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Old 11-13-2017, 05:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How hot can they go?

Apparently, living in Perth, Western Australia (the most isolated capital city in the world) we qualify as WWDs.

We fly all year round and it can get pretty hot during summer. Last year I flew my 550Ls most of the summer, but not on days that were 38C (100F) or higher.

The ESCs came down sometimes at 50C+ and the motor usually a little lower but in the same range. Batteries, usually in the low 40s.

This year I'm also flying the MSH Protos MAX V2 Leggero and am about to build the 800 Evoluzione. Since I don't want to stuff anything up it got me wondering what are the safe limits for warm/hot weather flying for:
Motors, ESCs, Batteries? Anything else to look out for?

Also, in a similar vein, I've decided not to take off if the ESC temperature is above 30C (on normal days 20C-30C) after a flight to allow for sufficient recovery. Is that reasonable?

TIA,
Paolo
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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50C is no big deal. Castle Creations lists an absolute maximum of 100C for their ESCs; Hobbywing starts to cut of at 110C; I don't see YGEs spec listed. In general LiPos should be OK to 60C (but don't charge them hot). Scorpion motors have a max of 180C. Except for LiPos you have to check the specs on the equipment you're using.

I expect that if you have good equipment, then unless you're doing full-smack 3D or a lot of hovering in place, you'll overheat before the equipment does.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
50C is no big deal. Castle Creations lists an absolute maximum of 100C for their ESCs; Hobbywing starts to cut of at 110C; I don't see YGEs spec listed. In general LiPos should be OK to 60C (but don't charge them hot). Scorpion motors have a max of 180C. Except for LiPos you have to check the specs on the equipment you're using.

I expect that if you have good equipment, then unless you're doing full-smack 3D or a lot of hovering in place, you'll overheat before the equipment does.
Thanks, nybbler,

I did realise that the specs were higher than I'm using. I was more looking for "best practice". However, your comments are encouraging. I'm using "good equipment" but the batteries are Hobbyking (various 6S packs - including graphene). Out here it's difficult to get good batteries at anything like reasonable prices.

I'm interested in the LiPo 60C. I was told, that above 40C things were getting a bit on the critical side. However, a bit of research prompted by your reply suggests that up to 45C may be acceptable. I guess if I can't get the Battery Temp in flight, checking on landing I should aim for no more than 40C.

Paolo
I'm flying mild 3D so, I'll just
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Conflicting advice

So, some further research showed up the following conflicting advice (isn't the Internet wonderful?):
  • A warm LiPo will charge, and discharge better than a LiPo at room temp. Warm is actually good, and hot is not. Especially if you have to put out the fire. Be sure to check the specs on your packs.
  • Always remember that heat is the number one enemy of LiPo batteries. The hotter your batteries get, the shorter their lifespan will be. Never charge a battery that is still warm from usage, and never use a battery that is still warm from charging.

Obviously, the posters are using relative or non-specific terms "room temperature", "warm", "hot" etc.

Is there any definitive temperatures one could specify for:
  • Min, Best, Max charging temperature
  • Min, Best, Max storage temperature

Paolo
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't really remember the temps for sure but I think 120F is really what I want to land at maximum to get a decent amount of cycles. That isn't exactly ideal and frankly at this point I begin to check voltage cell by cell to see if they vary more than .2 per cell so I can know if I am damaging them. So for example if cell1 is 3.74 volts per cell and cell2 is 3.72 volts per cell I know I'm killing packs faster than I wish to.

The thing is, colder is always better, heat changes EVERYTHING. However, if you charge while cooler but then the packs become warm the voltage can increase per cell to greater than > 4.20 volts per cell and this is a dangerous situation. As you likely know this is the recipe for spontaneous combustion by voltage.

I am not a Lithium professional I only know what I have learned by Google and with experience. Research and practice these things at your own risk please. I believe the local fire department found that spontaneous combustion is around 176.667C or 350F but I am going by memory here.
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Last edited by HeliSmith; 11-14-2017 at 09:30 AM.. Reason: not sure about the temps I do it by touch now
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