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LiFe Batteries

Characteristics of LiFe batteries. Advantages.


Recently, a new type of rechargeable lithium batteries, called Iron Phosphate or NanoPhosphate, or A123 Racing has recently been released, and is a new battery option due to two main advantages over lithium batteries -polymer: they allow a much faster load at 4C, typically in 15 minutes (compared to 1 hour LiPo at 1C), and are less sensitive to use than LiPo: they are more permissive regarding overcharging or over-discharging. In this sense, they are safer, being quite difficult to burn or explode due to overload or extreme discharge. This is due to a different chemistry based on lithium and iron phosphate (LiFePO 4 ) as a cathode, compared to Li cobaltite (LiCoO2) used in Lithium ion or lithium-polymer.

It has, however, a slightly higher weight than the LiPos, so they are less advised in indoor flight, but are perfectly adequate in park-fliers and larger aircraft where the weight is not so critical.


Main Features of LiFe Batteries


- The nominal load per element (or cell) is 3.3 V compared to 3.7 V of LiPo. In the state of maximum load they reach 4.2 V, and can be safely discharged up to 2 V. In addition, if they inadvertently discharge up to 1 V, they can recover all their capacity during the charging process, unlike with the batteries LiPo, where this situation would already be irreversible.

- Life A123 batteries are manufactured in two sizes: 1.1 Ah, with 39 g of weight per cell (cylindrical, 18 mm dia. X 65 mm), and 2.3 Ah, with 70 g of weight (26 mm dia X 66.5 mm), both with 3.3 V nominal.

- The discharge capacity is 30 C (ie, 33 A for the 1.1 Ah model and 69 A for the 2.3 Ah model, with peaks of 60 C. This The capacity is 4C, which allows loading a pack in 15 minutes and, therefore, making many more flights in the day (or need Less packs for the same number of flights).

- The internal resistance is lower than that of LiPos (and of course NiCd and NiMH), which allows an efficient use of stored energy. The motor time, for example, with a 2300 mAh A123 cell equals a GP3300 NiMH, due to the large amount of energy lost in the latter by internal heating.

- Another advantage of A123 is that the discharge curve is much flatter than that of NiMH and LiPos; That is to say, the voltage hardly decreases during the unloading, with which the vehicle enjoys the same power throughout the time of use. One drawback: the battery comes to an end if a previous announcement, which if used for aircraft / drones does not leave the pilot time to prepare for landing, so that in case of aerial use, you should not rush the load Until the end, being aware of the estimated time available for a safe landing.

- LiFePO chargers and balancers must be specific to this type of battery; However, many chargers that have recently come on the market are compatible with both modes (LiPo and LiFePO-A123). The speed controllers for LiPos are A123 compatible.

When charging these batteries also recommends a load balancer, ie load each item individually. However, it seems again that the tolerance of these cells to be unbalanced (horrible word ...) is less than for the LiPos.

- The cycling is excellent, due to its robustness, so it is a good investment in the long run, being somewhat less delicate than LiPo.

- Finally, the auto-unloading of these cells is practically null, being able to be stored several days fully loaded without appreciable loss of energy. In this they are similar to LiPos, and far superior to NiMH, for which the problem of self-discharge is very serious in a matter of days.


Now you have at Factorhobby cheap LiFe batteries for models of radio control (cars, helicopters, boats ...). Choose from different types with high performance and different sizes to get the most out of your RC model.

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