LiFePo4 batteries are safer to use than LiPo, but there are some drawbacks. They are often used in RC for transmitters. This blog was initially part of RC Transmitters – Turnigy 9XR Pro, but has become its own separate article.
See also the blog on LiPo Batteries.
As an aside, from the video, LiFe batteries explained, to estimate the number of flights possible from a battery, follow the process below:
On average you use 50 mAh per servo per 12 min flight
6 servos in an average plane, gives 6 x 50 mAh = 300 mAh per flight (ESTIMATE)
For a 3000 mAh battery that gives an estimated ten flights.
On a fully charged battery do 5 flights (1/2 of your estimated maximum).
Stop flying, and then recharge the battery. Do a fast charge, not a balanced charge.
If the battery takes 1000mAh, then per flight, you actually used 1000/5 = 200 mAh.
This now means that a 3000 mAh battery can give you 15 flights maximum.
This video mentions the differences between LiFePo4 and LiPo:
- It is important to “run in” a new LiFePo4 battery, which has a 20 cycle break-in/run-in requirement (LiPo has a 3 cycle requirement). Chargers with a cycling feature can save time.
- You can charge at up to 5C, although 2C is best, whereas LiPo require 1C charging.
- 2000 charge cycles (300-500 max on LiPo).
- LiFePo4 have a lower nominal voltage per cell than LiPo, 3.3 V vs 3.7 V.
- LiFePo4 are heavier for the same capacity, or less capacity for the same size/weight.
- ESC must cut of at 2.8 V, rather than 3.2 V for LiPo.
- LiFePo4 hold a constant voltage for longer, but then suffer a sharp drop off.