10 Ways to Enhance Your Drone’s Battery Life
You must be one of the very many drone pilots around who often get exasperated by the short battery life spans of drones. You are not the only one who has to go through this turmoil. The average flight duration of a drone designed for novices is about seven minutes. Even the more advanced aircrafts boast a flight duration of 25 minutes at the maximum. Having said that, there are a few things that each one of us can do to enhance the battery life of our beloved flying camera. Here are the 10 best ways, tips and tricks of trade that can help your drone stay for a longer period of time in the air.
Factors affecting drone battery life
As discussed above, the average flight duration for a drone designed for the rookies is just about seven minutes. Syma X5C and UDI U818A are great examples of this fact. A drone’s battery life can be adversely affected by a number of factors such as wind, weight, flight style and whether you are recording video or not. For instance, when you are flying your drone in gustier conditions, you will come to the conclusion that the average flight duration of your drone will be significantly reduced in comparison to when you are flying it on a bright sunny day. Similarly, if you have attached a camera or propeller guards to your drone, its payload will increase and this will affect its battery life. Flight duration will also be affected if you fly your drone too belligerently.
10 – Get a bigger battery
A vast majority of the drones out there use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries as their primary power source. They are preferred to conventional batteries because of their lightweight and high discharge rates that let them store and release plenty of energy.
These batteries also vary in size and capacity. For instance, the world’s smallest quadcopter, Cheerson CX-10 uses only a 100 mAh battery while the larger Syma X8C uses the colossal 2,000 mAh battery. In general, the bigger the battery size, the higher the flight duration of your drone.
Having said that, there could be some occasions when a battery with higher capacity might not be too advantageous. This is so because bigger batteries tend to be more bulky which might result in reduced flight durations, with the battery releasing more energy notwithstanding. This is an important fact that you need to keep in mind while you attempt to enhance your battery’s life duration.
9 – Detach the Camera
Do you know that you can remove the camera off some drones? Detaching the camera can significantly enhance your drone’s battery life. Apparently, they may not be heavy but in reality they tend to put a lot of stress on the drone’s battery. You should also remember that the camera is connected directly to the battery. So, when you are capturing video footages, the battery life will be consumed a lot faster than usual. Having said that, this trick only works with drones that come with removable cameras. Devices such as Hubsan X4 H107C will not provide you this luxury.
8 – Charge your battery when required
Charging the battery at the right time is very important for enhanced drone battery life. You should make sure to get you battery charged right before you embark on your aerial adventure. A battery that is charged afresh is likely to perform way better than the one charged several days ago. Moreover, if you are not planning to fly your drone in the near future, we recommend you not to get your battery charged to the fullest. Instead, it will be judicious to charge it only about 60% and place it in a cool dry place. Once you are about to set your drone soaring through the skies, get the battery charged completely.
7 – No fighting with the elements
There is no need to mess with windy conditions. Even the slightest of mistakes could land you in trouble with your drone crashing down into somebody’s home or at the worst into some human being. Despite all these kinds of risks, flying a drone in gusty conditions tends to have adverse effect on battery life. Flying a drone in strong winds coerces the motors to produce more thrust to maintain the hover which requires more energy from the battery. Flying your drone in calmer conditions or indoors is the best way to go to conserve battery life.
6 – Opt for a conservative flight mode
Almost all the modern day quadcopters are equipped with multifarious modes of flight that let a user configure how aggressively he or she wants to fly the machine. If you want to fly more belligerently, enhance the transmitter’s sensitivity and to fly conservatively, decrease it down. It is evident that flight modes with higher sensitivity and responsiveness will consume more battery juice in contrast with those with lower sensitivity. It is not difficult to toggle between different flight modes on your controller. This is an effective and yet neglected tip for enhancing your drone’s battery life.
5 – No battery overcharging
LiPo batteries are immensely volatile. Overcharging them could result into them exploding off and even catching fire. Overcharging tends to adversely affect the battery life of your drone. A couple of crewmen were killed onboard a UPS flight in 2010 that was transporting a shipment of Lithium batteries. The batteries caught fire abruptly which is testimony to the fact that if you do not handle them with care, they could prove to be rather dangerous.
4 – Do it Yourself
If you are too frustrated with the short flight durations of ready to fly quadcopters, then you should build your own. By building a device right from the beginning, you will be able to exercise more control over its battery life.
This is not something to be worried about. The internet is littered with plenty of information that will guide you through each and every step of how to build your very own drone.
The above article will help you out if you are looking forward to building your own drone. It focuses on the basics and will help you get a kick start. The following resources will also be quite beneficial for you:
- RCGroups.com: This group was established way back in 1995 and will help you interact with other drone geeks from around the world. You will learn important things about drones and their working. In addition, you will be able to ask critical questions from hundreds of veteran dronies out there.
- DIYDrones.com: This is an online community that is dedicated to helping the beginners learn how to build a drone from scratch. This is a useful resource that includes participants who are extremely friendly and will definitely help you out whenever you get in trouble.
- MultiRotorForums.com: This is yet another forum that will help the rookies to learn how to build their very own quadcopter. You will be able to find out hundreds of people sharing tips, tricks and building strategies, all for free. The Events section will help you stay updated with all the latest happenings in the world of drones and in your own neighborhood.
3 – Buy additional batteries
This is a very common approach to overcoming the frustration caused by short flight durations. It does not enhance your drone’s battery life but it certainly helps you stay in the air for a longer duration of time. However, it is only suitable for drones that come with easily replaceable batteries such as X8C, X5SW etc. It does not work with UDI U839. Extra batteries are quite low priced and you can buy them from following online stores:
Or check out our today’s lowest prices below (at end of the page)
2 – Get rid of propeller guards
Propeller guards are responsible for protecting your propellers from any potential damage that might occur owing to a crash. They are, however, a double edged sword. On one hand, they protect your propellers from damage and on the other hand, they add more weight to your quadcopter and hence decrease the battery life of your drone. If you are still not good with handling your drone, I would suggest you not to remove them. Damaged propellers are not worth the extra couple of minutes of flight duration.
1 – Don’t let the battery get drained off completely
Each time the battery gets drained off completely, it affects its life span in the long run. It is recommended that you replace or recharge your battery once it has only 20% juice remaining. Once it gets to 20%, bring your quadcopter down, let the battery cool down and then recharge it to the maximum level. This is a very effective and yet highly overlooked tip that can definitely bolster your drone’s battery life.
Keep in mind that these tips will not be able to amplify your battery life say from seven minutes to fourteen minutes. However, they are good enough to help you get the maximum out of your battery and stay in the air as long as possible. If you have any tips or pieces of advice to share with us, you can comment in the comments section below. Happy flying!