Everything You Need to Know About RC 3 Cell Lipo Battery

January 26, 2022 — by Richard Dawson

There is no greater fun for RC enthusiasts than having to spend more time outdoors, exploring their vehicles and enjoy in their capabilities. So to some extent, this explains the enthusiasts’ devotion for choosing a better and more improved version of RC vehicle than the previous models. While the RC vehicle’s features and capabilities are paramount for having lots of fun, no fun can be obtained without having the right RC batteries. Speaking of batteries of RC vehicles, practice shows that LiPo batteries are the most sought-after and commonly used option over NiMH batteries for many reasons.

LiPo Batteries

Many lipo batteries in one place
Source: vdr.one

LiPo batteries are lithium polymer batteries that can also go under the name of lithium-ion polymer batteries, LIP, Li-Poly and lithium-poly batteries. They are rechargeable types of batteries that are designed to be recharged with lithium-ion technology using the polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte. When compared to some other types of lithium batteries, it’s said that these provide higher specific energy and they are used in devices (mobile phones, RC vehicles, RC aircraft and electric vehicles) where weight is of vital importance. In other words, these batteries are extremely light in weight and allow to be designed and shaped according to the devices; needs. Because they have higher capacities, this allows them to hold more energy. The only ‘downside’ is that you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to their charging, discharging and storage in order to get the best out of them.

NiMH Batteries

Although NiMH batteries are considered less sensitive and with a longer lifespan, the truth is that they are the least used option for devices because of their weight. They are heavier, limited in size, have a lower average capacity and have proven as less effective. Hence, not proper for use in mobile devices and RC vehicles.

What Is a 3 Cell LiPo Battery?

LiPo batteries are all the same, they can only differ in capacity and voltage. So, in order to understand what a 3 cell battery is, first you should learn the general terms:

C – Discharging rating that stands next to a number, usually 50
mAh – Battery’s capacity
S – Cell Count
V – Voltage
Generally speaking, LiPo batteries have 3.7V for their energy, so this means that only one cell is needed for such an amount of voltage. So, consequently, if the voltage is doubled, it’ll become two cells or 2S with a voltage of 7.4V, and if it’s tripled, it’ll become 3S with a voltage of 11.1V. Just like with everything else, this means that the higher the voltage of the battery, the higher the price. But practice shows that this pays off because a 3 cell lipo battery is longer-lasting and can push more current. Even if you choose to buy a 3 cell RC battery, still it’ll be lighter in weight and more efficient than any type of NiMH battery.

How Long Does a 3 Cell Lipo Battery Last?

Charging lipo battery
Source: instructables.com

As with everything else, the longevity of these batteries can mainly depend on their charging cycle, care and storage conditions. Generally speaking, these batteries can last about 2 to 3 years. The main sign of worn down LiPo batteries is their puffiness. Once puffed you shouldn’t use them because, in this condition, they’re hazardous and can easily catch fire. So, it’s better to dispose of them promptly and safely in order to avoid a hazardous outcome.

How to Care for Them?

Practice shows that with proper care and use, you’ll be able to get the best out of a 3S battery and use it for at least 2 years. All you have to do is to follow the general LiPo battery care instructions:

  • Never overcharge the battery;
  • Never run down the battery completely to a point when it’s dead;
  • Don’t overheat it;
  • Charge, discharge and store them in a fireproof LiPo safety bag, fireproof container or a metal ammo box (can).

As you can see, caring and storing for LiPo batteries is not that difficult, and given the fact that they are powerful and allow for being recharged, this makes them one-of-a-kind. They can come in a range of voltage, sizes and shapes which allows you to choose the right type for your RC vehicle model. They can also come from a different manufacturer which can certainly affect the price. So, if new to this and don’t know which type and model to choose, consulting with a professional would be the best you could do. Speaking of professionals, make sure to find a reliable and trusted seller that can provide you with quality batteries and RC vehicles that come from reputable manufacturers. That way, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve made the right choice.