Should you store batteries in the freezer?

Previous Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer? Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer? Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer? Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer?

Product rating

Работают до 20 раз дольше*

*по сравнению с солевой батарейкой типа АА лидирующего бренда по результатам теста стандарта IEC 2015 в цифровом фотоаппарате (www.iec.ch). Результаты могут варьироваться в зависимости от устройства и интенсивности использования.

ВЫБЕРИТЕ РАЗМЕР УПАКОВКИ

Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer?

  • Product rating
  • Duracell Аккумулятор размера AA 2500 мАч — аккумуляторы № 1 по длительности работы от одного заряда
  • (по сравнению со временем работы аналогичных перезаряжаемых батареек размера AA от одного заряда в одном и том же устройстве)
  • ВЫБЕРИТЕ РАЗМЕР УПАКОВКИ

Next

Узнайте о том, как технология изготовления наших долговечных батареек помогла нам стать маркой номер 1 на этом рынке.

Батарейки Duracell Ultra снабжены ядром повышенной плотности. Благодаря этому батарейка обретает плотную компак…

УЗНАТЬ БОЛЬШЕ

Большинство батареек постепенно теряет энергию со временем, даже если Вы ними не пользуетесь. Но благодаря особ…

УЗНАТЬ БОЛЬШЕ

Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer?

  1. Duracell – это мировой лидер среди производителей высокоэффективных алкалиновых
    и специальных батареек,
  2. а также аккумуляторов.

УЗНАТЬ БОЛЬШЕ

BU-702: How to Store Batteries

Learn about storage temperatures and state-of-charge conditions. The recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15°C (59°F); the extreme allowable temperature is –40°C to 50°C (–40°C to 122°F) for most chemistries.

Lead acid

You can store a sealed lead acid battery for up to 2 years. Since all batteries gradually self-discharge over time, it is important to check the voltage and/or specific gravity, and then apply a charge when the battery falls to 70 percent state-of-charge, which reflects 2.

07V/cell open circuit or 12.

42V for a 12V pack. (The specific gravity at 70 percent charge is roughly 1.218.) Lead acid batteries may have different readings, and it is best to check the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Some battery manufacturer may further let a lead acid to drop to 60 percent before recharge.

See BU-903: How to Measure State-of-charge.)

Low charge induces sulfation, an oxidation layer on the negative plate that inhibits current flow. Topping charge and/or cycling may restore some of the capacity losses in the early stages of sulfation. (See BU-804b: Sulfation and How to Prevent it.)

Sulfation may prevent charging small sealed lead acid cells, such as the Cyclone by Hawker, after prolonged storage. These batteries can often be reactivated by applying an elevated voltage. At first, the cell voltage under charge may go up to 5V and draw very little current.

Within 2 hours or so, the charging current converts the large sulfate crystals into active material, the cell resistance drops and the charge voltage gradually normalizes. At between 2.10V and 2.40V the cell is able to accept a normal charge. To prevent damage, set the current limit to a very low level.

Do not attempt to perform this service if the power supply does not have current limiting. (See BU-405: Charging with a Power Supply.)

 

Nickel-based

Recommended storage is around 40 percent state-of-charge (SoC). This minimizes age-related capacity loss while keeping the battery operational and allowing for some self-discharge. Nickel-based batteries can be stored in a fully discharged state with no apparent side effect.

Measuring SoC by voltage is difficult on nickel-based batteries. A flat discharge curve, agitation after charge and discharge and temperature affects the voltage.

The good news is that the charge level for storage is not critical for this chemistry, so simply apply some charge if the battery is empty and store it in a cool and dry place.

With some charge, priming should be quicker than if stored in a totally discharged state.

Nickel-metal-hydride can be stored for 3–5 years. The capacity drop that occurs during storage is partially reversible with priming. Nickel-cadmium stores well.

The US Air Force was able to deploy NiCd batteries that had been in storage for 5 years with good recovered capacities after priming. It is believed that priming becomes necessary if the voltage drops below 1V/cell.

Primary alkaline and lithium batteries can be stored for up to 10 years with only moderate capacity loss.

Lithium-based

There is virtually no self-discharge below about 4.0V at 20C (68F); storing at 3.7V yields amazing longevity for most Li-ion systems. Finding the exact 40–50 percent SoC level to store Li-ion is not that important. At 40 percent charge, most Li-ion has an OCV of 3.82V/cell at room temperature.

To get the correct reading after a charge or discharge, rest the battery for 90 minutes before taking the reading. If this is not practical, overshoot the discharge voltage by 50mV or go 50mV higher on charge. This means discharging to 3.77V/cell or charging to 3.87V/cell at a C-rate of 1C or less. The rubber band effect will settle the voltage at roughly 3.82V.

Figure 1 shows the typical discharge voltage of a Li-ion battery.

Should You Store Batteries in the Freezer?

Figure 1: Discharge voltage as a function of state-of-chargeBattery SoC is reflected in OCV. Lithium manganese oxide reads 3.82V at 40% SoC (25°C), and about 3.70V at 30% (shipping requirement). Temperature and previous charge and discharge activities affect the reading. Allow the battery to rest for 90 minutes before taking the reading.

Li-ion cannot dip below 2V/cell for any length of time. Copper shunts form inside the cells that can lead to elevated self-discharge or a partial electrical short. (See BU-802b: Elevated Self-discharge.

See also:  Hanged versus hung

) If recharged, the cells might become unstable, causing excessive heat or showing other anomalies. Li-ion batteries that have been under stress may function normally but are more sensitive to mechanical abuse.

Liability for incorrect handling should go to the user and not the battery manufacturer.

Alkaline

Alkaline and other primary batteries are easy to store. For best results, keep the cells at cool room temperature and at a relative humidity of about 50 percent. Do not freeze alkaline cells, or any battery, as this may change the molecular structure. Some lithium-based primary batteries need special care that is described in BU-106a: Choices of Primary Batteries.

Capacity Loss during Storage

Storage induces two forms of losses: Self-discharge that can be refilled with charging before use, and non-recoverable losses that permanently lower the capacity.

Table 2 illustrates the remaining capacities of lithium- and nickel-based batteries after one year of storage at various temperatures. Li-ion has higher losses if stored fully charged rather than at a SoC of 40 percent.

(See BU-808: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries to study capacity loss in Li-ion.)  

Temperature Lead acid at full charge Nickel-based at any charge Lithium-ion (Li-cobalt)
40% charge 100% charge
  • 0°C
  • 25°C
  • 40°C
  • 60°C
  1. 97%
  2. 90%
  3. 62%
  4. 38% (after 6 months)
  • 99%
  • 97%
  • 95%
  • 70%
  1. 98%
  2. 96%
  3. 85%
  4. 75%
  • 94%
  • 80%
  • 65%
  • 60% (after 3 months)

Table 2: Estimated recoverable capacity when storing a battery for one year. Elevated temperature hastens permanent capacity loss. Depending on battery type, lithium-ion is also sensitive to charge levels.  

Batteries are often exposed to unfavorable temperatures, and leaving a mobile phone or camera on the dashboard of a car or in the hot sun are such examples.

Laptops get warm when in use and this increases the battery temperature. Sitting at full charge while plugged into the mains shortens battery life. Elevated temperature also stresses lead- and nickel-based batteries.

(See BU-808: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries.)

Nickel-metal-hydride can be stored for 3–5 years. The capacity drop that occurs during storage is partially reversible with priming. Nickel-cadmium stores well.

The US Air Force was able to deploy NiCd batteries that had been in storage for 5 years with good recovered capacities after priming. It is believed that priming becomes necessary if the voltage drops below 1V/cell.

Primary alkaline and lithium batteries can be stored for up to 10 years with only moderate capacity loss.

You can store a sealed lead acid battery for up to 2 years. Since all batteries gradually self-discharge over time, it is important to check the voltage and/or specific gravity, and then apply a charge when the battery falls to 70 percent state-of-charge, which reflects 2.

07V/cell open circuit or 12.42V for a 12V pack. (The specific gravity at 70 percent charge is roughly 1.218.) Lead acid batteries may have different readings, and it is best to check the manufacturer’s instruction manual.

Some battery manufacturer may further let a lead acid to drop to 60 percent before recharge.

Low charge induces sulfation, an oxidation layer on the negative plate that inhibits current flow. Topping charge and/or cycling may restore some of the capacity losses in the early stages of sulfation. (See BU-804b: Sulfation and How to Prevent it.)

Sulfation may prevent charging small sealed lead acid cells, such as the Cyclone by Hawker, after prolonged storage. These batteries can often be reactivated by applying an elevated voltage. At first, the cell voltage under charge may go up to 5V and draw very little current.

Within 2 hours or so, the charging current converts the large sulfate crystals into active material, the cell resistance drops and the charge voltage gradually normalizes. At between 2.10V and 2.40V the cell is able to accept a normal charge. To prevent damage, set the current limit to a very low level.

Do not attempt to perform this service if the power supply does not have current limiting. (See BU-405: Charging with a Power Supply.)

Alkaline batteries are easy to store. For best results, keep the cells at cool room temperature and at a relative humidity of about 50 percent. Do not freeze alkaline cells, or any battery, as this may change the molecular structure.

AirShip

Li-ion batteries not only live longer when stored partially charged; they are also less volatile in shipment should an anomaly occur. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and FAA mandate that all removable Li-ion packs be shipped at 30% state-of-charge.

(More on BU-704a: Shipping Lithium-based Batteries by Air.) SoC can be estimated by measuring the open circuit voltage of a rested battery. (See also BU-903: How to Measure State-of-charge.

) Relating SoC to voltage can be inaccurate as the voltage curve of Li-ion between 20% to 100% charge is flat, as Figure 1 demonstrates. Temperature also plays a role, so do the active materials used in a cell.

Aviation authorities seem less concerned about the exact 30% SoC but the importance of shipping Li-ion below 50% SoC. Larger misgivings are wrong labeling by passing Li-ion as a benign nickel-based chemistry. 

To bring Li-ion to 30% SoC, discharge the battery in a device featuring a fuel gauge and terminate the discharge at 30% charge.

The Embedded Battery Management System (BMS) does a reasonably good job giving SoC information but the measurements are seldom accurate. A full discharge to “Low Batt” is acceptable as long as the battery receives a charge at destination.

Keeping Li-ion in a discharged state for a few months could slip the pack to sleep mode. (See BU-808a: How to Awaken a Sleeping Li-ion.)

See also:  Adverbs ending in -ly

Modern chargers feature the “AirShip” program that prepares a Li-ion pack for air shipment by discharging or charging the battery to 30% SoC on command. Typical methods are a full discharge with subsequent recharge to 30% using coulomb counting or advanced Kalman filters. Li-ion batteries built into devices have less stringent SoC requirements than removable packs.

Simple Guidelines for Storing Batteries

  • Primary batteries store well. Alkaline and primary lithium batteries can be stored for 10 years with moderate loss capacity.
  • When storing, remove the battery from the equipment and place in a dry and cool place.
  • Avoid freezing. Batteries freeze more easily if kept in discharged state.
  • Charge lead acid before storing and monitor the voltage or specific gravity frequently; apply a charge if below 2.07V/cell or if  SG is below 1.225 (most starter batteries).
  • Nickel-based batteries can be stored for 3–5years, even at zero voltage; prime before use. 
  • Lithium-ion must be stored in a charged state, ideally at 40 percent. This prevents the battery from dropping below 2.50V/cell, triggering sleep mode.
  • Discard Li-ion if kept below 2.00/V/cell for more than a week. Also discard if the voltage does not recover normally after storage. (See BU-802b: What does Elevated Self-discharge do?)
CAUTION When charging an SLA with over-voltage, current limiting must be applied to protect the battery. Always set the current limit to the lowest practical setting and observe the battery voltage and temperature during charge. In case of rupture, leaking electrolyte or any other cause of exposure to the electrolyte, flush with water immediately. If eye exposure occurs, flush with water for 15 minutes and consult a physician immediately. Wear approved gloves when touching electrolyte, lead and cadmium. On exposure to skin, flush with water immediately.  

Last Updated: 2019-04-29

*** Please Read Regarding Comments ***

Comments are intended for “commenting,” an open discussion amongst site visitors. Battery University monitors the comments and understands the importance of expressing perspectives and opinions in a shared forum. However, all communication must be done with the use of appropriate language and the avoidance of spam and discrimination.

Myth vs. fact: Do batteries last longer in the refrigerator?

CLOSE

All major battery brands recommend storing batteries in a clean, dry, room-temperature environment. USA TODAY

Know Your Stuff is a new column that unlocks the hidden secrets about the everyday products you own. 

If you were to peek inside my refrigerator, you might see a surprise next to the butter drawer: my batteries. I keep them there because, at some point in the foggy past, someone told me it was good idea, and I believed them.    

However, I've learned that gut instincts often fall apart in the face of actual facts. So I took my question to the experts and learned, yet again, that even the simple things we own can be surprisingly complex.  

Myth: Storing batteries in the refrigerator prolongs their life. 

Fact: It's partially true, but you're better off not doing it. 

In order to understand why, it's helpful to have some insight into how a battery works. To keep things simple, we'll limit ourselves to common AA and AAA batteries – not smartphone or laptop batteries.   

Do batteries last longer if you keep them in the fridge?

This is one of those stories that has a great deal of myth, a little bit of fact and a generous sprinkling of confusion.

The zinc alkaline difference

Zinc-carbon batteries powered almost all portable devices for nearly 50 years after their invention in the late 1800s and zinc-carbon batteries do indeed last longer if stored at between 40 to 50°F (5 and 10°C).

After four years at this temperature, a zinc-carbon battery will still maintain 80% of its capacity compared to 65% for a unit stored at 70°F (21°C). Zinc-carbon batteries are disposable, once they are flat they are of no use, and so the practice of keeping batteries that were not in use in the fridge became widespread.

Alkaline batteries, commercially available from the 1950s, became a popular replacement option for zinc-carbon. Alkaline, however, shows almost no improvement in self-discharge when chilled or frozen. However for many people a battery is just a battery and so the practice of chilled storage was often continued.

Over the years some inquiring minds tested the fridge storage idea but often just testing ‘a battery’ without understanding the different chemistries. From the 1950s onwards ‘a battery’ was usually alkaline, the results showed no improvement and this lead to speculation that the whole fridge storage idea was a myth.

Cold storage issues

How to Properly Store Batteries

Batteries are unsung heroes. While we turn to them to power everything from flashlights to remote controls to cars, we think about them only when they need to be replaced.

See also:  Why does “i” take plural verbs?

If you have batteries that you’re not using, you want to make sure that you know where they are and that they’re in good working condition once you need them.

In order to store your batteries correctly, you should keep them in their original packaging, or place them in a plastic container – NEVER store batteries inside equipment.

Keep batteries in a cool location with low humidity and make sure they are aligned in the same direction. If possible, use plastic caps to prevent corrosion.

Lastly, be sure to separate old and new batteries from each other.

How to Store Batteries the Safe Way

Whatever kind of batteries you need to store, the following guidelines should help you keep them in good condition for as long as possible. However keep in mind all battery types have different shelf lives, even when kept under the best conditions.

Most unused alkaline batteries will last between five and 10 years, while Ni-MH batteries have a shelf life of three to five years of non-use.

The greatest threat to keeping batteries in good condition while in storage are environmental factors. High humidity increases the risk of condensation, and direct sunlight can also drain batteries.

To maintain charge levels and keep batteries from corroding, take the following precautions when storing:

1. Remove Batteries From Equipment

How to Store Batteries

  1. 1

    Keep batteries in the original packaging if possible. Storing batteries sealed in their packaging ensures that they remain protected from environmental factors such as humidity. It also ensures that you do not confuse new, fully charged batteries with older ones, and it prevents the terminals from coming into contact with other metals.

  2. 2

    Separate batteries by make and age. Batteries of different types or from different manufacturers can react with each other, causing leakage or other damage. If you are storing disposable (non-rechargeable) batteries, avoid storing new and used batteries together.[1] Separate containers are ideal. If you plan to use one container, place each type of battery in its own plastic bag.

  3. 3

    Check the charge levels on rechargeable batteries. Many rechargeable batteries will permanently damage themselves if kept in a discharged state. The ideal level of charge depends on the technology:

    Lead AcidStore at full charge to avoid sulfation, which lowers capacity.

    Lithium Ion (Li-ion)For best results, store at 30–50% maximum charge.[2]If you will be unable to recharge within a few months, store at full charge instead.[3][4]

    Nickel-based (NiMH, NiZn, NiCd)Can be stored at any state of charge.[5]

  4. 4

    Store your batteries at room temperature or below. In most cases, any cool room away from direct sun is fine. Even at relatively warm temperatures of 77ºF (25ºC), a typical battery only loses a few percent of its charge capacity each year.

    Storing batteries in the refrigerator (or anywhere between 34–60ºF / 1–15ºC) causes minor improvements in this area, but is not necessary unless you have no good alternative or maximum performance is vital.

    For most consumers, the refrigerator is not worth the risk of water damage and the inconvenience of waiting for batteries to warm up before use.[6][7]

    • Do not put a battery in a freezer unless the manufacturer recommends it.[8]Traditional nickel-based batteries lose their charge quickly even at low temperatures. They recharge faster at cool temperatures, but not below 50ºF (10°C) for consumer-grade chargers.[9]More recent LSD (Low Self-Discharge) NiMH batteries are designed to maintain their charge at room temperature.
  5. 5

    Control humidity. Keep your batteries in a vapor-proof container if they are in a high-humidity environment or if there is risk of condensation (including in the fridge). Alkaline batteries can be safely stored in moderately humid conditions (35 to 65% relative humidity).[10] Most other batteries prefer drier environments.[11]

  6. 6

    Prevent electrical conduction. Your batteries may start conducting electricity if they come into contact with metal. This will drain your batteries quickly, and create heat. Take steps to prevent this problem and reduce fire risk:[12][13]

    • Do not store batteries in a metal container. Use a sealed plastic container or a specialized battery storage box.
    • Do not store coins or other metal objects in the same container.
    • Align batteries so the positive terminals cannot contact the negative terminals of other batteries. Cover the terminals with masking tape or plastic caps if you cannot guarantee this.
  1. 1

    Recharge lead acid and lithium-ion batteries periodically. Storing a lead-acid battery at a very low charge state can cause permanent crystal formation (sulfation) that reduces capacity.[14] Lithium-ion batteries at low charge can develop copper structures that short the battery, making it dangerous to use.[15] The exact recharge instructions depend on the battery design. Follow these guidelines if you do not have access to manufacturer instructions:
    Lead AcidRecharge to full whenever voltage drops below 2.07 volts / cell (12.42V for a 12V battery).[16]One charge every six months is typical.[17]

    Lithium Ion (Li-ion)Recharge to 30–50% capacity whenever voltage drops below 2.5 V/cell.[18] Do not recharge if voltage drops to 1.5V/cell.[19]One charge every few months is typical.

  2. 2

    Restore discharged batteries.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*