LiPo 6S Battery 101: All About LiPo 6S Batteries
Lithium Polymer batteries are a special type of lithium rechargeable batteries that feature electrolytes in the form of polymer gel. Also, they feature graphic anode and the cathode in the form of a Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) or some similar material.
Lithium polymer 6S batteries, also known as LiPo 6S batteries pack some serious punch and should be handled with care and as recommended by their manufacturers.
Published: September 20, 2021.
LiPo 6S Batteries Features and Specifications
LiPo 6S batteries consist of 6 (six) rechargeable lithium polymer cells connected in series - so-called 6S1P configuration.
Each individual LiPo cell features a nominal voltage of 3.7 volts (rarely 3.6 volts), a maximum charging voltage of 4.2 volts, and a cutoff voltage of 2.7 - 3.0 volts (may slightly differ among the brands), although it is generally recommended to stop with the discharge as soon as the cell voltage drops down to 3.2V.
As such, LiPo 6S batteries feature a nominal voltage of 22.2V, a maximum charging voltage of 25.2V, and recommended cutoff voltage of 19.2V.
Again, LiPo 6S batteries can be drained below 19.2 volts, but that may shorten their operating lifetime and can cause other potential issues.
Note: When You receive your new 6S or any similar LiPo battery, do yourself a favor and read the manual thoroughly, especially about charging, discharging, balancing, and similar.
The physical dimensions of the 6S LiPo batteries depend on their nominal capacity which may vary from several hundred mAh to 5-10+ Ah.
Smaller 6S LiPo batteries are often used for powering helicopters, drones, quadcopters, RC airplanes, and similar applications, while larger 6S LiPo batteries are used for powering RC trucks, RC cars and other RC vehicles, RV boats, and even larger electric airplanes, helicopters, and drones.
The maximum discharge current of the 6S LiPo batteries is usually between 15C and 100C, with some models supporting burst currents up to 200C!
Note: with 22.2V, 6S LiPo batteries are strong, powerful, and relatively lightweight batteries, being able to provide plenty of energy in a short period of time. As all LiPo batteries they may overheat, burst into flames, or even explode ... Whatever You do with them, safety first!
Thus, a LiPo 6S battery with the capacity of, for example, 4000 mAh and a maximum discharge current of 100C can provide up to 400 Amps - with the voltage of ~22V, that is ~8800 watts!
Despite having very strong discharge currents, LiPo 6S batteries should be recharged using 0.5C-1.0C charging currents, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
When charging LiPo batteries in general, one should never leave the LiPo batteries unattended - again, they may overheat and burst into flames easily, if something goes wrong with the battery.
For charging 6S LiPo batteries, balance chargers/dischargers are recommended - such battery chargers charge the lithium batteries using CC/CV (Constant Current/Constant Voltage) or a similar charging algorithm optimized for LiPo batteries.
Also, such battery chargers balance each cell in the battery pack, prolonging the operating time of the charged battery.
Note: although not always mentioned by many manufacturers, when You get a new battery, be sure to make few charging/discharging cycles at controlled conditions, gradually increasing the DoD% of the battery (for example, 25%, 50%, 75%), while keeping the discharging currents relatively low. Some manufacturers even claim that such practice is not required, but...
LiPo 6S batteries feature two sets of cables, one for charging and one for discharging.
Charging cables feature JST-XH(R) plugs and allow the chargers to charge the whole battery pack and to balance each cell individually. Since charging currents are much weaker than the discharging currents, charging cables are also much thinner than the discharging cables.
Discharging cables are thick and feature various plugs, for example, XT60, XT90, XT150, IC5/EC5, etc.
For a battery to be compatible with a certain application, it must be of proper voltage, capacity, current rating, and main battery (discharging) connector.
If the main battery (discharging) connector is different, it can be physically replaced with the proper connector (which can render the warranty void) or a suitable adaptor can be used.
In order to increase the safety of the LiPo batteries, it is recommended to store, charge and transport them in fireproof and even explosion-proof bags.
However, it is also important to avoid as much as possible battery vibrations and mechanical impacts, overheating the battery, overcharging the battery, and similar.
For example, after the battery is discharged, let it cool for at least 30 minutes before charging it again.
LiPo 6S batteries can withstand 150 or even more charging/discharging cycles, but this depends on the discharge current, charge current, charging algorithm, end charging voltage, average battery temperature, etc.
Long Story Short: With a nominal voltage of 22.2V, discharging current of up to 100-200C, LiPo 6S batteries are strong, relatively durable, and rather lightweight batteries commonly used for various RC applications, toys, tools, and similar.
With an average weight of 150-230 Wh/kg, LiPo 6S batteries are also suitable for FPV, quadcopters, drones, and similar applications where batteries with high energy densities are required.
Because they are able to store so much energy and are able to release that energy quickly, always treat LiPo 6S batteries as recommended by their manufacturer - better safe than sorry.