Lipo Battery and NiMH Battery. Power Struggle!
Newcomers to the RC world tend to get Lipo Batteries and NiMH Batteries confused. Often times thinking there is no big difference, but purchasing incorrect batteries and chargers for their RC vehicles can be frustrating, costly and dangerous. Not to mention a waste of time that could be well spent having fun with your new RC Vehicle! We here at Ripit RC want to give those of you who may have a little confusion on the topic some clarity. Here are the basics on Lipo and NiMH Batteries, including their differences, advantages and disadvantages.
Introducing the NiMH Battery
NiMH stands for Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery. These batteries use hydrogen to store their energy. NiMH Batteries use nickel and often times another metal such as titanium to seal the hydrogen ions. NiMH batteries usually come in a cylindrical shape similar to the common “AA” and “AAA” batteries you are familiar with.
Introducing the Lipo Battery
Lipo stands for Lithium Polymer Battery. Lipo Batteries are composed of highly reactive lithium and carbon, and are capable of storing a lot of energy. Lipo Battery technology is relatively new. They take the shape of a rectangle and are typically smaller than NiMH Batteries. They require specific Lipo Battery chargers in order to keep each cell balanced.
NiMH & Lipo Batteries: Side By Side – Cost, Voltage/Power, Safety
Cost: Lipo Batteries are more expensive than NiMH Batteries.
Voltage/Power: NiMH Batteries have 1.2V per cell. Battery packs usually total 3.6V or 7.2V (they can go up from there). Lipo Batteries hold a whopping 3.6V per cell. Lipo Battery packs typically start 7.4V up to 22.2V… That’s a lot of power!
Safety: NiMH Batteries have an advantage over Lipo Batteries when it comes to safety. NiMH batteries are hard to damage because they always come in a hard case. Whereas Lipo Batteries are usually soft packaged, making them easily susceptible to physical damage (so be gentle!).
Lipo Batteries also can be very dangerous if they are not properly charged or stored. Over-charging Lipo Batteries can cause dangerous chemical fires. You must be attentive to your Lipo Battery while charging. You should always use a fireproof Lipo safety bag when charging or storing your battery. Also, you’ll need to discharge your Lipo Battery if you’ll be storing it for an extended period (more than a couple days). NiMH Batteries don’t share these same “dangers.” However, we would like to note that it is always good practice to store your batteries in a safe place at room temperature.
To wrap things up, Lipo Batteries are known to be the “better battery.” With that title comes responsibility and cost. NiMH Batteries are great for the RC Driver looking for low maintenance and easy fun, without breaking the bank. While Lipo Batteries are great for real serious drivers who are ready for the responsibility and power. Whatever you choose, be sure to have fun and be safe! Please be sure to ask us any questions when making your RC battery or charger purchase from www.ripitrc.com. We’re happy to assist you in making the right choice.
View some of our available Lipo and NiMH Batteries
View some of our available Battery Chargers