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Are LiPo Batteries Rechargeable-Recharge Issues And Applications

Are LiPo Batteries Rechargeable-Recharge Issues And Applications

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Unlike the other types of Lithium batteries, LiPo batteries are safer and environment-friendly. That’s the reason they are commonly used in high-performance devices like R/C cars, planes, boats, etc. However, it doesn’t eliminate the risks the battery has when it is handled, stored, charged, or discharged improperly. Till now, people have their doubts regarding LiPo batteries. So, in this article, we will clear all your doubts and answer your questions about why batteries lose the charge over time. Let’s begin.

Are LiPo Batteries Rechargeable?

The Lithium Polymer batteries or correctly stated Lithium-ion Polymer Battery is a rechargeable battery that uses a polymer electrolyte instead of liquid, thereby derives the name LiPo. The significant difference is the use of electrolytes.

A solid polymer had poor conductivity at room temperature, which required a high temperature to enable the current flow. Therefore, gel technology is used to overcome the drawbacks of the technology. In reality, lithium Polymer batteries are not that different from Lithium-ion as they use the same cathode and anode material. The highlight is the micro-porous electrolyte that is used in the place of the traditional porous separator.

Due to the type of electrolyte used in the chemistry, the LiPo batteries perform better than other types of rechargeable batteries. Most of the characteristics are identical to lithium-ion batteries, but they don’t require a dedicated charger, which makes the LiPo batteries safe for use. The characteristics of the battery include:

  • High weight energy rate and volume energy rate.

  • High voltage, i.e., single-cell voltage, is 3.6 V that is equal to 3 Ni-Cad or NI-MH batteries put in series.

  • Low self-discharge rate and no memory effect.

  • Long lifespan having a minimum charging and discharging cycles of 500-1000.

  • Charging time is shortened by 1 to 2 hours.

  • LiPo batteries can be used in parallel.

  • Green batteries, as they don’t pose a threat to the environment due to the use of elements like lead, mercury, or cadmium.

  • High cost as compared to other types of batteries.

You will be amazed to know that it is possible to make a LiPo battery of the size of a credit card.

Do Rechargeable LiPo Batteries Lose Their Charge When Not In Use?

Now, the question that needs a straight answer is regarding the charge rechargeable batteries loses over time, even when they are not being used. This phenomenon is called the self-discharge. Generally, in other batteries, when the chemical electrolyte completes the transformation, the battery eventually starts losing the ability to generate ions. No electrolyte pre-transformation, no ions movement, no electrons, and, therefore, no battery power.

But this is not the case with Lithium-ion batteries. The battery works by cycling electrons between the Cathode and Anode over and over again. So, theoretically, the battery should last forever. However, the reality is quite different, though. The main reason Li-ion battery, including LiPo, loses charge over time is an unwanted chemical reaction. A crystal-like substance is created when the ions pass through positive and negative electrodes. The more charging and discharging cycle the battery goes through, the more crystals are formed. This results in loss of efficiency and capacity.

But there is another problem. When the batteries are put away or stored for a period, they tend to lose the capacity or sometimes die. According to the survey done by Cadex Electronics, a fully charged lithium-ion batteries will continue losing the capacity during the storage period. Within the first year of use, the loss is about 20%. There are other factors such as erratic charging, extreme heat, or extreme cold that can affect the degradation process. Fortunately, the self-discharge rate of LiPo batteries is considerably lower than other types of batteries.

Self-discharge is not a manufacturing defect but a characteristic that every battery posses. It is a permanent process and can’t be reversed. The only thing that can be done is slowing down the discharge to increase the battery lifespan. If you store the battery under normal conditions, the self-discharge rate stays ideal. Therefore, the battery won’t suffer from significant damage or loss in capacity.

What Are The Applications Of LiPo Battery?

You might even not know that you are using a LiPo battery in your regular life. The LiPo battery has become so common and widespread that it is used in all fields. Whether it is the iPhone you are using or the Bluetooth headset, here is the list of areas where LiPo battery has a significant role to play.

  • Agriculture- Animal food devices, fish feeding devices, irrigation, fertilization, etc.

  • Automotive Equipment- Car Alarm, Car Stereo, Vehicle Tracking, Car keys, removable flashlights, car lightings, etc.

  • Communication- Cellular phones, cordless phones, smartphones, pagers, PDA, PMR, satellite phones, Bluetooth headset, walkie-talkie, etc.

  • Consumer System- Alarm system, CD players, digital cameras, electronic calculators, laser pointers, remote controls, solar appliances, electronic games, intelligent toys, portable DVDs, etc.

  • Industrial Use- Clock modules, display feed units, Bar-Code Readers, memory back up (MBU), real-time clock, vaccination emergency lights, timer systems, etc.

  • Medical- Blood pressure devices, blood sugar indicators, body fat monitors, thermometers, insulin pumps, etc.

  • Metering- Analysis, electricity meters, gas meters, GPS Terminal, heat meters, road-toll transponders, sensors, smoke detectors, water meters, data collectors, etc.

From the toys you buy for your kids, the GPS system you are using in your vehicles, to the Electronic Cash Register, there are unlimited devices that rely on the LiPo batteries to operate ideally. One of the most significant advantages of these batteries is that they can be made in any shape and size. Therefore, being a radio-controlled aircraft or cars, LiPo batteries would be the safest and optimal option. As long as you are following the regulations for the Lithium-ion Polymer batteries, they will be in top condition for use. As far as storage is concerned, there is a set of rules that you must follow that your investment doesn’t give up on you. Buy smart, and stay safe.