Best Way To Discharge Drone Batteries For Travel

Best Way To Discharge Drone Batteries for Travel

Before going on a plane, airlines require that you never transport a battery with power level higher than 50%, therefore you need to discharge your batteries first. What’s the best and fastest way to drain your drone battery? If you have a fully charged battery and you want to discharged it right now with your drone, it takes you around 2-3 hours to fully drain it. So whats the best and easiest way to discharge your drone battery faster?

Best Way To Discharge Drone Battery For Travel? Best and the easiest method to discharge your drone battery before you go on trip is to use the power bank adapter. The adapter works on the principle that your drone battery becomes a power bank and you can use it to charge devices such as smartphones, portable media players and tablets.

From my own experience and talking to a different people, quite often they don’t check your batteries, but it can happen. Of course, you never dicharge your battery completely, only at a level below 50%. Few of my friends who have been asked to pull each battery out and show them that they were discharged. So what’s the best way to discharge your batteries before a flight so you don’t run into problems? And that’s the last thing you want when you have other things on your mind.

3 Ways To Discharge Your Drone Battery Safely

We have to know that safety is the key here.There are many reasons why you want to discharge your drone (LiPo) batteries. Battery is the storage device that have current in the form of electrons. Whenever your any electronic device require current, it will take it from the battery that means your battery gets discharge. But no matter what methodology you will use, try to discharge your battery in a safe location.

1) Remove the Propellers And Run the Drone

A lot of people use the method to discharge their batteries in a way that they power on their drone and take the propellers off and run the motors until the battery dies. I don’t think that’s the best solution. It does work, but you can use better method because this will take you a long time to discharge it and it puts unnecessary wear on your drone motors.  It will take about 30 min to discharge because there’s no  air resistance, no wind and it should actually go longer than that 30 min, and it’s not good to run motors for no reason.

2) Use Your Drone Battery As a Power Bank 
(Recommended method)

Best and the easiest method to discharge your drone battery is to use the power bank adapter. In most cases this adapter is included in the fly kits for each drone. If you didn’t get it, you can purchase it separately.The adapter works on the principle that your drone battery becomes a power bank (this method is called reverse charging) and you can use it to charge devices such as smartphones, portable media players and tablets. Therefore, if you want to empty your drone battery as quickly as possible just fit the adapter on your battery and charge up with some device that needs charging. On Amazon you can find a power bank adapter for DJI drones and other models. 

DJI Power Bank Adapter

One thing to keep in mind is that most of battery chargers will not completely discharge the battery, which is good in this case, because you only need to discharge 50% of the battery. This is due the features of safety so they are generally intended not to totally disable the battery. With this method you will discharge your drone battery in no time. Power banks have high capacities, which allows them to quickly discharge the power within them. So this is the reason why I consider this method better and much simpler than letting your motors run on the drone until the batteries are drained.

3) 3in1 Battery Discharger

This method is consider the fastest and most economic discharges. It can discharge your drone battery at 150W in a couple of minutes. The features this 3in1 battery discharger has is that you can set it up to completely discharge your battery or set a voltage to stop the discharge at a specified voltage e.g. 4.15V per cell. One thing you need to pay attention is that when you discharge the batteries, the bulbs get really hot, therefore you must be careful. Also keep your battery away from anything that can burn, if something does not happen, because the batteries are very sensitive. You can check the price and reviews of this 3in1 discharger on Amazon here: 3 in1 Battery Discharger.

Is It OK To Fully Discharge a Drone (Li-ion) Battery?

It is certainly not desirable to discharge your drone batteries completely. If your lithium-ion battery is discharged below 2.5 volts/cell, then a safety circuit built into the battery opens and the battery appears to be dead and then the original charger will be of no use. Additionally if that battery have been stored for sever months in deeply discharge condition, it is not safe and recommended to recharge it. Another reason why you should not do this is that battery will not last as long as before. Remember that storing a Li-ion batteries at 40% discharge in the refrigerator (not freezer) is recommended.

Never Leave the Battery At 0% !

This is the first and the main rule of all batteries! You should never leave your battery in a fully discharged mode. Almost never the battery is discharged all the way to 0%- but in cases it does, you must immediately recharge it as soon as possible. what I’m trying to say is, if this happens and your battery discharged fully, try to put it to some power source as soon as possible, and not throw it away and leave it there for weeks without charging it. If you do it and leave the battery discharge completely in some place, the battery will become incapable of holding a charge at all, and it will discharge very fast after each charge in a very short time.

How Long Can Batteries Last?

Regardless of whether the battery is used or not, the battery performance deteriorates over time. Lifetimes of 500 to 1200 cycles are typical, which is approximately 6 years of use. When we talk about ageing process, it continues with the same rate as before so if the cell capacity falls to 80% after 1000 cycles, it will probably continue working to approximately 2000 cycles also.  The most likely cause of battery failure of a battery is abuse, subjecting a battery to conditions for which it was never designed.


This can be considered as one of the main parameter for displaying the battery life. When we talk about cycle life of a battery, we mean the number of charges and discharges that a battery can carry out before its capacity drops below 80% of baseline. This number of charging and discharging cycles in the battery also depends on the storage factor, as the temperature and load mode of the battery, because it also play a big role in how long the battery will last. Ideal conditions are the best way to increase the cycle life of a battery.

Basics About Discharging

When we talk about batterys, their main purpose is to release the energy at a desired time. The state of charge is how close to full the battery is and depth of discharge is how close to empty the battery is. There are certain rules of discharging batteries, such as the 20% rule on a car battery. If you discharge the battery below those thresholds, you will drastically reduce the life of the battery.  Battery longevity is directly related to the level and duration of the stress inflicted, which includes charge, discharge and temperature. What the manufacturers are trying to do is to get the maximum energy per weight with a high capacity. 

Memory Effect

The so called “Memory Effect” is another manifestation of the changing morphology of the cell components with age. It appears that some Nickel based cells particularly NiCads could “remember” how much discharge was required on previous discharges and would only accept that amount of charge in subsequent charges. Therefore, the best way is to always charged up your batteries to its full capacity [100%].

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