Thunder Power

A123 Battery Cells To your Radio Control Model Airplane

Electric model airplanes have been around for roughly 3 decades. A big problem in the early days was battery energy density. In other words, they just weighed too much for the level of juice you have access to away from them. This situation has improved dramatically lately using the creation of Li-Poly cells, but a battery pack for a larger model can certainly cost big money. The appearance of electrical cars, like the Toyota Prius has spurred quantity of research into new battery technologies. In this article, I'll describe an alternative choice to Li-Poly batteries that gives intriguing possibilities.

A123 Systems produces Lithium-Ion Nanophosphate cells. These cells have a nominal voltage of three.3 volts and may withstand continuous discharge rates of 30C. They may be safely discharged down to 2.0 volts. The voltage remains fairly constant with the discharge cycle, however they have a clear drop-off at the end. Expect 300 cycles prior to deciding to notice any reduction in capacity while at 1,000 cycles you'll have 75% from the original capacity. They are very safe and secure. Overcharging or over discharging is not going to cause an explosion and can haven't much effect on living of the battery. Balancing cells when they're charged remains advisable, although not absolutely required. They could be charged just after use within Quarter-hour.

Cellular structure are available in two sizes. The first M1 cell includes a capacity of 2.3 Ah and weighs 70 grams (2.47 oz). A more moderen, smaller size holds 1.1 Ah and weighs 40 grams (1.41 oz).

The primary source for A123 M1 cells may be DeWalt 36-volt portable power-tool energy. Each pack contains 10cells. I acquired a couple of these for $100 each through Ebay. The prices seem to have increased recently towards the $120-$130 range. Single cells can be purchased online for $15 from your growing variety of vendors. You'll find two of the smaller cells in a Black & Decker VPX battery pack which will cost you about $15. The smaller cells can be had for $12.50 each.

There are lots of Li-Poly chargers that support or may be modified to support the charging of these A123 cells. Because of the sharp voltage drop-off when discharged, you may be better off utilizing a timer when you fly. Or else you need your ESC to seal from the motor when 2.0 volts per cell is reached.

Important thing? These cells give you 70% the power density of Li-Polys for about 45% with the price. For most folks, this is a good trade-off. They're extremely safe and is charged in Fifteen minutes. In the event you buy half as much energy because of the shorter charge time, chances are they turn into a much better value.