How to properly store idle lithium batteries?

How to properly store idle lithium batteries?

People often try to restart an old cell phone that has been idle for a while or sitting in the back of a box; however, the lithium batteries of these phones are most often found to be too old.

For those of you who want to store your old cell phones with better battery conditions, we will explore how to properly store idle lithium batteries.  The most important factors to consider are the temperature and humidity of the environment.

Choose the appropriate operating and storage environment

Regardless of whether you have lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) or nickel metal hybrid (NiMH) batteries, there are strict requirements on the temperature and humidity of the environment in which your batteries are stored.

Among all environmental factors, the temperature has the largest impact on battery charge and discharge. The electrochemical reaction inside a lithium battery is related to the ambient temperature. In other words, extremely low temperatures will cause a battery to fail whereas high temperatures will accelerate a battery’s self-discharge rate, which is not conductive to long-term storage.

Short-term storage:

Store the battery in a dry environment in temperatures between -20℃ to 35℃.  Higher or lower temperatures will cause rust or battery leakage.

Long-term storage:

Long-term storage causes battery activity to passivate and self-discharge speed to accelerate. The ambient temperature is preferably between 10℃ to 30℃. In addition, it is important to charge and discharge a full cycle every 3 months to maintain battery activity and restore performance.

Before you store your LiPo batteries for a long period

It is best to store your batteries with more than 50% of electricity before long-term storage. If the capacity stored during storage is empty, the batteries will be unable to withstand any charge due to excessive discharge.

On the other hand, if a fully-charged battery is stored for a long time, part of the battery capacity will be lost, which will shorten the battery life or even cause swelling. If the battery can be removed, it is best to store the removed battery at a suitable temperature and follow recommended guidelines for storing batteries.

Tips: The operating temperature range of mobile-phone LiPo batteries is wide: -20℃ to 60℃. The maximum limit is 40℃, but users should make sure that the charging and discharging temperatures do not fall below -10℃ or rise above 45℃. Otherwise, the efficiency will decrease and will also lead to dangerous situations such as battery leakage.

3 More tips for a longer battery life

The number of charging and discharging cycles to a lithium battery is usually 300-500. Therefore, mastering the correct method of use is the secret to extending the battery life. Lithium batteries usually have a BMS (battery management system), but, in order to prevent safety issues, it is not recommended for a battery to stay charged for a long time. It is better to remove a battery immediately after it is fully charged.

Try to avoid having your batteries out in extremely cold weather. The self-discharge rate of the batteries will slow down as a result of the low temperatures. After a long time, your batteries may not turn on, and the battery capacity will be reduced.

Please also do not place your batteries in a humid environment or store them together with other conductors, which can easily cause the batteries to short circuit or even cause the batteries to be unusable.

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