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Tips to Avoid a Swollen Battery

Posted on28-11-2018
Tips to Avoid a Swollen Battery

Electrolyte decomposition occurs in normal everyday use of Lithium Polymer LiPo battery, resulting in gas generation. Without proper care, electrolyte decomposition may speed and one might end up with a swollen battery sooner than expected.

To slow down Electrolyte decomposition, one should never over discharge or overheat a battery.


1. Do not over-discharge

– Always stop using your battery before voltage gets to the minimum cut-off voltage (3.6V per cell). E.g. Connect the battery to a buzzer. It would alert you of when to stop using the battery. Get one today. See [ BUZZER1-8S ] or BX100 ]


2. Proper charging

– Use a quality battery charger. For safety, put batteries in liPo bag while charging. If you do not have a lipo bag, we highly recommend one. For about $10, you can ensure that if something goes wrong, it would at least be contained.


3. Heat kills batteries

– Do not use batteries or charge batteries when they are warm. After you’re done using them, give them a little time to cool off before you charge them. Likewise, after charging, give some time before using them again. In any case, it is important to allow motors to cool down in between play, to prevent burn out.


4. Proper storage

– Do not store your batteries in a hot location. (For example, don’t keep them in the trunk of your car during in the summer.) 


5. Do Not Store Fully-charged Battery

– Store liPos at the proper storage voltage (proper LiPo storage voltage = about 3.8V per cell). Too low or too high a voltage will damage the battery. Lithium-Polymer batteries can be damaged by sitting fully charged for as little as a week. Most modern chargers have storage mode that could discharge batteries properly for storage.


6. Use It Frequently

- Use the battery at least once per month. Do not store it for long without using.


7. Disconnect Battery

- Disconnect battery from your device (rc car, aircraft, etc.) after use, to prevent over discharge.


As lipo age and if they are misused, gases start to form in the battery and cause it to swell. Once you have a puffy lipo, the safe thing to do is to discharge it completely and then recycle it.


Content adapted from Eric Eekhoff


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