Ultimate Guide To Care & Maintain Drone Batteries (2023 Updated)
One of the most important factors of a drone is the flight time, which heavily depends on the drone battery. Drone batteries play a significant role, and therefore, knowing how to take care of them is important to prevent any accidents or malfunctions. If not maintained properly, drone batteries can overheat and cause fires.
Drones have a lot of small parts, and each part has a specific function. The motors are responsible for the movement of the drone; propellers provide lift, and batteries supply power to the motors and other electronics. Just like any other battery-powered device, drones need regular maintenance to function properly.
The batteries of drones can easily be damaged if not used or stored properly. There are certain things you should do to ensure the longevity and safety of your drone batteries.
From storing the batteries in a cool and dry place to regularly checking them for any damage, here is a detailed care guide on how to maintain drone batteries.
Table of Contents
- Tips and Tricks To Maintain Drone Batteries
- Only Charge a Day Before Flying
- Do Not Overcharge or Discharge
- Store in a Cool and Dark Place
- Check for Damage Before Each Flight
- Keep The Firmware Update
- Charge The Battery At Once
- Use The Brand's Original Chargers and Cables
- Do Not Charge Batteries Instantly After Flying
- Balance The Cells Before Storing
- Use a Storage Case
- Do Not Fully Charge Batteries That are To Be Stored
- Keep Using The Batteries Every Once in a While
- How To Make The Most Out of Drone Batteries?
- What type of batteries do you have on hand?
- Battery Consumption Management
- Handling and Storage
- Dumping and Disposal
Tips and Tricks To Maintain Drone Batteries
Some simple tips and tricks can help you maintain your drone batteries in tip-top condition. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your drone batteries and make them last longer.
Here are some maintenance tips for drone batteries
Only Charge a Day Before Flying
Charging a drone battery days or weeks before you actually need to use the drone can damage the battery. The battery will slowly discharge over time, and this can cause it to form crystals on the electrodes. These crystals will prevent the battery from holding a charge in the future.
If you know you won’t be flying your drone for a while, it’s best to remove the battery and store it in a cool and dry place. The best practice is to charge the battery the day before you plan on flying.
Do Not Overcharge or Discharge
Overcharging and discharging a drone battery can damage it and reduce its lifespan. When a battery is overcharged, the voltage level exceeds the limit, and this can lead to electrolyte leakage and degradation of the separator.
On the other hand, if a battery is discharged below 2.5 volts per cell, it can cause irreparable damage to the battery. It’s important to keep an eye on the voltage level of the battery and stop charging or using it once it reaches the full charge or discharge level.
Store in a Cool and Dark Place
When not in use, it’s important to store drone batteries in a cool and dark place. Batteries are especially susceptible to damage in extreme weather, which can cause the battery to swell or leak. Store the battery in a temperature-controlled environment and make sure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight.
The ideal storage temperature for drone batteries is between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. Problematic temperatures are below freezing or above 80 degrees Celsius.
Check for Damage Before Each Flight
Before each flight, it’s important to check the battery for any damage. Inspect the battery for any swelling, leaking, or discoloration. If you notice any of these signs, do not use the battery and contact the manufacturer.
It’s also a good idea to check the terminals for any dirt or corrosion. Clean the terminals with a cotton swab dipped in vinegar if necessary.
Keep The Firmware Update
Firmware updates are important for the proper functioning of any device, including drones. New firmware updates can improve the performance of your drone and make it more efficient.
Many manufacturers release new firmware updates on a regular basis, and it’s important to install them as soon as possible. You can usually find the latest firmware updates on the manufacturer’s website.
Charge The Battery At Once
The best way to charge a drone battery is to charge it all at once. This might seem like a time-consuming task, but it’s actually the best way to prolong the life of your battery.
When you charge the battery in stages, it can damage the cells and reduce the overall capacity of the battery. So, if you have the time, it’s best to charge the battery all at once. The reason for this is that charging in stages can cause what is called voltage depression.
Use The Brand's Original Chargers and Cables
It’s important to use the original charger and cables that came with your drone. Using third-party chargers can damage the battery and void the warranty. If you need to replace the charger or cables, make sure you buy them from the same manufacturer.
The reason behind this is that each manufacturer has its own charging specifications. Using the wrong charger can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan. Different chargers have different flow rates, and this can cause the battery to overheat.
So, make sure you use the right charger for your drone. Charging batteries is a complex process, and it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any damage.
Do Not Charge Batteries Instantly After Flying
It’s important to let the battery cool down before you charge it. This is because charging a hot battery can damage the cells and reduce the overall capacity of the battery. So, if you have been flying for a while, it’s best to wait for the battery to cool down before you start charging it.
If you are in a hurry, you can charge the battery but make sure you don’t exceed 80% of the battery's capacity because this can also damage the battery. Batteries get heated while charging, which is why it’s important to charge them in a cool and well-ventilated area.
Balance The Cells Before Storing
If you are not going to use the battery for a while, it’s important to balance the cells before you store it. This helps to maintain the health of the battery and prevents any damage. You can use a balancing charger to balance the cells.
Many manufacturers offer balancing chargers as an accessory. If you don’t have a balancing charger, you can also use a standard charger, but it will take longer to charge the battery.
Use a Storage Case
If you are not using the battery for a while, it’s important to store it in a storage case. This helps to protect the battery from any damage. Many manufacturers offer storage cases as an accessory. You can also use a standard case but make sure it’s well-ventilated.
Do Not Fully Charge Batteries That are To Be Stored
If you are not going to use the battery for a while, it’s important to store it at 50% of its capacity. This helps to prolong the life of the battery. When you store a battery at 100% of its capacity, it can damage the cells and reduce the overall capacity of the battery.
So, if you are not going to use the battery for a while, make sure you charge it to 50% of its capacity before you store it.
Keep Using The Batteries Every Once in a While
If you are not going to use the battery for a while, it’s important to keep using it every once in a while. This helps to maintain the health of the battery and prevents any damage.
You can use the battery to fly your drone, or you can charge it to 50% of its capacity and then discharge it completely. Doing this once a month is enough to maintain the health of the battery.
How To Make The Most Out of Drone Batteries?
There are a few things that you can do to make the most out of your drone batteries.
Fly The Drone At Economic Speed
To get the most out of your drone batteries, it’s important to fly the drone at an economical speed. This helps to conserve the battery power and prevents any damage.
If you fly the drone too fast all the time, it can damage the batteries and reduce the overall life of the battery. For most drones, the ideal speed is between 20 and 30 mph. But it’s best to check the manufacturer’s manual for the specific range.
Do Not Keep The Drone Stationary For Too Long
If you keep the drone stationary for too long, the motors will start to heat up, and this can damage the battery. So, it’s important to keep the drone moving.
Hovering is fine but make sure you don’t keep the drone stationary for more than a minute or two. The battery life will be decreased by 2-3 minutes if you hover for long periods of time.
Avoid Flying in Extremely Cold or Hot Temperatures
Flying the drone in extreme temperatures can damage the battery. So, it’s important to avoid flying in extremely cold or hot temperatures. If you do fly in extreme temperatures, make sure you keep an eye on the battery life and land the drone as soon as the battery gets low.
Turn Off Unnecessary Electronics
If you are not using a certain feature on your drone, it’s important to turn it off. This helps to conserve the battery power and prevents any damage. For example, if you are not using the GPS, make sure you turn it off.
Do Calibration Flights Regularly
It’s important to do calibration flights regularly. This helps to maintain the accuracy of the drone and prevents any damage. For most drones, it’s best to do a calibration flight once a week. But it’s best to check the manufacturer’s manual for the specified interval.
Do Not Fly The Drone Too Far From The Controller
It’s important to keep the drone within the specified range of the controller. When the drone flies far away from the controller, the battery will be drained quickly.
So, it’s important to keep the drone within the specified range. For most drones, the maximum range is about 500 meters. But it’s best to check the manufacturer’s manual for the specific range.
What type of batteries do you have on hand?
The first step is to identify what type of batteries you have on hand. There are two main types of batteries used in drones: Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and Lithium-Polymer (LiPo). Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to know which one you have before proceeding with maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of battery used in drones. They're lightweight and offer a high energy density, making them ideal for use in drones. However, they require special care when charging and storing.
Lithium-polymer batteries are similar to lithium-ion batteries but are made with a polymer instead of metal oxide. This makes them more flexible and less likely to rupture. They're also more expensive than lithium-ion batteries.
No matter what type of battery you have, taking care of it is important. Improper battery maintenance can lead to decreased performance and even fires.
Battery Consumption Management
After the batteries are charged, it's important to properly manage their consumption. This means not draining them before recharging and not letting them sit at full charge for extended periods.
It's best to discharge your batteries until they're about 50% empty before recharge. This helps to prolong the life of your batteries. It's also important to store your batteries in a cool, dry place. The ideal storage temperature is between 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you notice that your batteries are not lasting as long as they used to, it's important to take action. First, check the voltage of each cell. If the voltage is below 3.7V per cell, it's time to replace the battery.
Second, check for any damage to the batteries. If there is physical damage, it's time to replace the battery. Finally, if the batteries are more than two years old, it's probably time to replace them.
Properly caring for your drone batteries is important to prolonging their life and ensuring that they work properly. By following the tips above, you can keep your drone batteries in good condition for many years to come.
Handling and Storage
When not in use, it's important to properly store your drone and batteries. This means keeping them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It's also important to keep them away from any source of heat, such as a stove or an oven.
If possible, it's best to store your drone and batteries in a case to protect them from damage. The case should be large enough to allow for proper ventilation.
Before storing your drone and batteries, it's important to make sure they are clean and dry. Any dirt or moisture on the surface of the battery can lead to corrosion and damage the battery over time.
When transporting your drone, it's important to make sure that the batteries are secure. This means using a case or box that is designed for transporting batteries. It's also important to keep an eye on the temperature of the batteries. If they get too hot, they could catch fire.
Dumping and Disposal
Proper disposal of drone batteries is important to avoid any environmental damage. Most battery recycling centers will accept drone batteries. You can also check with your local government to see if there are any special regulations for disposing of drone batteries.
Damaged batteries can also catch fire. When disposing of drone batteries, it's important to discharge them completely. This can be done by connecting them to a load until they're completely discharged.
Once they're discharged, you can remove the cells and recycle them according to your local regulations, which include removing the battery cover, removing the cells, and recycling them.
Taking care of your drone batteries is very important if you want to prolong their life. So, folks, these are a few tips on how to take care of drone batteries. Accomplish these maintenance tips and make the most out of your drone batteries.
We hope this guide on how to maintain drone batteries was helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Happy flying!