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Thread: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best battery chemistry for seriously cold weather?

    For #1, I honestly don't know. I'd guess that Eneloops may be OK, but once it's away from your body and exposed to the cold for any length of time, it may drop off rapidly.

    For #2, primary lithiums are your only real choice, whether it's CR123A, AA or AAA cells.

  2. #32
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best battery chemistry for seriously cold weather?

    Any battery will do for your pocket EDC, all battery types do well in warm conditions (rechargeables will self-discharge slightly faster but not enough that you'll notice a difference). For winter cold, primary lithiums are the way to go; they're good down to -40.

  3. #33

    Default Re: What is the best battery chemistry for seriously cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by danreetz View Post
    I live in a place where the winters routinely reach 20 below, sometimes further down. In addition to my EDC, a Nitecore D10, I would like to keep a light or two in my car.

    Basically, there are two usage scenarios here.

    1. The light which will generally be in my pocket or close to my body. Common sense says that light will probably stay warm enough to just keep using Eneloops all winter, or it can be warmed up in an internal pocket. Tell me if I'm wrong here, or if you have a better approach.

    2. The light which will be stored in an emergency kit in the car. The batteries and electronics in this light should be able to withstand repeated (daily) freezing without going totally dead. What are my options here? Lithiums?
    Lithiums work at -20. Found out last winter camping.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: What is the best battery chemistry for seriously cold weather?

    The datasheet reckons -40 - but I've never checked this!

    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf

  5. #35
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best battery chemistry for seriously cold weather?

    For pockets close to your body, as long as the light remains above freezing, Eneloops will work fine. There will be even less self discharge than normal at room temp. If it's used for prolonged periods in the cold, you will notice a shorter battery life. But you won't know until you try in your specific circumstances.


    For extended cold storage and use, lithium primaries is the way to go.

  6. #36

    Default Re: AA battery for cold winters (up to -20F) in a car

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_ninja View Post
    Eugene,
    I don't understand your point at all.
    My statement is simple:
    NiMH type batteries from ANY brand don't work well below freezing.
    Lithium type batteries from ANY brand work much better below freezing and tend to maintain a good performance, as well as above freezing temps.

    B&D VPX is just an example of my own experience. In fact, VPX uses VERY good and high quality A123 cells which I found to work very well even at -10C or lower. So VPX is an example of Lithium working well below freezing.

    One winter I tried a flashlight using standard AA NiMH. In fact I loaded 9 charged cells, so it had plenty of juice. After about 5 min light diminished and then light died. I could clearly see low temperature degrading cell performance. I didn't even try any of my NiCd powered tools.
    Sometimes its hard to articulate what I want to say. Basically if the B&D did OK in cold I would expect higher end NiMH's like enloops to do better since B&D is low end stuff.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: AA battery for cold winters (up to -20F) in a car

    2 similar threads merged.
    Resistance is futile...

  8. #38
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    Default Re: AA battery for cold winters (up to -20F) in a car

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    Sometimes its hard to articulate what I want to say. Basically if the B&D did OK in cold I would expect higher end NiMH's like enloops to do better since B&D is low end stuff.
    The problem is you are comparing Lithium Ion cells (B&D) to NiMH cells, so it's not a valid point to make in this case, whether or not Black and Decker is "low end." The chemistry of the cells is the deciding factor in this case, as far as cold temperature performance.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Bump for a slightly different question. I have an outdoor thermometer sensor here in CT that runs on a 9v battery. Alkalines don't do great in the winter, so was looking at some other chemistry 9v to try. My initial thought was a 9v rechargeable lithium...but not sure that rechargeable lithiums last in cold climates as well as primary lithiums?

  10. #40
    Flashaholic Light Sabre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    There are lithium 9V batteries that are can found near the smoke detectors in some hardware stores. Found some at a Lowes.

    Amazon.com: Ultra Life Battery UPVL-X 10 Year Smoke Detector Battery: Home Improvement

  11. #41

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Thanks. Do lithium rechargeables last in cold as well?

  12. #42

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Quote Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
    Thanks. Do lithium rechargeables last in cold as well?
    Yes.
    Last edited by recycledelectrons; 08-09-2012 at 07:25 PM.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Quote Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
    Thanks. Do lithium rechargeables last in cold as well?
    No rechargeables in extreme hot or cold conditions!

    If you know it's going to be below zero, play it safe and use a lithium primary.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Using a Fenix l2T powered by AA batteries whilst cycling fast in temperatures of 0 to -10, I am lucky to get 15 minutes of run time. If you can find a way of keeping the torch warm, you will be fine. Otherwise, use lithiums. I have a water bottle full of very warm water, which is pleasant to drink, and heats the light up when I squirt it on it.

  15. #45

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    I know extreme heat can cook rechargeable lithium but what's wrong with storing/using LiCo and LiMn in the cold? Also what do Nimh hybrid cars do in the cold and the a123 powered cars coming out?

  16. #46
    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mpteach View Post
    Also what do Nimh hybrid cars do in the cold
    My guess is that they don't work.

    They will be pretty much useless for any climate where the temp goes below 0C/32F.

  17. #47

    Default Re: Best battery chemistry for cold temperatures

    Prius use Nimh, they won't switch to lithium for another year.

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