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LiPo Battery Basics
Charging your batteries
by Jay Smith
Safely charging and storing LiPo batteries is an important requirement of electric-powered flight. LiPo batteries rose to popularity with their ability to provide longer flight times with less weight as compared with the NiMh and
Ni-Cd batteries they have largely replaced.
The saying “with great power comes great responsibility” would be a fitting
description when describing LiPo batteries, but understanding the basics of this
battery technology and having a working understanding of your charger will go a
It should be no surprise that if you are going to use LiPo batteries to power
your electric aircraft, then a charger designed to charge LiPo batteries is required.
Although some RTF aircraft come with basic chargers, I will focus on stand-alone
chargers that offer more flexibility and functionality.
When it comes time to purchase your first charger, or possibly a replacement
charger, there are many things to consider such as input power, output power
(in watts), capability to charge single or multiple battery packs at the same time,
number of cells supported, balancing, and computer connectivity (for tracking and
Selecting a charger with an LCD screen is also a good idea so that you can easily
and accurately change charging parameters and monitor the charge cycle and the
voltage of individual cells.
45 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2015 www.ModelAviation.com