There are many reasons why you want to discharge LiPo batteries. Maybe you have fully charged LiPo left from a flight session, or maybe you just want to discharge them completely for disposal. I will show you the options for discharging LiPo batteries.
You may use your LiPo chargers to discharge batteries too, as most modern smart chargers have discharging function. However they are not very powerful and it can take a very long time to discharge, therefore I am recommending other more efficient ways.
Further Reading: How to dispose LiPo batteries?
Cheap 3in1 Battery Discharger
You can get this 3in1 discharger from:
It is perhaps one of the cheapest dischargers you can find, and it’s pretty powerful too. At 150W, it can discharge most FPV drone batteries in a matter of minutes.
With this discharger, you can either discharge the battery completely, or set a voltage to stop the discharge (e.g. 3.80-3.85V per cell for storage). It is simple to use and even keeps all the cells balanced during the process.
One thing to watch out for is that the bulbs get really hot. It’s important that you keep them away from anything that can melt or burn.
DIY Light Bulb Discharger
Check out the tutorial: How to build a DIY halogen bulb discharger
I have been using this to discharge batteries for disposal. It’s not expensive and easy to make, and it’s a lot faster than using resistors of similar cost.
These halogen light bulbs are rated at 12V, so in theory you can only discharge up to 3S batteries. However if you connect two bulbs in series you can do up to 6S, and by connecting three in parallel you get triple the power, and this is what I did in mine.
DIY Resistor Discharger
Check out the tutorial: How to build a DIY resistor discharger.
Using these power resistors is a handy method for discharging old or damaged batteries. It’s cheap and easy to make. Perhaps a bit slower due to the low power, but it’s safer for emptying damaged batteries for disposal, because it won’t build up too much heat in the battery due to the slow rate, and you can just leave it outside and let it do its thing.
If you have a LiPo charger that can be powered by a battery, you can do reverse charging :)
You can hook up your fully charged LiPo as the power source of the charger, and charge your empty LiPo’s (or storage charge). You can even connected multiple fully charged packs on a parallel charging board to speed up the process.
You can set a minimum input voltage on the charger, 15V for 4S and 23V for 6S, so it stops discharging automatically (at roughly 3.8V per cell).
This is my go-to way to discharge full LiPo that I don’t fly on the day, it’s fast and hassle free, and no electricity is wasted.
Make sure you check the cell voltages though with a lipo checker, to make sure they are not out of balance just to be safe.
Getting a Smart Discharger
A smart discharger allows you to set a voltage to stop the discharging, so you don’t have to check it constantly. Most of these dedicated lipo dischargers have decent power so discharging is relatively faster compared to the DIY solutions, or discharging from a LiPo battery charger.
The iSDT FD200 is a 200W wireless discharger and you can monitor and control it from your smartphone, which is really convenient to use.
- Jul 2018 – article created
- Mar 2019 – added reverse charging
- Apr 2021 – added dedicated discharger option