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How to store RC lipo batteries

How to store RC lipo batteries

The popularity of LiPo batteries as an effective power source, particularly for RC vehicles, is undeniable. Nonetheless, these units can be relatively volatile and extremely sensitive, rendering their proper storage quite challenging. 

So, the best way to store LiPo batteries is to store them at standard room temperature and, better yet, in a dry place that has no potential drastic temperature fluctuations. Also, I have learned that since these batteries are a potential fire hazard, it is best to store them in fireproof cabinets or bags, away from flammable components. 

Despite the performance boost that these units have instilled in the RC car industry, learning how to properly safeguard and care for them is still a challenging experience—especially if you are not familiar with the tips. So, exactly how should you store a LiPo battery? Whatever you use these batteries for, their storage is essential. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you understand all things about proper LiPo battery storage. 

What are LiPo Batteries? 

In simple terms, LiPo represents the lithium Polymer battery (Lithium-ion Polymer). LiPo is an exclusive rechargeable battery that comprises soft polymer casting to allow for the lithium-ion (within them) to rest in a soft-like exterior pouch. 

We prefer these LiPo batteries since they are not only more flexible but also lighter than other types of Li-on batteries, courtesy of their uniquely soft shell. Also, their flexibility renders them ideal for electronic devices like RC cars, phones, and even drones, among others. 

What is the standard Storage Voltage for LiPo batteries? 

Now that you have an idea about LiPo batteries, we will help you understand the storage voltage necessary for proper LiPo battery storage. 

Ideally, we can all agree that new LiPo batteries come partially charged—if you have purchased one. Surprisingly, this partial charge is the standard LiPo storage voltage, and as we have specifically noted, the voltage is maintained at around 3.8 volts. Therefore, we would recommend that you charge or discharge your LiPo battery to between 3.6 and 3.8 volts (standard voltage) before you store it since this is the voltage where they are most stable. 

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Tips on how to properly store your LiPo Battery: 

When we store our batteries safely and properly, we have identified that this increases battery life and helps avoid damage. What’s more, our research has outlined that LiPo batteries have a temperamental characteristic, which means they can catch fire if/when not stored and handled properly.  With this in mind, proper LiPo battery storage is a Must, and to help you, we have outlined some vital tips to use when storing your LiPo battery: 

Check the LiPo battery Voltage and ensure it is to the proper storage Voltage.

As we mentioned earlier, the proper storage of a LiPo battery depends on having the right storage voltage. Typically, the most suitable LiPo battery storage voltage is approximately 3.8v (each cell), hence the need to charge or discharge your battery to this specific voltage. 

Fortunately, most LiPo chargers come with standard volt readers, rendering it easier to identify your battery’s voltage. The following are the two ways we use to check the voltage of our LiPo batteries: 

  • Most LiPo batteries now come with a balance plug—a plug linked to various colorful wires on the battery. Insert this plug into the charging unit’s port, and your battery charge will appear. 
  • For the LiPo batteries that don’t comprise volt readers, the other suitable way is using standard voltmeters. Your LiPo’s balance plug is the contact point where you should connect the positive (+ve) and the negative (-ve) wire on either side of the plug accordingly. Ensure you hold the ends for a few seconds until you get a reading. 
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If the charging unit boasts a default setting, set it to the suitable storage setting.

Once we have checked the battery’s charge, our next step is adjusting the volt to the required storage setting. As you will learn, some LiPo chargers are designed to have default LiPo storage settings. Essentially, these chargers usually discharge or charge your batteries to a suitable voltage, easing the storage preparation and storage process. 

  • To adjust the LiPo battery’s charge, we start by setting the charger to an automatic storage setting. We plug in the battery until we attain the set volt setting. 
  • This discharge or charging process is usually slow. We can estimate its time to take around an hour. 

Note: We would like to pinpoint that different LiPo chargers function differently, especially in the programming procedure. 

Tips for Proper LiPo Battery Home Storage

What is the first thing you should consider when storing your LiPo batteries at home? Well, as we can all agree, the most important aspect is your family’s safety! Besides this, though, we can also consider valuable items. 

Our research indicates that the most prominent LiPo battery risk around your home is its flammable characteristic. Essentially, it can cause a fire if not properly stored or handled, hence the need to be vigilant. 

Here are some useful tips we use to safely store LiPo batteries at home: 

  • Constantly check your LiPo battery level: we would recommend doing so at least once a month as battery charges might reduce over time depending on how long you want to store them. Constant checking ensures the battery remains at the right voltage. 
  • We usually place our LiPo batteries on non-flammable, safe surfaces during discharging and charging processes. 
  • We would also recommend storing your batteries in a charging safe or fireproof bag. Why? Our research shows that LiPo battery storage components are flame resistant. 
  • Finally, I usually store my LiPo batteries in well-ventilated places—at room temperature, avoiding hot or cold spaces. 
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Tips for LiPo Battery Storage During Travel 

If you are planning to travel or attend a far event and still want to carry your LiPo batteries, we’ve got you covered. Ideally, while this is a rather tricky endeavor, it is, however, a safe procedure when properly carried out. With proper planning and a few vital tips, I have found the process smooth and effective and here are some of the tips for you: 

Vehicle Travel 

  • Ensure your LiPo battery is stored within sight, preferably in a portable, fire-proof battery storage container. 
  • Refrain from storing your LiPo battery in your car trunk or stack it on top of your vehicle’s battery. 

Plane Travel 

When traveling on a plane, I follow these few storage tips for proper LiPo storage: 

  • Confirm with my plane’s guidelines and regulations on traveling with LiPo batteries
  • Ensure you carry the batteries with you and avoid placing them in your checked luggage

Final Word

By now, you understand a few things about LiPo batteries and how to handle them. Ideally, this LiPo battery storage tips and guide will offer you a comprehensive understanding of proper LiPo battery storage methods for a healthy battery life and your overall safety. 

We sincerely hope that these few tips, as outlined here, will help you safely and responsibly handle and store your LiPo batteries. 

Good Luck! 

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