Power with a knock-out punch!
By Adam Strong
This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Drones Magazine.
The new Turnigy Graphene LiPo batteries are designed for high output and available in a range of sizes and capacities to suit everything from the smallest racing quads up to the biggest aerial photography setups. The Graphene packs use carbon in the battery structure to form a single layer of graphene just 0.335nm thick. The graphene forms a dense compound that allows electrons to ﬂ ow with less resistance compared to traditional LiPo technologies. This means better discharge and more consistent voltage through your ﬂight, all while staying cooler and providing extended cycle life with claims of lasting over 600 cycles. Compared to an identically rated Turnigy NanoTech LiPo the Graphene pack does come in a few millimeters larger and more than a few grams heavier, but the consistent high power output more than makes up for the weight penalty. The jewelry case style packaging grabbed my attention the second I opened the shipping box and had me itching to try them out.
14.8V 1300mAh 65C #9067000128-0
14.8V 1500mAh 65C #9067000131-0
11.1V 1800mAH 65C #9067000132-0
I have now been using these packs exclusively in my RCX 170mm and Armattan 225mm race quads for a few months and have really put them through the paces in real-world conditions. High throttle, high energy freestyle ﬂights are loads of fun and the Graphene packs deﬁnitely maintain the extra punch needed for aerobatics and ripping around trees at my private ﬁeld. Cruising around the race course, the high discharge is very noticeable in hairpin turns when you need the extra thrust to hold tight into the track and cut back to the next gate. I have abused the packs a bit to see how well they hold up to over discharge. Even after repeatedly taking them lower in voltage than advised, they have held up excellently without any puﬃng or loss of performance. The packs have also seen their fair share of impacts and I have found them to be very tough, sustaining little more than a few scrapes and some torn shrink wrap with no deformation at all.
In the pits, the Graphene batteries require only a standard LiPo capable charger and can handle high charge rates of up to 15C on some packs. Charging at my typical 3C rate has them full in around 20 minutes time from around 70% discharge. In my use and testing, they have lived up to the capacity and discharge ratings very well and have maintained the low IR numbers in spite of the abuse. The silicone wiring and thick shrink wrap are very durable and will easily stand up to the occasional drop or pull on the wires without any consequence.
The quality feel and excellent performance have made a big impression right from the start. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in my quads or any other RC machines whether it’s race day or just ripping around for fun. The magnetically sealed boxes and velvet-like bag that each battery comes in are only the icing on the Graphene cake.