Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Battery Life in colder weather?

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by drquest, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. drquest

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi everyone! I have a P3S and haven't been able to fly any since Thanksgiving, it's just been so darn cold.

    Does the battery life suffer any in colder weather flying? I could chance a guess it might even improve since the battery would actually run cooler.

    Thanks!
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    19,059
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    US
    The battery won't hold a charge as long in cold weather. It would be best to keep the battery in a warm place until you're ready to use it.
     
  3. MapMaker53

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The next time I have to fly in cold weather, I'm thinking I might toss one of those little chemical hand warmer bags into the case during transport (I'm often in a remote location) to keep the batteries warm. Haven't tried it yet.
     
  4. Ti22

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    San Diego
    Starting room temperature if I keep my packs next to my body they seem to do pretty good. Unless it's very brutal cold as you use them they'll maintain warmth internally.

    But RC Lipo doesn't handle cold or even cool very well. Best performance is found above 80F.
     
  5. drquest

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the info! So a 10%-20% loss in battery life maybe? Just curious as I haven't had mine out in 30 degree weather yet to see for myself.
     
  6. Ti22

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    San Diego
    Battery life? Do you mean capacity loss?

    It’s more complicated than a blanket percentage can relate but yeah 10-20% capacity loss is likely to be expected when used around freezing temperatures.

    My tests have shown RC Lipo can discharge close to rated capacity at very cold temperatures but the sag is so much more significant that any BMS/PCM equipment would need lower voltage cutoff values in order to ever extract the energy from cold cells.

    The fact that it’s colder seems to prevent the damage of sagging cells below 2.5V or so. But for that reason you should also never, ever attempt to charge cold Lipoly cells. If you do charge when cold and they warm back up the voltage may climb into dangerous territory.

    Much to the dismay of my lovely wife, a couple years ago I ran a “battery” of charge/discharge tests using 5Ah RC Lipo cells in my kitchen freezer around 5F. Very enlightening and I often refer back to those tests when evaluating RC Lipo battery performance.
     
  7. drquest

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Illinois
    Yes capacity is the term I should have used and thank you for confirming that. My lipo experiences have mainly been R/C cars etc, and haven't explored their cold temperature tolerances, which lead to my question.

    Thanks again!