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Old 04-03-2016, 11:34 PM   #1
Raisin
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Tips for parallel charging


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So I finally decided it was time to start parallel charging my pack, and I have to say, I love it! However, as I was plugging in packs to my HobbyKing parallel charging board, two of the PCB balance lines lit up and burnt away. The board will still charge packs, but I can't balance them which isn't a big issue since I would rather balance packs separately at the end of a flying session. As someone who is new to this, what are the right methods and precautions to parallel charging packs?
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:21 AM   #2
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Doing parallel charging of single lipo packs with start voltages very close may work but multipack : NEVER . At least not at my place. Here are a couple of shots of incorrect charging procedures. Always balance charge each pack separately. If it is really necessary to get many packs charged get yourself a multi charger like Hyperion or Thunder Power.

Here are a few pictures to show the result of incorrect charging and these are not computer enhanced.
You don't want to see the rest of the workshop ! Yes you hear of people doing it that don't know better and riding on a lot of luck but I would sooner take my luck to Vegas and win big ! and no this is not my place.
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:07 AM   #3
Daren71
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

This guys advise is pretty solid.

http://www.tjinguytech.com/charging-...allel-charging

I've used the EP buddy parallel charging boards for quite awhile now. They are first class, not one issue. I charge conservatively, and always leave the batteries at storage voltage. EP buddy is actually called Buddy RC now. Same products, just a different name.

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Old 04-04-2016, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

I follow what tjinguy tech ( knows his stuff) is saying and can be used by knowledgeable users ; but there are too many out there that don't understand what 3S means, C30 discharge, and 5C charge rates are plus are not aware of or using storage charges. There are the plug and play users out there that do not have enough understanding of the full use of charging/discharging lithium batteries.

Not criticising them at all, but it is important to have a good understanding of what to do and not to do when parallel charging or varying away form the norm.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
So I finally decided it was time to start parallel charging my pack, and I have to say, I love it! However, as I was plugging in packs to my HobbyKing parallel charging board, two of the PCB balance lines lit up and burnt away. The board will still charge packs, but I can't balance them which isn't a big issue since I would rather balance packs separately at the end of a flying session. As someone who is new to this, what are the right methods and precautions to parallel charging packs?

Parallel charging can be done safely provided you have become fully familiar with the care and charging of Lipo batteries. Once you get to know the in and outs of Lipo's and RESPECT the danger and work safely to avoid it, THEN you can consider parallel charging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
However, as I was plugging in packs to my HobbyKing parallel charging board, two of the PCB balance lines lit up and burnt away.
I do not recommend parallel charging for newcomers because of this exact reason- You made a beginner mistake and look what happened. I very strongly suspect you plugged the packs incorrectly to the balance board. Either that or you got a bum balance board from HK- If you can, post a picture if the fried section of the board and show us which ports you were plugging into when the magic smoke was released. I can provide a batter analysis of the cause of you can. Also take a picture of the backside of the board showing which circuits were fried.

Some general rules to follow:
  • Make sure all packs to be balanced charged are within .1V of each other
  • Check and DOUBLE CHECK the negative balance lead of each pack before you plug it into the parallel charging board.
  • Check and DOUBLE CHECK the negative balance lead gets plugged INTO the negative post (pin 1) on the balance board. Do this for every pack you plug in.

I generally charge at the cumulative pack rating for the packs.
IE if I charge 3 2200's, I will charge at 6.6A (Assuming your charger can handle 6.6A)

You can also parallel charge multiple capacities.
IE- 2 2200's and one 1000 can be parallel charged at 5.4A. But again, I emphasize that parallel charging should be best left to people who have aquired a significant level of experience in Lipo charging.

Lately, I do a lot less parallel charging because I now use an app that tracks the battery condition by entering the charge capacity each time I charge and discharge a pack. So to get accurate charge data history, I need to charge each pack individually. Each pack has its own unique serial number and over time, I can glean a ton of info on the pack condition and how I run it to know the overall condition of the pack. I get around the multi charge by having more chargers, each charging one pack at a time...LOL. PS- 4 port chargers are great for this

By all means, keep asking questions. Its the only way to learn
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

HMMMMM parallel charging hasn’t been a big issue been doing it for years. I finally bought a top of the line setup when the chargers could no longer supply the power to do the job. I still have the parallel boards for the Hyperion charger but rarely use it any more. I have a powerlab 8 and the parallel board recommended by them. I use 2 server power supplies in series to provide 24 volts at 47 amps. I can charge 4 to 6 of my pulse 6S 4200mAh packs at a time. It also has no problem parallel charging 6 450 mAh 2S packs for my foamies.

To safe parallel charge the packs they must be the same cell count and best if same capacity. Does not matter what state of discharge they are in the charging for individual packs will stop when the pack is full. Each battery port has multiple balance jacks for whatever cell count you are working with.

With 6 packs 6S 4200mAh connected the power available limits to just under C2 or about 6 amps each max charge rate. I have charged single and double packs as high as C4 to see what would happen and full charge indicated in 15 to 20 minutes. However on sitting the packs seem to level out and read about 96 percent charged and I find a better charged pack at C1 of C2

The Powerlab is designed for parallel charging its part of the menu when initiating the charge. The matching board is recommended for that charger. If you choose the option of charging at C1 you should never have a problem. You should never charge any lipo unless your there to keep an eye on things. I prefer to charge my packs outside where if something happens it won’t be the cause of a major fire. Pushing the packs single or in parallel is a personal choice and I only do it outside in the open and under constant supervision.

A good setup on your parallel board assures one can only plug in the pack with the proper polarity and with multiple balance jacks the plug doesn't fit right in the wrong one.

The Powerlab even tells you if you have failed to plug in one of the balance jacks or power leads.

Dennis

Last edited by Lazy Ace; 04-04-2016 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post

Some general rules to follow:
  • Make sure all packs to be balanced charged are within .1V of each other
  • Check and DOUBLE CHECK the negative balance lead of each pack before you plug it into the parallel charging board.
  • Check and DOUBLE CHECK the negative balance lead gets plugged INTO the negative post (pin 1) on the balance board. Do this for every pack you plug in.


Lately, I do a lot less parallel charging because I now use an app that tracks the battery condition by entering the charge capacity each time I charge and discharge a pack. So to get accurate charge data history, I need to charge each pack individually.

By all means, keep asking questions. Its the only way to learn
As far as I know, the packs were close to 0.1V of each other (all cells were between 3.7 and 3.8v). After plugging in the 4th battery, my charger displayed a voltage error and then I looked back at the board to see the spark. I've had the batteries for years so I doubt there is a problem with their connectors, and the board only allows the balance plugs to fit in one way. This wasn't the first time using this board either, so this is most likely my own error. In the photo, those are the lines that burnt. I checked the solder on the back and nothing seems amiss. Lastly, what app is it that you're using? Sounds like it would be a good idea.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:53 PM   #8
Raisin
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Thanks for all the helpful tips guys, if it gives me any more trouble I'll just toss the board and make my own parallel charging cable. I thought I had a firm grasp on the concept but its always a good idea to review safe procedures.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:13 PM   #9
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
As far as I know, the packs were close to 0.1V of each other (all cells were between 3.7 and 3.8v). After plugging in the 4th battery, my charger displayed a voltage error and then I looked back at the board to see the spark. I've had the batteries for years so I doubt there is a problem with their connectors, and the board only allows the balance plugs to fit in one way. This wasn't the first time using this board either, so this is most likely my own error. In the photo, those are the lines that burnt. I checked the solder on the back and nothing seems amiss.
That's pretty strange. Something definitely had to be wrong to do that.
From what I see, the right side of the board would now be pooched, the left side of the board would still work though.
If you are handy with a soldering iron, the board can be salvaged with a couple of jumper wires to re-connect the fried PCB segments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
Lastly, what app is it that you're using? Sounds like it would be a good idea.
I use RC Log for android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ipo.free&hl=en






Its an excellent app. At a glance I can tell which batteries are being abused and which ones are doing OK.

It also tracks last time used, so if you put stuff in storage, you can know when the last time you checked it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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Re: Tips for parallel charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisin View Post
As far as I know, the packs were close to 0.1V of each other (all cells were between 3.7 and 3.8v). After plugging in the 4th battery, my charger displayed a voltage error and then I looked back at the board to see the spark. I've had the batteries for years so I doubt there is a problem with their connectors, and the board only allows the balance plugs to fit in one way. This wasn't the first time using this board either, so this is most likely my own error. In the photo, those are the lines that burnt. I checked the solder on the back and nothing seems amiss. Lastly, what app is it that you're using? Sounds like it would be a good idea.
You didn't happen to plug the balance plugs in before the power plug did you? Is there no fuses or anything on that board? Without safe technology some pretty strong currents can flow via the balance jacks if plugged in first.

Check out the Cellpro balance board in the video with safe technology you plug the balance plugs in wait a bit and if the battery needs to be charged by itself the strip lights up red saving you from the problem I believe you may have had.

[YOUTUBE]www.youtube.com/watch?v=P05Im5G0uKA[/YOUTUBE]



[YOUTUBE]www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYsB6anSRe4&ebc=ANyPxKqbOsOdIxLINRzv-LpjTvr6rAw2zdD7kRyYCV2278JYNDseolE_y_G6TcGKIi2N6fjQ94wA8jKVd0tut06y2Bg8kfuNng[/YOUTUBE]

Last edited by Lazy Ace; 04-05-2016 at 06:32 PM.
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