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A Guide to Understanding the Different Types of RC Batteries

A Guide to Understanding the Different Types of RC Batteries

If you have researched how RC Cars work, then chances are that you have come across the term RC batteries. Radio-controlled cars and planes use RC Batteries. An RC Car is a car or truck that is radio controlled from a distance using a specialized remote.

Some of the batteries used in RC cars include Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). These chemistry class names refer to materials used to store and release electricity from these batteries. Below, we take a look at the qualities of these batteries and as their pros and cons to help you make the right choice when buying, based on your unique needs.

If you have researched how RC Cars work, then chances are that you have come across the term RC batteries. Radio-controlled cars and planes use RC Batteries. An RC Car is a car or truck that is radio controlled from a distance using a specialized remote.
Some of the batteries used in RC cars include Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). These chemistry class names refer to materials used to store and release electricity from these batteries. Below, we take a look at the qualities of these batteries and as their pros and cons to help you make the right choice when buying, based on your unique needs.

 

LiPo batteries
Lithium Polymer Battery is a rechargeable battery that has taken the RC world by storm due to its qualities that supersede its competitors. LiPo batteries are good at maintaining a consistent power output as they discharge. They are also lightweight and come in various shapes and sizes. LiPo batteries also have large capacities meaning that they hold a lot of energy within a small package.


LiPo batteries have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years and should be recharged around 2 to 3 times every week to maintain high performance. LiPO battery voltage is specified by the number of cells in series, and each cell has a nominal voltage of 3.7V. The maximum voltage of the battery is 4.2V when it starts to discharge.

 

Below are some advantages of LiPo batteries;

  • They do not drastically lose energy.
  • They do not require frequent charging.

 

Some of the disadvantages of LiPo battery include:

  • They are expensive compared to NiMH. Even though their prices have come down over the years, they are still costly.
  • They do not have long life spans when used in high energy demanding applications such as RC flight. The harder they get pushed; the shorter their life span.
  • They also have safety issues due to the high-density energy storage and volatile electrolyte they contain. They can burst into flames if mishandled.
  • LiPo batteries require a lot of care and handling to last a more extended time. Temperature, discharging and charging, all affect the health of this RC battery. A mistake made can force you to buy a new battery.

 

NiMH batteries
Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries are inexpensive and do not require a lot of care like their rivals, LiPo batteries demand. They are also heavier than the LiPo batteries with similar voltage and capacity, which makes it less popular for RC planes and cars. Their voltage decreases steadily as their pack gets discharged. Therefore, your vehicle gets slower by the minute. NiMH batteries get packed with about 6 to 8 cylindrical cells. It has a maximum voltage of 7.2V and a capacity of 1800mAH.

 

The advantages of NiMH batteries include:

  • They are cheaper than LiPo batteries.
  • They are easier to maintain compared to LiPo batteries.
  • They can be charged as many times as you want.

 

Some of the disadvantages of NiMH batteries include:

 

  • It has the memory effect, which refers to a reduction in longevity of rechargeable battery's charge due to incomplete discharge in previous uses.
  • It is heavier than LiPo batteries with the same capacity and voltage making them unpopular for RC planes and cars.
  • It does not have a high charge rate like LiPo and therefore, may take longer to charge fully.

 

There are many types of RC batteries, including LiPo, LiVH and NiMH. Lithium Polymer (LiPo) is the most popular because it is lightweight and has large capacities. They are also good at maintaining consistent power output as they discharge. They also do not suffer the memory effect, unlike NiMH. NiMH also has advantages such as being cheaper than the LiPos and are easier to maintain. Make the best battery choice for your radio-controlled cars and planes today!

 

Let us know if we missed something or your thoughts or tips in the comments below.

 

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