Ideally, you should be charging most lithium polymer batteries at 1C charge rate. Whatever the ‘C’ rating for the battery is, you would want to be charging the battery at that rate : 1 x Capacity.
Suppose you have a 2200 mAh battery, you would want to charge it at 1x 2200 mAh = 2200 mA
Or 2200/1000 = 2.2 Ah
On your battery charger, you would want to specify 2.2 A and charge the battery.
You will always want to refer to the battery manufacturer’s manual before you decide to charge the batteries at a higher charge rate.
These days, you will find batteries with 2C and 5C charge rates. This means you can charge you battery at least three times its capacity.
For example, 2000mAh, 2C pack can be charged at (2000 mAh x 2)/1000 = 4 Ah
The best thing about this new technology is that it lets you charge your LiPo battery in only fifteen minutes. However, for safety purposes make sure you don’t charge the batteries at higher charge rates – unless the manufacturer says this can be done.
If you are not in a hurry, you would want to charge the battery at around 1C so as to maximize the life of your LiPo battery. While charging at these rates, it is paramount that you monitor the battery constantly, to prevent any damage from taking place.
However, you need to be very careful. Well, it may sound great to charge the battery for less than ten minutes, but then again, you should try as much as possible to prolong the battery lifespan. Avoiding using the maximum charge rate, but instead use 1C.
In addition, you will want to ensure you always use the charger your battery’s manufacturer recommends. This is very important if you are charging several batteries simultaneously.
It might be tempting to charge your batteries at a high rate. Charging your battery at 10C will be nearly 10 times as fast as charging it at 1C. But you would want to know what you are doing before you do something like this.
If the manufacturer recommends the battery should be charged at or lower than 2C and you charge it at 10C, the battery will most likely blow up. That could be a very dangerous thing. Lithium Polymer batteries need to be handled with a lot of care – and over charging a battery is something you would never want to do.
It’s always a good idea to charge your lipo batteries outside your home.
You would also want to ensure that you never short circuit the battery. This can kill the battery in less than a second. And if you suspect a battery is dead, check the voltage. If the voltage is less than 3.0V, it’s most likely damaged and you should never try to charge it again.
If the voltage falls below 3.0V, dispose the battery. But don’t throw it in a trash can – that’s a very irresponsible and dangerous thing to do. A physically damaged LiPo battery can explode and endanger other people.
Before you dispose a lipo battery, you should discharge it completely to 0 Volt. Never throw your batteries in the garbage before they are completely discharged.
Refer your manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to discharge and dispose the batteries.