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Construct a DIY LiPo Battery Discharger utilizing Halogen Mild Bulbs

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I’ll present you the right way to simply construct a DIY LiPo Battery Discharger utilizing halogen gentle bulbs. This discharger is able to dealing with 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S, and 6S LiPo batteries. A halogen bulb discharger is an efficient technique for discharging LiPo batteries, both for storage or disposal.

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There are different strategies of discharging LiPo batteries, discover out extra right here: https://oscarliang.com/dispose-lipo-battery-safely/.

How one can Use

Merely plug your battery into the sunshine bulb discharger and place it in a fire-safe space.

In case you are discharging for storage, monitor the battery voltage carefully. When the voltage drops to round 3.85V per cell, unplug the battery. The cells might not be balanced and will require additional balancing utilizing a LiPo charger in storage mode.

Additional Studying: how ought to LiPo batteries be dealt with correctly: https://oscarliang.com/lipo-battery-guide/

In case you are discharging for disposal, depart the battery plugged in till the sunshine goes out, indicating that discharging has stopped. Be aware that halogen gentle bulbs have a cutoff voltage of round 1 to 2V, which means they gained’t utterly discharge the battery. Affirm the ultimate voltage utilizing a multimeter set to voltage mode: https://oscarliang.com/multimeter-fpv/#How-to-Measure-DC-Voltage.

If there’s a little bit cost left, I merely join it to an influence resistor to carry the voltage to zero, which shouldn’t take lengthy. Lastly, end it off by rigorously shorting the optimistic and adverse leads within the battery in a fire-safe place earlier than disposing.

This technique can utterly discharge a totally charged 4S 1500mAh LiPo battery in lower than an hour.

LiPo Discharger Circuit Diagram

I exploit 6 gentle bulbs on this discharger, together with an on-off toggle change.

There are alternatives for 12V/24V discharging modes:

  • 12V for 2S/3S LiPo
  • 24V for 4S and 6S

The utmost voltage of a 6S LiPo is 25.2V, which is increased than 24V, nevertheless it must be high quality for brief durations, particularly since you might be typically discharging half-empty batteries.

The halogen bulbs I’m utilizing are rated at 20W, so at 12V, every will draw 1.67A of present. With 3 bulbs in parallel, the whole present draw can be round 5A, theoretically draining a 3S 2000mAh battery in simply 24 minutes. Nonetheless, because the voltage of the battery drops, the present draw decreases, and the discharge will take longer than 24 minutes.

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-circuit-schematics

I’ve saved the design so simple as doable, all of the components can be found on Amazon or AliExpress. The full value must be lower than $10.

12V 20W Halogen Bulbs x 6:

3-pin PCB screw terminals x 4:

Prototyping board x 1:

Two lengthy electrical wires appropriate for the discharging present (my max discharging present is 10A, so 20AWG must be sufficient. Take a look at this Wire AWG Chart for the acceptable wire gauge):

Male & feminine XT60 connectors x 1:

Male 3.5mm bullet connector x 1 (might be inserted into XT60 feminine connector):

On-off toggle change x 1 (elective):

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-components-parts

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-discharge-mode-plugs

Constructing the LiPo Discharger

PCB Screw Terminals

You possibly can solder the sunshine bulbs on to the PCB, however I favor utilizing screw PCB terminals for simpler bulb alternative when wanted (though I didn’t have to switch a single bulb within the 6 years I’d been utilizing this discharger). In addition they probably assist you to join various kinds of electrical masses, equivalent to excessive energy resistors, making it a extra versatile system.

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-PCB-socket

Make sure you add loads of solder to deal with the excessive present.

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-PCB-solder-bottom

12V/24V Discharging Mode Change

The sunshine bulbs are rated for 12V, so for discharging a 4S battery or increased, you could put these bulbs in sequence, successfully doubling the voltage ranking to 24V.

For this reason I’m utilizing a 3.5mm bullet connector, performing because the “mode change”. You need to use it to attach both simply the primary array of bulbs for discharging 2S-3S LiPo (3 bulbs related in sequence) , or to 2 arrays of bulbs related in parallel for discharging 6S LiPo (3 bulbs per array, 6 bulbs in complete).

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-discharge-mode-plugs-solder

On-Off Change and Discharge Cables

The on-off change is elective, as you’ll be able to flip off the discharger by merely unplugging the battery (or the bullet connector). Nonetheless, a toggle change might be extra handy and safer, permitting for fast shutdown throughout an emergency.

I exploit additional lengthy electrical wires to maintain the battery as removed from the sunshine bulbs as doable throughout discharging in case of a hearth.

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-on-off-switch

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-on-off-switch-solder

Future Upgrades

These bulbs can get very heat! I’m contemplating including a fan on high to assist in warmth dissipation. A small fan sometimes requires 5V, which might require a step-down voltage regulator that will get energy from the battery being discharged.

I additionally plan to use liquid electrical tape over all soldered joints and connections to stop brief circuits.

Testing

I examined the unit with only one bulb related.

Upon turning on the sunshine bulbs, I noticed an preliminary present surge of two.6A, which rapidly stabilized at 1.6A. If I reconnect the bulb rapidly, the surge doesn’t appear to happen once more, which is an attention-grabbing statement, let me know within the feedback in why.

These bulbs are rated at 20W. With a battery at 11.9V, the precise energy draw is 19W, which is barely decrease than anticipated however okay.

Within the 24V discharging mode (utilizing two arrays of bulbs in parallel), the facility consumption drops by practically half as anticipated. Due to this fact, when you’ve partially discharged your 4S or 6S battery beneath 12V, it’s advisable to modify to the 12V discharge mode for extra environment friendly discharging.

lipo-discharger-light-bulb-build-testing-result

Edit Historical past

  • Oct 2015 – Article Created
  • Jan 2018 – Up to date article with a listing of construct parts
  • Jan 2024 – Up to date directions and product hyperlinks

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