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Would a lithium-ion store a current pulse?

  1. Nov 28, 2013 #1
    Let's say i have a 2-3Ah LiPo RC battery pack, rated at 80C discharge, and 2C charge.

    It gets connected to an inductor for several milliseconds, allowing a current of about 200A to build up. Then it gets disconnected, and a set of diodes rectify the current from the inductor back into the battery.

    What would happen to the battery?
    Would it accept this pulse of ~80C charge, would it just heat up, would it get damaged?

    If it was a capacitor instead of a battery, then the energy would just have been stored back for later use with little loss, but can a lithium battery store a rapid pulse like that?
    In other words, would there be any gain compared with simply burning off the energy from the inductor on something resistive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Even if the cell were able to accommodate a heavy current pulse, I'd expect most of its energy to be lost as heat.

    But I have no idea whether a small LiPo battery can handle heavy current pulses.
  4. Nov 30, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    If there are internal protection circuits, they may be extremely unhappy with this (will be damaged).

    I would look at the voltage waveform across the battery during the recharge pulse.
    If it goes way high, then the chemistry is not responding to the recharge current. It may spike high initially, then respond, in which case a large capacitor may help.

    If the positive voltage change during recharge is not much higher than the negative change during discharge, then maybe you are OK.

    Lipo pulse chargers have algorithms to deal with chemistry issues (bubbles and such), but you are not really charging the battery. But, you could be damaging it anyway.

    Also depends on how often you do it and how hot the battery normally gets.

    Have you done the math to see if it is worth it?
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