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How hot is too hot?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Chris Vedeler, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Chris Vedeler

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    I live in Arizona where it routinely gets above 40C or 104F. The battery always feels really hot after I fly and I take it out first thing to have it cool more quickly and to keep it away from the electronics in my P3. I have seen videos of other RC quads catching fire. I assume the P3 has a fail safe that will not let it get that hot. But how hot is too hot to fly?

    Thanks!
     
  2. VoicOfReason

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    If it's on fire, then it is too hot to fly. ;)
     
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  3. loganboyd

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  4. Buckaye

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    The specs suggest staying below 40C - so I would guess anything above that and you're flying at your own risk.
     
  5. dalebb

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    Yes it has fail safes that can let you turn off the motors in mid flight, which you may want to do if it catches on fire mid flight.
     
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  6. RoyVa

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    A good rule of thumb for any electronics is if your to hot then it's to hot. When you say it's time to get out of the sun.... Then it's time to park it for a while. I like flying in early morning or late evening. That's the best time for the light to be right unless it's a real cloudy day. Best video are not I. Direct sun but overcast or hazy are great.
     
  7. damitjim

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    If this happens, you just glide it in. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. wat17

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    I have noticed the same. Hasn't tipped 40c outside yet but it will.

    One thing I didn't notice is the motors are cooler then the P2. Trade off is the battery being so hot.
     
  9. Aaron Fisher

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    I can tell you without speculation that you are safe to fly in any Earthly temperatures. The most sensitive electronic parts are the Transistors that can be destroyed by high heat, however they operate safely until about 80ºC. Where as the Urethane coating that protects the windings within the electric motors won't start to burn until at least 120ºC-170ºC. So essentially it could probably melt the polyethylene shell before the electronics are damaged. By the way 80º is very hot, hotter than hot tap water.
     
  10. damitjim

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    I imagine there are safety circuits on things like the smart battery, that trip at temps well below that threshold. DJI gives the operating temps, if operate outside of that, don't expect warranty coverage.
     
  11. jadebox

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    The rare problems with Lithium batteries catching fire aren't due to high ambient temperatures. They usually happen when a battery is damaged or defective.

    I've flown my P2V for hours on 90+ degree days and haven't seen any problems. The original batteries that I got with it did suffer from the "puffiness" problem, but the newer batteries haven't done that. I purchased enough batteries so that I could allow each to cool down after the flight before I recharged it.

    The P3's batteries will stop charging if they are too hot. I've bought one of those thermoelectric coolers that I'm going to use to store my batteries between flights to help them keep cool in the Florida heat. I may also try storing my tablet since some are saying that heat is one of the causes of the problems I've been having with it. I'm not going to be freezing the batteries or tablet.The cooler only lowers the temperature inside to about 30 degrees less than the ambient temperature. So, inside it should be about 60 degrees when it's 90 degrees outside.

    -- Roger
     
    #11 jadebox, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  12. VoicOfReason

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    If it catches on fire mid-fight and it's night, it will make it easier to find.
     
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  13. desertcat

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    All the DJI specs say operation temps 0-40C, but the battery says "CHARGING" temp 0-40C, so who knows. I have flown my P3A about 20 times here in Arizona, with clear skies and outside temps at about 110F. The Battery has been at about 37C before I even take off. After a 15 min. flight, it's common to reach battery temps of 58C or 137F. It has flown without a problem. That's not to say my batteries will last as long as in some cooler climates. I'm already used to my car battery not lasting as long here in hot AZ. At least we don't have to deal with rust or salt :)
     
  14. Buckaye

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    Not sure when they set the operating temperature they are referring to the actual temp of the aircraft and battery - but to the temperature you are flying in. So - if you're flying in 41+C air temp - it's possible it could cause issues (certainly not a guarantee) - My experience is that most manufacturers are rather conservative on their normal operating temp specs to cover themselves.

    My only issue with temp has (frankly) been my iPhone which doesn't like direct sunlight at 95 degrees... I got a shade this weekend though so hopefully that will help.
     
  15. Ridebonfire

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    I know this is an old post, but where in AZ are you? I am by Lake Pleasant. Darn 117 is too hot today :(.
     
  16. RocketBrew

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    I just went out to give the heat a test. It was about 115° F.
    upload_2016-6-4_15-50-15.png
    Flew out 16,100' and turned back because of the battery level. Was headed into the wind on the way out, so I went past the return-to-home warning since I would have the wind behind me (HD shows Average Wind Speed 21.7 mph, Max Gust Speed 31.4 mph).

    On the way back, still had 3,126' to go when I got Overheated During Discharge and "Warning: Propulsion Output Limited. Aircraft motility has been lowered."

    Suddenly wasn't sure I was going to get all the way back at the reduced speed! But I landed with 14% battery.

    HD shows the Max Battery Temperature was 161.5° F.

    upload_2016-6-4_15-46-7.png
     
  17. flyNfrank

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    That is a bomb waiting to explode!

    You should be seriously concerned anytime the smart battery temp exceeds 143° F.
     
  18. Mark The Droner

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    +1

    Battery temp is usually discussed in terms of centigrade, and I've read that when a lipo reaches a temp of 60 C, it becomes volatile.

    60C is 140 F
     
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  19. RocketBrew

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    Flew this evening at a bit more leisurely pace - Total 14,191 ft, Max Distance 3,080 ft - for 16 minutes 50 seconds.

    Air temp was 100°f, the Max Bat Temp was 143.5°f.

    If the battery is spec'd to operate at 140°f or less, even 100°f may still a bit too hot for nominal operation.
     
  20. Mark The Droner

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    I would not operate my Phantom in 100 degree weather unless it was going to be a short flight. I'd also want to quit before the battery reached 60 C.