Can You Charge A Drone Overnight?

One of the major concerns of drone owners is their aircraft’s battery health, and this comes with the question of if you can charge your drone overnight. After some research on my part, here’s what I found:

You can leave DJI drones charging overnight as their battery will automatically stop charging when full, since they have intelligent flight batteries. However, cheaper drones tend to not have this feature, thus their battery will overcharge and might get damaged.

Drone batteries aren’t exactly cheap, and needless to say, they are an utmost essential part of the aircraft. Overcharging causes major damage to your previous batteries and here’s how to prevent it.

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How long should you leave your drone on charge?

On average, drones take around 50 minutes to fully charge when using a charging hub and about 80 minutes for USB charging. 

Then you should talk about what happens if you leave your drone above the time it takes to fully charge it

The table below shows how long some of the most common and popular drones approximately take to charge:

Drone TypeCharging HubUSB charger
DJI Mavic Mini50 minutes90 minutes
DJI Mavic Mini 250 minutes90 minutes
DJI Ryze Tello 45 minutes70 minutes
DJI Mavic 275 minutes90 minutes
DJI Air 2S        –100 minutes
DJI Spark52 minutes80 minutes

The charging time of drones’ battery is affected by more than just the type of battery. The other major determining factors are

  • Charging method – You can charge your drone using either a charging hub or a USB charger. A charging hub is a faster way to charge your drone’s battery since it provides more power than the USB charger.
  • Battery Size – the above table is very evident that a bigger drone with a bigger battery needs more time to charge than a smaller battery.
  • Battery condition – A healthy battery takes more time to charge, while an “unhealthy” one shoots up to full charge in a few minutes. However, the faster “unhealthy” drone is charged, the faster it drains power while flying, resulting in very low flight time.
  • Temperature – it is advised to wait for your drone to cool down a bit before charging it, and this is because charging your drone’s battery during too hot or cold conditions not only increases the charging time but also may damage the battery.

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Can you overcharge a drone?

You can overcharge your drone if you’re using LiPo batteries. This doesn’t mean these LiPo batteries have no safety features to prevent overcharging. Although ordinary Manual chargers do not protect your battery from overcharging, Automatic chargers will stop charging the device once the maximum voltage is reached; however, in some rare cases, the charger does not switch off. The battery also has electronic protection circuit to halt surcharges. When both the charger and the circuit fail to stop the charging process, the LiPo battery will overcharge.

Overcharging damages the battery, and shortens its life span. Furthermore, the excess energy leads to heat generation within the battery. A gas formation can occur in the battery, causing it to swell up and finally burst into flames. For this reason, it is advised to not leave your LiPo batteries unattended while charging or to use LiPo Safe bags or fireproof surfaces.

On the other hand, if your drone uses an Intelligent Flight Battery, it will not overcharge. DJI’s Intelligent Flight Battery features overcharging protection by automatically cutting power from the charger once the battery is fully charged. These batteries can be connected to the charger overnight and pose no issue. In simple words, these batteries are just too smart to overcharge.

How to check if your drone has Intelligent Flight Battery?

Before you leave your drone charging overnight, you’ll have to make sure that the aircraft has an intelligent flight battery. And there are various ways to do that:

  • DJI – All DJI drones have the intelligent flight battery. However, for this smart battery to properly work and prevent overcharging, you need to use an original DJI charger. You can purchase DJI’s smart batteries and chargers at the official DJI store.
  • User Manual – If your drone has a smart or intelligent battery, the manual will clearly state so. It describes the aptness of the battery for preventing overcharging.
  • Contact the manufacturer: In the case that the manual doesn’t mention whether the battery is intelligent or not, you can always contact the manufacturer to make sure.

You can watch the video below for complete information on what the intelligent flight battery is capable of…

Can you charge your drone faster?

You can charge your drone faster in various ways including using chargers with a higher power or more voltage; however, some of this methods come with their own downsides.  

  • A charging hub provides more power than a USB charger, thus it will take less time to fully charge your drone. This is the safest way to charge your drone’s battery faster.
  • Third-party chargers that provide more power than the drone’s original charger will substantially charge your drone faster; however, they might damage the terminals of your batteries due to improper alignment, safeguards, and guides. It might also result in short-circuiting and bursting into flames.
  • By charging your drone using a third-party charger, you’ll lose the battery warranty the manufacturer offers for any damages. 

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