Tips on How to Expand Drones Battery Life

By May 22,2017 11:55 am

Anyone that enjoys flying drones and the experience it gives them will tell you that the one problem they seem to face is having to recharge after only a short space of time, which can mean multiple tries due to the drones battery life. A drone that is up to a medium size will usually last about 6 to 8 minutes before it needs to be recharged. The full sized drones have around 20 to 25 minutes which can still be too short a time for people that want to film everything in one go. As time goes on battery life decreases but there are ways to extend your drone battery life so that you can get the most out of it for longer.

Factors that affect drone battery life

Knowing the factors that affect your drones battery life can help you to reduce the strain so that it lasts longer. Factors that can cause your batter life to waiver include:

  • Weight – any extra weight can reduce the life of your battery
  • Wind– flying against the wind can cause your battery to deplete faster as the drone has to work harder to stay up in the air. Flying during calmer weather is a better way to preserve drone batter life.
  • Style of flying – the more tricks and maneuvers you do the more the battery will be drained as can flying at higher speeds.
  • Recording (this takes up more battery)

Tips on how to expand drone battery life

1. Choose a Battery with a higher mAh

The batteries that usually come with drones when they are sold are middle of the range as a generally rule which means you won't get the best flight time from them. By purchasing batteries that have a higher mAh you will be able to spend more time in the air. Always check before purchasing that the battery you choose is compatible with your drone by checking the specifications. Don't go for a battery that is too big/heavy because the extra energy it will provide could be negative due to the weight meaning the battery has to work harder to keep itself in the air.

2. Know when to charge your battery

The best time to charge your battery to expand drone battery life is not to charge too far in advance of using it. This could shorten the life of inadvertently. Each day that a charged battery goes unused a percentage of it will be lost which means you won't be starting off with a full battery by the time you fly. The best practice is to charge the battery a few hours before leaving to fly your drone. This way the battery can retain more power to help your drone to stay in the air for longer.

3. Don't overcharge your battery

The batteries used in modern drones can be volatile if not cared for properly and overcharging could actually cause an explosion and/or fire. As well as being dangerous it is also damaging to the life of your battery. Don't leave them charging overnight or at any point where you are not going to be around as this could be hazardous. By charging for the recommended time or until the indicators show that the battery has full power will help you to retain the life of your drone battery for a lot longer than assuming longer is better.

4. Never Drain It Completely

In the past it was commonplace to fully charge rechargeable batteries and drain fully before recharging. With the lithium-ion batteries commonly used in modern drones it could actually shorten the batteries life span. Depending on the battery you will get between 300 to 500 drains before the battery has to be replaced. With each draining comes a weakening effect and of course then the reduced battery life. The best practice is to fill the battery to anywhere between 40% and 80%. Bear in mind that the environment the battery charges in can also affect it so try to charge it in a cool place where possible to avoid the heat from draining it.

5. Let It Cool Down

When the Drone is close to having its batter depleted it's tempting to land it and get it straight on charge, however this could be damaging to the life of the battery. Flying the drone makes the battery heat up as does charging it. Heat is known to reduce the life of a battery which is why it is not advisable to charge it right away. The best practice is to disconnect it and let it cool down before charging and do the same before you return it to the drone for immediate flight. You should wait a minimum of 5 minutes and not attach it to the charger or drone until it no longer feels warm to the touch.

6. Remove the Camera

Some drone cameras can be detached which is a godsend to people who want to save their batter life and fly without recording. If you are not using the drone to film it's good practice to remove the camera. The reason for this is that the extra weight can make the drones battery depletes faster. The camera is also directly linked the battery so by taking it away you prolong the amount of time you can stay in the air without needing to recharge.

7. Fly in the Right Conditions

Before you decide what time/date to go out and fly your drone think first of the conditions you intend to fly under. If for example you went out to fly on a windy day it might not only be dangerous to people and animals around but it could also damage the drone beyond repair. Instead it is better to wait until the wind dies down because when you fly in strong wind your battery could suffer because it means the motors need more thrust to hover which takes up additional energy. Being indoors is the best way to keep your drone away from wind, but if you do film outside try to do so on a day with mild weather. Keep your flight mode as conservative as possible by selecting those that increase the sensitivity of the tracker.

8. Buy extra batteries

Although this tip is not going to help you to prolong the life of your current battery it can help you to stay in the air for longer with less downtime. It's a great way to quickly get back into the air with drones where the batteries are easy to access and as spare batteries for some drones can be bought for as little as $5 it's definitely worth stocking up for more time filming than charging. This tip won't work on drones that have hard to access batteries including those that are built into the drone.

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