When using an RC car or drone, we might see the battery getting puffed. This is a regular occurrence in a lipo battery.
Now, it puts us in a pickle and we are wondering if can we depuff it.
So the question is, can we depuff a lipo battery?
Yes, a lipo battery can be depuffed, though it is a risky procedure. When the battery becomes bloated or depuffed, we should always dispose of it. By removing the depuffed packs, we can repair the batteries. By freezing the batteries, we can de-puff them. Finally, we degas the battery to depuff it.
This has been covered in depth in this article. So bear with us till the end. We are confident that you will find your solution.
Let’s go dive right in.
Are Puffed Lipo Batteries Hazardous?
Yes, a puffed lipo battery is always hazardous. There have been several reports of puffed lipo batteries igniting flames. So, it’s better to stay away from a puffed lipo battery.
But this doesn’t mean a lipo battery would explode the moment it starts to puff up. It’s just the chances are higher of an accident when it puffs up.
We should be cautious when charging a puffed lipo battery. If possible, we should avoid doing this whatsoever. If we have no other option, we should charge it away from any combustible materials.
A proper lipo charger should be used while charging the battery. We should be careful about not overcharging the puffed batteries.
Putting any strain on a puffed lipo battery is a very bad idea. Charging a puffed lipo battery will do nothing but deteriorate its condition. So, we should try to avoid this as it’s a risky procedure.
Why do Lipo Batteries Puff Up?
So how to tell if a lipo battery is puffy? After using a battery for a certain time, the cells in the battery might inflate. They become squishy when puffed. When this happens, we can tell a battery is puffy.
It is very normal for a lipo battery to puff up. Even without any heavy usage, a lipo battery can puff up. Normal everyday usage of a lipo battery creates gas. This process is called electrolyte decomposition.
The electrolyte is a chemical found within a battery. It lets charged ions to pass from the anode to the cathode during a discharge.
While using or charging a lipo battery, electrolyte decomposition happens. This reaction creates oxygen and lithium. This oxygen is one of the main reasons behind a bloated battery.
This extra oxygen starts to puff the batteries up. As oxygen is flammable, this puffing up can explode the battery. So it’s better to be careful around a puffed-up lipo battery.
How to Depuff Lipo Batteries
It’s not a good idea to try to depuff a lipo battery. But we might wonder, how to repair a lipo battery? It’s a risky procedure. But if we have to, there are a few ways we can repair a lipo battery. It’s better to be handled by professionals with proper safety precautions.
Removing the Bloated Packs
By carefully removing the bloated packs in a battery, a battery can be saved. This is the solution for a singular bloated pack. While doing so, proper safety precautions should be performed.
The packs can be separated by carefully cutting and removing the tapes in a battery. Afterwards, we have to remove the puffed-up pack and reseal the whole thing. The battery should be usable after this.
Freezing the Battery
We can put a puffed lipo in freezer to fix it. A lipo battery can be de-swelled by decreasing the temperature. It can help to dissipate the swelling.
A change in temperature can help to free the gasses stuck. By freezing the battery, the puff-up will stabilize and return to its normal condition.
Degassing the Puffed Up Battery
The battery can be degassed to reduce the puffing. This procedure is mainly associated with eliminating the extra fumes. Professionals do this to fix a battery.
The fumes can be released after removing the external case. Then wrap everything up. This will restore the battery’s functionality.
How to Dispose of Damaged Lipo Batteries
We should dispose of a lipo battery like any other battery. Before disposing of it, we should check the LiPo battery discharging rate.
It shows the discharge rate of the battery. The first step is to completely discharge its charge. This may be accomplished in two ways. The steps are outlined below.
Attaching the Battery to a Blub
We can discharge the battery by attaching it to a bulb. 12V/20W halogen bulbs are perfect for this. By welding the battery to a bulb, we can release all the charge.
Putting the Bulb in Saltwater
This is an extremely slow procedure. Discharging a bulb in saltwater takes a long time. It might last anywhere from a few days to a month.
During this period, saltwater can eat the aluminum terminals of a LiPo battery. If this happens, it’s better if you carefully clean the batteries. If not, this contaminates the water.
So, it’s best to throw away the water after the battery is discharged.
Lipo Battery Care
Lipo batteries have a reputation for being hazardous and unpredictable. Any type of damage can shorten the lifespan of the battery. It may also result in battery bloating.
So, how to prevent a lipo battery from swelling? Several procedures may be performed to ensure that the battery remains in pristine condition. The stages that follow will be discussed below.
- Before charging, always check the battery voltage.
- Don’t charge a damaged battery.
- Use the designated charger for the battery.
- Never charge the battery while in the drone or in an RC car.
- Never charge the battery if the temperature is below freezing.
- Never overcharge the batteries.
- Never deform the pack of the battery
- Never disassemble the cells situated in the battery.
- Never put the battery close to any kind of flammable stuff.
We can see that a lot of the precautions about this battery is charger related. We might even have problems where our battery isn’t charging. So, by getting a new charger, we can increase the lifespan of a lipo battery.
If you are looking for a charger, we have a nice list below to help you out.
Dynamite Prophet Sport Mini 50W
|$34.99||50W Multichemistry Charger|
Redcat Racing HX-A3
|$17.99||Compatible with 2S and 3S LiPo batteries.|
Dynamite Passport P2 100W
|$149.99||AC/DC multi-charger with dual 100W output that can charge all batteries and an LCD display.|
How long does a lipo battery last?
They estimate that a normal LiPo battery has a life expectancy of 150 to 250 cycles. This is because batteries heat up when used, and many people discharge them at less than 3.0V per cell. Physical harm and exposure to water may also shorten their lifespan.
Can lipo batteries blow off?
Yes, putting any strain on damaged or bloated batteries can cause them to blow off. If the cells of the battery get penetrated, it can blow off. Overcharging a bloated battery can also cause them to blow off.
How Much Should a Lipo Battery Be Charged?
Most LiPo batteries must be charged slowly when compared to NiMH or NiCd batteries. A 3000mAh NiMH battery should be charged at four or five amps. Whereas a LiPo battery of the same capacity should only be charged at three amps.
Now we know why a lipo battery puffs off and how to depuff a lipo battery. When the battery is in bad condition, it’s better to get rid of it. When we have a puffy lipo battery, we need fully drain it and then recycle it.
Just remember not to overuse your lipo batteries. Be careful when you are depuffing them, as it can dangerous. Hope we were able to answer your questions.
Have a good day!