As much as it seems simple, parameters involved in deciding LiPo and NiMH chargers are somewhat complicated. There are a number of things to put into consideration. You should for instance never compromise on the functionality of the charger and, determine the versatility of the product with lesser focus on the price.
It is paramount to consider a charger that is designed with seamless adaptability to different variance. The charger must be compatible to your battery type, which must check before making the step to buy.
This is without a doubt one of the most important things you should check. It is important to check how much power your charger can generate. Then compare this with the necessary requirements of your battery.
The aim here is get adequate power to charge the battery right. Do not however be confused on the highest charge current in comparison with highest charging capability. Many people get misleading information on issues of maximum power. They therefore end up with wrong chargers, which affects the general performance of the batteries.
What features does the charger have?
Some of the best features include:
-Computerized functionality. It is better to invest your money in a computerized charger more than in a not-computerized one. They carry multiple functions apart from supporting different types of batteries. Many have charging options for different batteries. Computerized chargers also offer different charging modes, including fast charge, charge, discharge, storage charge and balance charge.
-Safety. LiPo and some NiMH batteries have built in safety features. They ensure your batteries only get enough power and nothing more. Some chargers come with additional features like a temperature cut-off and time-out. The temperature cut-off automatically stops the batteries from charging where the temperature goes beyond normal. The time-out automatically switches the charger off after a specific charging time.
-Power and charger output. LiPo output is measured in watts. Experts advise that you get a charger that has a low watt capacity.
Other features include:
· A display screen. Some charges have a display screen at the back to help users in dark places.
· Automatic alarm system for overheat which helps against battery overheating.
· Process indication to let users know charging status of their device.
LiPo batteries are the latest in the battery industry and are quite powerful. For this reason, they are not cheap. Getting the right charger will give you a longer life for these batteries, hence saving you a lot of cash.
How do you charge LiPo and NiMH battery?
Among the most frequently asked battery questions is how to charge. It is a common thing many users think easy, when it truth there is a lot to think about. Here is how to charge LiPo and NiMH batteries.
You DO NOT need to fully discharge these batteries before charging them again. They are said to have a memory, so you can charge after some time of use.
Do not charge them too fast. You may have discovered them getting hot when charging. Fast charging has this effect and can end up damaging them if the heat is too much. However, you can still fast charge them but under observation, or using a computerized charger. The rule of thumb is, a charging current should not be more than half the battery capacity for smaller batteries. Larger batteries like SubC can handle current up to its capacity.
You can improve the life span of the batteries by charging at a low current in comparison to capacity. Basically, a quarter of the capacity is can make your battery last much longer. Use an automatic charger for easy setting and use.
This tremendously advanced battery chemistry have one big disadvantage; they easily catch fire. If charging is not done properly they can turn to disasters. Here is how to ensure safety:-
-Never leave the batteries unattended.
-Check and confirm the lithium polymers settings on your charger before continuing.
-Stored charged LiPo batteries in a fire proof container away from flammable materials
-Do not charge inside a parked, closed automobile.
-Be sure to connect the polarities in a correct manner. Confusing the polarities may cause a short circuit and consequently a fire.
-Charge the batteries at 5C or less using LiPo setting. Consider using a balance charging system. Avoid using NiMH settings or charger for a LiPo battery.
How do you use LiPo and NiMH battery charger properly?
Here are steps to use a computerized charger:
· Power up your charger. Connect the charger on a power source and connect the batteries.
· Confirm the settings. Choose the settings for specific battery, LiPo and NiMH. Do not confuse. For LiPo for instance, you might get modes like storage charge, fast charge, and balance charge.
· Start charging. Press the Start button and hold for a few seconds.
· Complete charging cycle. For NiMH battery, it might take up to 12 hours depending on the charger. A LiPo might take a shorter time.
Investing in a good charger is a good way to save on spending unnecessarily on batteries. It is vital to get the settings right when using an automatic charger. This guide should give you everything you need..