Some individuals prefer using their own Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries (LiFePO4) batteries during the winter or summer when camping, for example, or ice fishing. Some individuals keep lithium batteries throughout the off-season. It's crucial to store LiFePO4 batteries correctly to avoid damage and maintain them in excellent working order for many years.
How Should You Store Lifepo4 Batteries?
Where should I hide my lithium battery? This is a question we hear from our clients on a regular basis, especially in the winter season. The solution depends on the temperature you're keeping the batteries at and how long you'll be storing them. Here's a brief rundown of how you should store your LiFePO4 battery:
- The proper storage temperature for this product is shown below: 23 to 95 °F (-5 to +35°C).
- The temperature range should be -4°F to 140°F (-20°C to +60°C) if being stored for one month
- -10 to +35°C (14 to 95 °F) storage duration if storing for 3 months
- For a longer storage time, you should store the LiFePO4 battery at 59 to 95 °F (+15 to +35°C)
During the off-season, it's critical to keep lithium batteries in a safe, dry location. LiFePO4 batteries should also be stored at least 50% charged (SOC). If you keep batteries for lengthy durations, cycle them at least once every 6 months. Do not store Lithium batteries whose charge has been used up to depletion.
Before Storing The Lifepo4 Battery, Disconnect It
Customers frequently have primary switches to turn off the batteries. We recommend that you take the time to ensure that the batteries are truly disconnected. This is because many RVs will still have active components, such as a CO2 sensor, backlit radio, or some other emergency sensor bypassing the main disconnect switch.
The ideal practice when storing the batteries is to physically remove the main positive and negative cables from the lithium cells. This prevents the battery from being discharged while it is being stored, ensuring that you have plenty of charge in the LiFePO4 batteries when you reuse them. Always utilize a lithium charger rather than one designed for other battery systems.
The self-discharge rate of LiFePO4 batteries is 2% each month. This means that when a lithium battery is kept, it will lose 2% of its charge capacity every month. We recommend unplugging all power drawn from your batteries in order to avoid a higher rate of discharge.
It's critical to maintain LiFePO4 batteries at a charge state of 50% or more when you store them. When storing for a long time, a higher charge is suggested. If you want the battery to stay charged after the storage period ends, charge it to 100 percent and keep it in that way.
Storing The Lifepo4 Battery Together With Its System
If you're keeping your LiFePO4 batteries and the rest of your system, such as your inverter and charger, you should consider using a battery guardian. It disconnects LiFePO4 batteries from parasitic loads when a voltage of 11.5 V is reached to protect them from overcharging.
If you don't have a disconnect switch, it's best to remove the main battery connections. Because LiFePO4 batteries do not require a trickle charge, it is acceptable that the charger is disconnected while they are stored.
Storing Lifepo4 Battery During Cold Weather
Extreme temperatures have little effect on lithium batteries if the battery pack is not in use. We do not recommend keeping lithium batteries in extremely cold conditions for extended periods of time because this might cause the ABS casing of the battery pack to fracture.
In addition to this, exceeding 60°C (140°F) can harm other components in the battery pack, therefore it's best to avoid high temperatures for extended periods of time. It is always advised to keep lithium batteries in a cool, dry place indoors and at room temperature.
Dangers Of Storing Lifepo4 Batteries Without Charge
There are significant risks associated with storing a LiFePO4 battery that has not been charged. The battery's 2% self-discharge rate might result in it being overcharged. The amount of discharge may go below what the BMS can protect, thus it is critical to charge your lithium battery before storing it.
It's also good practice to keep your lithium battery at room temperature, especially if you'll be keeping them for a long time. Refer back to the first section of this essay for an explanation of how long you can store LiFePO4 at various temperatures.
Over discharging battery cells while they are being stored might result in permanent harm and void your 10-year battery warranty. The SPP onboard BMS keeps track of all functions conducted on the battery, including storage. Every charge and discharge is recorded, as well as a variety of additional data, such as temperature.
Performance Of Lifepo4 Batteries In Cold Weather
There is a risk of capacity reduction when discharging LiFePO4 batteries in extremely cold conditions (less than 0 degrees Celsius). A 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery, for example, may provide only 90Ah, 80Ah, or even 70Ah in extremely cold temperatures, depending on how chilly it gets.
The temperature changes are typical for LiFePO4 technology, and they're only temporary. When the battery warms up, the full capacity will return. A CLI100-12 battery (12V 100Ah) has about 80 amp-hours of capacity at 0°C. The capacity that a battery can supply decreases to around 70 amp-hours at -20°C.
When LiFePO4 batteries are charged in cold weather, they can develop lithium plating, a potentially deadly condition that might result in short-circuiting. This is why SP Power LiFePO4 batteries come with a built-in BMS to guard against cold weather charging. The BMS is also responsible for safeguarding against other risks including:
- High-temperature charging
- LIFEPO4 Battery Overcharge
- Lithium Battery Over-discharge
- Internal short circuits
Now that you know how to store your LiFePO4 battery, you can protect it from the risk of overcharging, over-discharging, and extreme temperatures. Remember to keep your battery at room temperature and charge it before storing it for an extended period of time. And if you're keeping your LiFePO4 battery in a system, make sure the BMS is properly guarding against all risks. In case of any issues or assistance, please get in touch with us.