What Temperature Is Bad for Lithium Batteries?
Nov 13, 2023
Lithium batteries need very little maintenance. This benefit is one reason they are popular. However, extreme heat or cold is bad for the batteries.
Hot weather reduces the battery's cycle life. Also, high temperatures can lead to overheating and explosions. Likewise, lithium batteries can lose capacity in cold weather.
So, it's important to charge and store these batteries at the right temperature. But what is the correct temperature for lithium batteries? This article will answer the question.
The Best Temperature Range for Operational Lithium Batteries
You must not expose lithium batteries to extreme temperatures. So, there is no "best" temperature for these batteries. Lithium batteries work well in a range of temperatures.
But your battery manufacturers can suggest a temperature range. Often, you will find this advice in the manual. You should follow the guide since it depends on the two factors:
- The chemistry of your lithium battery
- The battery design and materials
The chemical components of lithium batteries vary. Popular lithium batteries include lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). Each battery chemistry has its ideal operating temperature.
Also, the battery material and design can affect the temperature. For example, some manufacturers insulate their batteries. This design helps to regulate the battery's temperature. So, the best operating temperature depends on the battery's design and chemistry.
Still, you can consider these general temperature ranges:
-4° F to 130° F
32° F to 114° F
20° F to 95° F
As you can see, the ideal battery temperature depends on its status. Lithium batteries can discharge correctly in cold or hot weather. But we recommend 32° F to 114° F for charging these cells. Maintaining a healthy temperature will boost battery performance and durability. In turn, long-lasting batteries will save you time and money.
Effects of Low Temperatures on Lithium Batteries
Your battery's capacity reduces at cold temperatures. You may need to charge them more often. This frequent charging reduces the charging cycles or battery life. Do not charge a cold battery. Instead, warm the battery or charge at a reduced current to avoid damaging it.
You should charge LiFePO4 batteries below 32°F at a reduced 0.1C (current). At below 14°F, the charge current should be around 0.05C. Charging cold batteries at a standard current will damage the batteries.
Tips for Reducing the Effects of Low Temperatures
These 2 tips will reduce the effects of low battery temperatures:
- Battery insulation
- Pre-warming battery
Insulation safeguards lithium batteries from external temperatures. Insulating your battery will prevent heat loss or rapid temperature drop. You can wrap the battery in a protective case or get a battery blanket. Battery insulation helps to keep them warm in cold weather. Also, store these cells in a warm or heated location like a garage.
Pre-warming aims to raise the heat of lithium batteries before use. Battery heaters help to warm lithium batteries during cold weather. You can adjust the temperature setting on these heaters. Warmth will improve the battery's power output and long-term health.
Effects of High Temperatures on Lithium Batteries
Like cold, heat can destroy your battery life. In fact, high temperatures can cause an explosion. Lithium batteries lose their capacity faster at high temperatures. Thus, overheating reduces the battery's cycle life.
Tips for Preventing Overheating
These 2 strategies will protect your battery from overheating:
- Heat management systems
- Proper ventilation and cooling
Battery heat management systems prevent a sudden temperature rise. They help to reduce the risks of overheating. Some people use fans or heat insulators for this purpose.
Also, ventilation allows airflow and helps with heat control. Lithium batteries in ventilated areas tend to last longer.
How Extreme Temperatures Impact Battery Safety
Very high or low temperatures can cause thermal runaway in cells. This condition causes battery heat and can lead to fire or explosion. Thermal runaway damages the battery and is a safety hazard. So, it's critical to manage your battery's temperature. Consider these tips:
- Stick to the manufacturer's suggested temperature range.
- In case of hot weather, use cooling systems to regulate heat.
- Avoid charging cold batteries. Instead, pre-warm the cells before charging.
Temperature affects battery output and longevity. Lithium cells work best in warm (not hot or cold) weather.
Guide for Storing Lithium Batteries
Clean your battery before storage. Dirt and corrosion can cause batteries to self-discharge faster. You can clean the battery gently with baking soda and water mixture.
Lithium batteries should never fully discharge. You should store these batteries at about 50% charge level. Then, check the charge and voltage level from time to time. Recharge the batteries when the levels become low. This action stops total discharge and reduces self-discharge.
Also, store them at room temperature. Avoid extreme heat or cold. A cool and dry location with a stable temperature is best.
Finally, ensure that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Practical Tips for Using Lithium-Powered Devices in Extreme Temperatures
When using lithium-powered devices, avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures. Instead, stay within the recommended temperature range. Allow the device to cool down when it becomes too hot. Later, you can resume using it.
Keep the device warm in cold weather. Also, lithium batteries have reduced capacity in cold temperatures. So, avoid going below 20% of the battery's capacity.
Battery maintenance and monitoring are beneficial. You can prolong battery life and optimize their performance this way. Also, it's possible to detect issues early and prevent them. Healthy batteries save you costs and are safe to work with.
Extreme temperatures damage lithium cells, but you can reduce this risk. We have outlined some tips to keep your battery safe.
At Goldenmate Energy, we built safety systems into our batteries. So, this investment is value for your money. Also, our batteries are safe and need minimal maintenance. Order your quality lithium batteries today.