Chargers can be confusing if you’re new to the hobby. There are so many different options to choose from, which we explored in another article, but there’s also the fact that there are just so many buttons and features.
We’ll explore some aspects of chargers in this article so that you know what to expect as a consumer. Read on below to see a quick snapshot of some of these features for rc hobby batteries ( like racing rc car battery, rc model airplanes battery, mini helicopter battery) chargers.
Not to be confused with charging, balance charging is generally available on most RC chargers. If you need to insert a balancing lead from the battery into your charger while charging, that means that your charger can balance the charge.
This function checks the voltages of each cell in a battery pack and ensures that they all have the same voltage. This is a critical monitoring step in order to prevent damage to the battery itself as it allows the battery’s voltages to remain even throughout. This makes it so that one or more cells don’t under or over discharge, which can cause battery failure.
Some batteries can also have built-in battery monitors and balancers, which you can check before picking a charger.
This function allows your battery to be charged faster, but it generally does not monitor or balance the voltage of individual cells. Instead, it will only look at the overall voltage. So, if the cells in your battery pack aren’t balanced properly, it is possible to overcharge one or more cells. Make sure to pay attention to the state of your battery if you ever quick-charge it.
Furthermore, the battery-charging process is non-linear, so most of the chemistry within the battery is capable of fast charging a battery from 0% to a little over 90% state of charge (SoC). This causes little damage to the battery itself.
In the second half of a charge, the anodes become less receptive to lithium ions, so the charging rate greatly reduces. If the charging rate exceeds the ability of lithium ions to embed into negative graphite electrodes, lithium deposits can form, which then can cause a battery to short circuit or even explode.
This makes it even more vital that you ensure your rc battery cells are capable of accepting fast charging before you actually utilize the function.
This mode reduces the voltage of a LiPo battery to the minimum allowable charge voltage by the charger. Depending on the charger, this may be 3.3V or even 3.0V.
Storage charge brings your LiPo battery voltage to 3.8V per cell.
This function is important as storing a fully charged LiPo battery can affect its capacity loss over time. For instance, a LiPo battery charged to 4.2V and then left on a shelf at room temperature will lose about 20 % of its capacity over two to three years.
Multiple charging ports
Most low-power chargers are single-channel chargers, but there are also chargers with multiple charging ports.
These chargers are very powerful, and each channel can be used individually as a smaller charger. For example, with a 4-channel charger, you can charge 4 completely different batteries at the same time regardless of capacity, voltage level, number of cells– almost as if you had 4 chargers at the same time!
This feature is also very user-friendly. You can set different parameters for each channel, such as the charging current. At this time, the power of the charger is the sum of all channels.
A feature that cannot be overlooked is the safety protection, such as battery-level confirmation before charging, overvoltage and undervoltage protection, temperature detection and overheating protection, charging timeout protection, etc.
It’s a great idea to choose a charger with an LCD screen so that you can easily and accurately change charging parameters, monitor charge cycles and individual battery voltages.
This has been a quick snapshot of some functions that you can look out for in your chargers. Hopefully this will launch you into your own escapades into your radio control hobby.
Grepow official website: https://www.grepow.com/