RC Battery Pack Best Practices: Charging, Discharging, Safety Tips For Radio Control LiPo Batteries

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Radio Control LiPo battery packs, also known as RC LiPo battery packs, are a type of rechargeable battery that has taken the electric radio control industry by storm, especially for planes and helicopters.  They are the main reason electric flight is now a preferred option over fuel powered models. RC LiPo battery packs offer high discharge rates and a high energy storage/weight ratio.  However, they are not without their downsides. Mishandling of these batteries can lead to fire, explosions and toxic smoke inhalation. Radio control LiPo battery packs require unique and proper care if they are going to last for any length of time more so than any other battery technology. In this article, we’ll discuss how to properly charge, discharge, store and handle radio control lithium polymer batteries safely so you can enjoy your RC battery packs time and again.

Never over discharge your RC LiPo battery pack.

You should never discharge a RC LiPo battery pack down past 80% of its capacity to be safe. For example, if you have a 2000mAh radio control LiPo pack, never draw more than 1600mAh out of the pack.  If you go past 80% of its capacity, this will cause the pack to heat up and shorten its lifespan considerably.

Always use a charger specifically designed for radio control LiPo batteries.

RC LiPo battery packs have very specific charging requirements and must be charged by those chargers specifically designed for lithium polymer batteries. This is critical to extending the lifespan of the battery pack and caring for your own personal safety. Make sure to select the correct voltage, cell count and charge current when charging your radio control LiPo battery pack.  For example, if you have a 2 cell (2S) battery pack, you must select 7.4 volts or 2 cells on your charger. If you selected 11.1 volts 3S battery pack by mistake and tried to charge your 2S pack, the battery pack will be destroyed and most likely catch on fire. It is also important to never charge a RC battery pack greater than 1 times its capacity.

Always charge RC LiPo batteries on non-flammable safe surfaces.

Always charge RC LiPo batteries on surfaces that will not catch on fire, such as cement, steel, ceramic or stone. Wooden tables, workbenches, paper and carpeted floors are not recommended charging surfaces. Make sure to never charge batteries near flammable products or liquids, and never charge a radio control LiPo battery while inside an automobile, especially while driving.   

It is recommended to charge all multi celled RC LiPo battery packs in fire resistant containers.

You should always charge your RC LiPo battery packs in a fire proof charging container or device, and never leave the pack unattended.  Because of their light weight design, fire proof bags are a great item to have since they allow easy transport and storage of all radio control LiPo battery packs.  ZEUS Battery Products offers a high quality LiPo charging and storage bag that gives hobby enthusiasts peace of mind while charging or storing their lithium polymer batteries.  It can be used when charging, storing, transporting, traveling, and more, and can hold up to 4 Lithium Polymer cells in total.  The ZEUS Battery Products RC Lithium Polymer LiPo Bag makes a great addition to all hobby enthusiasts’ radio control aircraft collection.

Always store your radio control LiPo battery packs partially charged.

Radio control LiPo battery packs will maintain their performance levels over time, so there’s no need to cycle them unless they are being stored for periods longer than 3-6 months.  It’s also important to never fully discharge your RC LiPo battery pack.  Discharging a RC LiPo pack beyond its critical minimum voltage can cause damage to the battery.

How you store your RC LiPo battery packs between uses greatly affects their lifespan.

Always store your RC LiPo battery packs charged, but not fully charged, since this will damage them. The speed at which a radio control LiPo battery pack ages during storage is based on both storage temperature and state of charge. Never store a RC LiPo in a hot car fully charged for an extended period of time, this will cause damage. For optimum battery life, store your RC LiPo battery packs at room temperature and at about 40-60% charged. During summer months, you can also extend the fully charged storage time from days to weeks by storing your RC LiPo batteries in the fridge close to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

After reading this article, you now have some great recommendations and a better understanding of how to properly charge, discharge and safely care for your radio control LiPo battery packs. To get the best charge out of your battery packs, always use a charger specifically designed for your RC LiPo battery pack and make sure to never over discharge your RC LiPo battery pack. To maintain a healthy lifespan, always make sure to store your RC LiPo batteries properly.

ZEUS Battery Products is your one stop shop for finding your next RC LiPo battery pack and any other accessories needed for your radio control aircraft. They offer a variety of RC lithium polymer LiPo batteries, lithium ion Li-Ion batteries, nickel metal hydride NiMH batteries, nickel cadmium NiCd batteries, lithium batteries and alkaline batteries. To see an extensive inventory of batteries to choose from or if you need additional help in selecting the right battery or RC LiPo battery pack for your needs, call us toll free 877-469-4255 or visit our website at

By jennymwright

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