Drones rely on rechargeable batteries. The condition of the batteries and their usage time can influence your experience caring for a drone. Knowledge of how to properly use and care for batteries is of the utmost importance. Likewise, not all batteries are the same, and you should know which one to choose for better performance.
There are three types of batteries that a drone can use: those made of nickel-cadmium (NiCd), those of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and those of polymer lithium (LiPo). The first two were used for years but had a short life and power losses in an idle state. Currently, LiPo batteries have increased their use by drones. However, there are several aspects related to the use and care of these batteries that every drone pilot should know.
Why Use a LiPo Battery?
Most drones use a polymer lithium battery due to its lightness, making them easier to handle, and its high charging performance. A LiPo battery does not lose charge if it is not used for a month or two. This type of battery is also used in video games and telephones, so its basic rules of care are the same: do not use any means of fast charging the first time it will be charged or do not leave the battery connected once it is fully charged.
How to Take Care of a Newly Purchased LiPo Battery
As stated above, the first time you go to charge your lithium polymer battery, you should not use any means of fast charging. Likewise, it is not recommended to let the LiPo battery discharge completely during the first few cycles. If you detect that the battery is less than 20%, the ideal would be to stop piloting and charge until it is again with a full charge.
Never Neglect Battery Charging
LiPo batteries require special conditions for their safe charge. It is essential that you only use the charger included in your battery or, if necessary, one from the same manufacturer for the same model. Otherwise, the battery may lose its balance and stop working. Likewise, never stop paying attention to the battery and don’t charge it with children and pets at home. Any change in the intensity of charge or sudden movement could cause an accident. Preferably charge LiPo batteries outside your home.
When to Stop Using a Battery?
As a general rule of thumb, when a LiPo battery no longer charges more than 80% of its capacity, it is time to dispose of it. This will depend on the use that you have given it. If you flew daily and always with the battery half charged, it would last you a lesser amount of charge cycles.
The benefits of using drones are many. And the use of the battery is an essential part of how to take care of a drone correctly and function without problems over time.