If you have any experience flying drones, you know that battery life is always an issue. Most micro and medium size drones have an average battery life of 6-8 minutes.
Even full size drones (like the DJI Phantom 3) only get about 20-25 minutes of battery life. And that is when the battery is new!
Over time, battery life degrades. So how do you prolong the life of your drone battery? Here’s 5 ways!
Extending Drone Battery Life
Some drone batteries are cheap. You can get spare batteries for most small and medium size drones for only about $5 (check GearBest and Banggood for cheap prices, Amazon will be a little pricier).
However, other drone batteries are really expensive! A spare battery for a DJI Phantom will cost you at least $100 or more. And some drones have the battery built in (like the Cheerson CX-10 series), which means when the battery is dead – the drone is useless (unless you are good with a soldering iron and are willing to replace the battery yourself).
So while these rules are good to follow for all batteries, it is especially useful for prolonging the life of expensive batteries and drones with built-in batteries.
If spare batteries for your small drone are only about $5, just grab a few of them and use them like crazy until they die. Then buy a few more. We personally have over two dozen spare batteries for our various size drones!
1. Don’t Overcharge
Okay, this one is pretty straight forward. Typically, with any type of electronic device that uses a lithium battery, you don’t want to overcharge the battery. If you do this, you build up more heat than is needed, which reduces the life of your battery.
So keep an eye on the battery while it is charging. Once it is done, disconnect it from the charger.
2. Never Drain It Completely
If you want to get the most life out of your battery, don’t completely drain it when you’re flying it. Every time that this happens, you wear down the life of your battery.
Once your battery reaches about 20%, it’s best to go ahead and land, shut it down, let it cool off, and charge it back up.
3. Charge Right Before Flying
Again, this is a good rule of thumb for just about any battery operated gadget. You don’t want to charge the battery way ahead of time, this only degrades battery quality the longer it sits without use and recharging, and you’ll find that when you let it sit, it will slowly lose its charge.
Instead, charge it to full just before you fly it (though give it a few minutes to cool down before putting it in the drone).
4. Store It Correctly
Don’t store your batteries or your drone in excessive temperatures. Instead, store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. If you know you won’t use the battery for a while (several weeks to several months), try to charge it to about 40-50% capacity.
Storing it partly charged will prolong its useful life.
5. Let It Cool Down
Don’t immediately pull the battery from the charger and stick it in the drone and start flying. The battery gets hot while charging and it also gets hot while flying. Heat reduces the battery life.
So once the battery is done charging, disconnect it from the charger but let it cool down for at least 5 minutes (wait longer if it still feels warm to the touch).
The same goes for recharging it – don’t immediately pull it out of the drone after flying and start recharging it. Let it cool down first, then stick it on the charger.
Prolong Your Drone Battery Life
Well there you have it. If you follow these 5 tips, your battery will certainly last longer.
You’ll know it is time to replace the battery when it only powers your drone for about half the time it used to, even on a full charge. Having a spare battery for your drone (or multiple spares!) is one of the best investments you’ll make. Who wants to be done flying a drone after just 8 minutes?
Swap the battery our and keep flying!
Check out our related article: Maximize Your Drone’s Flight Time! 6 Ways To Fly Longer