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Thread: Parallel charging: watts/volts/amps- overwhelmed and looking for help

  1. #1
    Navigator FPVme's Avatar
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    Parallel charging: watts/volts/amps- overwhelmed and looking for help

    I'm sick of waiting for batteries to charge. I've currently got 4 chargers and still.. at best it takes me 3 hours to have all my batteries charged. I want to get into parallel charging but watts/volts/amps are something I haven't mastered yet.

    My equipment currently is:
    3x Imax B6AC chargers
    1x copterx b601 charger

    my batteries are:
    4x 4s 4500mah (uav)
    1x 4s 5000mah (uav)
    1x 4s 3300mah (uav)
    2x 3s 3300mah (ground station battery)
    1x 3s 1000mah (ezuhf) (I might be switching to the trappy mod requiring no battery though)
    3x 2s 1000mah (fatshark batteries)

    Can I use one of my 2 chargers to parallel charge my 4s batteries and another for the 3s batteries? Another for the 2s? Do I need to buy power supplies? Am I better off getting an icharger duo or powerlab 8?

    Can someone recommend a cheap/fast setup for me?... incorporating my existing chargers if possible? I'm open to modding a server power supply if neccessary. I do like all the powerlabs safety features

    Is there a charger that also has usb outputs (2amps)?.... because I also charge gopro batteries (3x) and a pocketfinder dock. I also charge my transmitter (spectrum dx6 although I will soon be switching to my futaba 8fg)

    Help!(?)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Navigator rxhenn's Avatar
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    To get into parallel charging you just have to remember to only charge together batteries of the same cell count and the batteries must be in a similar state of discharge. You wouldn't want to plug in parallel a fully charged battery and a depleted battery. When it comes time to charge, you add up the milliamps of the batteries being charged and that's the amps used for charging. So if you were to charge all 4 of your 4S 4500mah batteries at the same time, you'd set the charger for 4S and charge at a 4x4500 or 18000mah (18amp) if you wanted a 1C charge rate. This is where buying a more expensive charger/power supply comes in play because they will be able to handle that amount of current. The cheaper chargers max out around 5amp for 4S batteries

  3. #3
    Navigator faber's Avatar
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    I use a powerlab 6 with a 600 watt Power supply, and this parallel board - http://www.revolectrix.com/MPA_XH.htm

    I charge 6 4s 4000 Batteries at a time at 6.5 amps each and they usually charge fully in about 40 minutes. That board coupled with the powerlab will safely parallel charge and balance. You can use your current chargers too. Just remember only parallel charge batteries with the same number of cells. Capacity is not a concern, Just cell number. You are basically Just making a huge battery when you parallel charge. So you just do the math and you are all set. for instance if I have a 1000 MAH Battery and I want to charge it at 1s I would charge at 1 amp. If I have 6 of them in parallel it is now a 6000 MAH (or 6 Amp Hour) battery, and I can charge it at 6 amps.

  4. #4
    Navigator faber's Avatar
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    If you have a full battery and a depleted one, and you plug them into a parallel cable they will normalize. The charged battery will actually bring the discharged cells of the discharged battery up until the levels average out. With a good parallel board it connects each of the cells of each of the batteries together by the balance taps and they will actually normalize together if you leave them plugged in (this assumes there is no damage to any of the cells mind you). I have actually saved a few batteries just by plugging them into the parallel board.

  5. #5
    Navigator FPVme's Avatar
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    I totally get how it becomes 1 pack, you add up all the mah to know your amps, and how you only charge similar cell types....

    What I'm confused on is wattage and power supplies.
    If I want to hook all my 4s batteries up to the my copterx charger (what I believe is the more powerful of the two types I own), do I need to buy a stronger power supply?

    I just have the included power supply it came with. The details of my copterx b601 charger are:


    B601 Specification:

    DC INput: 11-18V
    Charge current: 0.1 - 7.0A
    Discharge cut-off voltage: 3.0V - 4.0V
    Lithium battery type: LiPo / LiIon / LiFe
    Lithium battery cell count: 1 - 6 Cells
    NiCd / NiMH battery cell count: 1 - 16 Cells
    Pb battery voltage: 1P - 10P
    Digital power: 3 - 24V
    Firmware is upgradable online for future expansion

    WT1205000 Power Supply Adapter:
    Input: 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, 1.6A
    Output: 12V, 5.0A
    USA Wall Plug


    regarding my b6aw charger: Trappy says to never push it above 2.5 amps as they're then known to break

  6. #6
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    I am just getting into parallel charging as my Venom charger went tits up and I bought a powerlab 6.

    I have a 12v Server PSU on its way to me (12v at 74A), there are many forum threads on converting server PSU's and for $30 you can have a pretty strong supply.

    I will get http://www.progressiverc.com/paralle...t-xh-xt60.html as it has the XT60's, its not as well protected as the board faber uses, but also not as expensive.

    Basic process for parallel charging seems to be:
    Same cell count all 4s for example.
    Current voltage within .5-1.0 of each other recommended, or make the highest voltage cell the last one connected.
    Connect the batteries, then set charge current to (num of batts x charge rate).
    Sit back and wait.

    The powerlab takes it one level better though, one of the presets asks "Parallel Packs. 2P, 3P" then it will multiply your charge current for you.

    The big thing seems to be PSU, for 6 4500 packs you need 27A for 1C, but that will be 6 4500 lipos charged in 1 hour, depending on PSU and pack size you could charge at 2C or higher, that works out at constant power for flying.

    Then at that point you look for a location that has power or bring a generator

  7. #7
    Navigator FPVme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveno View Post
    for 6 4500 packs you need 27A for 1C
    So for 2C I need 54A? My B601 charger says it's current out is 7A but it's power supply says 5A....... i'm so confused. Is it bottleneced at 5A?.... meaning I need a completely different charger to do this?

  8. #8
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    Yes you are correct:
    1 pack 4500@2C = 9A
    2 packs 4500@2C = 18A
    6 packs 4500@2C = 54A

    So if you wanted to charge 4 packs of 4500 with your setup you could only charge at 5A max, which would be approx 1.25 amp per pack so 4 hours to charge approx .36C.

    The only way you can make best use of parallel charging is to have a charger that can charge at high current 20A or more then a PSU that will provide enough power to feed that charger.

    Steve.
    Last edited by steveno; 30th July 2014 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Figures wrong

  9. #9
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    Good Video here

  10. #10
    Navigator FPVme's Avatar
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    OK, so I've determined that I need a new charger(s). Thanks for the help!

    Despite wanting an Icharger duo (to charge my groundsation/fatsharks batteries at the same time), I've read the Power Lab 8 has the most safety features (doesn't let you choose wrong settings, auto detects, etc) and that is more important to me.

    Could somebody please double check my math:
    -504watts output power needed for my power supply. 6x 5000mah 4s batteries (what I plan to possibly upgrade to)
    -30A output power needed for my charger (if charged at 1c.. I want to be safe) (5A x 6 batteries)

    Does the Power Lab 6 have all the same safety features as the Power Lab 8.... anyone know? I'm unclear if the 6 will work for me because the website says:

    6:
    408W @ 12VDC;
    816W @ 24VDC;
    1000W @ 30VDC

    8:
    612W @ 12VDC;
    1224W @ 24VDC;
    1344W @ 26.35V

    I'm going to be charging at 16.8 volts dc, correct?..... so with the Power Lab 6 my wattage out is somewhere between 408w and 816w... how do I know? Is it proportionate?

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