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Mavic Air Swell Batt = Heat from the drone itself ?

Birdu2

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Oct 16, 2022
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Baja California, Mexico
Hi there guys, ok, my Mavic Air 1 its killing all the batterys i used, arround 10 of them in the period of 3 years. Non of them had more then 42 /40 charging cycles, some less then that.

I do live in a hot area, Baja California Sur, Los Cabos. I try to fly late in the afternoon, but hey, sometimes i need to fly at noon.

I do take care of the batt as its advice by DJI. So why all my batt sooner or later start to puff/swell ?

I have the feeling that also the heat transfer from the drone body to the battery also its an issue here ..... the fan works .... but i can feel how hot its the drone when i remove the batt at the end of the fly/battery discharged.

So i was thinking, what about to find some kind of material the i can put in between the batt and the drone body ? To stop/decrease the heat transfer ? i know there is no much space in between both parts, but there must be something i can use .....

Also, i paint the top plastic cover in white ..... ( it was black ) so it wont heat up as much ......

I just cant belive it all about bad batt ..... something wired its going on ... and i cant keep on looking for new batt.

Any help/advice it more then welcome.

Thank you !
 
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The Mavic Air batteries were pretty bad quality compared to the usual from DJI and a lot of them have failed at this point.
 
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Hi there & welcome to the forum 👋 :D

Just looked at the average temps you have there ... May to October is like 89-91F. Yeah that's hot & with additional sun radiation a drone will easily get overheated & the battery will be operated at the very highest temp DJI recommends before "as they say" - can lead to a fire or explosion.

Overheating is devastating for a LiPo battery, nothing else degrades a battery as much as that... if you then on top of that perhaps doesn't always store your batteries at the nominal voltage, instead letting them lay around discharged or fully charged (mainly outside 3,8V/cell) during longer periods (longer than 48h) on a running basis ... then yes, you will have a lot of puffed batteries.

Also have a Mavic Air, still have the 3 FMC batteries up & running (from 2019) & additional 5 newer ... but I live in mid Sweden where we might get 89F at most during a couple days during the summer month (June-August) ... but mostly around 70-75F those month. The rest of the year (besides the pure winter month) it's around 60F.
 
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Hi there & welcome to the forum 👋 :D

Just looked at the average temps you have there ... May to October is like 89-91F. Yeah that's hot & with additional sun radiation a drone will easily get overheated & the battery will be operated at the very highest temp DJI recommends before "as they say" - can lead to a fire or explosion.

Overheating is devastating for a LiPo battery, nothing else degrades a battery as much as that... if you then on top of that perhaps doesn't always store your batteries at the nominal voltage, instead letting them lay around discharged or fully charged (mainly outside 3,8V/cell) during longer periods (longer than 48h) on a running basis ... then yes, you will have a lot of puffed batteries.

Also have a Mavic Air, still have the 3 FMC batteries up & running (from 2019) & additional 5 newer ... but I live in mid Sweden where we might get 89F at most during a couple days during the summer month (June-August) ... but mostly around 70-75F those month. The rest of the year (besides the pure winter month) it's around 60F.

Thank you for your reply, ... can you explain this to me please ? Do you mean let them uncharge by itself to %50 and dont let them dry out and storage them empty or at minimun charge ?

Usually i let the unused full batt discharge by itself ( they go arround %50 ). And charge the used/empty onces just in case im out on the field and need them. I wont stay for more the 3 week's the longes without fly.

Still, its very dissapointing to have all your batt go bad, and not be able to fly at anytime when need it ...... i never had an overheating warning. And i do feel the drone by itself generate lots of heat that its a not good thing to their own battery .... add the bad quality or build of this battery's .... then all sort of problem will come out.

Unfortuatley, DJI never admit the made a big mistake on Mavic Air 1 Battery's. design. They call them " intelligent " Battery's .... i guess they didnt went to school !!! ;)
 
... can you explain this to me please ?
Have earlier compiled below regarding LiPo & LiIon batteries ... the guidelines from DJI is way too rough & I suspect that the main intention from them is to make them survive the warranty period.

  • Keeping the battery at 100% isn't good for it ... do what you can to minimize the time that they are at that level, the default auto discharge (if your batteries have that feature) down to 60-65% is way too long ... & if you check the level by pushing the button you reset the counter & the counter will restart. If a battery that is above storage % level haven't been used in a couple days, use the USB adapter from the Fly More Kit (if your model have that) to charge something else (your phone) in order to bring it down to storage % (see below ...)
  • Heat kills them ... don't store above room temperature & absolutely not in a car during summer, a couple hours in a burning hot car & the battery have sustained serious damage.
  • Let them cool down to room temperature before recharging them.
  • Don't fly with a battery colder than 15C degrees, keep them warm in colder weather, have them in a pocket close to your body.
  • Store the batteries between 30-60% ... a good thumb rule is to take them of the charger as soon as the third led start to blink, then they are just over 50%. But anything between 1 solid + 1 blinking up to 2 solid + 1 blinking is good enough.
  • Don't drain them to low, make sure they don't go under 15% ... once in a while, so be it. Set the ambition to not have them lower than 20% ... if you aim for that you usually don't end up below 15%.
  • Don't fly with a battery not recently fully charged, having a battery laying around partially charged for a longer period may make the cells in the battery unbalanced, using a unbalanced battery can make that lower cell fail soon after take off, & initiate a forced low battery auto landing you can’t stop.
  • If stored for a long time, cycle them at least once each third month ... then back to storage %.
Batteries will not last forever

...they will either slowly degrade until the point where the useful flight times are so short that you stop using it
...or it will have a sudden cell failure which will trigger a sudden forced auto landing in the worst possible place
...or it will slowly start to swell to the point where it not fit into the drone anymore
...or the swelling goes off instantly or gets worse when the battery gets hot & push itself out of the drone at height.

The only visual sign of battery degradation is swelling ... which not always occur. Furthermore different drone models have different possibilities to handle a smaller momentary swelling when hot during flight.

So a battery can't be judged only by that it take charge to 100%, isn't swollen & manage to power your drone without mishaps ... too much is going on hidden from just a visual inspection or a test flight, you may have been on the verge to a disaster without knowing it.

You have mainly 2 methods to both prolong the useful service life of the battery & prevent sudden failures ... & judge when it's time to either limit the flight duty (in colder/hotter temps for instance) or completely take it off flight tasks.

1.Battery Care
...Never keep the battery cell voltage outside 3,7-3,8v for a longer period than 48h (that is a battery charged to approx 50%). If too high after a flight, discharge them, too low charge them up to storage level again.

...Store them in room temperature ... (too warm is more damaging than too cold)

...Never let them overheat ... (left in the sun or thrown in a hot car)

...Don't charge them hot, let them cool down to room temperature

...Don't use cold batteries, try to have them at room temperature before using them

...Respect the operational ambient temperature specified in the user manual

...Don't push the battery for amp draw (both sticks on max inputs at the same time in Sport mode for instance) when cold or hot ambient temps

...Don't fly them below 15% other in exceptional cases

...Always start a day of flying with the batteries freshly fully charged

2.Battery performance follow up over time
...Follow how the useful calculated max flight time change

...Compare the full charged max mAh compared to the designed mAh

...Monitor how the cell deviations degrades

For all points regarding the battery performance it's a question about trends over time ... just looking at a single flight will not give any insight over the actual health ... having a bit shorter flight time or some bigger cell deviations in one flight can be normal if using Sport mode or flying in colder ambient temps for instance. The paid Airdata subscriptions give the possibility to check these trends over all flight logs uploaded there ... it gives a good decision base to understand the battery health & if it's time to take it off duty.
 
Have earlier compiled below regarding LiPo & LiIon batteries ... the guidelines from DJI is way too rough & I suspect that the main intention from them is to make them survive the warranty period.

  • Keeping the battery at 100% isn't good for it ... do what you can to minimize the time that they are at that level, the default auto discharge (if your batteries have that feature) down to 60-65% is way too long ... & if you check the level by pushing the button you reset the counter & the counter will restart. If a battery that is above storage % level haven't been used in a couple days, use the USB adapter from the Fly More Kit (if your model have that) to charge something else (your phone) in order to bring it down to storage % (see below ...)
  • Heat kills them ... don't store above room temperature & absolutely not in a car during summer, a couple hours in a burning hot car & the battery have sustained serious damage.
  • Let them cool down to room temperature before recharging them.
  • Don't fly with a battery colder than 15C degrees, keep them warm in colder weather, have them in a pocket close to your body.
  • Store the batteries between 30-60% ... a good thumb rule is to take them of the charger as soon as the third led start to blink, then they are just over 50%. But anything between 1 solid + 1 blinking up to 2 solid + 1 blinking is good enough.
  • Don't drain them to low, make sure they don't go under 15% ... once in a while, so be it. Set the ambition to not have them lower than 20% ... if you aim for that you usually don't end up below 15%.
  • Don't fly with a battery not recently fully charged, having a battery laying around partially charged for a longer period may make the cells in the battery unbalanced, using a unbalanced battery can make that lower cell fail soon after take off, & initiate a forced low battery auto landing you can’t stop.
  • If stored for a long time, cycle them at least once each third month ... then back to storage %.
Batteries will not last forever

...they will either slowly degrade until the point where the useful flight times are so short that you stop using it
...or it will have a sudden cell failure which will trigger a sudden forced auto landing in the worst possible place
...or it will slowly start to swell to the point where it not fit into the drone anymore
...or the swelling goes off instantly or gets worse when the battery gets hot & push itself out of the drone at height.

The only visual sign of battery degradation is swelling ... which not always occur. Furthermore different drone models have different possibilities to handle a smaller momentary swelling when hot during flight.

So a battery can't be judged only by that it take charge to 100%, isn't swollen & manage to power your drone without mishaps ... too much is going on hidden from just a visual inspection or a test flight, you may have been on the verge to a disaster without knowing it.

You have mainly 2 methods to both prolong the useful service life of the battery & prevent sudden failures ... & judge when it's time to either limit the flight duty (in colder/hotter temps for instance) or completely take it off flight tasks.

1.Battery Care
...Never keep the battery cell voltage outside 3,7-3,8v for a longer period than 48h (that is a battery charged to approx 50%). If too high after a flight, discharge them, too low charge them up to storage level again.

...Store them in room temperature ... (too warm is more damaging than too cold)

...Never let them overheat ... (left in the sun or thrown in a hot car)

...Don't charge them hot, let them cool down to room temperature

...Don't use cold batteries, try to have them at room temperature before using them

...Respect the operational ambient temperature specified in the user manual

...Don't push the battery for amp draw (both sticks on max inputs at the same time in Sport mode for instance) when cold or hot ambient temps

...Don't fly them below 15% other in exceptional cases

...Always start a day of flying with the batteries freshly fully charged

2.Battery performance follow up over time
...Follow how the useful calculated max flight time change

...Compare the full charged max mAh compared to the designed mAh

...Monitor how the cell deviations degrades

For all points regarding the battery performance it's a question about trends over time ... just looking at a single flight will not give any insight over the actual health ... having a bit shorter flight time or some bigger cell deviations in one flight can be normal if using Sport mode or flying in colder ambient temps for instance. The paid Airdata subscriptions give the possibility to check these trends over all flight logs uploaded there ... it gives a good decision base to understand the battery health & if it's time to take it off duty.

Thank you for the info Slup !
 
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