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Batteries and Cold Weather – Our Solution

Published on September 26, 2017, by

backpack6We fly our DJI Inspire 1 Pro with TB47 and TB48 batteries.

These Lipo batteries do not like cold weather. DJI spec says the operating temperature range is -10° to 40°C (14° to 104°F), but if you operate below +5°C, the app will give a scary warning. And, in general, a cold battery means reduced capacity.

Here is our solution. We considered making an electric heater using old Lipos, but that means yet more complexity, timers, thermostats and another charger. Some people suggest using a microwavable pad (or a bag of rice), but we couldn’t always guarantee access to a microwave on assignment.

But when we’re travelling, there IS always access to hot water. So the answer was an insulated picnic backback with a hot water bottle, and a secure compartment for the batteries.

backpack3

The batteries are stored in a plastic box (I found one from Hobbycraft for £5) and packaged in foam (from ebay). My cutting out skills leave a lot to be desired; a hot wire cutter would have done a better job.

The seal on the box will keep the batteries safe even if the hot water bottle has a leak.

 

 

backpack5The whole kit is carried in an insulated picnic backpack, which also gives convenient storage for any odds and ends that don’t fit in the DJI Inspire carry case.

It’s important that the batteries don’t get too hot either. The maximum storage temperature for the batteries is 45°C (113°F), which is achieved by having both the hot water bottle and the batteries insulated. There is no need to use boiling water. Somewhere around ‘hot’ will ensure that the the batteries don’t exceed their maximum storage temperature of 45°C (113°F)

 

 

All in all, this seems a better solution than the DJI electric heater (which one could easily accidentally leave on). As it’s currently the middle of the English summer, we haven’t been able to do a cold weather test, but it seems to stay warm for at least 8 hours, so we’re pleased we have a solution to the problem. Put the kettle on!

 

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