While NiCad batteries were very popular once upon a time for drones, LiPo drone batteries have quickly replaced NiCad because of their high energy density. LiPo batteries are one variety in the family of lithium-ion batteries and have become the choice of drone aficionados due to the LiPo battery's ability to respond when the pilot places a greater demand on the battery in a flight situation (e.g. their high discharge rate). Conventional lithium-ion batteries have a low discharge rate and are unable to respond when placing a higher power demand upon them in flight.
In addition to their high energy discharge, LiPo batteries have three other characteristics which make them popular over other battery varieties:
- Their square shape fits well in UAVs.
- LiPo batteries have a higher energy density.
- They are more environmentally friendly than NiCad batteries.
As with all lithium-ion batteries, heat is the greatest danger to LiPo batteries. Take special care to follow all safety precautions for use, storage, charging, and disposal of LiPo batteries. All varieties of lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to catch fire when misused or damaged. Concerning best safety protocols, avoid buying “slightly used” (there is no such thing) or using “puffed” batteries at all costs because of fire risk. A fireproof container should always be used to store, carry and charge all varieties of lithium-ion batteries.
Purchasing, and using a quality liPo drone battery is a definite must for the enthusiast. Carolina Dronz carries all the batteries and supplies that a drone builder or pilot might need. In fact, Carolina Dronz has created an excellent tutorial video for you, "LiPo Batteries Explained", in two lengths. This link is to the longer version. If you have questions, visit their blog or contact them.
Whether you are building your first drone, or you are a seasoned UAV pilot, knowledge of how to select the right LiPo drone battery, as well as the proper use, charging, and storage of LiPo batteries is one of your most important advantages.