Cold air...good for blade performance...bad for battery performance.
I have now gone full circle in the course of a year starting off with learning to fly in my house last winter progressing to outdoors in the spring and then battled the 100+ temps of summer, making changes as I went to keep the aircraft performance up through the seasonal changes. Now winter and cold temps
. In talking about cold temps and battery performance in aviation maintenance classes I used to give I would always use this example to drive home my point...when the first real cold day of the winter season hit's, if you were to stand at the automotive counter in Wal Mart what would you see people buying...and the answer is car batteries. Those weak car batteries that performed well during the warm summer months are no match for cold temps and their ability to start your car in that cold air is very limited.
The same is true for airplane batteries as well, just because the battey in your airplane started the engine well in the summer doesn't mean it will in the winter. Before it gets cold, check your battery health to prevent cold air issues.
So now that brings me to my batteries in my M120 and V450, I see that cold temps suck for them as well. They have performed well during the summer months but now in the early morning cold which is when I fly before work, they have very little to give me other than just flying circuits, some can't even do a couple of pitch pumps without giving it up to low power output.
It's see it more in the M120 than the V450 but performance is lacking.
I was quick to open up the intake scoop on the V450 during the 100 degree summer days which helped keep the battery and motor cool with some flow through ventilation but now I am thinking of buying anothe new canopy and leaving the scoop closed for winter flying to keep things as warm as possible.
You gus have any tricks for these small batteries?
I can keep them in my pocket (making sure they don't short togeather
) before use but at 32 degrees it doesn't take long for a cold soak to weaken the battery.