LiPo Battery Packs
All Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) batteries, require proper handling and care for safe and maximum performance.
Lithium Polymer batteries come partially charged and are significantly more volatile than the alkaline, Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries used in RC applications.
LiPos are sensitive to ambient temperatures and do not like being exposed to heat. The biggest factor in “mysterious” pack damage is storing packs in excessive heat. When transporting LiPos, keep them away from the heat. Do not leave them in the trunk on a hot sunny day. Keep them in a cool, dry location. Anything over 140°F can easily damage the packs.
LiPo packs should be regularly inspected for damage, as a small problem can result in a meltdown over time. A telltale sign of LiPo damage is swollen or puffed-up cells. This indicates irreversible damage and a potentially hazardous situation.
If any puffing or ballooning is evident, discontinue use immediately, and plan on getting rid of the pack. Although lithium isn’t necessarily toxic, it is still recommended to recycle spent packs at a designated location.
When a pack no longer holds a charge, or the cells show signs of damage, it is best to dispose of it immediately. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on proper disposal, but most recommend discharging the cells completely with a low-drain device like a light, or using the discharge function on the charger.