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Best Charger Options for 6S 5000mah batteries

SHWA

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I have been researching the best charger option for weeks and still have not made a decision. Does anyone have a good recommendation for chargers. Assume 6s 5,000Mah batteries. Preferably around $100 if possible. I don't race or anything but don't want to be sitting around for hours minding lipo batteries being charged. I was thinking a dual charger would be nice but if it was fast enough I wouldn't have to have a dual.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I have been looking at options like using a power supply from Lipo Connection Solutions with a DC charger but since I don't race or anything it may be preferable to have an AC all in one charger.
 

SHWA

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Thanks
It looks like DC chargers with an external power supply will be the best option.
 

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I am getting an education in my research so I thought I would share for any noobs like me. If I make any mistakes, please correct me.

Watts = Volts x Amps

So when evaluating chargers and power supplies and things you need to look at what your demands are and what the limiting factor is. If, like me, you are looking at a 6s (22.2v) battery with 5000MAH the maximum demands would depend on things like the max charge rate recommended by the battery manufacturer.

One of the batteries that I was researching states that the specs are as follows.

Capacity5000mAh
Voltage22.2V / 6-Cell / 6S1P
Discharge Rate70C Continual / 140C Burst
Charge Rate5C Max

1C = Capacity in mAh/1000 = 5.0Amps

So theoretically the maximum charge rate would be at 25.0Amps (5C x 5Amps)

If you had a 12v charger/power supply then you would need 300 Watts (25Amps * 12Volts) of power to maximize your charge rate. This assuming that your set-up could handle the 25Amps.

If you bumped things up to 24V then this would require 600 Watts (25Amps * 24Volts) of power.

Any piece of the puzzle could be a limiting factor.

So if we looked at one of the charger specs that I am considering we can see the following.

Charging Power: DC 500W
Charging Current: 0.1A-20.0A
Discharging Power: 15W
Discharging Current: 0.1A-1.5A
Input Voltage: DC 10-34V
Output Voltage: DC 1-34V

It looks like a limiting factor here would be the charging current as the maximum would be 20A vs the 25A that the battery could theoretically handle.

To calculate the power supply needed to maximize this charger we would see the following.

Max Current limited by charger: 20A
Max Watts limited by charger: 500W
Voltage result is: 25V

So to maximize my options I would want a power supply for this specific charger that could produce at least 24v and 500W. Then it would be up to me to decide at what C rate I would want to charge but that would be limited to a maximum of 4C (20A).

So look at your limiting factors so that you can match up the best options. Many people only charge at 1C or 2C rates regardless. If that is the case then obviously your needs for charger and power supply reduce significantly vs. if you are trying to max things out by what the manufacturer states capabilities are.
 

Billl DeLong

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I prefer to go off the max voltage for the load calculation of 4.20V/cell

6S x 4.2V = 25.2V

You also want to deduct about 10-15% of charger inefficiency, some higher quality chargers will be more efficient.

If you were to get an iCharger, it is limited to 47A input per port, not all brands have this limit so do your research accordingly. 47A x 12V input = 654W input max

Then you reduce 15% for inefficiency = 480W input max
Then you calculate the max rate a 12V supply can handle for a 6S pack = 480W/25.2V = 19A

Chances are you could probably set the charger to 20A and be okay which is very reasonable for a 6S charge time around 15-20 min at this rate for a 5Ah pack.

The lower the quality of the charger, the longer the CCCV cycle will tend to take and will extend your charge times where the Antimatter charger I linked in my article might take around 25-30 min to charge at 20A but the iCharger will do it in 15-20 min at the same 20A charge rate.... these are relative to charger efficiency and quality of battery. The closer the IR between cells, the faster the battery will balance charge, as packs age the IR grows farther apart the packs will take longer to balance. Higher quality chargers will be able to apply a higher balance current during the CCCV cycle than lower quality chargers.

Do yourself a favor and buy a higher quality charger if your goal is to save charge times ;)
 
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SHWA

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Thanks, appreciate the input. I would definitely go with the higher quality charger.
 

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You want to go off the max voltage for your load calculation of 4.20V/cell

6S x 4.2V = 25.2V

You also want to deduct about 10-15% of charger inefficiency, some higher quality chargers will be more efficient.

If you were to get an iCharger, it is limited to 47A input per port, not all brands have this limit so do your research accordingly. 47A x 12V input = 654W input max

Then you reduce 15% for inefficiency = 480W input max
Then you calculate the max rate a 12V supply can handle for a 6S pack = 480W/25.2V = 19A

Chances are you could probably set the charger to 20A and be okay which is very reasonable for a 6S charge time around 15-20 min at this rate for a 5Ah pack.

The lower the quality of the charger, the longer the CCCV cycle will tend to take and will extend your charge times where the Antimatter charger I linked in my article might take around 25-30 min to charge at 20A but the iCharger will do it in 15-20 min at the same 20A charge rate.... these are relative to charger efficiency.

Do yourself a favor and buy a higher quality charger if your goal is to save charge times ;)
Thanks, did not know this.
Never to old to learn.
 

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Thanks. I will go with a 24V power supply. Appreciate the input.
 

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If you go the DC route with chargers, I would advise getting a 24v power supply ..👍🏼

Here is a calculator you can use https://www.radiocontrolinfo.com/information/rc-calculators/rc-charger-wattage-calculator/

I can't argue that a 24V supply wouldn't be better, but I don't feel it's necessary for the extra expense, for 20A charge rates a 12V-750W supply is more than adequate for a 6S-5Ah pack.

If he wants to charge any higher than 20A then yes a 24V supply will be required for most brands of chargers.

I also would like to point out that calculator is based on 3.7V/cell for its calculations where I prefer to go off 4.2V/cell to allow more buffer.... and if someone were to charge LiHV voltages up to 4.35V/cell then that should be accounted for as well.

That calculator is pretty cool, but would be nice to allow the user to select max charge rate as opposed to nominal storage charge rates, again, just my personal preference :)
 

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Since we are on the subject, do you have any recommended power supplies? Have you dealt with Lipo Connection Solutions?
 

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BashingBrian

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I only added that calculator as it's a good starting point for someone that doesn't know much to begin with..👍🏼
I personally went with a 24v power supply because for me I could source it cheaper than a 12v, go figure 🤔🤪
The charger I use is the ISDT T6 Lite, it's an amazing charger for its size and price, paired with 500w 24v DC supply..

I got a little carried away with the ISDT products..🤣🤣 the build quality is superb and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone who's looking for charging products.

IMG_2353 2.jpeg
 

Billl DeLong

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Something else to consider is that almost all supplies sold are not new supplies, they are typically bought used from retired servers and re-sold for dirt cheap scrap yard pricing, then companies will refurbish the supplies and convert them for R/C use.

I only added that calculator as it's a good starting point for someone that doesn't know much to begin with..👍🏼
It's really a great starting point, I love it and have already bookmarked it, thanks for going through the trouble to make it! If you have the ability to enhance the voltage as an input parameter for the calculation I would appreciate that immensely!

I personally went with a 24v power supply because for me I could source it cheaper than a 12v, go figure 🤔🤪

So I've been buying my 12V supplies for around $15 shipped, would you please share your source for 24V supplies? I will gladly start running 24V if they can be found for around the same price! I know I can run two 12V supplies in series but didn't feel the need to double the weight and space in my charger case as I only charge 2S packs at 40A for my current needs.
 

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It looks like I can get an ISDT Q8 Max for around $90 which seems to be pretty good bang for the buck. Leaning that direction.

ISDT Q8 Max
Max Charge Capacity1000W
Input VoltageDC 10-34V
Max Input Current33A
Output VoltageDC 1-34V
Charge Current0.2-30.0A
Discharge Current0.2-3.0A
Max Discharge Capacity30W
Balance Current1.5A/Cell Max
Balance Cells2-8S

Appreciate that help you all have provided!!!
 

Billl DeLong

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I would compare it to the iCharger X6


ISDT Q8 MaxiCharger X6
Max Charge Capacity1000W800W
Input VoltageDC 10-34VDC 10-32V
Max Input Current33A35A
Output VoltageDC 1-34VDC 1-34V
Charge Current0.2-30.0A0.2-30.0A
Discharge Current0.2-3.0A0.2-30.0A
Max Discharge Capacity30W30W
Balance Current1.5A/Cell Max2A/Cell Max
Balance Cells2-8S2-6S



So what does this mean?

The iCharger X6 is more efficient and will complete the CCCV cycle more quickly, but how much more efficient is it?

Simply take the difference between the Balance Current:

2.0A / 1.5A = 1.33 = 33% more efficient!

This won't make much of a difference with brand new packs when the cells are perfectly matched IR, however as each pack ages the IR on 1 or more cells will start to fade and this problem is compounded with more cells you are trying to balance, so the X6 will complete the balancing (CCCV) cycle roughly 33% faster than the Q8 charger.

If a charger doesn't provide the balance current in their specs, then I wouldn't even consider it as an option :(
 
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SHWA

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I keep learning and every time I think I figure something out. I get a new lesson! Fortunately I like to learn and to research.

I assume that you would think that the iCharger X8 is worth the extra $10 vs the X6.

I'm glad that you are on here so much @Billl DeLong !
 

Billl DeLong

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If you think you might have a need to charge 8S then yes it might be worth it, but I don't really see any other advantage other than the support up to 1100W.... it can be very confusing with so many options to consider... only drawback to iCharger is they have a steep learning curve, I recommend watching lots of YouTube videos to understand how to operate them! Once you get them configured the way you need, then they will be very easy and fast to charge/check your IR while charging, etc...
 

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