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Easy Guide About How To Properly Store LiFePO4 Batteries

The world of batteries has suffered a radical change since LiFePO4 batteries were introduced. However, much information still needs to be included, and one is how to store them properly. 

We use LiFePO4 batteries seasonally. Be it summer or winter or travelling to unkown places. For instance, my partner and I use it with our motorhome during ski season. Once you do not need your battery, you must store it appropriately. Storing it properly will not only avoid damage it but also maintain its best performance for many years.

LiFePO4 basics

LiFePO4 are lithium-ion batteries that provide the necessary electricity when you are not near a typical power source. You will incorporate or will see them incorporated into off-grid power systems, such as boats, tiny homes, and even golf carts.

They are famous for their longevity and ability to utilize more stored power without damaging the battery. They are more eco-friendly than any other battery because of the materials they are built with. You can read more about it in this article.

You can use LiFePO4 batteries for and different gadgets. From small devices as minibars, to your motorhome electricty to golf carts. Therefore, if you store them according to these following steps and tips, will extend their life-span.

Factors that affect storage

Before you store your battery. Before placing it into a box and leaving it in your shed, you need to consider the following factors:

Temperature

temperature

The recommended storage temperature should be between -5 to 35°C. However, this will vary depending on the storage time as well. You can follow the guideline below:
  • 30 days: -20°C to 60°C
  • 90 days: -10°C to 35°C
  • More than 90 days: 15°C to 35°C

Summer

If you consider storing your battery during summertime, you need to make sure it is not exposed to high temperatures or sun rays. Exposing your battery to high temperatures can result in unwanted internal chemical reactions. Even though these batteries do well with hot temperatures, it will affect them if exposed for long periods. 

Winter

Contrary to hot temperatures, exposing your battery to cold temperatures will avoid chemical reactions. However, if the cold temperatures are extreme, some components, for instance, plastic, can crack. 

Since winter in some areas in the US can reach temperatures lower than -10°C, ensure room temperature to be higher. If you store your battery for longer than 3 months, charging or checking their discharge percetage is recommended. 

State of charge

state of charge

LiFePO4 batteries have a very low self-discharge rate. They normally discharge at 2% per month. It is recommended that you fully charge your LiFePO4 battery before storing it. The higher the charge, the larger the charge-retaining power of the battery during storage.

If you do not charge the battery before storing it, you risk an over-discharge. As a result, the discharge level can go below what the BMS can protect. Also, if over-discharged due to storage without charge can cause permanent damage and void your battery warranty.

Location

If you need or want to store your battery for some time, keep it in the right place. The garage or outside are not the ideal places.

Make sure you allocate or place your battery in a room temperature and dry place. Always double-check temperature is within the recommended range. 

You also need to avoid a humid room. Moisture can damage your battery cells. Any type of liquid should avoid the contact with the battery.

Exposure to other elements

It is crucial to store a lithium battery away from any fire, radiator, or heat source. Avoid exposing also to conductive objects such as hairpins or other metals. These objects can cause a short circuit if they accidentally come into contact with both battery terminals.

It is also important to ensure no dust or debris enters the battery compartment. These elements can cause short circuits, which damage cells over time. 

Preparing storage place

storage

Where you will store your battery is vital. Avoiding or consider these tips before storing.

Disconnect

Firstly, disconnect the main positive and negative wires from the lithium batteries. Doing this will ensure that the battery is not being discharged during storage time. As a result, when you use them again, you will have plenty of charge in the LiFePO4 batteries.

Clean them with a soft dry cloth. Double-check that there is no dirt, moisture, or debris that may affect it during the time stored. 

Keep it charged

Before placing your LiFePO4 battery in cold storage, ensure it is fully charged or has enough charge to withstand the low temperature. The ideal percentage is 50% and above it. Depending on the storage period, you will need to charge it. Remember the discharge rate is of 2-3%.

Even when stored in cold temperatures, keeping your LiFePO4 batteries charged regularly is important to offset any power loss due to self-discharge. That is why you should recharge the battery every 3 to 6 months to ensure that the battery's health is not affected.

A box or container is another factor that will maintain a stable temperature. Considering placing your LiFePO4 battery inside an insulated box is an extra feature.

Safety considerations

safety

For maximum safety, use a battery storage cabinet. If you have different batteries that you need to store, it is better to have a separate box for each one. This ensures you know your battery type, even if they are new or older.

Batteries that are dropped, damaged, or show signs of swelling should never be put back in your store or placed on charge.

Well-ventillated areas is ideal for LiFePO4 batteries. As a result, you will avoid excessive heat or humidity. Therefore, keeping your stores ventilated through natural or mechanical means is necessary to store your battery cells safely.

If you need to dispose of your battery, check your local battery disposal location for the correct way to dispose of or recycle them.

Final thoughts

As we purchase more gadgets for our daily or seasonal activities, we must know how to store them.

The main factor to consider is temperature. If it is favorable, your LiFePO4 battery will function for an extended period. Keeping them in cool or low temperature is ideal. Plus, The storage space should be dry and indoors, away from direct exposure to sunlight. 

Following the information above will be enough to store most lithium-ion batteries, especially LiFePO4 batteries. Lastly, getting a good-quality battery can make the storage process much more manageable. 

You can check GOLDENMATE batteries and contact our staff members for any queries.

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