LiPo vs Lithium ion which is right for you?

LiPo vs Lithium ion which is right for you?

When deciding on a battery for your UAV, UAS, RC, or robotics application, choosing between LiPo (lithium polymer pouch cells) and Li-ion (lithium-ion cylindrical cells) can be difficult. If you are looking for power like Mike Tyson a LiPo might be your style. But if you're looking for endurance like Floyd Mayweather Li-ion is probably the way to go. Let's dig in and see the pros and cons of both.

Pros of Lithium Polymer(pouch cells):

  • LiPo’s hold the highest voltage under load of all lithium batteries so they perform well in high amp draw applications

  • LiPo batteries come in many different form factors so they can be built to fit lots of applications

  • Maintains lower temperatures under high discharge

Cons of Lithium Polymer(pouch cells):

  • LiPo’s are more prone to thermal runaway when punctured or damaged

  • LiPo batteries provide around half the life cycles of a  Li-Ion

  • Can be discharged down to 3v per cell

Pros of Lithium ion(cylindrical cells):

  • Li-ion batteries are higher energy density(Wh/kg) which allows for longer runtimes and lighter weight

  • Lithium-ion batteries are safer than lithium polymer because of the metal enclosure

  • Can be discharged down to 2.5v per cell

Cons of Lithium ion(cylindrical cells):

  • In high amp draw applications, they will have lower voltage under load compared to lithium polymer

  • They are round cells in specific sizes which can create some limitations to fit in certain applications

  • They tend to hold higher temperatures during and especially after performing a higher discharge rate

We hope this gave you a better idea of LiPo batteries vs Li-ion and what is better for your application. In summary, if you are looking for the highest voltage under load(punch or top speed) then choose a LiPo. If you are looking for the highest capacity for the weight(energy density), choose Li-ion. If safety is a big concern, then choose Li-ion. If you have any more specific questions or want more information on which is better for your application, contact our battery tech team by clicking here; we would love to help.