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Thread: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

  1. #1

    Default Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    Hey, I wanted to know how good rechargable batteries are in cold weather. Is Ni-mh better than Ni-cd in cold temperatures? And how good is that compared to Alkaline? Thanks a LOT for your help.
    -Beaver II

  2. #2

    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    In my experience (mostly with cameras) NiMH does better than NiCd and much better than Alkaline but not as well as LiIon.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    Quote Originally Posted by outofgum
    In my experience (mostly with cameras) NiMH does better than NiCd and much better than Alkaline but not as well as LiIon.
    Agreed.

    Also, keep the cells or the whole device in your parka where you can keep them warm.
    Please stop throwing photons at me.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    Energizer L91 AA Lithiums or the Battery Station AA Lithiums. Not rechargable, but lighter, and are known to operate better in cold weather (had experience using CR123 Lithiums in cold weather, figure same applies to the operating temperature range of the Lithium AA's.)

    But as said above, Alkalines and Ni-Cads suffer when it gets too cold, or possibly when too hot. Just top off the cells and keep them warm, you might lose some capacity due to the cold, but it should be ok as said above.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    Just what Outofgum said!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    I used to use alkaline AA cells in my bicycle LED rear flasher until one cold day it was 7F ( -14C ) Fired up the flasher in my house and it worked great until riding for less than 10 minutes it shut down. Energizer lithiums took care of that problem.

    Never had a problem with NiMH AA batteries in my BB500 R2H minimag helmet light. Part of that had to do with the heat the light naturally generated, that I don't ride below freezing for too long and NiMH better ability to handle cold. For ultimate cold weather battery life, nothing like lithium primary cells.
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    A point of clairifacation...

    NiCd cells actually perform better in cold weather than NiMh cells do. However, NiMh cells have more capacity to start with, so you don't tend to notice it as much.

    NiCd cells also have a lower self discharge rate than NiMh cells.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  8. #8
    Flashaholic LightForce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    And what's about rechargeable lithiums? Is this better than Ni-MH/Ni-Cd?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Mark_Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rechargeable Batteries in Cold Weather

    Quote Originally Posted by LightForce
    And what's about rechargeable lithiums? Is this better than Ni-MH/Ni-Cd?
    Yes, rechargeable lithiums should be better also.

    My understanding is the battery chemistry is the issue. Alkaline/NiCd/NiMh all have varying amounts of water in the chemistry, and so, at some point, the water freezes, which totally disrupts the functionallity of the battery. Primary Lithium and Li-Ion cells apparently don't have water in them, so they don't suffer from freezing until a much colder temperature (hence the -40 rating)....

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