There are various chargers available in the market but I’ll help you to choose a smart charger to charge your RC's battery. And which prevent your battery from overcharging, battery heating, charging losses etc. there are two type of chargers available first one is Non-Programmable chargers, Programmable chargers. There are various parameter we have to know about them before further discussion like charging current, power required by charger, maximum output voltage by charger, its input voltage, max power output by charger, USB connecter etc.
Some things to consider when buying a charger
There are maximum and minimum LiPo cell count, the battery charger can handle. For example some battery charger supports up to 6S, some even up to 8S, but they might not be capable of charging 14.8v lipo battery. Make sure you know what cell count the charger supports. Some very cheap lipo chargers will only support 2S or 3S lipos, where the fanciers ones will be able to support the full range from 1S to 6S. Other higher end chargers are also able to balance charge more than one LiPo at the same time.
Charge Current Rate
LiPo batteries are often recommended to be charged at 1C current rate for various reasons, although some more expensive LiPo batteries these days are advertised as fast charging, which can be charged at 2C or even higher. The main reason for charging at lower current is safety, and to prevent the battery gets too hot, which might cause the battery to go “puff” and shorter battery life.
Basically, to charge at 1C, it means if you have a 3S 2000mAh LiPo battery, your charge current would be 1 x 2000mA = 2A; But to charge at 2C, the charge current is 2 x 2000mA = 4A.
LiPo Charger Power is measured in Watt which is calculated by multiplying voltage (Volts) and current (Amps). If your charger does not meet the power requirement, you might find it charge your battery at a lower current.
For example, to charge a 3S 2000mAh LiPo at 12.6V at 1C (2A), you will need a charger that are rated for 25.2 watts (= 12.6V x 2A). So it’s clear that if you want to charge at 2C (4A), you will need double of the power which is 50.4W. If we want to charge a 3S 2200mAh battery at 1C we will need to use 12.6V x 2.2A = 27.72W. If we want to charge a lipo 7.4 v 5000mah at 1C we will use 12.6V x 5.1A = 64.26W which is actually a little over the standard power rating for chargers. So we an only charge our 5100mAh battery at 50W/12.6V = 3.6A assuming we have a 50W charger.
How A Good Charger Balances Your LiPo
The core reason you need a compatible LiPo charger is because of how efficiently it can balance your LiPo battery during charging.
- There is a technical meaning for the word ‘Balancing’. It refers to the act of equalizing the voltage of each cell in a battery pack.
- Through balancing, you can ensure that each cell making up a LiPo battery discharges the same amount of voltage.
- A direct consequence of such balancing is a LiPo that performs at its optimum, not to mention safely.
- There are external stand-alone balancers available on the market but a smart shopper will go for chargers that have built-in balancing capabilities. In these, balancing boards do the ace job of leveling out cell discharge
In addition to keeping things compact (battery and charger in one unit) you simplify the whole charging process with a built-in balancer. Even the price of these particular devices is reasonably lower than a battery and stand-alone charger combo.