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Get More Flight Time by Taking Care of Your Batteries

Flight time is a significant consideration when purchasing a UAS. Most people know that as batteries age, operators will get less current from them. However, there is a lot drone operators can do to extend the life of their batteries. Most commercial drones use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries, and I’ve developed seven rules for managing them.

Rule #1: Never let them discharge to 0%. A full discharge is the death knell for drone batteries. I try not ever to let them get below 15%.

Rule #2: Only fully charge them (100%) if you plan to fly within 24hrs – 48hrs. Batteries charged at 100% excessively will have reduced performance.

Rule #3: Store them in a conditioned space avoiding excessive heat, cold, moisture, and direct sunlight.

Rule #4: Don't leave them on the charger for a prolonged period of time. Whenever you hear about a LiPo caused fire, leaving them on the charger for days at a time seems to be the reason why.

Rule #5: Don't keep hitting the button. DJI batteries are designed to self-discharge after a couple of days (the number of days depends on the model). They do this to protect themselves from a prolonged 100% charge. However, every time you hit the button on the battery, it resets the clock.

Rule #6: Store your batteries between 40% and 65% charge (or at least as close as you can).

Rule #7: If they start to bulge or physically deform, get rid of them.

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