Drone Battery Swollen? Here’s What You Need To Do

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Batteries are a vital part of your drone. However, over time, they can swell up which can lead up to a massive security hazard if not dealt with on time. With that said, if your drone battery is swollen, there are a few steps you should follow immediately. 

When you notice that a battery is swollen, it is important to take all the safety precautions you can. Immediately remove the battery and avoid using it again. Then, dispose of the battery immediately at a recycling center as they are a safety hazard.

Coming across a swollen battery for your drone can be a sad sight to see. After all, most drone batteries can be pretty expensive. However, with this article, not only will you be able to understand what to do when you see a swollen battery, but how to prevent this issue in the first place! Keep reading this article for more information.

What To Do With A Swollen Drone Battery

One issue that sometimes occurs with drone batteries is swelling. Swelling happens when there is a build-up of gas inside the battery cells. This can cause the battery to become larger in size and can even lead to the battery exploding.

If you notice that your drone battery is swollen, it’s important to take action immediately. Swollen batteries can be dangerous and can cause damage to your drone. Here are some things you should do if you notice that your drone battery is swollen:

Take Appropriate Safety Precautions

While you are removing the battery from your drone and disposing of it, you need to keep in mind certain safety precautions. For example, you should wear gloves the entire time you are handling the battery. 

Precautionary MeasureRisks It Helps Mitigate
Wear a mask while handling the batterySwollen batteries release toxic gases which can be dangerous if you breath them in
Wear gloves while handling the batteryLiquids oozing from the swollen battery can cause damage to any exposed skin
Keep away from flammable liquidsBattery liquids and gases can easily catch fire and cause a lot of damage

A look at precautions to take when handling swollen batteries and risks they mitigate.

This is because the battery could explode and cause serious injury. You should also avoid using any flammable items when disposing of the battery. This is because the battery could catch on fire and cause even more damage.

Immediately Remove The Battery From The Drone

If you see that the battery on your drone is swollen, you need to take immediate action. The first thing you should do is remove the battery from the drone. Once the battery is removed, put it in a safe place where it cannot come into contact with anything else.

Do Not Use The Battery Again

Once you have removed the battery from the drone, you should not use it. Swollen batteries can be dangerous and can cause damage to your drone or other property. If you must use the battery, make sure to take extra care and follow all safety precautions.

Dispose Of The Battery Properly

Once you have decided that you no longer want to use the swollen battery, you need to dispose of it properly. You should never simply throw away a swollen battery. Batteries can be recycled or disposed of at a battery recycling center.

Check Other Batteries For Swelling

If you notice that one of your drone batteries is swollen, you should check your other batteries. Swelling can sometimes be caused by a manufacturing defect. If you have multiple batteries that are swollen, it’s likely that the issue is with the battery itself and not with your drone.

What Causes Swelling In Drone Batteries?

There are a few things that can cause your drone battery to swell up. 

Overcharging

The most common cause is overcharging. When you overcharge a lithium-based battery, it produces heat and gas, which can cause the battery to swell up. You can tell if your battery is overcharged if it feels hot to the touch, or if it takes longer than usual to charge.

Over-discharging

Another cause of swelling batteries is over-discharging. This happens when you drain the battery too much and it can’t hold a charge anymore. This usually happens because you’re using your drone more than you’re charging it, or because you’re not storing it properly. 

You can tell if your battery is over-discharged if it doesn’t hold a charge for as long as it used to, or if it takes longer to charge than usual.

Temperature Changes

Another common cause of swelling batteries is sitting in hot temperatures for extended periods of time. Sudden changes in temperature can also cause your drone battery to swell up. This can cause the chemical reaction inside the battery to speed up, which produces heat and gas.

Electrolyte decomposition

The electrolyte of a battery is the material that allows for charges to be transferred between the metallic components of the battery. It is often a liquid or polymer that is capable of carrying charge.

The battery of a drone swells because the electrolyte is decomposing.

The electrolyte produces gases as it decomposes.

As the electrolyte decomposes into several gaseous compounds including oxygen, carbon monoxide, ether, and carbon dioxide.

Because drone batteries are sealed in an airtight wrap, the gases will blow up the battery like a balloon.

Although the airtight plastic wrapping is very flexible and the battery can swell up to a considerable size, you must move this battery away from any ignition sources that would further stress the battery.

How To Prevent Swelling In Drone Batteries

Swollen batteries are a common issue with drones, but there are a few things that you can do to prevent them. By following these tips, you can keep your drone batteries healthy and free from swelling.

Do Not Overcharge Your Batteries

One of the main reasons why drone batteries swell is because they are overcharged. When you overcharge a battery, it causes the cells to produce excess heat which can lead to swelling. To prevent this from happening, make sure to only charge your batteries when they are low on power and never leave them charging overnight. 

If you must leave them charging for an extended period of time, make sure to monitor the process so that you can stop the charging if the battery starts to swell.

Store At Safe Temperatures

Another reason why drone batteries swell is because of extreme temperatures. When batteries get too hot or too cold, it can cause the cells to expand or contract which can lead to swelling. To avoid this, make sure to keep your batteries stored in a cool, dry place and avoid charging them in direct sunlight or in extremely cold temperatures. 

Use High-Quality Batteries

If you want to prevent your drone batteries from swelling, it is important to use high-quality batteries. Cheap batteries are more likely to swell because they are not made with the same quality materials as more expensive ones. When buying new batteries, make sure to do your research and purchase ones that have a good reputation for not swelling.

Monitor Your Battery Usage

One of the best ways to prevent your drone battery from swelling is to monitor your usage. If you notice that your battery is starting to swell after only a few charges, it is likely that you are overusing it. Try to limit the amount of time that you use your drone each day and make sure to charge it fully before each use.

Do Not Fly Your Down Outside Operational Temperatures

Just like with any other device, it is important to not fly your drone in extremely cold or hot temperatures. extreme temperatures can cause your drone battery to swell up and could damage your drone. If you are going to be flying in extreme temperatures, make sure to monitor your drone battery closely and land as soon as it starts to swell.

Conclusion

If you notice that your drone battery is swollen, it’s important to take action immediately.

Swollen batteries can be dangerous and can cause damage to your drone or other property.

You should remove the battery from the drone and dispose of it properly. You should also take precautions to prevent swelling from happening in the future. By following the tips in this article, you can keep your drone batteries healthy and free from swelling.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!