packs).

CHARGING THE BATTERY


 

2. Connect the charge lead to the charger first. Then connect

the battery to the charge lead. NEVER connect the battery to

the charge lead if the charge lead is not connected to the

charger! WARNING! Never allow a battery’s positive and

negative leads to accidentally touch each other. This will

result in a short circuit and cause permanent damage to

your battery and or charger.

a. For

batteries having the RED 2-PIN CHARGE

CONNECTOR: Connect the red positive (+) lead to the

charger’s red positive (+) output jack, and the black negative ()

lead to the charger’s black negative (-) jack. ALWAYS charge

the battery through the connector that is marked “CHARGE” or

“TO CHARGER”. NEVER charge the battery through the

connector which goes to the ESC (marked “DISCHARGE” or

“TO ESC”). For safety purposes, do not cut or modify wires on

the battery in any way

.

 

b. For batteries having the BALANCING CONNECTOR: You

must know how many cells are in the battery pack, and then

choose an adapter lead which matches your pack. For

example, a 3-cell LiPo configured for balancing MUST use a

charge adapter which has enough wires to monitor the voltage

of all 3 cells in the pack (an adapter designed for 2 or 4 cells

will NOT work properly). A 2-cell LiPo configured for balancing

must use a balancing charge adapter that is designed for 2-cell

packs only, and so on. Failure to choose the proper balancing

adapter could result in improperly charged and improperly

balanced packs.

3. Set the charger’s output voltage to match the nominal

rated voltage of the entire LiPo battery pack. NEVER set the

charger to a voltage which is greater than the nominal

voltage rating of the LiPo pack or allow LiPo cells to

charge to greater than 4.20V per cell at any time!!

Overcharging LiPo cells usually will result in a permanent,

catastrophic failure in the LiPo cells which can result in

permanent damage to the battery and its surroundings, and

cause personal injury!

 

4. Set the charger’s output current to NO GREATER than the

“1C” rating of the battery. A battery’s “1C” rating equals the

amount of current needed to fully charge the battery in one

hour. For example, a battery with a capacity rating of

1200mAh has a 1C charge current rating of 1200mA (or 1.2

amps). A battery rated at 640mAh of capacity has a 1C rating

of 640mA (or 0.6 amps).

5. Command the charger to start the charge process.

6. ALWAYS monitor the battery and charger during the entire

charge process! NEVER leave the battery and charger

unattended during charge!

7. NEVER continue to charge LiPo batteries if the

charger fails to recognize full charge. Overheating or

swelling of the LiPo cells is an indication that a problem

exists and the batteries should be disconnected from the

charger immediately and placed in a fireproof location!!

8. NEVER apply a trickle charge to LiPo batteries.

9. Using a charger which has a battery temperature monitor

is very helpful for charging LiPo batteries. This can help to

ensure a full charge and also prevent unwanted heating at

the same time. Set the charger’s maximum battery

temperature to approximately 115°F (46°C).

CONNECTING TO AN ESC & DISCHARGING

 

IMPORTANT WARNINGS: Be sure to follow these important

warning statements regarding the discharging of LiPo batteries:

 

• NEVER LEAVE A LIPO BATTERY UNATTENDED AT ANY

TIME WHILE BEING DISCHARGED!!!

• ALWAYS discharge LiPo batteries in a fireproof location,

which could be a container made of metal (such as an

ammunition box) or on ceramic tile. Monitor the charge area

with a smoke or fire alarm, and have a lithium approved “ABC

type” fire extinguisher available at all times.

1. ALWAYS connect the battery’s lead marked

“DISCHARGE” or “TO ESC” to the electronic speed control.

NEVER attempt to connect the battery’s “CHARGE” lead to

the ESC.

2. It is strongly recommended to use an ESC which is

designed to handle the low voltage cutoff points for LiPo

batteries (always follow the instructions provided with the

ESC for proper operation). Discharging LiPo batteries below

2.5V per cell can cause permanent damage and limit the

number of times the battery can effectively be used again.

3. NEVER discharge LiPo batteries at currents which exceed

the discharge current rating of the battery as this can often

cause a cell to overheat. Do not allow a LiPo cell to exceed

140°F (60°C) during discharge.

BATTERIES INVOLVED IN A CRASH

 

It is very important to remember that crash damage to LiPo

batteries is much more dangerous than with NiCd or NiMH

cells. It might appear that no physical damage occurred to a

pack after a crash. However, LiPo batteries can often have a

delayed chemical reaction, and while they may appear to be

safe immediately after removing them from the crash they

can suddenly begin to smolder, emit smoke and catch fire

even after 30 minutes or an hour!! After a crash, remove the

LiPo battery from the model but DO NOT immediately place

it in a car, pocket or flight box. Instead, place the battery in a

fireproof location and observe it for safety reasons. If

possible, leave the battery in the safe location for 24 hours.

 

CAUTION! Cells may be hot! DO NOT allow the battery’s

internal electrolyte to get in the eyes or on skin – wash

affected areas with soap and water immediately if they come

in contact with the electrolyte. If electrolyte makes contact

with the eyes, flush with large amounts of water for 15

minutes and seek medical attention immediately!

 

Carefully inspect LiPo batteries which have been involved in

a crash for even the smallest of cracks, splits, punctures or

damage to the wiring and connectors.

 


 

STORAGE & TRANSPORTATION

 

• For long term storage it is recommended to charge the cells

fully, then discharge them to 50-60% of their capacity.

• Store battery at room temperature in cool or shaded area,

ideally between 40-80°F.Temperatures exceeding 170°F for

greater than 1 hour may cause damage to battery and

cause a fire.

• Do not expose battery packs to direct sunlight for extended

periods of time, or place in direct contact with any liquids. If

batteries come in contact with water, immediately dry the

battery with a clean towel.

• When transporting LiPo batteries, store them in a fireproof

container. NEVER leave batteries lying loosely anywhere in

the car (in the trunk, backseat, floor, etc.).

• ALWAYS

make sure all plugs / connectors on the LiPo

battery are covered, to prevent an accidental short. Small

sections of fuel tubing make good insulators.

• NEVER

leave LiPo batteries in the car indefinitely as

temperatures inside the vehicle can easily rise far in excess

of 120°F which could damage the battery.

HANDLING & FIRST AID INSTRUCTIONS

 

• NEVER allow LiPo batteries to be charged or discharged on

or near combustible materials, including paper, plastic,

carpets, vinyl, leather, wood, inside an R/C model or full-

sized automobile!

• NEVER

put loose cells or packs in the pocket of any

clothing!

• NEVER allow LiPo cells to come in contact with moisture or

water at any time.

• NEVER store batteries near an open flame or heater.

• NEVER assemble LiPo cells or pre-assembled packs together

with other LiPo cells/packs. Only a qualified battery assembly

company should assemble or modify LiPo batteries.

• NEVER allow LiPo cells to become punctured, especially by

metallic objects such as screwdrivers, T-pins, or hobby knives.

• NEVER charge or discharge a LiPo battery without having

an “ABC type” lithium approved fire extinguisher readily

available in case of a fire.

• DO NOT allow the battery’s internal electrolyte to get in the

eyes or on skin. Wash affected areas with soap and water

immediately if they come in contact with the electrolyte. If

electrolyte makes contact with the eyes, flush with large

amounts of water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention

immediately! If a battery leaks electrolyte or gas vapors, do

not inhale leaked material. Leave the area and allow the

batteries to cool and the vapors to dissipate. Remove

spilled liquid with absorbent and dispose.

• ALWAYS

provide adequate ventilation around LiPo

batteries during charge, discharge, and during storage. If a

battery becomes overheated IMMEDIATELY place it in a

fire-proof location until it cools.

• ALWAYS store LiPo cells/packs in a secure location away

from children.

• ALWAYS

make sure that metallic objects, such as

wristwatches, bracelets, or rings are removed from your

hands when handling LiPo packs. Accidentally touching

battery terminals to any such objects could create a short-

circuit condition and possibly cause severe personal injury.

DISPOSAL OF LIPO BATTERIES

 

Unlike NiCd batteries, lithium-polymer batteries are

environmentally friendly. For safety reasons, it’s best that

LiPo cells be fully discharged before disposal (however, if

physically damaged it is NOT recommended to discharge

LiPo cells before disposal - see below for details). The

batteries must also be cool before proceeding with disposal

instructions. To dispose of LiPo cells and packs:

 

1. If any LiPo cell in the pack has been physically damaged,

resulting in a swollen cell or a split or tear in a cell’s foil

covering, do NOT discharge the battery. Jump to step 5.

2. Place the LiPo battery in a fireproof container or bucket

of sand.

3. Connect the battery to a LiPo discharger. Set the discharge

cutoff voltage to the lowest possible value. Set the discharge

current to a C/10 value, with “C” being the capacity rating of

the pack. For example, the “1C” rating for a 1200mAh battery

is 1.2A, and that battery’s C/10 current value is (1.2A / 10)

0.12A or 120mA. Or, a simple resistive type of discharge load

can be used, such as a power resistor or set of light bulbs as

long as the discharge current doesn’t exceed the C/10

value and cause an overheating condition. For LiPo packs

rated at 7.4V and 11.1V, connect a 150 ohm resistor with a

power rating of 2 watts (commonly found at Radio Shack) to

the pack’s positive and negative terminals to safely discharge

the battery. It’s also possible to discharge the battery by

connecting it to an ESC/motor system and allowing the motor

to run indefinitely until no power remains to further cause the

system to function.

4. Discharge the battery until its voltage reaches 1.0V per cell

or lower. For resistive load type discharges, discharge the

battery for up to 24 hours.

5. Submerse the battery into bucket or tub of salt water. This

container should have a lid, but it does not need to be airtight.

Prepare a bucket or tub containing 3 to 5 gallons of cold

water, and mix in 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. Drop the

battery into the salt water. Allow the battery to remain in the

tub of salt water for at least 2 weeks.

6. Remove the LiPo battery from the salt water and place it in

the normal trash.

Hobby Services

3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite 1

Champaign, IL 61822

(217) 398-0007

hobbyservices@hobbico.com

www.electrifly.com
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