The battery life is so important and effective on the flight time of a drone and drone manufacturers always try to optimize their products’ batteries as hard as they can. If the drone has a well-optimized and maximized longer flight time, it’s going to be a huge advantage to stand out from the rest of the drone manufacturers.
Even though most drone manufacturers have done a good job with optimizing and maximizing the battery life and flight time, those things go down slowly with time. That’s pretty much normal but there are some user actions that cause the drone battery drain fast. So avoiding these actions would help you to maximize your battery life and ultimately the drone’s flight time.
Why does the drone battery drain fast.
Most of the time the flying mode and style which allows maximum acceleration is the main reason the drone battery dies fast. Other factors like lifting extra weight, high winds, battery cells health, extra features, and battery age also going to cause drone battery drain fast.
Therefore calibrating the sticks for lower acceleration, disabling unnecessary modes and features and batter battery maintenance would prevent from drone battery from draining fast and maximize flight time.
Reason 1: Aggressive accelerations.
Yeah, it looks cool to fly the drone fast with quick turns and flips but those actions require a load of energy from the battery. If you are an aggressive flyer as I am, you would definitely experience more flight time and battery life if you fly the drone calmly.
- Use cinematic mode: most modern drones available this feature. The cinematic mode smooths turns and quick movements. So it would prevent you from preventing quick actions and you don’t have to stress too much about that stuff.
- Calibrate controller sticks: Many modern drones allow users to customize the drone actions as they prefer. If your drone accelerates aggressively by its default settings and you need to reduce that, you might be able to do it by customizing EXPO settings for slower accelerations. Open your drone app and head to EXPO settings and adjust curves to your sensitivity.
- Switch to Beginner mode: Beginner mode exists to fly the drone safe and prevent high accelerations and speeds. So switching flight mode to beginner mode would control aggressive accelerations and let your drone in the sky for a long.
Reason 2: Sports mode.
Sports mode is so cool mode as it sounds. It allows the user to exceed usual flight limits and speeds for an exciting experience therefore it’s the only way to experience sharp and quick turns and higher accelerations. But all these things come with a cost. This flight mode requires a relatively lot of power from the battery. Therefore it’s impossible to expect maximum flight time when you are flying in this mode.
If you want to fly the drone in sports mode, it’s totally fine. It’s so much more fun and exciting than usual flight modes. If you want to maximize flight time in sports mode, you need to buy an extra battery. So you can exchange them once one is dead.
Reason 3: Heavy wind.
Sometimes heavy winds are unavoidable with flying a drone. So many drone manufacturers have manufactured their products to resist them. So when there is a heavy wind around your environment the drone has to spin extraordinary to resist the wind. Therefore battery is going to drain so fast than on a usual flight.
Reason 4: Unnecessary features and activities.
There are many unnecessary features and activities startup when you turn on the drone. If you have lights and other sensors active on your drone, you’ll use more energy than if you didn’t have them active. So if you are confident about your skills and want to extend the flight time, turn off sensors and extra components or switch to a flight mode that doesn’t require them.
Reason 5: Mounting extra weights on the drone.
The weight of the drone is another factor in the flight time. That’s why every drone manufacturers try to make the drone possibly light. In the current market, there are many third-party additions that can be mounted to the drone. The GoPro cam is the most common accessory that users mount to their drones.
when you have attached that kind of third-party accessories to your drone, the drone has to carry extra weight when flying. So every single weight requires more extra power to work and to be carried. Ultimately cause the drone battery to drain fast. If you have mounted unnecessary third-party accessories on your drone, unmount them. You’ll definitely experience a longer flight time.
Reason 6: Unhealthy battery cells.
If your drone battery drain fast that’s a symptom of unhealthy battery cells and an indication that the battery has reached the end and requires a replacement. Open the drone app and head to battery settings and check the battery cells’ health status. In DJI GO4 app, Mainmenu > Battery > Details. If all the cells are healthy, you are fine. Else you have to replace the battery. Usually, the LIthium polymer battery has to be replaced after two or three years or 300 – 500 charge cycles.
To keep the battery healthy, you need to practice good habits with battery maintenance and using it. Here are some habits to practice and keep batteries safe.
Tips to keep drone battery cells healthy.
- Keep batteries clean and dry: Drone batteries need to store in a clean and dry area to avoid moisture and dust. Those things can cause damaged battery cells and swell the battery.
- Avoid overheating: Leaving the battery in the charger for many hours would cause serious consequences to its life. Tracking the battery charge time and unplugging it when it’s fully charged would avoid you from costly replacement.
- Let the battery cool off before charging: If you just finished flying the drone, the battery must be hot. take out the battery and leave it in an open area to cool off before charging. This practice would protect the battery from overheating while charging and swelling. Sometimes the battery would refuse to charge the battery if it’s out of the temperature range.
- Store the battery at 50% charge: If you plan to store the battery for long periods of time, leaving it at 100% charge is not a good idea. For short-term storage (1-10 days), discharge the battery to 60-80% and store them. For long-term storage ( about three months ), discharge the battery to 40-60% and sore them. Batteries should not be left for over three months without being charged as the battery life will be reduced. Many modern drones have intelligent batteries and they are able to discharge by themselves and go into hibernation mode to save the battery.
- Never drain your battery: If you drain the battery below 3 volts per cell, you would potentially damage the battery. So never use the battery until it’s fully drained cause it’s never worth replacing the battery.
- Optimize piloting skills: Being a responsible pilot is the best way to keep the battery safe while flying. You have to optimize your drone piloting skills to be a responsible pilot so you won’t panic when flying and do quick accelerations which cause sudden spikes in power usage.