LiPo batteries (Lithium Polymer) are a type or rechargeable battery which can be used in your AEG, and are more often than not preferred over NiCd or NiMH batteries.
This is due to the fact they are lightweight, capable of being made into pretty much any shape and size to fit a range of airsoft weapons, they can hold their charge for longer and the have high discharge rates with the capability of supplying more power to even the most demanding AEG.
There are a few common myths regarding LiPo batteries, which we will explore in this feature:
LiPos are dangerous and prone to exploding
Probably the most common myth about LiPo batteries is that they are very dangerous to use and can easily explode. Yes, LiPo batteries can explode, but that is due to improper care and feeding of the batteries. It is possible for both NiCd and NiMH batteries to suffer the same fate, but the videos I’m sure a lot of us have seen are mainly LiPo batteries.
The key to avoiding this happening to you is it invest in a good charger, and understand the charge and discharge capacities of your battery. Gun Tech Dan put together a helpful article a little while back about understanding your batteries, which you can take a look at here.
LiPos require a lot of special attention
The next myth about LiPo batteries is that they require a lot of special attention, and must be handled with extreme care! A LiPo battery is not made of glass, and will stand up to being handled in the same manner as a NiCd or NiMH pack (The number of times Tech Dan has dropped them in the shop is silly and we’re still here!). It is true that LiPo might need a bit more attention to maximise their output, but their long term benefits far outweigh the extra attention you need to give them.
Always inspect your LiPo, even if it is brand new out of the package. When a LiPo starts to go bad, they tend to puff up a little bit, so keep an eye, but LiPo batteries can emit gases when charged and under load anyway, this can appear to puff the heat shrink casing up but it’s not the cell itself that goes puffy…
LiPos are too powerful for my AEG
Often, people believe that LiPo batteries are too powerful for anything but a heavily upgraded gun. However, if a gun only requires 23A of current to run at its full potential, it will only draw a maximum of 23A from the battery and will not use any more current than it needs.
A stock battery may well be overtaxed trying to provide enough power for a gun that it cannot physically provide. Whereas if you use a LiPo battery, you will have a lot more available current left in the battery, but it will not “overpower” your gun, and your battery will not be overworked.
So as you can see, your gun does not need to be heavily upgraded to handle a LiPo battery, and it is only going to use the maximum amount of current required to operate at 100% - no more, no less. A 7.4V LiPo will give you about the equivalent AEG performance of a 8.4V-9.6V NiMh battery, depending on the AEG and C rating of the cells.
This myth may have some truth if your AEG is maxed out with an 8.4V battery and you replaced it with an 11.1V LiPo. The increased voltage will cause the motor to spin much faster and if your internals are not up the increased strain, you can end up damaging it. However, this same damage could occur if you put a higher voltage NiMH battery in, so doesn’t really have anything to do with the LiPo!
The higher current can also cause more arcing on the trigger contacts which over time can burn through them. This can happen on any battery but is more likely to occur for the higher current LiPo based systems, easily fixed with a mosfet and a rewire, but with many of the current generation of AEGs coming with pre-fitted mosfets or trigger control units it will cease to be a problem very soon!
Hopefully this gives you a bit more information about the myths surrounding LiPos, and make sure you check out Dan’s advice we linked to earlier in the article, it offers some great advice!
In the meantime, if you are looking to pick yourself up some new airsoft guns (UK based), why not take a look on our website pop in and visit us in store?