For consumers, drones function in their majority by electricity, unlike military drones that use combustion engines or solar energy. This is where batteries come into the scene. Drones need a reliable source of power, but the problem with this is that drones consume a lot of energy. The heavier the battery, the more energy the drone will consume, so if you are planning on flying your drone for a long time, you might need to change the battery at some point. Still, you might be asking yourself, are drone batteries interchangeable?
Yes, drone batteries can be interchangeable, but they have to fulfill a series of requirements. A few facts to take into consideration, the voltage and capacity of the battery should match the original one. But if you want to use a high-capacity battery, you might have to modify your drone; however, this will need some extra skills.
In this post, we will review what to consider when choosing a battery, which is better for your drone and how to prolong your battery’s life.
What to consider when choosing the correct battery for your drone
If you are considering the idea of having some extra batteries for your drone, there are some requirements you need to meet to get the most productive flight time and performance.
The best batteries for drones are made with lithium polymer; these batteries are called LiPo Batteries.
LiPo batteries have many good qualities; they have higher capacities and higher discharge rates, combining lower weight and sharp flexibility, which could be translated to longer times in the sky.
LiPo batteries do not tend to sell-discharge. So, for example, they can be stored for months fully charged, and they can still be ready to use in your drone’s next trip to the sky.
LiPo batteries have a downside; they need extra care for storing, shipping, and transporting, as they could be highly flammable.
The battery’s life comes in hand with the size of the battery in terms of capacity. So it would be best if you try to get the most extensive capacity your drone is able to handle to make sure you get the most flying time possible.
Regarding the physical size, keep in mind to select the correct size that will fit your drone, as if it is way too big, it might not work for your drone. Furthermore, it will need some extra effort to carry the battery, which will result in considerable energy consumption from the battery, so it will make the battery discharge quickly, which takes us to the next point.
An essential factor that you should consider is the battery discharge C rating; when it is too low, it can damage the battery. As a result, your drone might face low performance because the battery won’t provide the necessary power correctly and in time to make the motors work.
Another thing to consider is that the higher the C rating, the heavier the battery, so a C rating way too high will affect the flight time of your drone.
To choose the best C rating for your drone, you need to know the motor and ESC of your drone, as well as the capacity; if it is a small capacity, you will need a high C rating, and if it is a high capacity you will find low C ratings between 10-15C.
The Voltage or Cell Count
The voltage will vary depending on the cell count. Therefore, the amount of voltage is a crucial decision to make when choosing your drone’s battery.
To find the best battery voltage, you could look at your drone’s thrust data tables to analyze the efficiency of the battery voltage for your drone. Still, a general rule is that the higher the cell counts, the more efficient and powerful the motor will be. However, some of this power and efficiency will be consumed by the weight of the battery.
Another thing to consider is what your drone’s motors are able to support, as some engines only support a certain cell count or voltage range.
You will have to keep in mind how much it will cost to replace the original battery without compromising the capacity and quality of the battery.
A good battery is an investment, so make sure you are paying for a good battery if you are considering some expensive options.
Choosing the correct brand is something relatively important. First, try to choose a reliable manufacturer whose quality and performance are excellent; otherwise, your drone’s performance will be compromised. Then, take a look at the reviews for each to verify if they will be a good match for your needs.
Here we give you a list of the best battery brands to consider:
LiPo Vs. Li-Ion
Besides LiPo, in the market, you can also find Li-Ion, also known as Lithium-Ion batteries. Even though both of them are composed of lithium, the most significant difference is that the electrolyte within the positive and negative electrodes in the Li-Ion is a dry solid, porous chemical, or an electrolyte similar to gel, which is the most popular presentation of all three.
Li-Ion batteries are like a larger AA battery, with multiple cells placed in a hard plastic case. Some of Li-Ion’s advantages are the high energy density and low cost. Still, they are highly flammable, and over time they start to lose their properties.
With LiPo, you get a more robust and flexible battery with reduced size and fewer probabilities of leakage. The downside of LiPo is the high production cost, short lifetime, and they store less power.
For drones, it is better to use LiPo due to its dimensions and weight. Also, they won’t leak, and charging is more manageable than with Li-Ion.
How To Improve The Battery’s Life
The two factors that can impact your battery’s life and how long the flight time will last are weight and flight habits.
Reducing your drone’s weight might be a challenging task. However, you can control the way you fly your drone. Things you should avoid when flying are fast moves, turbulent conditions due to your drone making adjustments to maintain stability. Also, another thing that will consume a lot of battery is the accessories you use.
Other good practices to give your battery a long life:
- Do not store the battery at 0% nor 100%.
- Do not leave it plugged in all the time.
- Keep in a cool and dry environment.
- Avoid any physical damage.
The battery of your drone could be interchangeable as long as the replacement battery matches the specifications of your drone’s engines and are similar to the ones on the original battery.
Suppose you would like to use a battery with a higher capacity for your drone. You will have to make a few modifications for the battery to match your drone in that case.
LiPo batteries are the most popular type of batteries in the market; their flexibility and their lightweight make them an excellent option for drones as they will consume less battery.
But, in order to make your battery last longer, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as:
- Gentle flight habits
- Avoid unnecessary weight
- Avoid turbulent conditions
- Do not store completely drained or fully charged
- It would be best if you do not keep the battery plugged in all the time
- Cool and dry environments are perfect for storing your drone’s battery
- Avoid any physical damage, this could be dangerous, and it could harm your battery’s capacity to hold a charge
Hope this post has assisted you in clarifying and making a decision whether you should buy an extra battery, how to choose one, and most importantly, a few recommendations to take care of them.