All batteries take a beating during cold weather. Fortunately, lithium batteries fare better than lead-acid batteries, and other alternatives, during the winter. Even so, storing your batteries during this season will keep them in the best condition possible and help them run longer.
Whether you’re using these batteries for your golf cart, boat, or RV, you’ll need to know how to store them for winter and what you need to do when you take them out of storage at the end of the cold season. Let’s take a look at why this is important and what you should be doing to properly maintain your lithium batteries.
Why is Winter Storage Necessary for Lithium Batteries?
Cold weather can compromise any type of battery because it gets in the way of the battery’s primary functions of storing and releasing energy. While lithium batteries can handle lower temperatures better than the rest, extreme cold can affect the battery’s efficiency.
When it’s cold, your battery’s internal resistance is increased, resulting in lower battery capacity. What does this look like? Well, at mild to moderate temperatures, lithium batteries run at 100% capacity. But, if the temperature drops to 14 degrees, Patriot Power Source’s lithium batteries drop to 80% of their rated capacity.
What this means for you is that you’ll need to charge your batteries more often. Since batteries only get a certain number of charges, this reduces their overall lifespan. When you store your batteries for the winter, you prevent this from happening. In doing so, you’re prolonging your lithium batteries’ life.
How to Store Your Lithium Batteries for Winter
As mentioned, storing your lithium batteries for winter keeps them in the best condition. For now, we’ll just take a quick look at what you need to do, but if you need a more detailed guide on how to store them, check out our blog post on the topic.
- Charge Your Batteries - Lithium batteries only lose about 2-3% of their charge when they sit unused for a month, which means you can leave them sitting without having to trickle charge during storage. Of course, you’ll need to have them sufficiently charged when you store them away to make sure they’re ready to use at the end of the winter season.
- Store in Proper Temperatures - The ideal temperature range for storing lithium batteries is between 40 to 80 degrees. While they can handle storage at higher or lower temperatures, extremes will cause a higher loss of charge per month.
- Disconnect Your Batteries - While this likely isn’t necessary for golf carts or most boats, if you have an RV, you’ll want to make sure your lithium batteries are disconnected before you store them. Some electronics on RVs and houseboats could cause a parasitic load drain if your batteries are left connected.
Now that you know how to store your batteries, let’s talk about what you need to do when it’s time to take them out of winter storage.
How to Take Your Lithium Batteries Out of Winter Storage
It’s just as important to take the proper precautions when you bring your batteries out of winter storage as it is to actually store them. So, what should you do for your lithium batteries when the time comes?
This one is pretty obvious. If you disconnected your lithium batteries for storage, you’ll need to reconnect them. If you plan to do this yourself, double check that you have everything in the right place and that you’re hooking them up correctly, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve done it.
If you stored your batteries at a high charge, you’ll still have most of your charge when you take them out. However, it’s always nice to charge them before using them again. If the weather is still cold, you’ll need to take some precautions. Lithium batteries should only be charged in temperatures between 32 and 113 degrees.
Fortunately, lithium batteries don’t require any type of maintenance. You won’t have to add water, check acid levels, or clean corrosion like you would with lead-acid batteries. The only thing you need to do during winter storage, or at any time, for your lithium batteries is to charge them and store them properly.
When you take your lithium battery out of storage, you’ll want to make sure that it’s at a warm temperature before you really start using it. The easiest way to do this is to start your golf cart, boat, or RV and just let it run for a few minutes before you start driving. This will help warm it up to the right temperature so that it doesn’t get a sudden shock when you start using it.
When it comes to lithium batteries, not all brands are created equal. High-quality batteries, like ours here at Patriot Power Source, can handle colder temperatures better than the cheaper versions. Our batteries also get at least a couple thousand extra life cycles over cheaper brands, increasing their longevity overall.
If you’re ready to invest in the best lithium batteries for your vehicle, check out the Patriot Power Source website or give us a call with any questions or concerns at 888-287-2864.