Welcome, Commercial Drone Pilots!
Join our growing community today!
Sign up

How many batteries do I need for P4A?

Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
1
Likes
0
Age
18
#1
Hi there,
I am going to get my Phantom 4 Advanced soon. I will be using this for my drone business and is my primary drone.
How many batteries would you suggest I get since 1 battery is less than 30 min flight time.
If you have a drone, how many batteries do you have and what is the total combined flight time of those batteries?
I am quite unsure about how many I need and this would help a ton.
Thanks
 

BigAl07

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,257
Likes
699
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
#2
First off WELCOME to the forum.

What is your business? What amount of flying time do you need in any given 24hr period?

I've got :

Aircraft (1) that has (11) batteries and 4 multi-chargers and 3 radios. This allows us to operate (in theory) 24hrs straight for Search & Rescue.

Aircraft (2) has 6 batteries, 3 chargers, and 2 radios. This is also for Search & Rescue but it's more of the Payload Hauler so we can deploy a radio, first aide kit, life vest etc.

Aircraft (3) has 8 batteries and used for Construction, Real Estate, Events etc. We have 2 chargers and 2 radio. This is our primary sUAS for day in and day out operations.

Aircraft (4) has 3 batteries (so far) and is strictly for Search & Rescue THERMAL operations. (It's NEW)

Aircraft (5) has 3 batteries and just used to train other pilots for Search & Rescue operations (It's new).

On our busiest day we only used 11 total batteries and it was a LONG day and put our flying skills to the MAX level of endurance.

Hope that helps some. Also it's important to note that ALL of the aircraft noted above only use 1x battery per flight.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
5
Likes
1
Age
46
#3
You haven't mentioned enough information for an answer, but - I'm in a small surveying firm and we use two P4Ps for photogrammetry, flying with Pix4d. Most of our jobs are smaller acreage in this part of the U.S., so three batteries is probably all we would ever need in a day, because we also spend time collecting additional data with conventional instruments. Between our two units, we have eventually ended up with five batteries total, but so far we haven't had a job that required more than three flights, and those were long sections of highway right-of-way where line of sight was limited.

Don't plan on actually flying for anywhere near 30 minutes per battery, plan for maybe 15-18 in good, relatively calm conditions. You need some reserve juice to keep things safe. Although I prefer not to, we have used the same battery for multiple missions, but only if the flights were short (7-8 minutes).
 

MapMaker53

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
105
Likes
86
Location
Long Island, NY
Website
www.zazzle.com
#4
When I fly a site for my company, I usually spend all day doing it. Many times large sites, like the 1300 acre site I flew in Montana three weeks ago over the course of two days. (Luckily, I didn't come across any Grizzlies.) Could have really used three days. I have 5 batteries and 2 chargers for my work, and usually have use of an office trailer on site with electric service -- and Internet if I'm lucky. I will usually fly a conservative 20 minutes on a 30 minute battery and charge 2 batteries at a time as needed (while other workers are in the trailer). When I am on a remote site where I can only operate out of the back of my vehicle, I'm glad I have at least the 5 batteries. This time, I had use of a trailer on site but launched from various locations out of the back of my SUV.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

R Martin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
233
Likes
122
Location
Denton, Texas
#5
You haven't mentioned enough information for an answer, but - I'm in a small surveying firm and we use two P4Ps for photogrammetry, flying with Pix4d. Most of our jobs are smaller acreage in this part of the U.S., so three batteries is probably all we would ever need in a day, because we also spend time collecting additional data with conventional instruments. Between our two units, we have eventually ended up with five batteries total, but so far we haven't had a job that required more than three flights, and those were long sections of highway right-of-way where line of sight was limited.

Don't plan on actually flying for anywhere near 30 minutes per battery, plan for maybe 15-18 in good, relatively calm conditions. You need some reserve juice to keep things safe. Although I prefer not to, we have used the same battery for multiple missions, but only if the flights were short (7-8 minutes).
I fly mapping exclusively with my Inspire 1 and have 11 batteries to fall back on; 6 TB 47s with about 15 minutes average a piece and 5 TB 48s with an average of 19 minutes a piece. I charge based upon acreage flown and then add a few more just in case. So how many do you need? How many acres are you going to be flying on a daily basis and then add at least one if not two more for contingency. Then multiply that amount by 1.5 to 2. You never know when tasking is going to require more flights than usual.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
2
Likes
0
Age
63
#10
Hi there,
I am going to get my Phantom 4 Advanced soon. I will be using this for my drone business and is my primary drone.
How many batteries would you suggest I get since 1 battery is less than 30 min flight time.
If you have a drone, how many batteries do you have and what is the total combined flight time of those batteries?
I am quite unsure about how many I need and this would help a ton.
Thanks
I have 8 batteries for my P4, 4 for my Mavic Pro, and 4 for my Mavic 2 Pro. Usually only fly 15 to 18 minutes per battery. I’ve only taken the Mavic on a plane as it’s best to travel with batteries as carry on. I drive to most of my projects so battery transport isn’t an issue.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
24
Likes
4
Age
52
Location
Hollywood California
Website
www.hollywood-drones.net
#11
4, Most drone cases are designed for 4. One in the drone, 3 in the battery compartments. More batteries just more stuff to carry. If you are using these for business, and not just putting around doing travel landscape videos there are not many jobs outside of large mapping that you will need more batteries for.
 

BigAl07

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,257
Likes
699
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
#12
4, Most drone cases are designed for 4. One in the drone, 3 in the battery compartments. More batteries just more stuff to carry. If you are using these for business, and not just putting around doing travel landscape videos there are not many jobs outside of large mapping that you will need more batteries for.
I flew 9 batteries (8 in one aircraft and 1 in a backup aircraft) today shooting video and stills for an architect. I can assure you there are several jobs that 4 batteries just won't do the trick.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
24
Likes
4
Age
52
Location
Hollywood California
Website
www.hollywood-drones.net
#13
Your saying you flew for 3.5 to 4 hours.?
I did a cell phone tower inspection two months ago. I shot 1000 photos it took two batteries. Just curious how many pics you took. I filmed a tv commercial for BMW in January. It was a 12 hour work day. I flew my shot 5 times. I used one battery. I’m sure you used 9 batteries. But most pilots don’t. If I was using 9 batteries I’d by 3 batteries and use a battery field charger. You’ll save about $250 dollars in batteries.
 

BigAl07

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,257
Likes
699
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
#14
Your saying you flew for 3.5 to 4 hours.?
Yep and I can show you days where I've flown (I don't mean sitting around waiting on someone to make decisions etc) more than that.

I did a cell phone tower inspection two months ago. I shot 1000 photos it took two batteries. Just curious how many pics you took.
You do realize that "Tower Inspections" and shooting high quality Architectural shots are night and day different. Also you don't even mention the possibility of shooting video.

These particular homes are ultra high-end residences and we spend a LOT of time at each home getting multiple still shots, many various video shots (these take a lot of time) and various site scouting on each one. We are flying in and through trees, up driveways, up to and over the home, doing a full orbit of the residence, a 360 compilation, and in some cases flying INTO the home through the front/back door. These things take time, re-shoots, and practice on site.

I can pretty much assure you that my work and what you're describing are not the same. And when you mention 1,000 images that's not that many... consider we are shooting AEB (5 exp) and it's not unheard of to shoot 5x that in a single day. We filled up several SD cards in our work just yesterday. Granted I sort through my shots and discard MANY and only process the best of the lot but we take many GB of data on any given day.

I filmed a tv commercial for BMW in January. It was a 12 hour work day. I flew my shot 5 times. I used one battery. I’m sure you used 9 batteries.
LOL! I shot a TV show (not commercial) for The Travel Channel and we were on set (4 different locations actually) for 2 days straight and only used a total of 5 batteries but that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Most of our time was spent waiting for our shots to come on schedule.

I’m sure you used 9 batteries. But most pilots don’t.
I'm glad you can confidently speak for "most pilots". Many of the professional pilots I've worked with have a large inventory of batteries and other related components just-in-case. Maybe we're just doing it wrong. One of our local guys has an M600 that uses 6 batteries per flight. That's when battery management can get kind of crazy (and expensive).

If I was using 9 batteries I’d by 3 batteries and use a battery field charger. You’ll save about $250 dollars in batteries.
LOL! I've got field chargers as well. I've also got spare transmitters and spare aircraft so that we can hit multiple sites and shoot non-stop in order to meet our clients strict schedules.

Ok you say you could do it with just 3 batteries and a "field charger". Let's run the math and let's be conservative about it. Let's say we are willing to push our batteries to the MAX (and I do not) and always land with 20% capacity left. Let's assume we get 30min from 100% so landing with 20% gives a 24min flight time. We have 3 batteries and a battery takes approx 60-80 min to charge.

All of these jobs are in the same mountain gated community with an average drive time from one to the other of 5 min so we don't have the luxury of a lot of "windshield time".

Job #1 - I fly for 24min on batt1 and 18min on batt2. So now I have to allow for charging of 2 batteries (120-160min unless we use a multi-charger but then we still have to have a min of 60min to recharge). This is a fairly typical scenario for our high-end products. Usually 2 batteries per house/listing. Sometimes if the 2nd battery was barely used we "may" use it on the beginning of the next shoot but if it's less than 70% we start fresh. It depends on what our shot list looks like and the complexity of the shoot.

Job #2 - I fly 24min on batt3 and now I'm waiting on batt1 and batt2 to recharge and now I have a homeowner and an architect standing around waiting on me to get my work done on this home and explain to them that my trying to save $250 is now holding up some big $$ waiting on batteries to charge. This whole process snowballs until the architect gets fed up and never calls me back again. We are only on Job #2 and Job #3, Job #4, and Job #5 are now in a perpetual hurry up and wait scenario.

I flew 5 yesterday with no interruptions waiting on batteries to charge.

These are multi-Million dollar homes and we are the only aerial photograph company allowed into the community. It's well worth the "expense" of having spares and extras on hand. Here's one of the homes we shot:




If I was using 9 batteries I’d by 3 batteries and use a battery field charger. You’ll save about $250 dollars in batteries.
$250 is a small price to pay to be able to do the job expected, in the time frame expected, and to produce a high-end final product for our clients.
 
Likes: MapMaker53

MapMaker53

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
105
Likes
86
Location
Long Island, NY
Website
www.zazzle.com
#15
Not to mention that you usually need an outlet to recharge batteries, and those are rarely found when filming an EPA hazardous waste Superfund site out in the middle of nowhere. BTW.. A field charger I found that will charge one Phantom battery 4 times (or four batteries one time) is $549. I don't see the savings.
 
Last edited:
Likes: BigAl07

New Threads

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
1,477
Messages
13,852
Members
2,485
Latest member
dronespro