With some of the new FAA regulations allowing more flexibility for drone companies, it is more important than ever to make sure your LiPo battery is in good working condition. In this blog we are going to tell you about a few signs that your LiPo battery might be deteriorating and when it’s time to retire a battery.
The eye test:
The eye test is the most obvious sign that your LiPo is at the end of its life. If the cells start to look puffy and rounded instead of being a firm square or rectangle that you would expect from a healthy LiPo. It can puff out on one side, or multiple sides. It may also feel squishy. Here is a picture for reference:
If there are any signs of puffing similar to these photos, safely dispose of the LiPo battery immediately and do not run it.
The smell test
If your LiPo has a sweet, pungent smell, that is a sign it is going bad. A lot of times this happens if the battery is damaged somehow. If you drop your battery or damage it in use, and smell a sweet smell coming from the LiPo, it is time to dispose of it. If you need tips on safely disposing LiPo batteries here’s a link to our other blog about how to properly dispose of your LiPo battery.
Temperature during charging
If you are charging your battery at low rates like 1C and the battery is getting noticeably hot stop the charge immediately. LiPo’s can get a little warm while charging and that is normal, but they should not be hot especially at low rates. The cause of this can be an internal short from damage, or aging of the cells.
Out of balance cells
If you are charging your battery and your charger gives you a warning about unbalanced cells, or you notice a cell lower than the others, it is unsafe to use that battery. Sometimes as LiPo’s age cells can get out of balance, this can be due to improper storage (not storing your LiPo’s at storage capacities, and not cycling frequently) it can also be due to heavy loads being put on the battery. If you continue to use a LiPo that is out of balance you can overcharge and over discharge the cells which could cause battery failure, and thermal runaway. So always be sure your cells are in a balanced voltage range. For more info on this check out our LiPo care page.