A word about Lipo Batteries, when your you are buying your shiny new drone no one will say “little bit of advice…about the lipo batteries” So I am going to share what was my ignorance.
Lipo Batteries are volatile and can explode when charging ! This is the very first piece of advice that you get at ground school, which alarmed me as I had been charging mine hooked up to the charger, in the dining room on the carpet. Whilst I went out!
The remedy is a lipo bag, these cost less than a take away coffee and are designed to minimise a lipo battery fire, should you be very unlucky to have one. I have a friend who has been flying model airplanes and now drones and he had a lipo fire in his kitchen. He knew about the bags and so did not loose his house to a fire. He was present and removed the bag from the kitchen with barbecue tongs.
So its not an urban myth. If it was an urban myth wouldn’t you want to have limited the chance even by a small margin? But on an internet search “drones and lipo fires” will have you buying these bags in bulk! I bought mine on amazon but you find other suppliers.
You just hook the battery up to the charger in the bag, check its charging by its indicator light and then seal the bag, put on an non flammable surface and don’t leave un-attended. They are not children so don’t need watching whilst they charge who has time for that. what I mean is don’t go out to the pub and leave on charge even if in a bag.
Here’s one of the many youtube videos that demonstrate a lipo fire. You won’t need to watch it for the full 5 minutes.
So you are not going to hit your drone battery with a nail and thats all good. Drone batteries look very different from the ones featured in the fires, as they have been sealed and encased in a nice design but they are the same construction. What happens if you drop it ? Then it could be broken inside. If you are suspicious about a battery? Is it bulging? Is getting hotter than normal? After use they do get warmer, but is it hotter? Then discard it. Take to your local refuse and recycling plant can take them, but also there are specialist companies that will take them. Leave in the lipo bag that can be replaced.
I was recently at a drone event where an experienced drone pilot flies regularly for a major broadcaster and he said he had suspicions about battery 3 as it was bulging and he still flew his drone with it! What could have been, doesn’t bear thinking about the drone could have exploded. Don’t get blasé.
Lipo battery short for lithium-ion polymer battery, you can do and internet search for further reading. I have and I now know how they are constructed, how they work, when they were designed. I will let you decide how much you want to geek this bit up, for yourself.