Drone batteries are one of the most impressive advancements in drone technology in recent years. Drone batteries have revolutionised how now long drones can stay in the air due to the incredibly light weight and the amount of energy that they can store. This means that drones are able to fly for approximately 30 minutes – something that was near impossible with older style batteries. Therefore, these batteries need protecting to ensure that your drone flight is safe and the batteries do not perish during storage or transport. In this article we are going to go over the best drone battery protector for each use case and the reasons why the protection of lithium polymer batteries is so important.
Drone battery protectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different uses. Drone battery protectors can keep your battery safe while you are flying and secure during transport and charging. They come in a variety of forms such as silicon covers, 3D printed fasteners, and explosion-proof bags. There are even some easy DIY methods for protecting your drone batteries!
Lithium polymer technology has come a long way in recent years but that does not mean that you can treat them without care. Let’s take a quick look at what lithium polymer batteries are and why they need protecting.
Why do drone batteries need protecting?
Rechargeable batteries are a common piece of equipment that we see in a range of consumer electronics. From laptops to simple rechargeable AA batteries they are everywhere in modern day life. However, drones use a different type of battery known as a lithium polymer battery. We need to protect these batteries in a much more careful and deliberate way then we are used to with our other consumer electronics.
Here are why lithium polymer batteries need extra care and attention.
Lithium polymer batteries
Lithium polymer batteries require a more rigorous maintenance and storage routine than other rechargeable batteries – such as those found in laptops and phones. Every lithium polymer battery is made up of individual cells – between one and eight of them. Each of these cells are rated at 3.7 V and are fully charged when they reach 4.2 V. If you let the battery drop below 3.7 V you apparently harm the battery – that is why you need to take special care of them!
Also, lithium polymer batteries have a series of metallic components which need to come in contact either with the charger or the drone to transfer or collect electricity (electrons). Given that a drone is flown in the outdoors and that it can readily encounter corrosive materials and liquids the metallic components need to be protected at all costs.
The batteries themselves need to be protected from a range of different hazards that are common when you are flying a drone.
One of the most common issues that drones face while flying are that a single crash can completely debilitate the drone. Whether it is a broken arm, propeller, body, or battery crashes are very common and potentially devastating.
One way that you can protect your drone battery is by encasing it in a protective shell. Commonly you can use a slightly valuable and soft material (such as silicon) to place your drone battery in so that when it experiences any sort of hit the soft material absorb some of the energy and protects the battery.
Making sure that your battery is stored in a dry and clean environment is very important. Any liquid which sits against the metallic components of the drone battery can easily cause corrosion. You can purchase very simple plastic and silicon protectors to sit over the metallic components of the battery.
Another option is to simply store them in a case which provides some level of moisture protection and use a desiccant (moisture absorbing pellets) at the bottom of the container or case.
From storage and transport
Most drone pilots have multiple drone batteries and therefore we will have to transport them in a secure way so that we can swap out the batteries for extended mission times. You can purchase many different types of drone battery cases that contain anywhere from 1 to 8 batteries.
Storing them in an explosion and heatproof case is one of the simplest, cheapest, and effective ways of protecting your drone batteries from any potential damage that may be caused during storage and transport.
From heat and explosion
Lastly, drone batteries should be protected at all costs from extreme heat. The polymer composites which are in the battery can easily be affected by heat.
In a 2000 study, scientists created a mathematical model which looked at the heat transfer and thermal management of lithium polymer batteries. They found that under some conditions batteries can reach 106° C. So making sure that your drone batteries are protected from heat after flying (where they are likely to get the hottest) is an important part of protecting your drone battery.
At extreme temperatures you even run the risk of the lithium polymer battery exploding. Making sure that your drone battery has cooled completely before storage and after charging is an important and simple way of mitigating any risk associated with a hot battery.
Now that you understand the risk let’s have a look at the different types of battery protectors and where you can buy them!
Types of Battery Protectors
There are many different types of battery protectors depending on what you want to protect your battery from. They are made of a range of different materials from silicon to 3D printed hard shells and will also discuss some of the DIY options that are available to you if you do not want to buy a commercial product for protecting your drone.
On drone battery protectors
the first thing that you can do to protect your drone battery is to put it in a soft silicone lithium polymer protector. This stops the battery from moving around in your drone while you are flying as well as protecting your drone battery during any unfortunate bumps or crashes.
If you have a Turnigy battery for your drone (if you build your FPV drone yourself) you can purchase a very simple battery cover that will completely in case your in polymer battery.
Tie down straps and locks
Another way to protect your drone battery is to simply purchase a tiedown strap for your battery. A tiedown strap is a very simple mechanism which can be used to physically secure your drone battery in place.
If you have made your own battery this looks as simple as a Velcro strap which can be tied around the main body and battery of the drone.
- Designed for RC battery, perfect size about 10 x 1 inch, not too long and not too short for your battery.
- Great For Securing Batteries and Electronics.
- The newest design of non-slippery grip to assure maximum traction.
- Non-Slip Coating – Keeps Batteries & Electronics Securely in Place.
- Suitable for LiPo batteries and other components to your RC Quadcopter, Drone, Airplane, RC Car or Truck, Boat, and other models.
If you have a commercial drone from a manufacturer such as DJI you can also find a range of battery fixing straps and latches so that your drone battery will not fall out mid flight. The DJI range of drones have small plastic latches which lock the battery in place. On the majority of their drones the battery is placed on top of the drone which means that it’s less likely to fall out from underneath whereas some of the drones (the DJI Mavic air) it is placed underneath.
- Battery fixator for DJI mavic air 2 drone .It fits mavic air 2 fuselage well .
- Long battery life causes the battery to bulge and easily fall off during flight, causing the drone to power off and crash.The fixator can fix battery firmly and won’t drop from fuselage .
- It is light and portable, very light in weight, and hardly affects the endurance of the flight.
- It closely adheres to the fuselage and will not affect the sensing system below.
- Built-in EVA surface prevents scratches on the body. Double screws are locked to enhance safety.
Using a simple extra bit of plastic protection can easily secure the battery in place and guarantee that it would not fall out mid-flight. If your battery is coming to the end of its life you may want to consider using something like this as the springs and plastic may not hold as well as when the battery was new.
Charging port battery protectors
You can also protect your drone battery from different types of moisture and corrosion by using a charging port battery protector. These are typically small little bits of plastic that snuggly fit over the top of the metallic components and charging ports of the different types of drone batteries.
- 3Pcs Silicon Molded (NOT 3d printed) Dustproof Plug Cover For DJI Mavic Air 2 Battery (3pcs for Battery).
- For DJI Mavic Battery Dustproof Charging Protection Against Short Circuits Cover.
- Package included: 3 x Battery Charging Port Protector.
- US based customer support, 30 days full satisfaction no question asked return period.
These types of charging port battery protectors can be made from silicon or can be silicon molded. If you want to protect against moisture it is probably better for you to choose a silicon based product and something that is 3D printed. 3D printing simply does not fit as snuggly as a silicone specifically 3D printed for a purpose.
LiPo Storage protection
There are a huge range of fireproof and explosion proof protective bags for each type of drone that you can buy. If you regularly carry a spare battery for your drone flight I recommend that you purchase a protective bag to protect against heat and damage.
- Li-Po Battery Safe Bag Fireproof Storage Bag for DJI Mavic 2 Zoom / Pro Drone. 3-Pack of Small Size.
- Charge with confidence knowing your home is safe from a lipo fire. Fire prevention, Radiation protection, Explosion-proof.
- Material: Fireproof nylon, weight: 42g (Small) Color: black
- Great for traveling, charging, storage, keep your stuff away from a fire disaster.
DIY LiPo protection
Finally, if you cannot find any commercial product that suits how you want to protect your drone there are a few cheap and easy ways to do some DIY lithium polymer battery protection for your drone.
You can use some heat shrink tubing to completely in case you’re drone battery. You need to choose a flat tube size that is larger than the width and height of your battery as most of these heat shrink choose have a 2-to-1 shrink ratio.
All you need to do is simply wrap the heat shrink tube around the battery and use a hot air gun to slowly shrink the plastic to fit snugly around the battery. For your safety do not even attempt to use a lighter or any form of life Lane as it can easily damage your battery.
Avoid holding the heat gun or hairdryer to close to your battery for long periods of time as you can also cause heat damage to your drone lithium polymer battery. Continually rotate the battery as you are heating up the shrinkwrap to ensure even shrinkage and safe application.
3D printing is becoming more and more common and there are many consumer printing models out there for people to print their own types of plastic components. There are so many awesome places where you can get the digital files but typing in “lithium polymer battery protector” into the website Thingiverse is one of the best places where you can get printable files or your lithium polymer battery.
There are so many different designs that I am certain you will find exactly what you need on this website!
Finally, you can use the inner tubes from bicycles to wrap your lithium polymer battery. The rubber will be thin and light enough to securely wrap around your drone battery without adding unnecessary weight. It is not particularly thick but it will protect against all those little knocks and bumps and the slightly creepy nature of the inner tube will mean that your battery will not move around as much.
Simply adding a cheap Velcro strap along with an inner tube is a very cost-effective way of protecting your drone battery from bumps and scratches.
There are the best battery protectors that are available on the market and we have also covered some of the best DIY options for you.
Protecting your lithium polymer battery is so very important for keeping your battery safe and as efficient as possible. Using all or a combination of these methods is a surefire way of extending the lifetime of every lithium polymer battery you own.