What are Drones Powered By?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated July 25, 2022

If you’re wondering what powers the best drones, you’re in the right place. Today we’ll answer the question, “What are drones powered by?” so that you can better understand their internal components. It’s essential to know how your drone works, after all.


  • The most popular type of power supply is the lithium-ion battery, also known as a LiPo battery. This is the type most often used in consumer drones.
  • A new type of technology is the hydrogen fuel cell. While this is a less popular type of power supply, it is far more advanced than LiPo batteries.
  • Those who live in a relatively sunny climate might look into solar-powered drones. These use power generated by processing sunlight.

Power Sources for Unmanned Aircraft

If you know what a drone is, you’ll probably wonder what powers these little machines. There are quite a few different types of power supply used in the drone industry. In the future, knowing how to fix a drone battery will help you avoid potential problems. However, you should always be careful when attempting a battery repair since they can be dangerous.

Insider Tip

You can put a longer antenna on your flight controller to extend the range of your drone.

LiPo Batteries

While it is one of the weaker options for a power supply, LiPo batteries are the most popular option for consumer and commercial drones. They generally offer around 20 minutes of flight time on a full charge. If you’re interested in learning more about drones, read our article explaining what a level 7 wind resistance for drones is.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Fuel cell technology is still relatively new in the world of drones. It’s primarily offered in the commercial drone market. It’s supposed to provide more range than a traditional power supply because of the higher energy density that this power option offers. It also provides a faster charge than LiPo batteries.


Be careful when repairing drone batteries since this is a potentially dangerous activity.

Solar Power

If you live in a sunny climate, using a solar power option might be your best bet for providing electrical power. This power source uses the sun to process and store energy, which powers the drone. However, this can be a terrible idea if you don’t live in a place with reliable sunlight. Those who don’t live in sunny climates might want to learn how to waterproof a drone.

STAT: In 2019, consumer drones wholesale sales in the United States were estimated to amount to 1.2 billion U.S. dollars. (source)

What are Drones Powered By FAQs

What is the average flight time for drones?

That depends on the type of drone and what kind of power supply it has. However, most drones are powered by LiPo batteries, which offer around 20 minutes per flight.

Do you need a license to have personal drones?

Only commercial drone pilots need a license to operate their drones. However, you might need to register your drone if it’s above 0.55 pounds.

What does energy density mean?

Essentially, energy density is the amount of energy a power source can carry. The higher the energy density, the more power a supply can provide.

What do commercial drone pilots do?

There are a ton of different jobs that consumer drones are used for:

  • Agriculture drones
  • Military drones
  • Delivery drones
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