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To play aeromodelling, you need to understand the battery!

by:dcfpower     2021-03-13

Battery knowledge is the basis of various electric models, especially for model airplanes. More than 20 years have passed, and power batteries have developed greatly. Ni-MH batteries, lithium ion batteries, and lithium polymer batteries have come out one after another. They have made their debut on the aircraft model stage.

1. What is a power battery?

The model that uses an electric motor as the engine is called an electric model, and the battery that drives this kind of motor is called a power battery. It is quite different from other batteries, which is very important to the performance of the model aircraft.

Two. Types of power batteries and their development profile

There are many types of batteries that can be used as power for electric model aircraft, including solar batteries, silver-zinc batteries, lithium batteries, and nickel-cadmium batteries. , Ni-MH battery, etc. The output current of solar cells is too small, and the area must be large to make the electric model airplane fly, and the cost is very expensive, so few people care about it. The specific energy of the silver-zinc battery is very high (the ratio of energy to weight, unit: watt-hour/kg), the large current discharge capacity is very strong, but the repeated service life is short, and the price is expensive, easy to leak, and cannot be dumped. Apart from being used by people in record-setting flights in the past, no one cares about it. At present, the mainstream products that people use on model aircraft are nickel series (including nickel-hydrogen batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries) and emerging lithium batteries (including lithium-ion batteries and lithium polymer batteries).

The reason why electric model airplanes became popular in European and American countries in the 1970s was mainly due to the fact that nickel-cadmium batteries, which are powerful and capable of repeated charging and discharging, had entered the stage of practical promotion and mass production at that time. The nickel-hydrogen battery, which came out more than 10 years later, showed an advantage of 50% to 100% higher than the nickel-cadmium battery in terms of specific energy. But in terms of high-current discharge capacity, it has been significantly behind the nickel-cadmium battery for a long time. However, by the beginning of the 21st century, nickel-metal hydride batteries were no less than nickel-cadmium batteries or even surpassed nickel-cadmium batteries. In addition, it has the advantages of small memory effect and low environmental pollution. One of the mainstream varieties. However, nickel-cadmium batteries have been banned in Europe due to serious environmental pollution, and they are being phased out in my country.

Lithium batteries were only used as disposable batteries in the early days. They are not rechargeable. They have extremely high specific energy but large internal resistance, so they cannot provide a large current to make electric model airplanes fly. But by the end of the last century, there were already rechargeable lithium batteries, but the lithium batteries at that time were very expensive, and the discharge capacity was barely enough to keep the plane flying (the climb relies on silver-zinc batteries).

In the early days, the research on lithium batteries was mainly for military purposes. Later, driven by the huge economic interests in civilian use, people paid more attention and investment to them. As a result, breakthrough progress was made at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. At present, lithium batteries have eliminated nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries in the fields of mobile phones, video cameras, and portable computers. The promotion of lithium batteries in remotely controlled model airplanes is still in the past five or six years. Initially, foreign enthusiasts tried lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones to fly the plane, and achieved excellent results with a much longer space time than nickel-cadmium batteries. Then, it attracted the participation of manufacturers in two industries: battery and model. However, soon after the lithium battery pack was combined with the aircraft model, its sibling, the lithium polymer battery, showed a stronger and more suitable strength in the large-current discharge capacity of the aircraft model, thus squeezing the lithium battery pack to the side and quickly It has grown into the mainstream variety of model airplane power batteries. After about two years of development, lithium polymer batteries are currently superior to nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries in terms of high-current discharge capacity. It is only limited by factors such as charging, maintenance, life, and price. Promotion is subject to certain restrictions. From a long-term development point of view, aeromodelling power battery will be the world of lithium batteries for a long period of time from now on.

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