Whether you’re a beginner or pro drone pilot, understanding effective drone battery storage tips are crucial as they are a significant investment and a critical component that directly impacts the quality and duration of your aerial adventures. So let’s talk about 12 essential tips to make informed decisions next time when storing your drone batteries to ensure that they remain in prime condition for countless successful flights.
- Store batteries in LiPo-safe bags or containers to prevent accidental malfunctions.
- Store batteries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Make sure the storage area is well-ventilated for better heat dissipation and dispersing of any gases that might be generated.
- Avoid storing batteries near flammable materials, liquids, or gases.
- As dust and debris can clog connectors, avoid storing batteries away from dusty environments.
- Avoid storing batteries in freezing temperatures, as it can damage the cells.
- Store LiPo batteries at around 50-60% of their charge for long-term storage.
- Use rubber bands or caps to cover battery connectors and prevent accidental short circuits.
- Label each battery with the purchase date to keep track of age.
- Check drone battery conditions regularly and keep firmware updated.
- Do not stack batteries on top of each other, as it can damage the lower batteries.
- If a battery shows signs of swelling, punctures, or leaks, dispose of it safely.
1. Store batteries in LiPo-safe bags or containers to prevent accidental malfunctions.
When storing LiPo batteries which are commonly drone batteries, disconnect them from the drone and put them in LiPo-safe bags or containers in case of a battery malfunction. Those LiPo-safe bags are designed to be a fireproof and better environment for storing LiPo batteries.
- LiPo batteries used in drones are prone to catch fire or explode if it’s damaged, overcharged, or exposed to extreme temperatures. Therefore storing them in LiPo-safe bags or containers reduces the risk of fire spreading, as these bags are designed to contain fires within a limited area, preventing potential harm from spreading and causing further damage.
- Storing LiPo batteries in safe bags, makes them isolated from other flammable materials, reducing the risk of external ignition sources.
- As safe bags often have compartments or dividers, It makes it very easy to organize and store multiple batteries without them coming into contact with each other.
2. Store batteries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
As LiPo batteries (drone batteries) are sensitive to extreme temperatures and moisture, store them in a cool, dry place. Usually, the ideal storage temperature is between 59-77°F (15-25°C).
- Batteries are sensitive to temperature changes and extreme heat or cold. It can lead to chemical reactions within the battery cells, reducing their performance, capacity, and overall lifespan.
- Heat can cause batteries to self-discharge at a higher rate, and ultimately over-discharge the battery. So storing batteries in a cool place helps maintain their charge over time.
- Extreme temperatures can cause battery cells to swell, leak, or even rupture.
- Storing LiPo batteries within the 59-77°F (15-25°C) temperature range helps preserve their chemical integrity and overall lifespan.
- The expansion and contraction caused by rapid temperature changes, potentially cause internal cell damage. So it’s better to store batteries at a cool constant temperature.
- As a cool, dry storage environment prevents exposure to moisture and humidity, it can prevent battery damages caused by moisture such as swelling.
3. Make sure the storage area is well-ventilated for better heat dissipation and dispersing of any gases that might be generated.
A well-ventilated storage environment is crucial for battery storage to achieve better heat dissipation, a consistent cooler environment, and low humidity.
- A well-ventilated storage environment helps dissipate this heat, generated during charging and discharging or environmental factors and prevents the batteries from overheating.
- As well-ventilated spaces stay at a consistent temperature, they are ideal for battery storage.
- Also, well ventilation prevents moisture and humidity buildups in the storage area.
- As LiPo batteries release small amounts of gases (CO2 and CO from the cathode, C2H4, CO, and H2 from the anode), proper ventilation prevents potentially flammable or harmful gas buildups.
4. Avoid storing batteries near flammable materials, liquids, or gases.
As drone batteries (lithium-based batteries like LiPo batteries) are prone to catch fire, flammable materials, liquids, or gases can act as ignition sources, increasing the risk of battery fires. So it’s better to store the batteries away from those sources.
- As flammable substances ignite very easily and spread rapidly, they may cause battery fires caused by even minor malfunctions or sparks.
- As I mentioned above, LiPo batteries release small amounts of flammable gases (CO2 and CO from the cathode, C2H4, CO, and H2 from the anode), so they could cause flames due to some battery malfunctions (If not well-ventilated) and flammable substances would cause the spread of the fire rapidly causing further damages.
5. As dust and debris can clog connectors, avoid storing batteries away from dusty environments.
Storing drone batteries in a dusty environment would cause dense dust accumulation in connectors and it can lead to short circuits and poor power connection.
- Dust accumulation on terminals can become conductive paths between battery terminals or connections can lead to short circuits and potential damage.
- Also, those accumulations on battery contacts, connectors, and terminals would reduce conductivity and poor electrical connections.
6. Avoid storing batteries in freezing temperatures, as it can damage the cells.
Drone batteries should not be stored in freezing cold temperatures as it slows down the LiPo battery chemical reactions too much which leads to damage to the battery cells.
- Freezing temperatures slow down the internal battery chemical reactions and accelerate the degradation of battery cells, leading to a reduction in the battery’s capacity.
- As freezing causes physical contraction, it can damage the seals of battery cells and lead to battery leakage.
7. Store LiPo batteries at around 50-60% of their charge for long-term storage.
If you are storing the battery for a long time, avoid fully charging it and charge the battery to a moderate level like 50-60% before using it after storage. Storing LiPo drone batteries at around 50-60% charge level for long-term storage is recommended to keep them healthy and save their lifespan.
- When LiPo batteries are stored at full charge or discharged to very low levels, they can self-discharge over time, leading to capacity loss. Therefore storing at a moderate charge level like 50-60% charge reduces self-discharge rates and damage.
- Storing LiPo batteries at very low charge levels leads to over-discharge if the battery’s BMS (Battery Management System) can’t manage the self-discharge rate.
8. Use rubber bands or caps to cover battery connectors and prevent accidental short circuits.
Covering battery terminals or connectors using rubber bands or caps is a safety practice that helps prevent accidental short circuits and maintain the integrity of your drone batteries.
- Some sort of rubber covering on battery terminals prevents them from coming into contact with conductive materials or surfaces, reducing the risk of a short-circuit and sparks.
- Also, it prevents any accumulation including debris or dust inside terminals or connectors.
- As rubber covering prevents exposure of terminals to air and moisture, it reduces the corrosion on metal connectors over time.
- Besides them, rubber battery terminal/connector coverings can prevent accidental bending or pressure on battery connectors.
9. Label each battery with the purchase date to keep track of age.
If you own several drone batteries, label each drone battery with the purchase date to keep track of the age of your batteries. Also, it makes it easy to rotate and use each battery regularly which is really good practice to follow if you own multiple batteries.
- If you own multiple batteries, labeling them with purchase dates can help to rotate their usage and prevent some batteries from being consistently used while others are left unused.
- Also having this information labeled to battery helps you take advantage of warranty coverage if issues arise within the warranty period.
- Knowing the age of each battery helps you to make better decisions when choosing a battery for critical tasks or longer flights.
- Having a record of battery purchase dates gives you a rough idea about when you might need to do a battery replacement in the future.
- Tracking the age of your batteries helps you avoid storing or using batteries that have exceeded their recommended lifespan.
10. Check drone battery conditions regularly and keep firmware updated.
- Regular checking of your drone batteries allows you to identify any signs of physical damage, swelling, or abnormal behavior in your batteries.
- Regularly checking battery charge level help you to identify batteries with higher discharge rate, then charge them to the recommended level and store them.
- Keeping the battery firmware updated can optimize the battery management as usually firmware consists of updates of the battery management system which is responsible for accurate battery voltage and capacity readings.
- Also, Firmware updates address bugs, glitches, and software-related issues.
11. Do not stack batteries on top of each other, as it can damage the lower batteries.
Storing batteries in a stack is not a recommended battery organization for storing. Instead of stacking batteries, consider storing them horizontally or side by side with adequate spacing in a LiPo-safe bag or container that is designed to hold batteries securely and prevent contact between them.
- Stacking batteries can hinder proper heat dissipation and ventilation then lead to increased heat buildups.
- When batteries are stacked, it’s more challenging to visually inspect each battery for signs of swelling and damage.
- Also, In the event of a battery malfunction, like swelling, stacking batteries can amplify the potential dangers by affecting multiple batteries simultaneously.
12. If a battery shows signs of swelling, punctures, or leaks, dispose of it safely.
If you notice a battery with signs of swelling, punctures, or leaks you should properly dispose of the battery as it can damage the drone and also if it’s stored with some other batteries, it would damage them too.
- Swollen, punctured, or leaking damaged batteries pose a significant safety risk as they are more likely to experience thermal runaway, fires, or even explosions during charging, discharging, or storage.
- Also, a damaged battery can impact other nearby batteries and equipment, especially if stored together. So proper disposal of the damaged battery prevents potential cascading damage.
- Besides the property damage, leaking electrolytes or other battery contents can be corrosive or harmful to the environment.
- Therefore proper disposal prevents these substances from causing harm not only for your properties but also for your environment.