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How to Charge LiPo Batteries without Charger – Charging Method and Safety

How to Charge LiPo Batteries without Charger – Charging Method and Safety

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LiPo batteries carry with them exemplary features/ attributes like high-energy densities needed for large power loads, low weight, and the most popular, higher discharge rates. Lithium-Polymer batteries have transformed the battery industry and especially in RC technology. The enhancement of these batteries has significantly put them on the map acknowledging their contribution to the development of RC devices. However, everything comes at a price, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that the batteries are expensive. Well, some of them are, but most importantly, it means that if the cells are handled inappropriately, they can become dangerous and catch fires easily.

The charging process of LiPo batteries is quite different from any other battery technology around. Being under lithium batteryversions, it means that they function under similar working principles but when it comes to charging these batteries, the entire game changes. The cycle begins with a constant voltage that is applied across the cell terminals and which is higher than the voltage the battery has. The result is flow of current into the cells and commencing charging.

Can you charge a LiPo battery without a charger?

Yes, you can charge LiPo batteries without a charger. There are a few ways in which one can do so and one of them involves using another LiPo battery. All you have to do is follow the following steps.

1.Extract the batteries from their designated device.

2.Find other LiPo batteries with similar characteristics and properties such as voltage and cycle rates.

3.Connect and battery terminals together and appropriately and tape them down.

4.Let your battery charge for a while as you keep monitoring the process.

The other method involves using a USB port to charge the LiPo cells. This is a lengthy process and should only be conducted in a safe zone and monitored by an expert to avoid dangerous incidences.

Is it safe to charge a LiPo battery without a charger?

Yes, it is safe to charge a LiPo battery without a charger using another LiPo cell or USB. However, LiPo batteries require balancing to ensure that each cell gives out the same voltage and avoid overloading others thus, causing battery failure.

When do you need to charge a LiPo battery?

Before you learn when the right time to charge your LiPo battery is, it is important to understand that you should always try to use a charger that is compatible with LiPo batteries. These batteries require careful handling and specialized care especially during charging. For charging purposes, LiPo batteries use a system known as CC/Cv charging which can be translated to Constant Current / Constant Voltage. In this system, the charger keeps the current / charge rate constant until the battery gets to its peak voltage point.

It will then maintain that peak voltage as it reduces the current at the same time. Unlike traditional battery versions such as NiCad which would charge well using the pulse charging method, LiPo batteries cannot be put through the same. This is because it can damage the cells and thus, creating the need for charging the batteries using their original charger or a compatible one.

Similarly, you cannot balance LiPo batteries using any other charger that isn’t compatible. Balancing involves making the voltage of every cell in the pack equal. The reason why LiPo batteries need balancing is that one needs to ensure that every cell discharges the same amount when the pack is in use. If things were to go contrary to this, some cells would be overloaded with too much discharge power that the battery gets damaged.

When charging LiPo batteries, it is always advisable to use LiPo chargers that have in-built balancers to simplify the entire process. It would also require you to purchase only one item instead of both the charger and balancer separately.

To avoid any incidences during charging, one is required to form proper charging habits. This can be accomplished by coming up with redundancy into these habits. This will ensure that if you forget to work on a check or specific procedure, then another cheque would help you identify the issue and prevent any catastrophe. There are a few habits or procedures that would be helpful to get accustomed to and they include the following:

1.Verify that the charger is set to LiPo mode.

2.Confirm that the charger is in cell count mode.

3.Confirm that the charging rate is appropriate to that of the battery. This can be achieved by dividing the battery capacity, which is in mAh, by 1000.

4.Check the battery cell count by crosschecking the balance connector.

5.Once you start charging, try to crosscheck series mode with cell count once more.

There may have been rumors about how charging a LiPo battery with the wrong rate can be very dangerous to the cells. These rumors are actually true because doing so can cause battery failure but that doesn’t mean that you should try to prove this theory. Also, charging a LiPo battery using the “Li-Ion” or “LiFe” mode on can be dangerous. Furthermore, charging the battery in the wrong cell count mode is hazardous and can result to battery failure or explosions.

 

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