Parallel Charging, by Alan Butterworth
We are told that to maximise the life of our LiPo batteries we should never leave them either fully charges or exhausted. It is recommended that they are stored arouind around 3.80v a cell, and most chargers have a Storage setting to achieve that. So we dutifully put our batteries to sleep, but then we wake up to a perfect day for flying that was not forecast (surely that doesn’t happen???) and, yes, we have no charged batteries. What to do? Well you could, with some batteries, fast charge them say at 5c but we are warned against that as it is liable to drastically shorten their life (not to mention setting your workshop on fire if things go wrong!). What to do? A rather than buying a number of charges, a cheaper answer is to use a parallel charging board which allows you to charge up to six 6S batteries at the same time, depending on your charger’s maximum amp output. These are really cheap on such as Bangood or Ebay, and available for Deans, XT30 and XT60 connecters. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned that they wouldn’t balance batteries very well, but they do.
Using them is simple – just connect your batteries (which have to be the same capacity and state of charge) to the plugs and balance leads and set up your charger on balance mode and the right amps to charge; the latter needing a bit of maths which shouldn’t tax your brain. For example, you want to charge four 3S 1300 batteries; the parallel charging board will see the batteries as a single 3S 5200. Therefore, just set the charger at 3S and near 5.2A, and the batteries should turn out to be fully charged and nicely balanced while you eat your breakfast.