For the reliable and safe operation of your drones, it is very important to handle the drone batteries that supply the devices with energy with care. This also allows you to extend the life of your batteries.
In this article from Skytools, you will find 10 tips in the field of battery management and you can read what you should pay attention to during a battery test.
Following a recent case of ‘inflated drone batteries’, Skytools has drawn up a list of points that must be observed in order to guarantee the longest possible life for your batteries. It turns out: 99 percent of the cases where batteries fail or swell can be traced to heat problems or the storage of drone batteries that are still fully charged.
- During the first 10 flights of a new battery, it must not fall below a residual charge of 30%.
- After the first 10 flights, a battery may in principle not be flown below a residual charge of 20%.
- Avoid excessive heating of the battery. The battery generates heat by itself (depending on the load), but environmental factors (flying for a long time in a warm environment or flying in bright sunlight for a long time) can also lead to extra heat development.
- Avoid hovering the drone for more than 20 minutes in direct sunlight or near a heat source.
- Let the battery cool down immediately after use before storing it in the transport case. The insulating material of the case retains the heat from the battery for an extra long time, which is detrimental to the battery’s lifespan.
- Do not recharge a battery immediately after a flight. It is important to let the battery cool down for 20 to 30 minutes first.
- Only charge a battery when it is going to be used. Keeping a battery permanently at 100% charge shortens its lifespan and can lead to expansion or ‘bulging’ of the cells. It is recommended to discharge and store batteries at a 50% charge level.
- Inspect batteries regularly with a hover test. It is important to check whether the individual cell voltages match.
- We recommend that you no longer use a battery if the difference between the different cells is more than 0.05 Volt.
- It is preferable to leave a battery on a full charge for no longer than 2 days and a maximum of 5 days. Set the automatic discharge function (auto discharge) to a maximum of 5 days. If you still want to have access to a set of fully charged drone batteries at any time, we recommend working with 2 battery charging stations that alternately charge and discharge the batteries every 5 days.
An example of a good battery with the corresponding discharge profile during the flight:
An example of a not fully functional battery with a corresponding discharge profile during flight:
The consequence of incorrectly stored or constantly charged batteries can be that from around 60% charge the remaining charge decreases exponentially, which can lead to a totally unexpected low charge and/or crash.
An example of a correctly discharged battery during a hover test:
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