As we have seen on the market, lipo batteries generally come in two packages, hardcase and softcase. What is the difference between these two types of batteries? Which packaging is more suitable for our RC model?
The difference between hardcase vs softcase lipo battery
Softcase lipo batteries, using heat shrinkable plastic to bring the cells together
Hardcase lipo batteries use a hard plastic case to house the battery cell. This provides them with additional protection from moderate shocks and rough use.
We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two packaging batteries
- Softcase is lighter on the battery / battery pack and smaller in size because there is no bulky casing around the battery, which provides more power to the RC, making it faster and increasing mAh.
- Because they are soft outer protective layers, it is easy to see their expansion time and expansion.
- Compared with hardcase packaged batteries, Softcase packaged lipo batteries also have better heat dissipation performance.
- The power supply and balanced wiring are directly welded to the batteries in the battery pack, thereby further reducing weight and avoiding connection points that are more prone to failure.
- You can put more batteries in the battery package.
- The LiPo battery is installed in a hard plastic case. Help protect fragile cells from harsh environments. Of course, if the impact is too large, the hardcase cannot fully protect the battery, so you should pay attention to avoiding the battery as much as possible or adding some buffer devices during use.
- The surface of a softcase lipo battery is fragile. There is only a thin layer of heat-shrinkable plastic that wraps it and can be punctured or torn by various tools.
- If the aircraft using them crashes, they are also likely to be damaged. Be sure to thoroughly inspect all crashed batteries for damage and pay close attention during the next few charging cycles. Most RC runways and flight clubs place a bucket of sand to safely isolate suspicious batteries.
Note: With Softcase, you can actually check the battery and look for failures before a catastrophic failure occurs. If or when the battery starts to swell, it can be stopped and disposed of safely (instead of continuing to run).
- Hardcase lipo batteries will reduce capacity and reduce power potential.
- The hard box packaging can completely hide the battery expansion in the box. In the event of a crash, the cell will swell slightly. You will not see the extent of the cell damage. It will continue to operate and may damage the system, and when the expansion becomes bad enough As a result, the hard case usually breaks.
Note: If the battery is severely impacted, pay close attention to the battery in the next few charging cycles. Most RC runways and flight clubs place a bucket of sand to safely isolate suspicious batteries.
Which package is more suitable for your RC model?
Several advantages based on Softcase LiPo battery: light weight, small size, easy to find battery abnormalities, etc. RC aircraft (helicopter, airplane and quad / multi-wing) rotors, usually using RC LiPo Softcase batteries.
Hardcase lipo batteries are mainly used in RC cars, children’s cars and trucks that are vulnerable to shocks. But not all of these RCs must use hardcase lipo batteries, depending on the vehicle, as some RC cars and trucks provide good physical battery protection. It also depends on actual usage, for example, there may be more “collision” events in competition with other vehicles.
How to know if the battery is a softcase or a hardcase?
Generally speaking, if it is a hardcase, the seller usually writes it in the title or description. If you want to judge from the appearance that the battery you have is the kind of packaging, it is also very easy.
In general, the hardcase shape is relatively square and very flat, because the outer plastic shell is not easy to deform. As shown below.
For softcase, its shape is not so flat, especially the shrinkage of the heat shrinkable plastic film can be clearly seen. For some package, if you look at it from the side, you can see the shape of the cell.
Other packaging methods
Now, in addition to hardcase and softcase, there are some other types of packaging appearing on the market, such as ovonic‘s ARK series, which is a packaging between hardcase and softcase.
Unlike hardcases, it uses a layer of very thin carbon fiber to cover the cells. The weight of a battery generally increases by only a few grams than softcase, but an additional layer of fiberboard protects the battery, which can increase the battery’s ability to withstand impact. But this depends on the model, because some models are not sensitive to the weight of these grams, while others pay attention to weight.