The most commonly-used batteries in UAVs are lithium-based. Their energy density is higher than it is in nickel-based batteries. But, pound for pound, they’re not as energy dense as gas used in internal combustion engine (ICE) UAVs, so they still cause users some range issues. 

And energy density is not the only problem. Long charging time is another, making missions more complex in their planning stages as well as more stressful if the flight parameters or the weather conditions change on the day. What’s more, despite their smaller size, batteries are not weightless. Any additional ounce of weight on the UAV drains its batteries even more.  

Unfortunately, the technology, as advanced as it is, hasn’t solved the issues of battery depletion enough to provide end-users with UAVs that can fly for days without charging. And the end-users don’t usually care about the nitty gritty of the technological issues and engineering problems involved in creating efficient motors. They simply want their batteries to last longer.  

And while they wait for new technologies to help with extending their flight time, there are several things that might be shortening the batteries’ life span without users even realizing it.  

Weather conditions 

Windy weather forces UAVs to work harder, draining the battery faster. Additionally, humid or wet conditions can increase the weight of the drone, draining the battery faster. Very cold weather slows down the chemical activity within LiPo batteries, so flying below 14F (-10C) is not recommended.  

If you use your UAV for footage creation, you need to remember that although photos or films shot in inclement weather can be stunning, their price will be a much shorter battery life. Clear skies with no winds are the time to fly.  

Flying style 

Are you flying too aggressively? Quick turns and flying at full speed unnecessarily deplete the batteries faster. Adjust your flying style and see if you can recalibrate the sticks for slower acceleration (adjust the acceleration and movement response curves to the movements of the joysticks).  

Excess weight 

Third-party accessories and any personal additions are only going to make the drone heavier, draining the battery faster. If you’re not going to be using the camera, remove it. How about the propeller guards? It’s not an exaggeration that every pound counts. These machines are designed with tiny weight margins in mind.  

Power-depleting activities 

Are any of your lights or sensors on? Are you always video recording even when you don’t have to? Have you accidentally switched on the sports mode? Any processes taking place during the flight add to the energy consumption. Make sure that everything you don’t need is switched off.  

Old or faulty batteries  

Could it be that your drone battery is simply old? When they’re nearing the end of their life, they tend to drain very quickly. But you can check that yourself since most UAVs will have an in-built option to check the health of the battery together with a record of how many times it’s been charged and drained.  

You may also want to check the manufacturer’s information on how many times your battery can be recharged. If you’re past that mark, maybe it’s time for a new battery.  

Proper care 

Remember that what the manufacturer says the maximum flight time is and what it actually is can differ significantly. Manufacturers’ estimates are based on perfect conditions and don’t consider all the add-ons you may choose to attach to your drone or the fact that you fly it in high winds.  

UAVs are just like any other mechanical device. They need proper care, use, and storage. So, if you want to prolong your batteries’ life, you need to look after them and charge them properly. Follow the user instruction and click here to learn more about preserving your batteries.