Guide to Choosing the Best LiPo Battery

LiPo batteries are the highest performance R/C battery used in drones. We made this simple guide with advices how to choose the best LiPo battery.

drone with lipo battery

The highest performance R/C battery available is a LiPo battery. It can be used in drones, R/C cars, boats, planes, helis, multi-rotors and more. We made a simple guide with advice and directions on how to choose the best LiPo battery that suits your needs.

Things you need to know before choosing the LiPo battery:

Knowing what size battery you need:

In order to get the longest flight times, you should use the largest battery (in terms of capacity) that you possibly can, while keeping within the maximum takeoff weight of your drone. You should also consider the physical size of the battery, as depending on what drone you are using, you will only have to be able to fit a battery of a certain size.

Battery Discharge Rate and Capacity:

We believe checking discharge C rate and capacity is the most important info you shouldn’t forget, but it is often overlooked. If you use a discharge rate (C rating) that is too low, can result in your battery being damaged, and your drone under-performing the battery can't release current fast enough to power your motors properly. As a higher C rating batteries are heavier, if the battery you are using has a C rating that is too high, you will just be carrying extra weight around that you don't need, ultimately reducing the flight time.

How to calculate the maximum continuous current output for your battery:

For having the information what the total current draw of the drone system you are using is, we calculated it based on this simple formula: Max continuous Amp draw (A) = Battery capacity (Ah) x Discharge rate (C). Let’s take as an example we have a 5100mAh 3 cell Lipo battery with a 10C rating. In order to find the maximum continuous amp draw, we first convert the 5100mAh to 5.1Ah, and multiply that number by 10C, to give a total continuous output of (5.1 x 10) = 51A .

How to find the optimum C rating:

The last step when building a drone is the battery. As  the motors will draw the most amount of energy from your battery we can base our calculation around this.

When you look at the specs of motors, particularly the thrust data tables, you will be able to see what the motor's maximum current draw is. Let’s take as an example, a quadcopter (4 motors) that weighs about 2Kg in total (with battery and all other equipment), the quadcopter will hover when each motor produces about 500g of thrust. Because we are using 4 motors, the total current draw will be about  4 x 10 A = 10.

The rest of equipment such as your autopilot and FPV gear will all draw a few miliAmps so their effect can be considered negligible, but to be safe let's add another 1A to the total current draw to round it to 41A. This represents the maximum current draw during hover. So the 5100mah 10C battery we mentioned previously would work just fine since its current output is 51A, however, we could get away with using a lower C rating closer to perhaps 8C to have an even lighter battery.

Still, it is uncommon to find batteries with C ratings lower than 10C. If you want to get the most flight time, we could get a battery with a current output of just over 25A. In reality, we will often fly at higher throttle values during a climb, or if there is a strong wind so at various stages in the flight, our current draw might be higher than this, which could damage the battery.

The battery C rating depends on the capacity:

C rating that you will need to use as the maximum current output of a battery depends on the capacity and C rating. Typically the smaller the capacity of a battery, the higher the C rating needs to be, this is why for many high capacity multi-rotor batteries you will find very low C ratings in the range of 10-15C.

How much capacity do you need?

Well when you now know the required current draw from your battery, the capacity and C rating can be found. Generally, it is the best to get the highest possible capacity battery that you can, which still keeping the total weight of your drone including the battery and other equipment at around 50-70% of the maximum motor thrust.

Considering this drone example, we know that 50% thrust is around 500g per motor (or 2Kg thrust in total). The frame, electronics, and motors weight come to 1.2Kg. That leaves 800-1000g that we can use for the battery. We recommend you to try to find the highest capacity LiPo that you can find that weight less than this.

Battery Voltage (cell count):

The battery voltage, or cell count, is one more important choice that you will need to make. Higher voltage batteries will help motors to produce more power, but the higher voltage batteries are heavier since they contain more cells. There is a fact that motors are generally more efficient and powerful when using higher cell count lipos (higher voltage), but some of the efficiency bonus is negated by the increase in weight and cost of the battery.

Battery Connectors:

It is a hard job to solder battery connectors, so it is a good idea to try find a battery connector that you like, and stick to it. That will provide you to swap batteries easily, and if you decide to build another drone in the future you can use the same batteries. Common connectors contain Deans/Tplug, XT60, and also EC3 connectors.

Number of batteries:

As first, using more batteries has an added layer of safety as if one battery should fail, you still have another that you can use to quickly land. The same thing is if you have the flexibility of replacing one battery if one of them gets older than the other. You can reduce charging time of LiPo battery if you have two chargers as each one can charge at the same time.

Regardless of that, using two batteries can be more complex to mount and wire and buying two batteries can sometimes be more expensive than buying one. So ultimately using one more batteries comes down to the drone you are using and your own preference. We are certain that everyone will agree that a battery has a very important role in the whole drone system.

Considering that, you will find in this article the best LiPo battery models that stand out in terms of quality and performance its silly to safe a few pounds only for your entire drone to crash due to a failed battery. The fact when it comes to batteries is that you get what you pay for.

lipo battery

Top 7 best LiPo batteries:

1. Traxxas 2872X 5000mAh 11.1V 3S 25C LiPo Battery:

This model is ranked number 1 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 84 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web. Traxxas 2872X 5000mAh 11.1V 3S 25C LiPo Battery was reviewed by 447 consumers, first review recorded at 2016-06-26 while most recent review was published at 2016-07-25.

The overall sentiment of Traxxas 2872X 5000mAh 11.1V 3S 25C LiPo Battery customers is 57% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 79% of Traxxas 2872X 5000mAh 11.1V 3S 25C LiPo Battery customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

2. Floureon 2packs 3S 11.1V 5500mAh 35C RC Lipo:

Ranked number 2 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 84 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web, the Floureon 2packs 3S 11.1V 5500mAh 35C RC Lipo has been reviewed 181 times since June 26, 2016 through July 25.

The overall sentiment of Floureon 2packs 3S 11.1V 5500mAh 35C RC Lipo customers is 61% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 83% of Floureon 2packs 3S 11.1V 5500mAh 35C RC Lipo customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

3. Floureon 2 Packs 30C 2S 7.4v 5200mAh LiPO:

Floureon 2 Packs 30C 2S 7.4v 5200mAh LiPO is ranked number 3 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 70 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web.  It's been reviewed by 239 consumers so far.

The overall sentiment of Floureon 2 Packs 30C 2S 7.4v 5200mAh LiPO customers is 66% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 89% of Floureon 2 Packs 30C 2S 7.4v 5200mAh LiPO customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

4. Floureon 2 Packs 3s 11.1V 3000mAh 30C Lipo:

This item is ranked number 4 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 126 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web. Floureon 2 Packs 3s 11.1V 3000mAh 30C Lipo was reviewed by 373 consumers, first review recorded at 2016-06-26 while most recent review was published at 2016-07-25.

The overall sentiment of Floureon 2 Packs 3s 11.1V 3000mAh 30C Lipo customers is 30% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 46% of Floureon 2 Packs 3s 11.1V 3000mAh 30C Lipo customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

5. Venom 25C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V Hard Case LiPo:

It is ranked number 5 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 84 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web. Venom 25C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V Hard Case LiPo was reviewed by 360 consumers, first review recorded at 2016-06-26 while most recent review was published at 2016-07-25.

The overall sentiment of Venom 25C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V Hard Case LiPo customers is 57% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 79% of Venom 25C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V Hard Case LiPo customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

6. Venom 20C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V LiPO Hard Case:

It is ranked number 6 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 84 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web. Venom 20C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V LiPO Hard Case was reviewed by 411 consumers, first review recorded at 2016-06-26 while most recent review was published at 2016-07-25.

The overall sentiment of Venom 20C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V LiPO Hard Case customers is 28% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 43% of Venom 20C 2S 5000mAh 7.4V LiPO Hard Case customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

7. Venom 20C 3S 6400mAh 11.1V LiPo Battery:

It is ranked number 7 on the best Rc Lipo Batteries list out of 112 Rc Lipo Batteries found across the web. Venom 20C 3S 6400mAh 11.1V LiPo Battery was reviewed by 453 consumers, first review recorded at 2016-06-26 while most recent review was published at 2016-07-25.

The overall sentiment of Venom 20C 3S 6400mAh 11.1V LiPo Battery customers is 56% better than the average satisfaction sentiment of Rc Lipo Batteries consumers. 77% of Venom 20C 3S 6400mAh 11.1V LiPo Battery customers would probably recommend their friend to purchase the product.

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