Why is proper storage of Lithium Ion and LiFePO4 batteries important?
Even when isolated from external devices, batteries can undergo internal chemical reactions over time. LiFePO4 batteries require fewer safety precautions than lithium-ion batteries because they use stable iron compounds that do not produce hazardous gases or explode. Still, it is a significant investment and proper storage will ensure your investment is not wasted.
How to store LiFePO4 batteries?
The intended storage time is a key factor affecting the storage of LiFePO4 batteries. Here are some important techniques for storing these batteries:
Turn off: Most manufacturers recommend turning off lithium batteries prior to storage. For motorhomes and caravans it is necessary to disconnect the [+] and [-] cables connected to the battery terminals.
Avoiding heat sources: Keep lithium batteries away from heat sources, radiators, or other sources of heat. These batteries contain chemicals that can overheat and explode at high temperatures.
Dry storage: Make sure the battery is stored in a dry place and no leakage or corrosive gas can enter. The temperature range for storing LiFePO4 battery should be between -20℃ to 35℃/-4℉ to 95℉.
Short term storage: When storing LiFePO4 batteries for short periods, charge them to at least 50% of their maximum capacity and store in a dry place. The ideal temperature range for short-term storage is 10℃ to 30℃/50℉ to 86℉.
Long Term Storage: To maintain the health of LiFePO4 batteries during long term storage, keep them at freezing temperatures. It is important to consider the battery's self-discharge rate and it is recommended to charge the battery to 40% to 50% of its capacity before storing it.
Ideal storage temperature for LiFePO4 batteries
The ideal temperature range for storing LiFePO4 batteries depends on the storage time:
Less than 30 days: -20℃ to 60℃/-4℉ to 140℉
30 to 90 days: -10℃ to 35℃/14℉ to 95℉
More than 90 days: 15℃ to 35℃/59℉ to 95℉
Storage of LiFePO4 batteries in hot or cold weather
Avoid storing LiFePO4 batteries in extremely hot temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause internal overheating and lead to voltage sags or battery fires. Likewise, while extremely low temperatures can slow down the internal chemical reactions within the battery, very low temperatures can cause some battery components, such as the plastic casing, to crack.
Frequently asked questions about LiFePO4 battery storage
1. Should LiFePO4 batteries be disconnected from the system when not in use?
Yes, we recommend disconnecting the LiFePO4 battery system from the device when not in use. Simply turning off the main switch is not enough. It is recommended to disconnect the battery cable from the terminal before storing the battery.
If the battery stays connected even in sleep mode, there is still a small amount of power loss that can negatively impact battery health or the device connected to the battery. Some components, such as sensors, often bypass the main circuit breaker.
2.Does a LiFePO4 battery need to be fully charged before storage?
It is not necessary to fully charge a LiFePO4 battery prior to storage, as storing a battery at 100% charge for a long period of time can affect battery health. It is recommended to charge the battery to 50% capacity before storing.
3.How long can a LiFePO4 battery be stored?
LiFePO4 batteries can be safely stored for up to a year without significant degradation provided they are stored under the appropriate conditions outlined above and their voltage is checked regularly. LiFePO4 batteries have a low self-discharge rate and can retain most of their charge capacity during storage. It is recommended to charge them every three months if stored for more than three months.
Compared to other lithium-ion or sealed lead-acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries have a lower self-discharge rate and are easier to store. However, proper storage is critical to maintaining their health and lifespan. While the chemistry of these batteries is elastic, the physical components remain vulnerable to environmental influences.
Following the above guidelines is sufficient to properly store most lithium-ion batteries, especially LiFePO4 batteries. Finally, buying quality batteries like those from Power Queen's extensive catalog ensures that the storage process is more convenient and comes with a 5-year guarantee.