If you’re a drone enthusiast or a person who uses drones for business, you want to be able to get the most out of your drone in terms of flight time and lifting capacity. Having a powerful drone will help you do your drone work with ease and efficiency.
It’s not always feasible to just go out and upgrade the drone, but there are some things you can do to give the drone you have a little bit of a boost in making it more powerful.
1. Install More Efficient Propellers
Propellers play a very crucial part when it comes to making a drone fly. Propellers convert rotational motion into thrust that pushes the drone up and enables it to stay in the air. Propellers work on two primary principles, including Newton’s third law of motion and the Bernoulli principle. Maximizing the efficiency of each of these two principles will give your drone improved performance in the air.
Propellers are categorized according to pitch and length. The distance the drone will cover in one propeller rotation is called pitch.
A high-pitched propeller will move the drone for a longer distance in a single rotation. This will, however, displace more air resulting in turbulence. Because of this, your drone will tend to shake while hovering.
Propellers with higher pitches will also produce less torque; the motor will be operating on a very high current. Consequently, this will mean that your drone battery will discharge much faster, and your drone won’t be able to spend as much time in the air.
Longer propellers will generate more lift in a particular RPM and have more reliable stability while hovering than short propellers. As a result, longer propellers will have more power to lift heavy loads. However, this will demand more power and drain the drone’s battery more quickly than short propellers.
Making drones more powerful will require installing efficient propellers depending on the task you want to do. Efficient propellers will give your drone the much-needed power and efficiency, making it more powerful.
If you want to maximize your drone’s flight time, you will probably want to go for shorter propellers with a lower pitch. If you want to maximize speed look for longer propellers with a higher pitch. If lift capacity is your goal, get longer propellers with a lower pitch.
Maximize your propeller efficiency:
|Flight Goal||Propeller Length||Propeller Pitch|
|Longer Flight Time||Shorter propeller||Lower pitch|
|Faster Speed||Longer propeller||Higher pitch|
|More Lift Capacity||Longer propeller||Lower pitch|
2. Upgrade Your Battery
Upgrading your drone battery is another way to enhance your drone’s power. A battery that can hold more power when fully charged and has high discharge capabilities will enhance the drone’s overall ability. An ideal battery will also help you achieve a perfect balance between performance and flight time.
The battery in a drone provides power to the motors, which in turn propel the props. Therefore, the drone’s strength will depend on how much power is available in the drone’s battery. More battery power will provide more stability and will consequently make your drone more powerful.
Lithium batteries are the most common batteries used in drones. This is because they provide high-energy efficiency to make your drone stronger and provide more flight time. There are two types of lithium batteries commonly used; Lithium Polymer (LiPO) and Lithium High Voltage (LiHV).
The difference between the two batteries is that Lithium Polymer has a high charge voltage capacity of 4.2 compared to Lithium High voltage that has a power of 4.35 voltage when fully charged.
The LiHV battery will provide more power at the initial stages when it comes to their performance but will abruptly drop voltage supply when discharged. LiPO batteries, on the other hand, will provide a linear discharge which is advantageous since one can quickly gauge the remaining flight time.
Often the battery that comes with your drone is not the optimal battery for performance. If your drone model comes with an option to upgrade to a bigger or more powerful battery, this is a great way to get better performance and flight time from the same drone.
3. Practice Good Battery Care
For electronic devices, the source of power directly determines their strength. Good battery life will ensure you have a reliable and extended power supply to your drone’s motor and have better drone performance. You can improve the life expectancy and overall health of your drone batteries with a few basic maintenance practices. Practicing good battery care includes:
- Not charging your battery while it’s hot
- Avoid overcharging
- Never fully drain your battery
Don’t charge your drone battery when it is hot. Your drone battery will obviously need charging after a flight; however, since drones are also hot at that time, you should not charge your drone batteries immediately after they have been flying.
Give it some time to cool down before charging. Charging under hot temperatures may lead to other undesired chemical reactions that may end up damaging your battery.
It’s also important not to fully drain your battery. When flying a drone, it is best to observe the battery alert and land it before the low battery alert pops up on your controller. The extra minutes of flying won’t be worth damaging your battery.
Charging is a chemical reaction that requires some voltage to start up. Completely discharging your battery will mean that there will be no voltage to reverse the chemical reactions, and this might ultimately damage your drone’s battery.
Avoid overcharging your battery to make sure you don’t damage it, to ensure you get the most out of your drone. Even though most recent batteries having the capability to stop charging when they reach maximum voltage, it is still advisable to unplug your drone from the power source when the batteries are charged fully.
Some batteries might continue taking power even when they reach their full capacity and end up damaged. A damaged drone battery will translate to a less powerful drone, diminished flight times, and a shorter life expectancy for your drone battery over time.
4. Remove Unnecessary Weight
Any extra weight on your drone will mean additional power consumption. You should remove any unnecessary weight to maintain a more powerful drone.
Accessories that you don’t need, including the propeller guards, lens filters, and even the camera when you are not recording, should be taken off to keep your drone powerful.
Any extra weight you add will lead to a higher power consumption from the batteries and will therefore lessen your overall flight time, and agility in the air. Removing extra weight will give you better flight times, and faster speeds. As soon as you start adding weight (lift capacity), you start to sacrifice flight time and speed.
5. Install More Powerful Motors
If you’ve gone the DIY route and chosen to build your own drone, or if you have a model that allows for more hands-on types of improvements than your typical off-the-shelf drone, upgrading your drone’s motors is always an option if you want to have a more powerful drone. Changing your motors may not be an option for all drones.
But if you’re feeling handy, and you want to have a more powerful drone, getting more powerful motors should be your top priority. Since the drone’s motors provide the torque to turn the propellers, more powerful motors will directly translate to a more powerful drone. Keep in mind that you will need four motors (in a quadcopter), one for each arm of the drone.
When choosing motors for your drone, it is best to choose one with a higher thrust. The thrust to weight ratio of your drone motor should be able to allow your drone to hover in the air with half throttle.
A high thrust motor will also be able to keep your drone steady during windy weather or during flight maneuvers and, therefore should be very stable.
The two most crucial factors you’ll need to keep in mind if you want more power out of your drone are propellers and motors. The efficiency of the propellers and the motor attached to the drone will determine the thrust of your drone and, therefore, its strength.
For better flight time, think especially in terms of your battery and battery care. These can go a long way toward longer flights.