Here are three things you can do to help your drone batteries last longer. Note that these tips are for Lithium Polymer batteries (LiPo) with a focus on DJI Drones.
- Don’t charge your battery or batteries right after flying. Let them cool down first
- Land your drone when you reach 25-30% battery level
- Deep cycle your batteries every 10-20 hours of flight
Taking good care of your batteries is very important. Why? If your drone has a single battery and you have a battery failure while flying, then the drone is going crash. And that crash is your responsibility. Another reason is the cost! These batteries are expensive, and I want them to last as long as possible before having to replace them. So here are some things you can do to help them last longer and fly safer.
1.) Cool batteries before recharging
The first thing you can do is don’t recharge your batteries immediately after a flight. If they are still warm to the touch let them cool off. Then recharge. I am told by technicians that charging batteries that are hot can reduce battery life and can also prevent them from taking a full charge.
2.) Land before batteries get too low
Another thing you can do to help extend the life of your batteries is to land and turn off the drone when they are at 25-30%. I am told by technicians that if you fly your batteries down to 10 or 20% regularly, that it shortens the battery life.
Set low & critical level warnings
In the Go 4 app, you can specify what level you get low battery warnings and critical battery warnings. To set this, in the main screen of the Go 4 app, click on the Battery Icon, (circled below) and then in the Battery Screen (circled below), set the Low Battery Warning to 30% and the Critical Low Battery Warning to 15-25%, by dragging the sliders for each setting. You will now get reminded to land when the battery hits 30%.
The Critical Low Battery Warning is a little different. It tells the Go 4 app at what battery level to require the drone to land. While you can cancel this required landing on screen or with a button, it can be confusing during the landing process. Once it hits that level it is going to do it’s best to make you land the drone. To avoid this, I typically will set this to 15 or 20%, but I still land in the 25-30% range.
3.) Deep cycle batteries
One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your batteries is to deep cycle them every 10-20 hours of usage. This is the technique that I use.
- Get your drone ready to fly using your checklist. See my article here
- Once you are ready to fly, go into the Battery Screen like we did above and set the Low Battery Warning to 15% and the Critical Low Battery Warning to 10%.
- Next, fly your drone, but keep it close by until you get the Low Battery Warning at 15%. At that point, begin to hover over your landing pad or your takeoff location, so when it gets to 10% you can land it. Do be careful when the power gets below the 15% mark. When it gets to a certain point it will display a land now warning and unless you cancel it, it lands right then. What I do is cancel the warning and fly it down to 10%. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then land the drone at 15% and follow the remaining steps.
- Now that you have landed the drone, leave the drone powered on and remove the propellers.
- Next, take the drone into your house and place it on a table or in your work area and let it power itself off.
- Once the drone powers itself off, and that can take a while, remove the battery or batteries and let them cool off. Never charge hot batteries. That can also reduce battery life as I mentioned above.
- Once the battery or batteries are no longer warm to the touch, put them on the charger.
- Repeat for each battery or set of batteries and you’re ready to go.
- Remember to reset your Low Battery Warning to between 25-30% and the Critical Low Battery Warning to 15-20%.
There you have it.
Fly safe and have fun!
Chris started The Anson Group Drone Videography and Photography company with the focus on working as a contractor for other companies, flying their drones and his own, as well as capturing stock videography and photography. Chris flies a DJI Inspire 2 drone with Zenmuse X5S camera.
See examples of his work here.
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