Charging Batteries

We are using the charger supplied with the kit of parts and have been charging on the 2 amp setting. Have other teams found that it is OK to charge these batteries faster than the 2 amp setting? Do you notice a decrease in battery performance or longevity?


Patrick Levy
Team 3202

The old chargers (I think 07 and before) were fixed at 6 amps. We have always charge our batteries at 6 amps simply because we need the quick charging to keep our robot running. FIRST also says that battery chargers can be up to 6 amps. Can’t say anything about performance differences, though.

The battery manufacturer recommends charging at no greater than 6 amps. Your supplied charger is capable of 6 amps at the maximum setting if you select it. Never charge at greater than 6 amps with a charger capable of supplying greater than 6 amps. Catastrophic battery failure is likely.

2 amps (trickle charging) is more efficient if you have time to let it sit, but a quick charge at 6 amps is alright if you need it in a hurry. I wouldn’t recommend over 6 though, mostly because we don’t have a single charger that can go over 6.

The battery prefers a slow charge over a faster one, so if you have the time, use the 2 Amp setting. At competition, time is of the essence, so we generally charge at 6 Amps. Over time, the difference in battery lifetime is measurable, but it’s not very large.

2A is slower but more safe for the batt. 6A is faster but will damage the batt. depends on the situation if you have time i suggest you stick with the 2A

6 amps will not damage the battery. Higher than 6 amps might, 50 amps definitely will.

We usaly charge ours at 4amps with 6 bats we were ok for every mach. They dont take very long to charge.

The 6A setting is fine for these batteries. As others have said, charging at higher amperages can and will shorten the lifespan of these batteries dramatically. We’ve charged some of ours on a 35A Fast Charge setting intended for car batteries for a few minutes at a time, those batteries aren’t any good now, they wont last more than a minute or two at a time. One time someone accidentally left a battery on the 35A charge overnight… needless to say we returned the next day to a useless, exploded battery.

EDIT: Note that we don’t do this anymore, we just HAVE in the past. I’m not sure that we have at all since that battery detonated.

Last year was unusually easy on batteries. I suspect they’ll take a lot longer to charge after a Breakaway match than a Lunacy one.