Best Lipo Charger 2017 has to offer.
LiPo batteries are one of the best options to power your DIY projects. The problem comes when choosing the way to charge LiPo batteries. This type of batteries are delicate, dangerous and should be careful when using them.
In this post, I am going to show you some of the factors that you must take into account when using LiPo batteries and, above all, when you load them.
What You Need to Know In Charge LiPo Batteries.
To understand why you should be careful when charging LiPo batteries, it is best to understand their operation a bit, the way in which these batteries work (how they are composed).
The composition of LiPo Batteries.
Unlike other power systems, LiPo batteries are not composed of a single element that stores the charge of the battery. Lithium polymer batteries consist of highly volatile 3.7V cells connected in series and parallel.
Being composed of cells, you have to understand your LiPo as several batteries. You must treat them independently. If you start charging LiPo batteries as if they were a normal battery, it is likely that you overcharge a cell and your battery burns.
That’s why there are so many connectors for charging LiPo batteries. Normally, you will see the connector relative to the entire battery (the one your devices will use) and the one corresponding to each cell (which will be used to balance it).
How to Know How Many Cells Does a LiPo Battery Have?
Surely after what I just told you, the first thing that comes to mind is how many cells your LiPo is made of.
The number of cells is a parameter that usually gives you when buying batteries. It is represented by the nomenclature “xSxP.” The parameter “x” represents the number of cells (for example 3), “S” refers to those cells are in series and “P” to which they are in parallel. I give you an example:
4S2P would be two parallel groups of four cells in series. The voltage of your battery would be 14.8V placed in two blocks to increase its capacity. In total, there would be eight cells that you should feed to charge your LiPo battery.
Apart from the number of cells, there are several parameters to be taken into account that are common to other types of batteries. If you want to know a little more about the reasons for putting batteries in series or parallel, as well as parameters such as load capacity “mAh” or download rate “C,” I leave this post.
How to Charge the Same LiPo Cells?
This is the really important point. The idea is that you use a circuit that allows you to charge the cells at the same level. The concept of charging cells at the same level is what is known as battery balancing.
In addition to this, you require that your circuit stop feeding them when they reach the proper voltage. This voltage is usually a little higher than the nominal voltage of each cell (about 4V). In any case, you have the little margin.
If you have taken a tour of the blog, you may have noticed that I love teaching you this type of circuit. My first idea when I started writing was to show you an “intelligent circuit” that would fulfill this function.
Then, I was thinking that charging LiPo batteries is something really dangerous if done badly. Then, I thought that for that better not to write the post. Finally, I realized that if you do not look for it here, you will look elsewhere so that I will explain the “safe version.”
This is similar to when I explained how to use relays. What you can not do when you work with dangerous elements is to risk. That is why I consider that the best way to charge LiPo batteries is always the safest.
Although I do not rule out completely teaching you that kind of circuit someday. On this occasion, what I am going to show you are already assembled and completely safe so that you do not run any risk when charging LiPo batteries.
Balanced LiPo Battery Chargers.
The devices that I show you below are LiPo battery chargers. They allow you, in addition to charging the battery, to control the rolling of the cells.
If you have never searched for these devices, you may be surprised by the price (for better or for worse). Keep in mind that many of these chargers oscillate at € 100 ($ 110). Besides, it is an element that you only have to acquire once. What you are paying is taking away headaches and possible serious problems.
I’m going to give you three affordable options so you can compare them and see which one best suits your needs. They are based on the same model (the IMAX B6). It will serve up to 6 cells:
IMAX B6 charger for € 20 ($ 22): Powered by direct current (11V to 18V) and designed to charge LiPo batteries of up to 6 cells. Without transformer but with the cables included.
As this is not intended to be a review of these devices, I will not go into more depth on their features. I let you explore yourself. Remember that you can ask me what you want in the comments.
What I am going to tell you is that they come with some extra utilities (memories and others), with a user manual and, above all, that you see the number of positive votes that the products have. It will give you an idea of its quality.
Other Security Elements for LiPo Batteries
I guess you may have noticed that I have emphasized a lot in the security factor.
Charging LiPo batteries is something that you have to do well, but it is not the only precaution you should take. Another of the most common accessories when working with LiPo batteries are fireproof bags. These bags are not especially expensive and could save you a dislike. I leave you one: