LiPo batteries are the battery of choice for RC hobbyists and others because of their lightness, capacity, and affordability. However, they can also be dangerous and combustible. If you plan to dispose of your LiPo battery, you know that it’s time to discharge it carefully to 0V first. There are several safe and easy ways to dispose of LiPo batteries.
How to safely dispose a Lipo battery
To safely dispose a lipo battery, you must completely empty it of any electrical charge. There is a very simple device you can make that will draw the power out of your batteries very easily and quickly.
All you need is a connector(whichever one your battery uses), some wire, and a 12V car bulb. The car bulb is essentially a resistor which will draw power from the battery and emit it as light and heat.
A 12V bulb is good for 3S packs and below, and for 4S and above, you can connect multiple bulbs in series.
Have a look at this contraption that I’ve made:
If possible, try and discharge a 4S battery to as close as 12V as possible before using a bulb, as the higher voltage will cause the bulb to burn out.
What I do is hook up the battery I want to dispose of as the power source to my ISDT charger, and charge any other lipo with it until the voltage from the supplying battery falls to below 12V.
After that, you can just hook the battery up to your discharging bulb and leave it in a fire and heat resistant location.
The bulb will go out very quickly(not burn out, just stop giving off light) but the battery will still have charge in it, so leave it as it is for an hour or so.
Check the voltages of your now-dead battery through the balance plug with your battery checker and if they all read zero(or nothing), you’re good to go.
Just cut off the power leads if you wish to recycle them, insulate the exposed leads(safe side), and toss the battery out at your local battery recycling center.
Before throwing the battery out, you want to check there is no charge left in it (voltage is close to 0V).
Note that most battery checkers don’t work well when the voltage drops below 3V per cell and will report “no cell present”. Therefore it’s best to use a multimeter in this case.