FPV Drone Battery Cells and Voltages

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The battery of FPV drone is the basic component of four axis aircraft, which must be carefully selected to achieve the ideal balance between performance and flight time. Due to its high energy density and high discharge capacity, lithium battery is the most commonly used battery in four axis aircraft. This article will discuss the differences of various lithium batteries and provide some basic battery specifications. At the end of this article, you should be able to observe and understand any four axis vehicle battery label, and have the necessary information to make a wise decision when choosing a four axis vehicle battery.

 

Batteries for lipo and lihv FPV drones

 

There are two common chemical components of lithium battery pack used to drive four axis aircraft: lithium polymer (lipo) and lithium polymer high voltage (lihv). The main difference between them is that the voltage of lipid battery is 4.2V when it is fully charged, while the voltage of lihv battery is 4.35v when it is fully charged. The resting or nominal voltage of Lipo is 3.7V, while the storage voltage of lihv is 3.8V. In terms of the performance of the two batteries, the lihv battery will initially provide more power, but the voltage will drop suddenly when discharging, while the discharge of the LiPo battery is more linear, which makes it easier to qualitatively measure the remaining flight time. The lipo package is the most commonly used four axis vehicle of all sizes. However, the lihv package is quite popular to use the “mini cheer” micro UAV because the extra voltage moderately improves the performance of the four axis vehicle.

 

FPV drone battery and voltage

 

The battery voltage is the potential energy difference between the positive and negative electrodes. The higher FPV battery voltage allows the module to provide more power to the four axis vehicle without increasing current or amperes. The nominal (storage) voltage of a standard lithium polymer battery is 3.7 V, so adding a fat pack can provide the power to connect these cells in series (which means connecting the first cell to the ground / leading the next cell to form a chain of single cells) to increase the voltage of the whole battery pack. Fat packs are usually sold in the structure of 1s, 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S or 6S. The number after the number “s” represents the number of batteries in a specific package. More batteries are put together, more voltage of the overall battery pack will have. Battery voltage is important because it affects the maximum motor speed of a four axis vehicle. This will be further explained here [insert hyperlink to article on motor / kV], but simply put, more battery voltage allows the motor to rotate at higher rpm. As a result, the 4S lipo is the most commonly used four axis vehicle for racing because they provide a balance between speed and weight. The following table summarizes the voltages and common applications of various lipid cell configurations. It is worth noting that the four axis vehicle applications listed in the table below are only typical examples of many different battery four axis vehicle combinations available. Bizarre settings, such as the 5S 150 mm racing four axis vehicle or the 2S micro brush four axis vehicle, do exist, but they are only quite rare.

 

FPV drone battery class C

 

Battery capacity is measured in milliampere hours (MAH), which is the unit of current that a battery can provide per unit time. For example, a 1500 MAH battery can provide 1500 MA (1.5A) current for 1 hour, 3000 MA (3a) current for 30 minutes, 6000 MA (6a) current for 15 minutes, and so on. The higher the Ma level of the battery, the longer the flight time per charge. When choosing a battery, you must make a sacrifice between the size and weight of the battery. The larger capacity of the battery will provide longer flight time, but the increased weight will limit the performance of the four-axis vehicle and increase the momentum of the vehicle, thus making it respond more slowly. In the racing scene, 220 size four axis aircraft usually choose battery capacity from 1000mah to 1500mah, of which 1300mAh package is the most common. Although the flight time completely depends on the flight mode of the aircraft, a 1300 MAH 4S package can be used for about 3 minutes on average on a four axis vehicle. A professional racing pilot can easily discharge a 1300mAh 4S bag in two minutes. In contrast, a novice with a slower flight speed can experience up to five minutes of flight time using a similar battery. When flying longer or faster circuits, many professional pilots will actually replace the 1300mAh 4S package with 1500mah heavier battery to reduce the demand for battery voltage management during the competition. In order to increase the flight time (5-8 minutes), pilots of long-range four axis vehicles will use larger batteries, up to 2200mAh, because flight performance is more important than flight time.

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