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What Temperature Should Lithium-Ion Batteries Be Stored At? 

 September 19, 2021

By  Phil Borges

In order to maintain the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, it is important to keep them in a good condition throughout. This also applies to when you want to store these batteries for an extended period of time.

Lithium-ion batteries should ideally be stored at a temperature of 15℃ or within a range of 0℃-20℃. Temperatures beyond this range, whether too hot or too cold, can reduce the lifespan of these batteries. There are also several other storage conditions that are important for maintaining the condition of these batteries.

If you want to find out more about these temperature impacts as well as about the other important storage conditions of lithium-ion batteries, you can continue reading below.

Ideal Storage Temperature for Lithium-Ion Batteries

The ideal storage temperature for lithium-ion batteries is 15℃, although a range between 0℃ and 20℃ is also suitable. This range allows these batteries to stay cool enough throughout their storage period so that it becomes easier to recharge them whenever you need to use them again.

Anything that goes beyond this range can be harmful to the batteries, making them unable to function efficiently again if they happen to drain out or face any kind of damage.

They could also lead to issues such as overheating, discharging, sparks, fires or even explosions in extreme situations.

While temperature is not the only important factor when it comes to storage, it is certainly a major one due to the impacts that the fluctuations can have on the battery’s capacity.

Will Freezing Temperatures Damage Lithium-Ion Batteries?

While lithium-ion batteries can withstand cooler temperatures, they are bound to be damaged to a certain extent if the temperature is freezing or too low.

It will slow down the functioning of the battery to a significant extent by reducing the regular flow of the current between the terminals of the battery.

Moreover, it is also possible that freezing temperatures might lead to the build-up of metals on the electrodes in the form of electroplating. Once this occurs, it is difficult to get rid of it.

If this kind of situation arises, your battery may not be able to recharge and will, most likely, need to be thrown away.

How Do Lithium-Ion Batteries React in Hot Temperatures?

Hot temperatures are even more damaging to lithium-ion batteries than cold temperatures. If you place these batteries in elevated temperatures, there are high chances of them overheating and causing sparks, fires or explosions.

The overall lifespan of the lithium-ion battery can also reduce to quite an extent if it is exposed to such high temperatures. This will further cause the battery to stop performing as effectively as it used to.

This might also lead to a failure of most of the battery parts if the heat exposure is too long. This can then render the battery completely ineffective.

Other Storage Conditions

You need to be wary of several other storage conditions for lithium-ion batteries that can be elaborated further below.

Humidity

The humidity levels surrounding the battery can impact its efficiency as well. Around 50% humidity is sufficient enough for the batteries to withstand, but anything beyond that can reduce their lifespan, which is why they need to be kept in dry conditions.

High humidity levels can lead to condensation, which can then collect on the terminals of the battery. This can lead to short circuits that can further cause fires or explosions, damaging the battery as well as the surroundings.

If any leakages occur due to this, toxic gases present inside the battery can get released into the house, having hazardous impacts on the air and the health of people.

Charge Levels

Charging levels of 30%-70% should be maintained throughout the storage period when it comes to lithium-ion batteries.

Fully charging these batteries may lead to a loss of capacity since the battery is not being used, with no chemical reactions taking place to generate power.

Similarly, discharging the batteries completely can lead to a deep discharge wherein the battery loses its ability to recharge after the storage period.

This is why it is essential to keep charging the batteries once in a while up to the aforementioned extent to prevent recharging issues later on.

Container

The container that you keep the lithium-ion batteries in also makes a difference. Ideally, you can keep the batteries in their original packaging so that they can stay safe and away from external conditions.

You can also keep them in plastic boxes with a lid on top of them to keep the batteries protected. Wrapping the terminals up can also prevent them from coming in contact with each other as this could otherwise lead to short circuits.

You must ensure that none of these batteries come into close contact with any kind of metal as this could lead to the conduction of electricity that can then reduce the overall efficiency of the batteries.

Damage

Importantly, you must keep these batteries protected from any kind of damage such as scratching, bumping against hard surfaces, falling and more. All of these could damage the battery beyond repair and cause hazards around the house as well.

If any of these batteries show signs of physical damage, it would be better for you to dispose of or recycle them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when lithium-ion batteries are not stored in ideal temperatures?

If lithium-ion batteries are not stored in ideal temperatures, their effectiveness and lifespan can be reduced, making them useful for up to limited charging cycles. They may also take longer to work upon recharging.

In some cases, accidents like sparks, leakages and fires can also occur.

What is the self-discharge rate of lithium-ion batteries?

The self-discharge rate of lithium-ion batteries is around 2% per month, which means that they go on decreasing in efficiency as time goes by even if they may not be powering a device at a given moment.

This is a common process that is bound to occur, but the battery will still be able to reach all its charging cycles until its efficiency reduces. This rate of self-discharge can increase if you keep the batteries in extreme temperatures or in other unsuitable conditions.

If you maintain optimal conditions for these batteries, you can expect them to last for several years at thousands of charging cycles.

Can additives help lithium-ion batteries withstand extreme temperatures?

Additives are chemicals that are added to lithium-ion batteries to help them withstand wear and tear so as to function well for a longer period of time.

These additives can be helpful for the batteries to withstand extreme temperatures as well by resisting their impacts. However, this is only possible to a certain extent and you should still try to maintain other conditions.

How does storage temperature impact the recovery rate of lithium-ion batteries?

If you store lithium-ion batteries at suitable temperatures that fall within the range of 0℃-20℃, then you can expect a recovery rate of 96%-98% after a year, provided that you maintain other conditions as well, such as the extent of charge and humidity levels.

At temperatures higher than that, the recovery rate becomes lower and lower, dropping to 70%-85% depending on how high the temperature is.

On the other hand, if the temperature is lower than 0℃, the recovery rate will drop as well, albeit lesser than that of higher temperatures.

What are the temperature requirements of these batteries while they are in use?

Even when lithium-ion batteries are in use, they must not be exposed to extreme temperatures as this could quicken the self-discharge rate and reduce their effectiveness.

It is particularly important to keep this in mind while you charge lithium-ion batteries. If they overcharge, these batteries can overheat and lead to sparks, fires or leaks in an extreme situation.

Further, the external temperature can also lead to overheating alongside the increase in temperature due to charging. This is why you must place the device or battery for recharging in a location that does not receive too much direct heat while also being well ventilated.

Overall, it is necessary to maintain as consistent temperatures as possible around lithium-ion batteries.

About the author

Hi, I'm Phil Borges.. thanks for reading.. My wife says I can't shut up about batteries so to save my marriage I've started this blog .. where I'd be ranting about batteries! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

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