LiPo Drone Battery Guide (13 Tips) Storage, Discharge, Safety, Care, Travel

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Lithium Polymer batteries are common in phones, power banks, and drones. In this post, youll learn about LiPo battery storage and special care. Their sensitive chemistry requires more attention than typical batteries. Learn how to store, care, and travel with these batteries.

If you own a drone or are thinking about getting one, there are a few LiPo battery safety tips you should know about.

lipo battery storage

lipo battery storage

Table of Contents

1. How to Charge a LiPo Battery Safely

Dont wait until you fully deplete the battery before charging it. Its safer not to let the battery charge drop below 20%.

You need to use a charger compatible with your LiPo battery.

You might get one with your new DJI drone, but you can shop for a replacement if needed. Its best to invest in a balance charger such as this one for RC and hobby vehicles. For DJI drones, youll need a charger from DJI directly.

Dont leave batteries unsupervised when charging, and avoid parallel charging.

Update Firmware on LiPo Batteries by DJI

To safely store your drone batteries, you should confirm that you have the latest firmware. DJI recently updated their auto-discharge feature for the Mini 2 drone.

Heres more about that in this video.

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2. LiPo Battery Storage

A fireproof, explosion-proof bag case is a great way to protect your LiPo battery for storage or taking your drone places. This LiPo bag by Colcase is fireproof and can contain temperatures of 1000°F (550°C).

Its made to allow charging while the batteries are inside the bag. Some reviews have shared photos of the inside of the bag charred with melted wires. The bag saved them from a dangerous fire inside their home.

Some drone storage cases include compartments for your batteries. But its safer to store them in a separate, fireproof case. LiPo batteries are a fire hazard and could cause damage to your home, car, and drone.

Some drone pilots like to store lithium polymer batteries in old ammo boxes.

how to store lipo batteries

how to store lipo batteries

3. What About Long-Term Storage?

Its best to use a fireproof bag for long-term storage. Some people use ammunition boxes and take additional measures such as placing sandbags around the box that holds the LiPo battery.

Its best not to leave a fully charged LiPo battery for more than 48 hours. If you dont plan on using your drone for a while, discharge the battery to 40 to 60% of its capacity.

You can invest in a multimeter so you can check the voltage of your LiPo battery and make sure its at 3.8V per cell for long-term storage.

I must admit that I have a multimeter here, but I need to take some time to learn how to use it.

4. How to Travel with a LiPo Battery

If you need to fly with a LiPo battery, youll have to place it in your carry-on luggage only.

You might be able to have a LiPo battery in checked baggage as long as its inside of a drone or other device.

You may need the original packaging, a pouch, or a case to protect the battery in your carry-on luggage. There are also regulations regarding watt-hour limits. You might be able to travel with as many LiPo batteries as you want as long as their watt-hour limit is under 100Wh. If you have a large-capacity battery like the DJI Inspire 1 TB48, you can only travel with two batteries.

Here are guidelines for the United States, Canada, and British Airways. Always check with the airline youre flying with. And the countries youll be visiting and transiting through.

You should also contact the airline you will be flying to ask about charging requirements. Some airlines require you to deplete the battery to 30 or 50% of its capacity.

5. Temperature Matters

You should always keep your LiPo battery at room temperature. A common mistake is to let your spare batteries sit in a vehicle that could get hot when flying your drone.

Some operators recommend taking breaks when flying your drone to check the battery temperature. If it feels warm to the touch, take a break or swap it for a different battery.

6. How to Discharge a LiPo Battery

One of the advantages of LiPo batteries is that they dont lose their charge if they sit around. However, you need to partially discharge your battery to store it safely if you dont plan on flying your drone for a while.

Unless youre ready to discard an old LiPo battery, you shouldnt discharge it lower than 20%.

The safest way to do it is to fly your drone until the low battery voltage alert comes on or to use the discharge feature on your charger.

If you have a smart external charger (like this DJI hub) you dont have to worry. The hub will handle the safe discharge of your batteries, down to a safe level. Make sure that youve updated the firmware on each battery in order to take advantage of this feature.

In the following video, youll get a crash course in the relationship between watts, volts, and amps. And how to safely discharge LiPo batteries safely.

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7. How to Safely Discard an Old LiPo Battery

Recycling centers have to puncture old batteries to remove dangerous chemicals. But puncturing a LiPo battery with a charge is extremely dangerous and can result in a fire or explosion.

You can eliminate this risk by fully depleting your old LiPo battery before getting rid of it. The safest way to do it is to use the discharge feature on your charger.

You can then place the battery in a clear plastic bag and take it to your local hazardous waste recycling center.

You should consider buying Lipo voltage checker alarm. These can check your voltage and display any errors.

Heres a good overview of how to safely dispose of Lipo battery, by TheRcSaylors.

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8. How to Handle a Damaged Battery

A punctured LiPo battery represents a serious fire hazard risk. You should also watch out for corrosion, leaks, or burns.

If you have a damaged LiPo battery, pack it in non-flammable materials. You can use bags filled with sand, dirt, or kitty litter.

Contact your local hazardous waste recycling center to get rid of the damaged battery.

9. How to Ship a LiPo Battery

You can ship a LiPo battery with ground UPS services or by air with FedEx or UPS.

Youll have to protect the battery terminals and ship it in a hard case if possible. If youre shipping more than one battery, use a non-conductive divider between them. Youll also need a closed liner that is leakproof.

Make sure you indicate that youre shipping a battery since youll need a special label.

10. Do You Need to Cycle LiPo Batteries?

There is no need to cycle LiPo batteries unless theyve been in storage for a few months.

Some users recommend that its best to bring your battery out of storage every three months, discharge it down to 20%, and charge it up to 80% to improve its longevity.

Of course, the most fun way to discharge your batteries is by tossing them in the air (with your drone) and having a good flight.

11. Dont Leave a LiPo Battery in Your Drone

Its best to remove the LiPo battery from your drone when youre done flying it.

Leaving the battery inside of the drone can be more convenient, but there is a risk of damaging your drone if there is an issue with the battery.

lipo battery

lipo battery

More reading: Drone Pilot Glossary

12. Use the Right Battery for Your Drone

If you purchase a DJI drone, youll get a battery with your drone and can shop for additional DJI batteries if you need a spare or replacement.

If you decide to purchase a battery from another brand, make sure its compatible with your drone by checking the discharge or C rating.

This rating will tell you how quickly you can discharge the battery safely. In other words, it indicates how much power the drone can safely draw from the battery.

Youll find a continuous and a burst rating on your new LiPo battery. The continuous rating indicates the average discharge rate while the burst rating tells you how much power your drone can use when accelerating.

Youll have to check your drones specs to find the maximum amount of power it can draw as well as how much current it needs for continuous use.

13. Crash Course in LiPo Battery Management

Heres a great overview of managing lithium polymer batteries by Mr Steele.

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More Reading: What is Headless Mode on a Drone: 9 Pros & Cons

Conclusion

These LiPo battery safety tips will make your batteries last longer while preventing issues. We recommend investing in a sturdy EVA case or LiPo safe bag to store and protect your batteries, as well as a quality charger with a discharge feature.

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LiPo Drone Battery Guide (13 Tips) Storage, Discharge, Safety, Care, Travel