charging batteries

Charging Batteries – Battery types and charging modes

One of the main things in the miniquad world is, charging batteries. Here you can find some more advanced information about how to charge your batteries.

Charging Batteries

Battery Types

here is a table of different battery types and all their “voltage” information.

LiPo LiFe LiIon NiCd MiMh Pb
 Max Voltage 4.2 3.6 4.1 1.5 1.5 2.46
 Min Voltage 3 2 2.5 0.85 1 1.75
 Nominal Voltage 3.7 3.3 3.6 1.2 1.2 2
 Storage Voltage 3.8 3.3 3.7 n/a n/a n/a
*all values are in V/Cell (volts per cell)
*n/a - not applicable

LiPo Charging Modes (inc. LiFe/LiIon)

Most chargers will have a few different charging modes. Balance, Charge, Fast Charge and Storage.

Balance Mode

Leads: Both charging and balancing

description: This mode is for balancing the voltage of the battery cells while charging.

Charge Mode

Leads: Charging only

description: This mode is for charging without balancing the voltage of the battery cells while charging.

Fast Charge Mode

Leads: Charging only

description: The charging current is getting smaller towards the end of the charge process. Resulting in a shorter charge time but the cells will not be completely full.

Storage Mode

Leads: Both charging and balancing

description: This is for charging or discharging the  battery to it’s storage voltage (see table above).

What’s the best mode for charging batteries?

Balance Mode is recommended, It keeps your cells balanced during charge and prevents charging cells above their Max voltage (see table).

Charge Mode, ignores the separate cell voltage and charges the battery to it’s end voltage. If cells were unbalanced during discharge, this will cause some cells to charge above their max charge.

Example
battery with cells: 3.8, 3.8, 3.8, 3.4 
     will charge to 4.3, 4.3, 4.3, 3.9

Fast Charge Mode, is like charge mode, with the addition of faster charging. But, the pack will have less MaH at the end of the charge compared to balance or charge modes.

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