The balancing Charger's best parameter values?

Discussion in 'Batteries & Power' started by Jean Bernard, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Jean Bernard

    Jean Bernard New Member

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    Hi,

    I am using this Hitec X4 charger with management and integral Lithium battery balancing features with four totally independent and identical 50 watt charging circuits for a total power of 200 watts. I am a little confused on some of the best parameters to use for better & safe battery charging/discharging/storage. Any help by someone who uses these types of chargers would be very much appreciated. Perhaps we can start making a comprehensive sticky on Alta batteries charging too not just the movi batteries?

    I am using the ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah
    Specs:
    • Battery Type: Lithium Polymer
    • Capacity: 16Ah
    • Voltage: 22.2V
    • Connector: EC5
    • Max Continuous Discharge: 15C
    • Max Burst Discharge: 30C
    • Max Charge Voltage: 4.2V per cell
    • Minimum Discharge Voltage: 3.0V per cell
    User Preference features for the Hitec X4 charger:

    The Lithium Battery Select Screen:
    (you can choose one of the three kinds of Lithium batteries supported by the X4 AC Plus, LiFe (3.3V), Lilo (3.6V) or LiPo (3.7V)
    > Select LiPo
    LiPo /LiIo/LiFe Check Time:
    (automatically detect the cell count of a Lithium battery at the beginning of the charge or discharge process. To prevent an overdischarged battery from being detected incorrectly, resulting in an error, you can set a time limit for the processor to verify the cell count. The default setting is 10 minutes which is typically enough time to properly detect the cell count. It is not recommended that you change this setting as setting to long of a “Check Time” can produce dangerous results.)
    > Select 10 minutes

    NiMh & NiCd Delta Peak Sensitivity Setting:
    (This feature sets the cutoff voltage for the automatic charge termination of a NiMH and NiCd battery pack. The setting can range from 5 to 20mV per cell, the default is 12mV for NiCd batteries and 7mV for NiMH, the parameters are set individually for NiCd and NiMh batteries. If the cutoff voltage is too high, there is a danger of overcharging the battery, if it is too low there is a possibility of premature charge termination. Refer to the battery manufacturer’s specifications to determine the proper setting)
    > Set to DEFAULT(Since I am using LiPo)

    Temperature Cutoff Setting:
    (You can choose whether or not you want to use the automatic temperature cut off when using the optional temperature sensors. When turned on you can set the maximum temperature at which the charger should allow the battery to reach during charging. Once a battery reaches this temperature, the charge or discharge process will be terminated to protect the battery)
    > Select which temperature?(Default is 80C but I don't know what is the recommended for ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah and depending on room ambient temperature too?)

    Waste Time Setting

    (When charge/discharge cycling a battery the battery will become warm. You can set a time delay ranging from 0 to 60 minutes after each charge/discharge process to allow the battery to cool down before starting the next charge/discharge cycle)
    > Select how many minute?(Default is 5 minutes)

    Safety Timer Setting

    (When the charge process starts, the integrated safety timer runs simultaneously. If an error occurs or the charge termination circuit cannot detect if the battery is fully charged, this setting will terminate the charge process to prevent overcharging. Use the Safety Timer Calculation below to determine the proper setting)

    Safety Timer Setting Calculation
    (To determine the correct safety time setting when charging NiCd or NiMH batteries, divide the capacity by the current, and then divide the result by 11.9. Set the results of this calculation as the number of minutes for the safety timer setting. If the charger stops at this time threshold, about 140% of the capacity will have been fed into the battery. Example: 2000mAh 2.0A (2000/2.0=1000)/11.9=84 minutes)
    > How many minutes? (Default is set to 120min) This doesn't apply to LiPo or Balanced charged pack right?

    Low Input Voltage Setting:

    (This function monitors the input voltage of the DC power source used to power the charger. If the voltage is lower than the user setting, the program will end forcibly to protect the input source)
    > Input how many voltage?

    Capacity Cutoff Setting:
    (The charging software allows the user to create a maximum charge capacity protection setting. If the delta-peak voltage is not properly detected or the safety timer times out, the charge process will stop automatically when the battery reaches the set maximum charge capacity set by the user.)
    > Do I select 16000aAh? (since my batteries are the ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah)
    Sound Settings (Key & Buzzer Mute):
    (A beep sounds to confirm the every time the user presses a button, additionally a sound is emitted during the operation of the charger to confirm a different mode change. These functions can be switched on or off)
    > Select ON


    Charging Lithium Battery in the Charge Mode:
    "These methods for charging LiPo/Li-Ion/LiFe batteries without a balance lead"
    (charge current range: 0.1-6.0A, voltage range: 3.7-22.2V)
    > shouldn't use this mode as it is better to use balanced mode instead?
    Charging Lithium Battery in Balance Mode:
    "This function is for balancing the voltage of Lithium-polymer battery cells individually while charging. In the balance mode, the battery needs to have a balance lead to connect to the balance port at the right side of the charger and the battery's power leads to the output of the charger. Charging in this mode is different from the normal modes because the built-in processor monitors the voltage of each individual cell and controls the input current fed into each cell in order to equalize the voltage"
    (charge current range: 0.1-6.0A, voltage range: 3.7-22.2V)
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage)

    Charging Lithium Batteries in Fast Mode:

    "When charging lithium chemistry batteries in the fast charge mode the charging current will become lower towards the end of the charge cycle. In fast mode the charging capacity is slightly lower than in normal charge mode, but charging time is reduced"
    (charge current range: 0.1-6.0A, voltage range: 3.7-22.2V)
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage) * use this mode in a pinch only? should the the balance lead be also plugged in?

    Charging Lithium Batteries in the Storage Mode:
    "The Storage Mode function is for charging/discharging batteries that will not be used immediately or that will be stored for a period of time. The program is designed for charging or discharging batteries to a specific voltage level depending on the type of battery (Li-ion = 3.75V, LiPo = 3.85V and LiFe = 3.3V) The program will begin to discharge if the original state of the battery exceeds the voltage level for storage"
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage?)

    DISCHARGING LITHIUM(LiPo/Lilo/LiFe) TYPE BATTERIES:
    Lithium batteries are recommended to be discharged partially rather than fully. Frequent full discharging should be avoided if at all possible. Instead, charge the battery more often or use a battery of larger capacity. Full capacity cannot be reached until it has been subjected to 10 or more charge cycles. The cyclic process of charge and discharge will optimize the capacity of the battery pack.

    "The setting of the discharge current cannot exceed 1C, and Voltage cannot be under the voltage recommended by the manufacturer to avoid deep discharging"
    > Not clear as "ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah" have different discharge "C" & what is the ideal discharge Voltage 3.0V?
    • Max Continuous Discharge: 15C
    • Max Burst Discharge: 30C
    • Minimum Discharge Voltage: 3.0V per cell







     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Jean:
    I use the Hypersion 720 Super Duo, not the Hitec, but many of the settings speak more to the Lipo technology than the charger, so:


    LiPo /LiIo/LiFe Check Time:
    > Select 10 minutes

    I agree. 10 minutes.

    NiMh & NiCd Delta Peak Sensitivity Setting:
    > Set to DEFAULT(Since I am using LiPo)

    I agree.

    Temperature Cutoff Setting:
    > Select which temperature?(Default is 80C but I don't know what is the recommended for ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah and depending on room ambient temperature too?)

    If you are using the temperature sensors (and it's not clear whether you are), then I would set the temperature lower than 80C -- that's too hot to touch! I would shoot for about 40C.

    Waste Time Setting

    > Select how many minute?(Default is 5 minutes)

    I think this should be "Wait" time not "Waste time." You're using big batteries with a large thermal mass. I would allow 30 minutes -- but test it the first time. You want the battery at room temperature before you start charging it.

    Safety Timer Setting

    > How many minutes? (Default is set to 120min) This doesn't apply to LiPo or Balanced charged pack right?
    It's not clear whether it only applies to battery chemistries other than LiPo -- the example they give is for NiCd or NiMh -- but you cannot infer that therefore it ONLY applies to NiCd or NiMh. I would leave it at 120 minutes.

    Low Input Voltage Setting:

    (This function monitors the input voltage of the DC power source used to power the charger. If the voltage is lower than the user setting, the program will end forcibly to protect the input source)
    > Input how many voltage?

    You may have to experiment with your charger's DC input supply -- if your DC supply has an adjustable output voltage, gradually reduce and see at what point the Hitec's charging voltage starts to drop -- then set the Low Input Voltage setting to that value plus a volt....that's just a guess on my part, though.


    Capacity Cutoff Setting:
    > Do I select 16000aAh? (since my batteries are the ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah)

    If you're only ever going to use 16000 maH, then yes.
    Charging Lithium Battery in the Charge Mode:
    > shouldn't use this mode as it is better to use balanced mode instead?

    ALWAYS USE THE BALANCE LEAD! (Sorry to shout.)
    Charging Lithium Battery in Balance Mode:

    "This function is for balancing the voltage of Lithium-polymer battery cells individually while charging. In the balance mode, the battery needs to have a balance lead to connect to the balance port at the right side of the charger and the battery's power leads to the output of the charger. Charging in this mode is different from the normal modes because the built-in processor monitors the voltage of each individual cell and controls the input current fed into each cell in order to equalize the voltage"
    (charge current range: 0.1-6.0A, voltage range: 3.7-22.2V)
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage)

    This is confusing. The 16,000 mAH LiPo has individual cells that are each going to be charged up to a maximum of 4.2 volts (with a nominal mid-point voltage of 3.7v each. They are arranged in series so that the voltages add together (so the maximum voltage for a six cell LiPo will be 6 x 4.2 or 25.2 volts).

    The "Capacity" (C) of each cell is 16,000 mAH (because the cells are all in series). C is usually stated in Amp/Hours, so the C value is 16.
    Normally one would charge a battery (if one wanted to be nice to the battery) at 1C, or, in this case, 16 Amps.

    Based on this and what you say above, it would appear that the Hitec charger is too small to be able to charge the 16,000 mAH at full rate as the current range is only up to 6 Amps. The 22.2 volts is the "nominal" voltage of the 16,000 mAH battery when each cell is at the mid-point (also known as storage voltage) of 3.7 volts.

    Bottom line: I'm not smart enough to know what the right answer is here.


    Charging Lithium Batteries in Fast Mode:

    "When charging lithium chemistry batteries in the fast charge mode the charging current will become lower towards the end of the charge cycle. In fast mode the charging capacity is slightly lower than in normal charge mode, but charging time is reduced"
    (charge current range: 0.1-6.0A, voltage range: 3.7-22.2V)
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage) * use this mode in a pinch only? should the the balance lead be also plugged in?

    ALWAYS USE THE BALANCE LEAD.
    Charging at 6 amps is charging it at 0.375 C -- so it will take a long time, but you are being very gentle with the battery.
    Based on what you say, you "fast charge" mode with this charge should really be called "It's better than slow charging." :)


    Charging Lithium Batteries in the Storage Mode:
    "The Storage Mode function is for charging/discharging batteries that will not be used immediately or that will be stored for a period of time. The program is designed for charging or discharging batteries to a specific voltage level depending on the type of battery (Li-ion = 3.75V, LiPo = 3.85V and LiFe = 3.3V) The program will begin to discharge if the original state of the battery exceeds the voltage level for storage"
    > Select 6.0A, 22.2V?(Selected the maximum Amp and my battery's voltage?)

    Storage voltage is indeed 22.2 volts.

    DISCHARGING LITHIUM(LiPo/Lilo/LiFe) TYPE BATTERIES:
    Lithium batteries are recommended to be discharged partially rather than fully. Frequent full discharging should be avoided if at all possible. Instead, charge the battery more often or use a battery of larger capacity. Full capacity cannot be reached until it has been subjected to 10 or more charge cycles. The cyclic process of charge and discharge will optimize the capacity of the battery pack.

    "The setting of the discharge current cannot exceed 1C, and Voltage cannot be under the voltage recommended by the manufacturer to avoid deep discharging"
    > Not clear as "ALTA Flight Pack - 16Ah" have different discharge "C" & what is the ideal discharge Voltage 3.0V?
    • Max Continuous Discharge: 15C
    • Max Burst Discharge: 30C
    • Minimum Discharge Voltage: 3.0V per cel
    The 16,000 mAH battery has a C rating of 16. I would take each cell down to around 3.3 volts just to leave some margin for error. If you take them down to 3.0 volts you may cause them to fail to reduce their storage capacity.

    Hope this helps
    Andy
     
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  3. Jean Bernard

    Jean Bernard New Member

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    This is soon helpful Andy, Thank you. What are the other options you have for your Hyperion 720? and what is your maximum charging Amps on it? Maybe I should get a few Hyperion instead of hitech?

    Cheers
    -JB
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    JB:
    Here's the best description that I found on the web: http://www.helipal.com/hyperion-eos730i-super-duo-3-digital-charger.html

    Cheers
    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  5. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    A couple additional items to add to what Andy said:

    First, I use the same chargers that Andy does and they are great. After considering a few things about your current charger you may want to get something different for your larger batteries.

    Safety timer: With my chargers this does apply to LIPO batteries. And at 120 minutes you will probably hit the cutoff period before your batteries are fully charged. If you can charge at 6 amps (not sure you can since you mentioned that they are 50 watt maximum per circuit) and you ever need to add more than 12 amps of energy back into the batteries you would hit a 120 minute charging limit prior to finishing your charge. At 6 amps (per hour) - and some energy just lost in the charging process (heat, etc) you could end up with partially charged batteries when you expect fully charged ones.

    Charging Amps: If you are limited to 50 watts per charging circuit I think you are going to hit your wattage limit well below the chargers max charge of 6 amps on 6 cell batteries. If Amps x voltage = watts, you will end up charging at around 2 amps. In that case you have a bigger problem with safety timer. To add 16 amps back to a battery at a 2 amp charge rate would need a little over 8 hours. The chargers Andy and I both use allow the safety timer to be set to 240 minutes or to be turned off.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Christopher Vasquez

    Christopher Vasquez New Member

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    Hello Hyperion Users...

    First off, thank you for your help. Your experience has helped tremendously.

    I'm charging the 10Ah 22.2V 6S from Freefly on the Hyperion EOS 720i Super Duo 3. Do you happen to have a suggested amount for the CHARGE CURRENT setting?

    Any suggestions for the charging / cycle / storage settings related to the 10Ah batts from freefly would be appreciated.

    I was going to go with Store voltage at 3.7 or 3.8.

    For the Hyperion EOS 720i Super Duo 3, which balance attachment did you select? HP / PQ or the JST / XH. (both types of balance connectors came in the charger box, I assume it was HP.)

    Other tips on Hyperion / Flight Pack battery care is certainly appreciated!

    Chris
     
    #6 Christopher Vasquez, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Yes. The general rule is consider the capacity of the battery at 1 Amp for each Amp/Hour the battery has. So for a 10 Amp/hour battery (the 10Ah), that would mean charge at 10 Amps.

    If you're in a mad rush, you might consider 1.5 Amps per Amp/Hour or even 2 Amps per Amp/Hour, but you (a) will not get as much charge into the battery, (b) will make the battery get hotter, and (c) run an increased risk of provoking a battery fire if the battery is unhappy!


    Either one will do. Just do NOT over-discharge the battery below 3.0 volts per cell, or try to over-charge it above 4.2 volts per cell. In the first case you turn the battery into a paper-weight and in the second you turn it into a fire starter.

    That's really controlled by the LiPo you're charging. In the case of the FF LiPo's, JST/XH 6S.

    Here's a good summary of what you might want to know: http://rogershobbycenter.com/lipoguide/

    Andy


    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     

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