RC-Monster Forums  
RC Monster

Go Back   RC-Monster Forums > Questions and Answers > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
What Are Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries, and Are They Better Than Nimh Batteries?
RC-Monster Aluminum
Batfish's Avatar
Posts: 617
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MA
What Are Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries, and Are They Better Than Nimh Batteries? - 02.05.2006, 03:56 PM

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) is a different chemical composition than standard Nickel-Metal Hydride (Nimh) sub-c batteries typically used in radio control vehicles.

LiPo has a higher energy density than Nimh and can therefore provide more power in less overall space. An example would be comparable battery packs: a 6-cell Nimh battery pack (3300mah) will provide 7.2V nominal at a size of approximately 140mm L, 51mm W, 19mm H, and a weight of approximately 400g.
A 2-cell LiPo battery pack (3200mah) will provide 7.4v nominal at a size of approximately 130mm L, 42mm W, 16mm H, and a weight of approximately 200g.

LiPo battery cells are packages in a thick, foil-like wrapping and typically held together with thick heat-shrink or a plastic case.

LiPo batteries are sensitive to over-charging and over-discharging. If over-charged, a LiPo battery may swell and catch fire. If over-discharged, the LiPo battery may become damaged and become incapable of being charged to full capacity again.

LiPo batteries MUST be charged on a LiPo-compatible charger at the manufacturer's recommended charge rate (typically 1C). A 1C charge means to charge the battery at 1x it's capacity. For example, a 3200mah battery would need a 3.2 Amp charge to charge at 1C; 3200 milli-amps = 3.2 amps. Cutoff for charging should be set at 4.2 volts per cell (if the charger does not have an automatic setting).

LiPo batteries have a much lower self-discharge rate than Nimh batteries have. This means that a fully-charged LiPo battery will keep it's full charge for hours, days, maybe even weeks, without having to be re-charged. Comparitively, a Nimh battery can lose up to 25% of it's full charge after being stored for just one week without usage.

LiPo batteries should never be discharged below 2.7 volts per cell. Over-discharging may damage the batteries and permanently decrease their capacity and performance. Several speed controllers have a voltage cut-off setting for LiPo batteries, and several manufacturers sell LiPo Low-Voltage Cut-Off devices.

Please note that this information is intended to provide you with basic information in regards to Lithium Polymer batteries and is NOT a replacement for manufacturers instructions and guidelines for usage of their LiPo batteries/chargers.


More replies to will follow in this thread to provide more LiPo-specific information.


Electronics run on smoke... if you let the smoke out, they stop working.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

RC Monster

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skin developed by: vBStyles.com