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LiFePO4 vs charger vs balancer

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Old August 31st, 2011, 15:16   #1
BIG
 
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LiFePO4 vs charger vs balancer

Hi guys!

I'm considering buying this : http://www.rsov.com/product.php?lang...926&cateId=206

And this: http://www.rsov.com/product.php?lang...560&cateId=189

Or this: http://www.rsov.com/product.php?lang...071&cateId=189

My question is: What the hell is a balancer? Do I still need a battery charger and the balancer? Can a super dupper charger do both? Why do I have a funny feeling in my stomach when buying a 9.99$ charger for a LiFePO4 battery?

And why does this one have no small connector on it? http://www.rsov.com/product.php?lang...382&cateId=206

Help me!!!! I don't want to ignite my house by plugging 2 chargers on one battery!

Thank you all
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Old August 31st, 2011, 15:36   #2
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First, read this: http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=99899

Once you've read that, a balancer ensures that all your cells are at equal voltage. If one is .2v higher than the rest, and a wall charger like the one you want is used, it will over-charge the LiFePO4 battery and cause it to burst into flames.

Second, a good charger will do both, and you should absolutely buy a good charger when your using lithium base batteries. You want a digital smart charger and nothing else, don't spend less than $80.

And there are two advantages to using lithium batteries, they have excellent energy density, and they are INEXPENSIVE. It has to do with the ease of manufacturing, but yeah, they are around $10 for a mini battery, and $40 for a high quality large battery.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 02:13   #3
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LifePO4 is supposedly "safer" than other lithium based batteries. But it still uses the same principle that all cells have to be of equal voltage or it will "blow up in your face" (figuratively of course.... but they'll smoke and catch fire and all that).

I honestly think you should get a good charger and probably not a $9.99 wall charger. At minimum I'd be looking at spending $40 on a good balance charger (that both balances the cells and charges the battery).

PS: The thing on the end are called "balance leads" not sure why that one doesn't have one but that's what they're called. But yes in short get something with a balance lead and get a quality charger. It might also be wise to get a "lipo bag" as well as some RC'er in the US set his house on fire when he was charging a damaged lipo pack. Lipo Fire Took My House Thursday Night - FlyingGiants

Lipo bag like this just to be safe/for extra security (and also don't abuse your lithium based batteries): Lipo Anti-Explosion bag - YouTube
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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:02   #4
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Thanks guys for the reply.

Since I already have a supper-dupper nimh/nicd charger, my question is: Can I use it to recharge lifepo4 batteri with the balancer? Or is ALL balancers chargers?

Thanks
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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:44   #5
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You need a battery that specifically does that chemistry. Most lithium chargers will do LiPo as well as other lithium based chemistries (sometimes also doing "standard" NiMH, and NiCD).

The charger MUST list that it is capable of charging LiFEPO4 (LiFE) batteries, ie. like this ImaX B: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._GENUINE_.html

Reason being is that the nominal voltage of a LiFE cell is 3.3V however the nominal voltage of a LiPo cell is 3.7V which is why LiFE comes in 3.3V, 6.6V, or 9.9V and LiPo comes in 7.4V and 11.1V. With that known you need to charge the different chemistries in different ways at different voltages.

Look here on wikipedia, the charging voltage of a LiFE cell is 3.6V http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium...sphate_battery

Whereas with LiPo, I've read you need to charge at 4.1V or something like that, and this is a difference that can probably damage your batteries. So when you charge your batteries set the charging chemistry to the right one to ensure you don't set your house on fire.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 13:03   #6
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Ah ok. I got it

Thanks alot!

There goes my wallet! lol
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