Heat is terrible for battery chemistry, and it doesn’t help that summer in Australia is particularly hot. Generally, all batteries need to be kept cool and at low humidity. Apart from knowing how to properly store batteries, it is also important to know when to charge and discharge them as well as carry out regular maintenance.
As the temperatures rise from the end of spring and all through summer, the increased temperature may affect the internal components of the batteries, leading to deterioration as well as corroding current-conducting grids.
While we can't turn down the heat outside, we can however practice good battery care and how to properly store them from heat damage. Here are some battery care tips:
1. Types of Batteries & Proper Storage
Each type of battery has different maintenance needs. It's important to know the type of battery you have and how it functions in order to take care of it properly during the summer months.
Alkaline batteries: These batteries are easy to store. The best way to store alkaline batteries is to keep them at a cool room temperature and also at around 50% of humidity. Freezing the alkaline batteries, or any battery for that matter, is a bad idea as it would change the molecular structure.
Lithium batteries: In hot weather conditions, the best place to store lithium batteries is in a cool, shaded area. Believe it or not, temperatures inside your car can increase drastically compared to the temperature of the air. Storing your batteries in the car will have temperatures at over 100ºC before you even start the engine. Consider storing these batteries in a toolbox inside your home or putting them in a portable case when you need to be out and about. Lithium-ion batteries are highly energy-dense and contain flammable electrolytes.
Coin & button cell batteries: Similar to other batteries, keep these little cells in a cool, dry place. As these are small enough to be ingested by children and pets, the safest way to store coin and button cell batteries is to place them in bubble wraps, ensuring that they do not touch each other. fold it into a roll and place them in an area that is out of your child or pet’s reach.
2. Charge and Discharge Your Batteries
The way you charge and discharge the batteries can affect their performance and lifespan. For a start, single-use batteries are strictly non-rechargeable. Do not recharge your batteries if they are not labelled as “rechargeable”. Doing so can result in leakage or rupture.
Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, need to be charged at room temperature (20ºC to 22ºC) to extend battery life. If you have rechargeable batteries specifically alkaline-based ones, do not charge such batteries in nickel metal hydride battery chargers. The safest way to charge your rechargeable batteries is to use rechargeable battery chargers from the same store. Lastly, do not leave your rechargeable batteries discharged or unused for a long period. To extend battery life, charge them at least every 6 to 9 months.
3. Regular Maintenance
Carrying out maintenance routines can help extend the battery life. Regularly check your battery for any signs of corrosion. If the battery has corroded, it is no longer safe to use and must be replaced. This usually happens with alkaline batteries as they have a tendency to leak over time as well as being affected by humidity.
Knowing how to safely store and take care of your household batteries is vital to maintain good battery life and being an overall responsible user. Keep your batteries safe with these maintenance and storage tips above. If you find this article useful, you might also be interested in How to Extend the Life of Your Everyday Batteries.
In summary, it is crucial to understand the different types of batteries and how to store them properly to ensure optimal performance and longevity of batteries. Additionally, regularly charging and discharging batteries helps maintain their capacity and efficiency. By implementing routine maintenance practices, it aids in extending the lifespan of batteries, allowing for reliable and consistent power supply.