5S LiPo Batteries: All About 5S Lithium Polymer Batteries
5S Lithium-Polymer (also known as LiPo, Lipo, Li-Po) batteries are very popular high-drain rechargeable batteries commonly used in high-performance RC models, toys, drones, in hobby projects, and similar.
Lithium Polymer batteries feature electrolytes in the form of polymer gel (hence the name) with graphic anode and cathode in the form of a Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) or some similar material. Also, they have very low internal resistance and can provide huge currents.
Published: October 17, 2022.
5S LiPo Batteries Features and Specifications
As their name suggests, 5S LiPo batteries feature 5 LiPo battery cells connected in series, providing a nominal voltage of 18.5V (~3.7V per cell).
As such, most of the 5S LiPo batteries used for RC applications feature 5S1P construction (5 cells in series, only one parallel).
With a maximum voltage of ~4.2V per cell, 5S batteries feature a maximum charging voltage of 21V. Also, with a minimum voltage of ~3.2V per cell, these batteries feature a minimum voltage of 16V.
Note: Lithium Polymer batteries are very sensitive to charging and discharging conditions and can burst into flames when overcharged. Also, over-discharging them may shorten their number of charging/discharging cycles. Also, minimum and maximum recommended voltages may vary, so always check the documentation that comes with the batteries.
LiPo batteries are discharged via thick but flexible wires, usually featuring XT60, XT90, or similar high-current connectors.
Also, Lithium Polymer batteries should be recharged using so-called balance chargers via JST-XH charging/balancing ports.
Such chargers monitor, charge and balance each cell individually, prolonging the battery lifetime, which is often in the 100-150+ full charging/discharging cycles range.
It is recommended to have a good balance charger/discharger - discharging LiPo batteries in a controlled environment can verify whether they are good or not.
Also, it is a good practice to test new batteries by gradually increasing the depth of charging/discharging cycles, first to 25% of DoD (Depth of Discharge), then to 50%, and finally to 75%, after which the battery can be used in the real-life applications.
While 5S LiPo batteries are able to provide 30-120C currents, with 240C burst current models also being available, charging currents are in the 0.5C-1.0C range.
So, when charging 5S LiPo batteries, set the rate that will fully recharge the battery in ~2 hours.
Note: never leave charging LiPo batteries unattended, even if they are relatively cold during charging. Better safe than sorry...
Fireproof bags are commonly used for working with LiPo batteries - it may sound a little bit dramatic, but these compact and lightweight batteries store a relatively large amount of energy and if something goes wrong ...
Lithium Polymer batteries are known for having somewhat soft surfaces - in order to provide users with batteries featuring more stable performances, some manufacturers offer batteries with hard cases.
Hard-case LiPo batteries may be more difficult to fit into the battery compartment, but if they can, they are recommended ones.
Note: Nonetheless, soft LiPo batteries are much more common.
Long Story Short: 5S LiPo batteries with their nominal 18.5V batteries can power a broad range of RC toys, drones, models, hobby projects, and similar applications.
When used properly, they are more or less safe batteries, just like any other LiPo battery.
So, treat your 5S LiPo batteries properly, and they will serve You for many charging/discharging cycles, sometimes even more than advertised by their manufacturers.