Has Anyone Had Battery Swelling In Phantoms Battery Packs?

Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
413
Reaction score
78
Age
71
Been flying LIpos since the first cells came out and you had to solder the aluminum tabs together to make a s 2S Lipo. Had my share of ruining packs due to exceeding C rating( higher loads than recommended C rating), shorting, water damage, overdischarge and incorrect charging leading to fire. (Yes they do burn like hell). All led to swelling and subsequent loss of battery capacity other than the ones that burned up!
DJI's battery technology is what led me to buying this particular drone/quadcopter. The built in technology all points the way to longer battery life and safety of the aircraft.
This said, I'm wondering if anyone has experienced swelling of packs other than from water immersion and other shorting due to crashes etc. Would swelling even be noticeable since packs are caged in plastic surround?
Thanks
 

Mark The Droner

Premium Pilot
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
5,316
Reaction score
1,741
Yes. The intelligent batteries will swell if you leave them fully charged for an extended period of time. That's a challenge with the DJI batteries since they discharge automatically, but if you buy an aftermarket, whether on purpose or because what you bought was a counterfeit, it's possible the battery won't auto-discharge. And if left fully charged for, say, three weeks, it may begin to bulge out of the sides. There are youtube videos illustrating this.
 

msinger

Approved Vendor
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
31,275
Reaction score
10,435
Location
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
413
Reaction score
78
Age
71
Thanks for pic. Didn't know that they would swell just by being fully charged at length. My fixed wing batteries never swelled when leaving for months fully charged. They just lost capacity, no swelling. Were these/this from full charge long term storage?
 

msinger

Approved Vendor
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
31,275
Reaction score
10,435
Location
Harrisburg, PA (US)
I haven't seen anyone post photos of swelling battery packs here for quite some time.

Since the batteries auto discharge down to 65% on their own, it would be hard to keep them fully charged. You'd have to press the battery button every few days to reset the days to discharge counter or constantly recharge them without flying.

You shouldn't have any trouble with your batteries if you follow the advice in the Battery Safety Guidelines and maintain your batteries like this when storing them for long periods of time. DJI batteries are very easy to care for with just a little bit of effort on your part.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
413
Reaction score
78
Age
71
I assume that DJI carefully matched their batteries to the props, electronic and motor demand much as I do when setting up a fixed wing aircraft without benefit of DJI's battery technology/electronics. Those that constantly firewall the throttle, fly in excessive heat, change to non dji props and or motors run, risk of over tasking battery and decreasing battery output and life. Their battery protocol is what attracted me to the Phantoms.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
200
Reaction score
36
Age
47
Location
Richwood, TX
I have had my 3 batteries for my P3A for almost 1 year. Never a problem. All three healthy. When I do store them, I will have @ 30 percent charge on them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
It is unlikely a lipo swells through being stored fully charged. Swelling or 'puffing' as its commonly termed occurs due to stressing by high discharge rate or trying to charge a very high iR cell.

Storing a lipo at high charged state would normally cause the cell to deteriorate such that iR increases and the working value of the cell reduces.

Puffing as most model flyers know comes with age and or hard use. I appreciate that most people know this, but the nature of the Phantom and its ease of flight means that some may be completely new to the world of lipo battery's.

Personally - on my return home - I shall be investigating ways of manually balancing / discharging my battery's for storage to try prolong the life. Trusting just the auto settings is not enough in my mind. I like to know what my battery's are doing.

Nigel
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
I have had my 3 batteries for my P3A for almost 1 year. Never a problem. All three healthy. When I do store them, I will have @ 30 percent charge on them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As I am sure you know - a well kept lipo should give years of service and your regimen of storage bodes well.

20 - 30% charge state is the recc'd value. In voltage terms 3.7 - 3.9v per cell or in this case being 4S is from 14.8 to 15.6v. My preference is around the 3.75v mark .... 15v.

Nigel

As i
 

Mark The Droner

Premium Pilot
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
5,316
Reaction score
1,741
It is unlikely a lipo swells through being stored fully charged....
Do you have a link or some kind of evidence to support this comment?

I had two aftermarket Lipos for my P2V. Both were fine batteries with no issues. In fact, they were even better than the stock DJIs as they could fly for longer distances without problems (one was 5400 mAh and the other was 6000 mAh vs 5200 mAh stock). But both of them swelled after about three weeks of sitting fully charged during cold and windy weather last winter. I was able to use them - carefully - for several months afterwards. But both batteries are now retired.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
OK let's look at charge capacity and flight times.

Labels state nominal capacity / values and are based on batch tested production. A battery with a labeled 4000mAh can in fact be greater as long as it falls within production range.

Flight times can be greater on one pack of same values as another if its iR is lower. Internal resistance iR governs the battery ability to deliver power, the lower the iR the better the battery performs. Over time, a battery's iR increases with use / storage - finally either puffing or just failing to provide good flight time.
A good indication of this - battery temp in use. High iR causes heat as the energy needed to provide amps goes up. If you find your battery getting warmer in use than normal - you are watching your lipo failing.

Cold and windy weather ? Unless the cold is below freezing - makes little or no difference at all. Lipos do not like working in below freezing conditions, my EDF models display that very well. But a warmed battery would be fine. Many of us warm a lipo before use in winter.

There is more than enough information online about puffing lipo's and causes.

Nigel
 

Mark The Droner

Premium Pilot
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
5,316
Reaction score
1,741
I'm confused. You said:

It is unlikely a lipo swells through being stored fully charged....
But your following post ignored this point.

You also state:

...

Cold and windy weather ? Unless the cold is below freezing - makes little or no difference at all. Lipos do not like working in below freezing conditions, my EDF models display that very well. But a warmed battery would be fine.....
Again, this is contrary to what we (the membership) have learned through experience and reading posts over the past year. What we've learned is that battery temps below 20C enhance danger due to the risk of voltage lag, and battery temps below 15 C is outright dangerous and may lead to shut down without warning. And we've seen examples of this happening in real flying situations repeatedly. But apparently, we're all wrong.

Again, I am asking you to provide evidence - links, attachments, experience, something, anything - to support your statements and enlighten us all to these new findings.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
I'm confused.......

But your following post ignored this point.
Oh dear !! You missed the word : unlikely

Again, this is contrary to what we (the membership) have learned through experience and reading posts over the past year. What we've learned is that battery temps below 20C enhance danger due to the risk of voltage lag, and battery temps below 15 C is outright dangerous and may lead to shut down without warning. And we've seen examples of this happening in real flying situations repeatedly. But apparently, we're all wrong.
WOW - what a crock of rubbish !! If what you say about 20C .... 15C ... was true - then temperate climate flyers would be failing !!

The world of RC flying is enjoyed in cold winters of Russia, Sweden, Canada and many other extremes .... suggest instead of just 'gut-replying' - a little consideration of actual is made.

Again, I am asking you to provide evidence - links, attachments, experience, something, anything - to support your statements and enlighten us all to these new findings.
Why not go to my Youtube site and watch my Winter flying .... some of it in temps as low as -10C ... -15C ....

Example battery tech sites :

Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University

LIPO Battery Cold Weather Usage Tips

Does cold weather affect Lipos? - RC Groups

Lipo's and REALLY COLD Weather - RC Groups

Doesn't take much to find supporting evidence for my posts.

Are you aware of the general recc'd practice of storing LiPo's in the refrigerator ?

What temp do you maintain your house rooms at ? Do you charge / store your LiPo's in house or the garage / store / hobby room ? What temp is in there ?

Do you not agree that storing LiPo's fully charged is detrimental to their health ? It is recc'd to store at about 20 - 30% charge ?

Seems that we will not agree on various topics, fine - we are all entitled to our opinions. Trouble is with this one - it is not me flying in the face of facts.

I would suggest that anyone having a lipo fail in weather of 15C as you claim ... has assumed the temp. to be the cause instead of checking out fully. The problem I believe is that the Phantom being such an easy model to fly, literally any idiot can charge up and fly it. This leads to comments and bad information that gets supported by others similarly lacking in real technical information. The repeating and exapnding of such leads to it being accepted as gospel.
It means that when real info is given - its said to be wrong, to be contrary to the mass of postings before.

Years ago - the masses said the world was flat. A few said no - its round.

It would be interesting to know the iR of the offending battery for example .... The charge level at which it failed .... what was rested voltage after it failed ..... a lot of questions - but of course no answers because it is reported as failed and nothing else ....

I not only fly the Phantom - but all manner of LiPo and fuel powered models. I contribute to many forums and I have never read such claims as you have just made. I can just imagine the replies if such was posted on other forums I know....
My worry in such as this - is the misinformation that new flyers get and suffer consequences. We have a duty as 'experienced' to keep information as accurate as possible - to help newcomers .... Sorry but your claim is rejected as it is too vague in its detail. It lacks the answers as I have indicated.

I have gained useful information from many threads on this forum. But also noted some terrible errors.

Nigel
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
Fact : Power delivery of a LiPo does reduce as temp falls below reasonable level. Generally accepted level is around 10C and then power delivery may be in region of 5 - 6% at most. As the temp falls further - you can expect a reduction in full power delivery when you put throttle to max. Flight time will reduce accordingly because the physical and electrical reactions taking place inside the battery cells is slowed. This becomes more apparent at below freezing temps when models such as EDF's and marginally power to weight ratio models fail to perform as normal.

Full failure of a LiPo is unusual and is often mis-diagnosed - it is usually a case of the ESC detecting low voltage and incurring LVC - Low Voltage Cutoff. It is quite possible for a LiPo to recover to reasonable voltage after such. It comes down to voltage drop as explained in paragraph above. If such voltage drop occurs in moderate temps such as 5 - 15C - then the battery pack itself is nearing end of its days and should be retired. If it occurs in temps below freezing, then it may be due to increased cooling effect of airflow adding to the ambient surrounding temp ... insulation of battery compartment may then be called for.
Multi-rotor flight controllers all use forms of ESC - therefore the above holds true. There is no magic alternative.

QED
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
4,239
Reaction score
1,951
Age
64
Location
UK Brit living Latvia
I refer peeps to :


The dji battery advisory video. Funny that it mentions flying in -10C conditions .............

Nigel
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
139,514
Messages
1,439,329
Members
101,315
Latest member
mccammon