People who loves flying quads have been complaining for years about the very same thing: short battery life of the drones. But the industry of quadcopters is developing at full pelt, and the characteristics of drones day by day are becoming better and better. While choosing a quad you should pay attention to many factors: camera resolution, portability, range, stabilization, syze and many more. But one of the most important things to be taken into account is the very battery life.
Quadcopter battery: what characteristics to consider?
The market now propose a lot of different batteries for quadcopters, but which one is better is the question. What are the battery characteristics you should pay attention to while choosing a drone?
Type of drone battery
Most often lithium-polymer (LiPo) batteries with significant structural diversity are installed in drones. These batteries have sufficiently high energy density and a high discharge rate, at the same time with relatively small size and weight. The advantages of LiPo batteries also include:
- the lack of a memory effect;
- low leakage currents;
- wide range of operating temperatures.
Among the shortcomings, we can single out not very big number of working cycles (800-900) and a significant risk of fire due to overheating or overcharging.
When the weight matters (speaking about drones, as a matter of fact), LiPo batteries is a perfect choice. Their weight, comparing with the other batteries of the same capacity, is less.
The capacity of drone battery
The capacity of any battery is measured in mAh (milliampere * hour). This is a current that can discharge a battery in one hour. For example, a 2000 mAh battery will be discharged in one hour by the 2 amps consumer.
But be ready that if you want a long-flying drone it will be a little bit heavy all the same. The more capacity + the bigger size and weight of the module.
Pocket Drone Battery: What to Expect from Micro Quadcopter Battery?
As we have mentioned above, long battery life means big battery, big battery means big weight of the drone, big weight – big size. Thus, you just can’t expect small drone to fly long. Nevertheless, there are some really small drones that can work for relatively long period of time.
List of drones with long battery life
Here is a short list of drones with good battery life and nice characteristics at all.
|Price segment||Model||Flight time||Range||Price|
|HIGH||DJI Mavic 2 Pro||31||8000||$1499|
|HIGH||DJI Phantom 4||30||7000||$1499|
|MIDDLE||Parrot Bebop 2||25||2000||$599|
|HIGH||Yuneec Typhoon H||25||1500||$899|
|MIDDLE||Autel R. X-Star Premium||25||2000||$599|
|LOW||DJI Ryze Tello||13||100||$129|
As you can see, in some way battery life influences the price of the device. More advanced drones are intended to fly not a short while, but make long videos of great quality. In some way all the characteristics are connected, that means you won’t find a drone with bad camera but long battery life.
If to speak about low price segment, you definitely have noticed that there is no drone with long battery life under $200. Nevertheless, in this price segment DJI Ryze Tello is an undeniable leader – 13 minutes for such a price is just an amazing deal.
How to make the drone fly longer?
In all the tables given by manufacturers the battery life is specified for perfect flying conditions. What does it mean?
- Acceleration can take away a lot of charge
- Tricks and flips are really energy consuming
- It’s more difficult for the drone to fly during the strong wind
- The cold can make your battery discharge faster
If you need to safe the charge, you’d better not speed up, not make tricks and not move up a lot. The better weather conditions – the longer flight is.
Also, the life of battery is proportional to the weight of the quadcopter. So, if you need to extend the work of your device, remove all the additional parts (that are possible to remove). Because for small drones the remove of drone propeller guard can significantly influence the flight time.
But these are the auxiliary methods. The most faithful one is to buy spare batteries and change them when needed. Almost all the drones have removable accumulators so it will not be a problem to change the battery and continue the flight.
What is more, now portable charging hubs are available on the market. Using such charging station you can charge even not one, but several batteries simultaneously.
Drone Batteries in Cold and Hot Weather
One disadvantage of LiPo batteries is their sensitivity, cause they rely on chemical reactions. If you overcharge the battery it can take fire, so they are pretty dangerous. In hot weather LiPo batteries behave in the similar way – if it’s too hot the battery can just break down.
Drone battery in cold weather also works not pretty good. When the accumulator cool down, the chemical reactions become slower. As a result, the battery life shortens. Take cautions and do not fly in the frost – the drone can fail to operate and do not warn you about low battery level.