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Lithium-Ion Batteries

#1
Hello :)
I am a newbie in RC. I watched a lot of videos to learn about the motors and batteries but I haven't flown yet. I was wondering why can't cell phone batteries be used instead of the LiPos? They're a lot safer. I know watching videos and reading about stuff is important but experience is a totally different thing, so I am planning on connecting a new Samsung 3000 mah battery to the to a 1400 kv motor and a 30 amp esc to experiment.
I would truly appreciate it if anyone would give me some insights, thoughts and/or advises.
Thanx :)
 
#3
Also, unless you are planning on connecting three in series, then it would only be a 1S (cell) and therefore be pretty pathetic as far as power is concerned. Assuming that it did not burn up straight away under that load.

Seems like a bad idea to me. And expensive. One battery costs like $20 or so. On 3S that would be a $60 battery with a really low C rating.
 

Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#5
Cell phone batteries probably would not work/last long for the reasons stated. But 18650 cells are certainly an option as Fluburthur suggested. The current best power density batteries for RC use are 18650 cells. They don't allow for a large discharge rate as already suggested. But for some planes or special endurance multirotors they will work just fine.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#6
Hello :)
I am a newbie in RC. I watched a lot of videos to learn about the motors and batteries but I haven't flown yet. I was wondering why can't cell phone batteries be used instead of the LiPos? They're a lot safer. I know watching videos and reading about stuff is important but experience is a totally different thing, so I am planning on connecting a new Samsung 3000 mah battery to the to a 1400 kv motor and a 30 amp esc to experiment.
I would truly appreciate it if anyone would give me some insights, thoughts and/or advises.
Thanx :)
Earlier versions of cell phone batteries actually used to burst into flames or even explode before a true redesign, (Just ask Samsung).

Current generation cell phone batteries should include temperature sensing and current limiting circuitry both of which are used to keep the battery from overheating, overcharging, deep discharge, and short circuit current. Bear in mind the cellphone battery protection circuitry are designed to use the standard cell phone charger for charging and the cellphone as the discharge mechanism.

Try to use the cellphone battery way beyond its design parameters could result in permanent damage to the battery or its protection circuitry. Should the battery then cause damage due to its being damaged by your actions could expose you to litigation. Read the disclaimers supplied with the cellphone in relation to the battery, its usage, and its charging.

Better to just buy a standard Lipo from HK or similar.

Just my thoughts!

Have fun!
 
#8
Thanks for the reply guys. The article by RCdiy was most helpful as were all the comments.

So I take it that cell phone batteries won't work as efficiently as LiPos. The problem is I am trying to find a safe solution for batteries around my kids. I am also trying to teach them the hobby as I go along. I've read many articles that warn a lot about charging LiPo batteries unattended and that it can easily go on fire and burn down the house if overcharged or become unbalanced. Any tips there?
 

ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#10
Thanks for the reply guys. The article by RCdiy was most helpful as were all the comments.

So I take it that cell phone batteries won't work as efficiently as LiPos. The problem is I am trying to find a safe solution for batteries around my kids. I am also trying to teach them the hobby as I go along. I've read many articles that warn a lot about charging LiPo batteries unattended and that it can easily go on fire and burn down the house if overcharged or become unbalanced. Any tips there?
Cell phone batteries are Lipo's, just in a different form factor, with protection circuits built into them. Lipo's are not really dangerous if you take care with them, and take care of them. Use a quality charger, always balance charge and don't over-discharge. Use the storage function when you are done flying for the day, and store them somewhere cool. If you follow those precautions the only time you are really at risk is in a nasty crash.
 
#11
Yup that box is good. Also charge in the flite test lipo bags provided with each of their battery sales , if not buy them. In my case I stick the leads out of the bag flaps to charge and close the bag. I've never seen anyone take that precaution but then Ive seen concrete block lipo charging boxes made on YouTube so pick your level of precaution.
Check the lipo documentation for max charge rate.
1C is usually safe.
Always balance charge.
When not flying put the batteries to storage charge.
After a crash be cautious with the lipo and watch for combustion. I've seen two crash related fires and both were within minutes.
They dont explode, just catch fire. So a lipo safe bag contains the flames.
Maybe have a smoke detector right above where you charge (I don't but just a thought)
Some use amo boxes to store. I use lipo bages placed inside tins, metal lunch boxes.

Dont leave them in a car that is out in the sun.

I've sometimes found there are as many precautions suggested as people so navigate as best you can.

My two cents is start with a club and learn / copy them to start and as you gain knowledge try different things.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#12
Yup that box is good. Also charge in the flite test lipo bags provided with each of their battery sales , if not buy them. In my case I stick the leads out of the bag flaps to charge and close the bag. I've never seen anyone take that precaution but then Ive seen concrete block lipo charging boxes made on YouTube so pick your level of precaution.
Check the lipo documentation for max charge rate.
1C is usually safe.
Always balance charge.
When not flying put the batteries to storage charge.
After a crash be cautious with the lipo and watch for combustion. I've seen two crash related fires and both were within minutes.
They dont explode, just catch fire. So a lipo safe bag contains the flames.
Maybe have a smoke detector right above where you charge (I don't but just a thought)
Some use amo boxes to store. I use lipo bages placed inside tins, metal lunch boxes.

Dont leave them in a car that is out in the sun.

I've sometimes found there are as many precautions suggested as people so navigate as best you can.

My two cents is start with a club and learn / copy them to start and as you gain knowledge try different things.
A nice list but there are a few others I would like to add, (Based upon experience)

NEVER attempt to charge a hot battery!
Refrigeration can reduce puffing, and refrigerated storage can reduce damage from long term storage, (even if fully charged).
After a crash DO NOT place the crash battery in your lipo safe storage bag with other batteries. A fire from the crashed battery can cause serious overheating of the other batteries and even possibly an explosion of another battery! Isolate all suspect and damaged batteries until definitely cold and safe.

Perhaps others have tips that they would like to add!

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 
#14
Dispose of LiPo batteries by calling your local hazardous waste disposal facility and asking them what steps to take before bringing in the batteries to them.

There are lots of posts on forums with suggestion on LiPo disposal.

My thought is that I'll follow what my local facility wants me to do before bringing them in.

Note that battery recycling bins and staff at place like Lowes/Home Depot are geared towards consumer electronic's battery disposal that are not prone to that same hazards as hobby grade LiPo batteries (Samsung cell phones experience being a spectacular exception).

One forum thread
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?12467-Salt-water-LiPo-disposal-bad-idea-or-really-bad-idea