Batteries
 

Batteries are some of the most important factors in AEGs. All power for all AEGs originates from a battery. There are many different kinds of batteries that are used for many different purposes. The main battery types are LIPO, NIMH, LIFE, and NICD. 

Lipo
 

LIPO batteries are often used by more experienced players who need a higher performance capability from their batteries. LIPO stands for lithium polymer. LIPO batteries are best known for having high power in a small cell.

Safety

LIPO batteries are also very volatile. They can be unstable if used improperly and in worst case scenario, even become explosive. Not all LIPO batteries are highly unstable though. Some manufacturers produce more stable batteries than others. Some brands are known for unstable batteries that "expand" when the environment is too unstable for them. When a LIPO battery "expands" the cells puff out and the battery is no longer usable. This is the most common form of LIPO battery malfunction. While it is not dangerous, this is extremely frustrating if it happens often due to compounding expenses of purchasing new batteries. It is extremely dangerous for LIPO battery leads to touch, if the positive and negative ends touch each other, it can rapidly cause expanding or even an explosion. Do not throw away a LIPO battery. You should give it to someone who will properly dispose of the battery. If they go into a landfill and become unstable enough to explode, it could ignite the methane from the landfill causing the landfill to either explode or catch fire. 

Charging

LIPO batteries do not charge in the same way as NIMH or NICD batteries, these batteries need to be balance charged for longevity. Balance charging requires special chargers which plug into an extra set of plugs that LIPO batteries have and directly charge individual cells in a way that stabilizes them so they avoid becoming dangerous. Because of their volatility, it is highly recommended to place a LIPO battery inside a fireproof charging bag or a metal ammo container or any other fireproof container while charging. This is done in case they do explode to avoid any damage to the surroundings. Always check the battery before you begin charging, if they are damaged or punctured in any way, do not charge them. They should not be charged in environment conditions outside the range of 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid cell leakage. If a LIPO battery has expanded, do not try to charge it, this increases the likelihood of an explosion.

 

Storage

Do not store these batteries within reach of children. Similarly to charging, store your batteries in a fireproof container. Always make sure to store LIPO batteries within the rage of 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid the cells expanding or becoming unstable. Every 2-4 months, take out the LIPO batteries and recharge them to approximately 50% charge on a balancing smart charger. If your charger has a storage charge function, it will automatically charge the battery to the proper charge.

 

Composition

A single LIPO cell has nominal voltage of 3.7 volts versus a NIMH cell which only has 1.2 volts. The most common cell makeup for lipo is a 3 cell design or a 2 cell design. 3 cells wired in SERIES gives off a voltage rating of 11.1 volts. 2 cells would rate at 7.4 volts. However, the max running charge of LIPO cells does change when fully charged. LIPO battery cells can max out at 4.2 volts until they are partially drained.

Conclusion

Lipo batteries provide that extra performance demanded by serious players in a small package but not without its costs. If you want to use LIPO batteries, you must be well aware of the dangers and how to properly handle them to avoid any problem. In the hands of an experienced user, LIPO batteries can be excellent tools to increase your guns performance. So long as they are of good quality and being properly handled, LIPO batteries can be safe. While they can be safe, it is always recommended (even for experienced users) to always be careful and ensure you are following proper guidelines.

NIMH
Main source: Justin (Callsign Rambomaw)

Nickel-metal Hydride or NiMH (for short) batteries come in many variants for airsoft. Stick, butterfly/nun-chuck, saddle, brick, styles are the basic styles. While NiMH batteries don’t hold a charge like LIPO, they are more reliable than them in cold weather which makes them perfect for snowy areas. While problems arise with all types of batteries in cold temperatures, these batteries are less likely to fail than Lipo or similar batteries. While older batteries of NiMH or Lipo have a problem called “Battery Memory” where the battery must be fully drained before it is recharged, new NiMH batteries have fixed this issue.  NiMH battery cells have a voltage rating of 1.2 volts and typically have Mah capacities of over 1000. It is recommended that you use a smart charger when charging NiMH batteries because overcharging (continuing to feed electrical energy to the battery after the cells are at their maximum capacity) can cause the battery to expand and explode, or melt, or in the best case (and most common) scenario, just damage the chemicals inside allowing it to hold less capacity than before.

LIFE
NICD
MAH
Volts
Connectors
Wiring

Sources

“Lipo Battery Safety Guide NZ.” ICharger NZ, www.icharger.co.nz/buying/resources-faq/lipo-lithium-battery-safety-guide/.

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