Drones are only as effective as their flight time. Battery life dictates this, and is responsible for how far a drone can go. Battery also determines how much cargo one can carry. The battery life determines the range a drone can reach before having to turn back.
In fact, in serious drone jobs such as search and rescue, battery life can be the difference between life and death. For that reason, newer drone designs try to maximize the battery as much as possible.
This aspect has a number of obstacles.
First, the drone’s physical body is small enough on its own. Packing a battery pack in there could leave little room for anything else. A larger battery, while capable of providing more power, can also weigh down the drone. Therefore, here is where the problem lies. How can you improve the battery without making the supply bigger or heavier?
Some drones use solar panels built around the drone. It can then absorb sunlight, convert it to backup energy during flight, making its trip longer. The solar panels have to be very large though, in order to get enough sunlight during the expedition. Therefore, only drones the size of planes, planning on flying for months at a time can use this option realistically.
Lithium Metal Battery
Other drone designs try to cram as much battery inside the drone as possible.
With this type of approach, the most important factor is the type of battery used. Lithium metal batteries for example last longer than the traditional lithium-ion. Studies report that the Lithium metal variety offers up to 70% more flight time on drones using it. This can provide drones with more possibilities, as they can fly for a longer period. The lithium metal battery also has a lower risk of overheating, giving it a safer touch.