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Thread: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

  1. #1

    Default Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    This thread got me thinking and I thought I'd start a new thread specifically about storing lithium 123s, so I started this one [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I keep my alkys in the refrigerator. My brother keeps his in the freezer. I put my 123s in the fridge.

    But how is the best way to store batteries, 123s and alkalines, for a long time?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    More important question, is not temperature, but charge state.
    They will survive much better if you store them nor fully charged, neither fully discharged, but about 40% charged. If stayed fully charged at 4.2v - they will loose their capacity very quickly. If stored fully discharged - you risk that voltage may drop below 2.4v - which means unrecoverable loss of capacity. - due to small self-discharge. Reguarding temperature - I think room temperature is best one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    I was thinking about one-time-use batteries, lithiums that cost a $1 each, how you buy 100 and store them best?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    There have been threads on this topic in the past. I think the average consensus is storing alkalines/nimh/nicad in the fridge was adequate as putting them in the freezer increased the life but not considerably more. Unless you get a super deal on batteries, or are a heavy user of them I don't recommend stocking up for more than 5 years of normal usage.
    You can always buy more cells 5 years later which may be newer technology, more capacity etc. I believe putting alkalines in the fridge reduces the discharge rate to about 1% a year which is about what lithiums discharge at room temperature. I don't consider a 5% discharge noticable to most people in applications that use up a battery in 1 hour or more.

    As for lithiums, buy up to 5 years supply and keep them cooler than 85 degrees and they should be fine 5 years later. Keeping them in the fridge may reduce your loss by perhaps 2-3% which most likely you wont be able to tell the difference if you compare them to a new or room stored cell.

    The cells that benefit the most from fridge/freezer storage is nimh/nicad cells. They self discharge to near nothing in 6 months or less, but having a 1 hour or faster charger essentially all but eliminates the need for storing in fridge or freezer unless perhaps you dont have climate controlled area to store them in ( below 90 degrees F).

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    [ QUOTE ]
    junglemike said:
    More important question, is not temperature, but charge state.
    They will survive much better if you store them nor fully charged, neither fully discharged, but about 40% charged. If stayed fully charged at 4.2v - they will loose their capacity very quickly. If stored fully discharged - you risk that voltage may drop below 2.4v - which means unrecoverable loss of capacity. - due to small self-discharge. Reguarding temperature - I think room temperature is best one.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    If you figure the range of a RCR123 is from 3.0V-4.2V, 40% is around 3.4V. If you discharge a cell to 3.0V under a load and remove the load, it recovers to at least 3.4V or a bit higher. So, it would seem that as long as the cell wasn't discharged to low, one could just leave them in a discharged state!

    Lately I received RCR123 from Battery Station, Battery Space and Multiple Power(CPF'r AW). They were all around 3.8V and I just assumed that was supposed to be 40% but it really isn't.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    Does storing lithium cells increase safety ? Are alkaline/lithium cells stored in a refrigerator less likely to leak/explode ?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Lynx_Arc said:
    The cells that benefit the most from fridge/freezer storage is nimh/nicad cells. They self discharge to near nothing in 6 months or less, but having a 1 hour or faster charger essentially all but eliminates the need for storing in fridge or freezer unless perhaps you dont have climate controlled area to store them in ( below 90 degrees F).

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Is it a good idea to keep occasionally used Ni-Cd/Ni-MH flashlight (with slow charger) in a refrigerator ? How less the self-discharge will be ?


    I've read that Li-Ion battery is losing capacity whatever it is used or not. Does storing it in a refrigerator help neutralize that effect ?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* koala's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    If you want to store normal CR123 Lithium batteries, make sure they are new not used. I have a couple cheap Lithium that I used for 10seconds, after a few months I try them again they didn't last long.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* 3rd_shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    Simply put;
    Store in a cool, dry place.
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Refrigerators are cool, but not always dry.
    Many have high humidity inside them.
    I once stored some flowering plant bulbs and they molded from the high moisture in there.
    Even some freezers have a high enough humidity inside to develope a frost problem that is a p.i.t.a. to clear out.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Vrt said:

    Is it a good idea to keep occasionally used Ni-Cd/Ni-MH flashlight (with slow charger) in a refrigerator ? How less the self-discharge will be ?


    I've read that Li-Ion battery is losing capacity whatever it is used or not. Does storing it in a refrigerator help neutralize that effect ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    From what I have read (in other threads here) using a fridge reduces the self discharge rate by approximately 1/2. I would guess unless you froze them in something like liquid nitrogen or got batteries severely cold approaching absolute zero (0Kelvin/-273C) you probably wont reduce the self discharge down to nothing. I think lithium type cells discharge at approx 1%/year so storing them in a fridge isn't really needed unless you are a 50's freak that has a *bomb shelter* stocked for an eon, or got a deal of 10 cents each on 1000 pieces and want your children to inherit them. I would guess lithium ion cells have similar discharge compared to disposable lithium cells.



    The advice of humidity in a fridge is a valid concern, someone even sealed them in a ziplock bag with dessicant in it to remove moisture because of that concern. I don't store my nimh in a fridge and have used them up to 1 month after I have charged them and didn't notice a huge difference in capacity loss vs cells charged a few days ago. Storing them in a fridge would probably allow you to go twice as long without refreshing them some, but really not needed with lithium type cells unless you plan on storing them for perhaps a year or longer. At 1% self discharge a 750mah lithium cell would lose about 7.5mah the first year then 7.43mah the second year approx so after 5 years the cell would be at approx 713mah or losing 37mah capacity or slightly less than 5% discharge.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* NikolaTesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to store batteries for a long time?

    Simpler yet: Sell them while they are still worth something, keep the cash stashed, Buy new ones when you need them.

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