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Here we explore what types of batteries can be used for RPAs

The vast majority of drones are powered by Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. These can be dangerous if mishandled and this topic gives you an overview of the safe management of these batteries.

What is a LiPo Battery?

A LiPo battery powers all of the electronics, and motors on the drone. The difference with LiPo batteries and the ones you would use in your TV remote is the chemicals used in the battery. LiPo batteries are based on Lithium Polymer chemistry (hence the name LiPo) which allow these batteries to have a very high energy density compared to other types of batteries. A battery with a higher energy density will be able to hold more energy compared to another battery of the same weight which is why LiPo batteries are commonly used with drones. Multirotor drones could not exist so successfully without the advent of the LiPo battery.

A LiPo battery is constructed from individual cells, where each cell consists of some metal and chemicals packaged together to generate an electrical charge. By connecting these cells together in various ways we are able to make different LiPo batteries with various voltages, and capacities.

lipo batteries are made up of stacked cells, oversized discharge tabs, hard-wired leads, 12 gauge maxx cable, JST/XH balance wires and a high-current connector, wrapped in semi-rigid wrap

The make up of a LiPo battery

Batteries are classified as dangerous goods for air transportation. Different airlines have different policies as to the transport of the batteries. If an operator is intending to carry a drone onto an airline it is advisable to check with the airline before booking the ticket.


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Drone Safety for Managers (Australia)

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