CR123A vs. hot AZ sun....

drivie

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I did a bit of searching but could not come up with a definitive answer to this.

I carry a Surefire G2 in each of my vehicles along with two spare CR123A's. I live in the Phoenix area and as most know, it gets quite hot in the summer time. You can imagine how hot the inside of a car parked in the sun gets here. I'm wondering if the cells in the lights and the spares will be safe in my glove compartments or if I need to take some other precautionary action?

Thanks,

Drivie
 

SilverFox

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Hello Drivie,

The recommend maximum storage temperature for CR123 cells is 140 F. You will have to put a recording thermometer in your car to see how close you come to 140 F.

Tom
 

mdocod

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If you store the cells and the flashlight in a little case under one of the seats, it shouldn't be a problem (it's usually cooler under there, out of direct sunlight).

I would still try to take some temperature readings as Tom indicated just to be safe :)

Eric

PS: maybe not under the driver seat, unless it is like strapped for "Velcro'd" down, you don't want any objects floating around that could slide up under a pedal... for obvious reasons.
 

drivie

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Gentlemen,

Thank you for the response. I'm concerned now that carrying the 123's in the car is a bad idea. I can almost guarantee that my truck makes it well over 140 in the middle of summer. Heck, we've had days where it was 120 in the shade!!!

Are there any types of cells that stand up really really well to a lot of heat?

Drivie
 

Black Rose

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The only other batteries that come to mind are the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries, but they also have the 140 F upper limit.
 

Illum

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considering the fact that there was a brownie baking contest [was it in AZ?] where people baked brownies in their car, this is an excellent question to ask about lithium cells and battery storage.

My best guess would be zip locking your batteries and the G2 in a bag or two, store them in a cooler of sorts secured to something and filling it with enough water to cover the light and batteries....it sounds comical...and dangerous but never estimate the high heat capacity of water nor the durability aspects of zip-loc;)
 

drivie

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My best guess would be zip locking your batteries and the G2 in a bag or two, store them in a cooler of sorts secured to something and filling it with enough water to cover the light and batteries....it sounds comical...and dangerous but never estimate the high heat capacity of water nor the durability aspects of zip-loc;)

Doh...honestly, I will not do that. I realize that your recommendation is serious but it seems silly to me. I will probably either find another location within the car to store them or look for some other small container to place them in so as to protect the car in the event of a problem. Any recommendations? Would a Pyrex container work?

Drivie
 

Wattnot

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Are there any types of cells that stand up really really well to a lot of heat?

Drivie


The CR123's are it. Do the under the seat thing and you should be fine. I'd bet in the glovebox would be okay too.

You can get a cheap version of a "recording thermometer" from Radio Shack. It holds the highest temp/humidity in memory. Just reset it and pop it in the glove box or under the seat and take a reading.

I lived in PHX for 4 years. They need to come up with some passive systems for keeping those cars cooler! I've seen some gadgets (like the solar fan that you close your window on) but I'm not sure how well they work.
 

SilverFox

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Hello Drivie,

If I were in your situation, I would simply store the light and extra cells in the car and understand that in the heat of the summer you may not get the best performance from your light or cells.

In September, when things cool down a bit, change the cells in the light and your spare cells. Consider it the price of storing a light in a hot car. You can probably use the cells after you take them out of the car, but I would limit their use to single cell light.

The high temperatures degrade the gaskets in the cell and allow trace amounts of the electrolyte to escape. This results in a cell that has less capacity. Keep in mind that the storage conditions are set keeping the 10 year shelf life in mind...

Tom
 

StarHalo

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but I would limit their use to single cell light.

That's another thing - a lot of people in the other "Car Flashlight" thread are mentioning some great 2-cell lights, but it's precisely when you're dealing with long-term storage, especially under extreme/fluctuating temperature conditions, that you can get into dissimilar-discharge issues.

If you're going with 123s, make sure your car/storage/emergency light is single-cell.
 

Black Rose

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Sort of related, but could you get into the dissimilar-discharge issues with a 2xAA light that uses L91 cells, or is that phenomenon limited to CR123A cells?
 

drivie

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Okay. Lots of good info here. I really appreciate the feedback.

The only reason I have a pair of SF G2's in my cars are that I no longer need them for other uses and it makes the most since to have them there. I guess I'll take my chances in case there is an emergency and I need to use them that I can make some combination of four cells function properly for the time required.

My main concern and reason for posting this thread was not so much do to cell performance as much as safety. I'm not sure that I really made that clear before. Does anyone have any comment regarding the safety of CR123A cells that are not actually in use but get very hot?

Thanks,

Drivie
 

StarHalo

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My main concern and reason for posting this thread was not so much do to cell performance as much as safety.

That's the issue with multiple-cell failures; should a 123 short or overload, it will vent a flame like a rocket and/or explode with enough force to destroy the flashlight.

Having the equivalent of an M80 going off in your glovebox while you're driving down the road is definitely a safety issue..
 

drivie

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That's the issue with multiple-cell failures; should a 123 short or overload, it will vent a flame like a rocket and/or explode with enough force to destroy the flashlight.

Having the equivalent of an M80 going off in your glovebox while you're driving down the road is definitely a safety issue..

So what types of cells WON"T explode and are safe to keep in a hot car? I want to know that the worst case is that the light won't work not that my car is going to catch fire.

Drivie
 

rockz4532

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they wont explode in your car alone (well not likely), but if the cells are of different capacitys from being in the car, then there is a higher chance of it blowing up. if you cant park in the shade, try the under the set method, shouldnt get above 140 down there.
 
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