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Are there (much) better batteries coming soon?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ElGuano, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. ElGuano

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    http://vimeo.com/84302289

    EndOfDay's latest flight time record of over 2 hours 9 minutes mentions use of GEB's high rate GEB8043125 lipo batteries (http://gebattery.en.alibaba.com/product ... ttery.html). He uses a 6S4P config weighing 2100g. So it sounds the energy density we're talking about is 18.32mah/g (3S). In comparison, a standard Phantom battery is 12.95mah/g, and a P2/PV battery is ~16.78 mah/g (assuming 350g, with 40g for the charger circuitry and plastic cage).

    A couple of things: This is the first time I've done any math and it suggests the P2/PV battery does have a different, better chemistry than standard (assuming the 5200mah label is accurate). The second, more scintillating, is the possibility that higher energy density lipos are just around the corner. If the figures are accurate, we could be seeing some tremendous increases in Phantom flight times across all battery configs, since higher energy density means more mah at the same weight. Some rough calculations of possibilities:

    2200mah stock Phantom battery -> 3100mah
    2700mah Maddog battery -> 3700mah
    4400mah 3S2P -> 6000mah
    5400mah Maddog 3S2P -> 7,300mah
    P2/PV 5200mah -> 5700mah

    No idea if this is just pie in the sky for now, but a 170g 3100mah battery would mean 18+ minute flights for an stock Phantom 1, and with a 6000mah "dual battery", we're talking solidly over 30 minutes naked or with lightweight FPV, or 20+ minutes with a 3-axis gimbal. I'm not even sure I'd want to fly that long. But it would really open up some interesting possibilities.
     
  2. LeoS

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    That is insane!

    24,000mah with 4050g AUW, 129minutes.
    If he loses those battery chunk down to a single 4000mah, he can still lift a 1.6kg dslr payload for 21 minutes in that small quad?
    Unbelievable...
     
  3. dcoski

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  4. ElGuano

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    The funny thing is, quite literally every single year, I read the same article. Some small R&D company (always a different one) has found a way to DRAMATICALLY increase the capacity, charge rate, and lifecycle of li-ion batteries, and it's a couple of years away. Charge to 80% in 10 minutes! Recharge 10,000 times without losing capacity! I think this is a recurring example of how very smart people can make a much better moustrap, but other considerations (manufacturing/scale difficulties, environmental use factors, cost/availability of components, safety factors etc.) get in the way of releasing at commercial scale.

    The 18mah/g lipo pouches are already available for purchase from China, literally all that is needed now is for someone to buy them in lots of 100, wait for delivery, and solder and heat shrink them together :)
     
  5. OI Photography

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    Sounds like we have a volunteer! :D

    I've been wondering if something like this was on the immediate horizon, especially after seeing the insane flight times quoted for this thing: http://flyingeyes.com/
     
  6. ElGuano

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    That just blew my mind. 60 minutes with a hex + 3-axis gimbal + DSLR? Even if it's just naked, that's still crazy. Has anyone vetted the claims they're making?

    Btw, what's even more impressive than the quad is the "built in simulator" for the TX. What a great idea!
     
  7. OI Photography

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    I know, right? Even if the drone is vaporware, I'm hoping they still release the Tx.

    Haven't seen any proof of their claims, but I heard they said they'll have it ready for sale in about 3 months. The price and the flight times are so incredible that they're suspicious, but I'm still keeping an eye on it for now.
     
  8. dkatz42

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    Small word of caution. I was at a work meeting recently for which the "social event" was a large RC car track set up in the very large space. After everyone else left, I was talking with a handful of folks and heard a "foom" sound and saw a pillar of flame several feet high, with pressure behind it. At first I thought a propane tank went off or something. Turns out it was one of the battery packs on a charger. Had that gone off in a small space at home, as opposed to an arena-sized room with 40' ceilings, it would not have been pretty.

    I've heard of such things, but seeing it in person was extremely sobering (not to mention stinky).
     
  9. ElGuano

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    A very good point. I haven't seen a lipo meltdown (though I've had a 400Wh NiMH pack melt through a workbench), but I charge all my lipos in a Lipo sack and only when I'm in the vicinity. They stay stored in a ceramic planter with a lid. Higher density batteries would present more risk, as I guess we're getting closer and closer to these things carrying the potential energy of a bomb :shock: I'd definitely recommend taking precautions (including never storing lipos fully charged, and never discharging them fully in normal use) for any lithium pack.

    And the best thing to do when they go boom? If it's not in your house, walk away. Don't stand at a "safe distance" and watch. These things are filled with very unhealthy volatile chemicals and you don't want to be around as they offgas.
     
  10. LeoS

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    Doesn't that increase the risk as the battery gets overheated in the bag?

    Btw, I looked up the motor in that demo... they cost $279 each. Ouch.
     
  11. ElGuano

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    It shouldn't. Your batteries really shouldn't be getting warm as you charge them (I only charge at 1C-my batteries are cool to the touch when charging completes). But if that's a concern, you can always take steps like charging outside in a larger, fireproof box.