Battery Usage Poll

How often do you replace your aircraft batteries?

  • Less than 50 Cycles
  • 50 Cycles
  • 75 Cycles
  • 100 Cycles
  • Keep going until they swell

0 voters

Truthfully I haven’t gotten there yet (phantom 4 batteries). I hear they can go up to 200-300 cycles. I’ve had two new batteries that failed to charge after slight usage. I had another battery go down in a cornfield (with drone) in early December and found as dirty wreckage 4 months later. After a bit of cleaning, the battery works and charges normally. Not bad for surviving a Wisconsin winter!

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I’ve been having nothing but problems lately with my DJI P4 V2 batteries, they are only about 50 cycles into their lives and I have had 4 of my 8 start to swell. I have the discharge time set to 5 days but I tend to use them more frequently than that anyway, I also like to have at least 2 ready at any given moment as I never know exactly when I will need to fly. I generally use each battery down to 20-30% and then fully recharge after that so they are ready when needed. They are stored out of the drone and case in a cool dry place. Ambient air temps have been higher lately but this issue started before we started creeping into the 90-100° range. I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or that I have a bad set of batteries. I’ve been flying for a few years now and this is the first I’ve had this problem.

We generally try to replace batteries between the 75-100 cycle range.

It has been pretty hot in Texas as it usually is in the summer and I notice batteries starting to swell around 50 cycles. Very slightly, but them being charged and dumped at least every two days the heat starts to take a toll on them sooner. I have yet to take a battery past 75 cycles, but we keep enough batteries in rotation that they usually go for close to a year. Most recommendations that I have heard from sources is 100 cycles, but I can imagine if you are in a cooler or more temperate climate that they could go beyond that. When we look for this kind of information it is tough because most of the resources out there are from a hobbyist perspective and normal drone usage is quite a bit different than constant mapping usage.

5 DJI P3P batteries from 2015 still in use. Well over 120 cycles, no swell at all, approx 90% endurance.

75% of the original Yuneec HV batteries for the H520 didn’t make it over 30 cycles.
My original dual set of batteries from 2017 is still alive though with approx. 90 cycles but also with only approx. 90 % endurance.
I have 10 GiFi HV batteries for the H520. 5 of them have over 30 cycles and still work as new. 25% charge on landing after 25 min mission time.

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I’ve got a couple of P4P batteries that I have held onto with over 100 cycles that have not swollen, and out of 30+ batteries with at least 25 cycles we have only had 2 swell. Both were as a result of constant use in 90F+ temperature.

What is your typical climate?

I have experienced the same success with the H520 GiFi 7900mah.

My typical climate conditions are -5 °C to +30 °C. Above and below that are extremes only.
Here is an excerpt from my SOPs about battery temperatures:
(…) Before operational usage flight batteries must be stored outside or placed inside the UAS with min. +20° C and max. +40 °C inner temperature. Operational (in flight) battery temperatures: min. +25°C, max. +70 °C. (…)
These values shall ensure that batteries don’t get into the bird still too cold or already too hot AND that in-flight batteries don’t underperform or overheat.
Additionally I added e.g. reduced ground speed values (from 10 m/s down to 6 m/s) in the SOPs for extreme outside air temperatures (-10 °C to 0 °C and +30 °C to 40°C) to not undercool or overheat the batteries.
I won’t operate below -10°C or above 40°C (neither would I like to stay outside with frozen or sweating fingers at the RC).
Air humidity values and density altitudes are also taken into consideration…
A lot of precautions, but better safe than sorry :wink:

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