In the latest edition of our miniquad component buyers guide series, we’d like to talk about batteries. Specifically, what types of batteries you should be buying, what you should steer clear of, and how you should go about picking your flight batteries.
What does the LiPo battery I choose affect?
Two things – power and weight. The LiPo battery is the power bottleneck in the miniquad realm. This is because there is no sub-1500mAh LiPo battery on the market that can supply the electrical current required by today’s high-end motors. This shouldn’t be surprising – on high end quads we regularly pull 80-120A at full power, which isn’t much more than most full-size car starters. This load is put continuously on an incredibly small and light battery. This is asking a lot.
One problem with the battery world is that the manufacturers lie. All of them. They advertise discharge ratings that near the realm of “physically impossible”. If you were to expose your batteries to these types of loads they would at best fail early, but would be more likely to puff and eventually turn your quadcopter into an airborne fireball. The good news is that as long as you stick to a power system that has proven itself and buy mid to high-end batteries, you are going to be fine. The problem remains that, in the current world of LiPo battery marketing, it will be impossible to select the “best” battery without seeking out independent research.