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Warming Batteries

miturnbo

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Looking for a good solution to ensure our Inspire 1 batteries are or can be warmed when needed. This is really a bad issue for this sUAS and has prevented quick deployment on several occasions. This past weekend we had an open house and the Inspire was on display in 46 degree weather but the battery would not allow start because it was too cold.

I was thinking about making a case with an aftermarket windshield defroster but wondering if anyone has a better solution. Ideally I would want something 12v that we can carry on the way to an incident so the batteries can be warmed but it would be nice if it could also run on 110v if that was needed depending on the situation.
 

clolsonus

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I am reminded of a joke from the really really bad icefishing jokes web page:

Two anglers are out ice fishing and not even getting a nibble. They look over and see a young boy with a pile of fish next to him. So they wander over to say hello. As they approach, they notice the young boy catching yet another. I can't figure out what he's doing that we're not says one man to the other. Let's ask. Hey, what are you using for bait asks one of them. "Wmmmm,s" replies the boy. "Worms," they ask? "Yes". Hum, that's strange, that's what we're using and we're not even getting a nibble. What's your secret? The boy looks at them and mumbles, "uv gt ta kp tm wm". What, replies the men. The boy spits out a wad of worms and says, "I said, you got to keep them warm".

(I have swedish/norwegian heritage so there is plenty more where that came from)

We have a mavic 2 and a phantom 4 (sounds like the inspire is way more sensitive to temperature?) In our experience we have successfully flown multiple battery missions in +20F (-7C) with our equipment by paying attention to keeping our batteries warm. We will either keep the case inside the car and attempt to keep the car mostly warm. Or if we have to hike into a location, we'll stuff batteries into the inside pockets of our jackets. Sounds a little gross, but you can hold a battery in your arm pit to keep it warm.

I have no idea how long it would take to warm a battery back up, so our plan has always been to make sure they never are allowed get cold in the first place.

Curt.
 

BigAl07

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In COLD weather we keep our UAS batteries in a soft sided cooler with a couple of disposable hand warmers dropped down in there. Has worked splendidly for years on all brands and models of UAS.
 

Chicagolanddroneflyer

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I know from car batteries that they seem to loose approximately 1/4 of their charge if temperatures are below 32 degrees and even more as it gets colder, maybe as much as 1/2 it’s actual capacity. Found that out with my Jaguar s-type, it seemed to have some kind of ignition or fuel system issue and had very prolonged crank times, and if it was 20 degrees or colder, I would have to put it on the charger overnight to have any hopes of starting. Found out it was not fuel or ignition, but instead a couple broken head bolts that was letting coolant seep into cylinders in cold temperatures, replaced the engine and no more issues with prolonged cranking, but mechanic also said that batteries looses between 25 -40 percent charge when the temperatures are 32f or lower.
 

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