This has to be a major problem for a lot of drone pilots. If you’re a hobbyist for example you can’t always afford to buy two or three batteries straight away so you are relying on one battery on every trip out. Or you do have multiple batteries but want to keep them all charged for long trips camping or trekking.
Well fear not, you can charge your drone battery on location. This is something we looked into for a while. We had a trip lined up that required camping and sleeping rough for a few nights and it’s unlikely that we would encounter any wall plugs to keep the batteries charged up.
We’ve all seen USB power banks that charge phones/ camera batteries etc such as THIS. These are amazing and should be in everyones camera/ drone bag as you never know when you’re going to need some extra charge. The problem with these is drone batteries tend to be LiPo batteries that are charged via a mains power supply. I won’t go into the technical reason as to why you couldn’t piggyback this off of a modified usb charger but long story short don’t do it!
The options you have are these specialist powerbanks with wall plugs built in, these are designed to regulate the charge properly and depending on the size of your battery you will be able to charge them multiple times. These aren’t cheap like the other powerbanks but these will last and keep you topped up where ever you are.
There’s numerous versions that will do the same job ranging from £100 to £1,000. Essentially the price tends to be based off of the additional features and primarily the capacity. So weigh up where the sweet spot for you is in terms of return on investment.
Here’s a few to choose from and just to clarify this isn't a sponsored post for RAVPower, I currently have no affiliation with them at all. They just have a solid range of Powerbanks and I have been using their gear for years with no problems at all:
In addition to this, if you want to take it a step further you can also charge these powerbanks using portable solar panels! Check out these options for a truly off the grid way of keep your drone and other gear charged up no matter where you are (Unless you’re underground or its the middle of the night…) Make sure to check the compatibility of your power bank to make sure it can take charge from the solar panel as there are some variables to take into account.