Lithium Ion Batteries.
The Lithium Ion batteries used in the Phantom 4 are intelligent flight batteries. These are classified as “Dangerous Goods” by CASA. Capable of short circuiting which in turn can cause an explosion or fire.
Protecting your Lithium Ion batteries from short circuit
As a result there has been a lot of cases where short-circuiting batteries have caused fires. Therefore it’s important that all your spare batteries have the electrical terminals properly protected. It’s a good idea to retain the original battery packaging. Also place electrical tape over the exposed terminals. Place batteries in a protective pouch or plastic bag. Only one battery per pouch or bag.
Lithium Ion Batteries – Advantages
Lithium Ion batteries have some advantages. They are a low maintenance battery. In addition the batteries contain no memory so therefore no automated cycling is required to prolong the battery life. The self-discharge can be less than half of other batteries.
Lithium Ion Batteries – Drawbacks
Lithium Ion batteries also have drawbacks. They can be fragile and also require a protection circuit built into each battery pack to maintain safe operation. It is this protection circuit that limits the maximum voltage during charging. Monitors temperature to prevent extremes. In addition it prevents the voltage from dropping too low on discharge.
CASA and Lithium Ion Batteries
CASA categorises batteries according to their power. This is measured in Watt Hours (Wh). Also the DJI Phantom 4 Lithium battery is rated around 81Wh.
You want to know how to calculate the Wh of your battery?
Wh = Watt Hours, V = voltage, Ah = amphour, mAh = milliAmphour or 1000 amphours
V x Ah = Wh
A 12 volt battery with a rating of 5 amphours will equate to 60 watt hours.
12V x 5Ah = 60Wh.
If you have a battery that is rated in milli amp hours, just divide your milli amp hours by 1000.
12 volt 3000mah battery.
3000/1000 = 3Wh. 12V x 3Wh = 18Wh.
Air travel with 100Wh rated Lithium Ion Batteries
- The Lithium Ion batteries that power your drone are usually rated under 100Wh.
- Some custom built drones/RPA’s/UAV’s can have batteries that are well over the 100Ah power rating.
- Batteries with the under 100Wh rating can be attached to your drone.
- All spares should be carried as hand luggage.
Air travel with 100Wh to 160Wh rated Lithium Ion Batteries
- You will require approval from your airline before traveling with this type of battery.
- These types of batteries are more powerful and can be found in equipment like power tools and aids used in providing mobility.
- When this type of battery is installed in the device it can be carried either as checked in baggage or hand carry.
- If you have a spare battery not attached to your drone/UAV/RPA it must be checked as hand carry. You should not put spare batteries into your check in luggage.
- A maximum of two spare batteries per person is allowed to be carried. Only carry these batteries in your hand carry. Also it is preferred if you carry each battery in a separate protective pouch or plastic bag. You can lower the risk of a short circuit by covering the terminals with electrical tape.
It’s always a good idea before you travel with your Lithium Ion batteries to check with the airline for their up to date rules and regulations.
Also watch the CASA video below about traveling safely with lithium batteries.
You know CASA has a great little app “Can I Pack That”. Follow the link to get the app.
Read about “Simple Drone Care”, follow the link.