How to Store Lithium Ion Batteries: A Complete Guide

How should lithium-ion batteries be stored since they pose a fire hazard?

The storage of Lithium ion batteries (Li-ion) for longer periods of time is not recommended, whether the batteries are fully charged or uncharged. Based on extensive experimentation, it has been determined that the best way to store them is at a low temperature, not below 0°C, at 40% to 50% capacity. A temperature range of 5°C to 15°C is ideal for storage. Due to lithium batteries’ self-discharge, it is recommended that they be recharged every 12 months.
A short-term storage facility and a long-term storage facility can be further separated.

Storage: Store the battery in a dry place with no corrosive gases and at a temperature between -20°C and 35°C. Higher or lower temperatures will cause the metal parts of the battery to rust.

The ambient temperature should be between 10°C-30°C when long-term storage is required because long-term storage will lead to passivation and accelerate self-discharge. In addition, a charge/discharge cycle must be performed every 3 months to maintain the battery’s activity and recovery.

Refrigerate the battery in a dry environment after charging 40% to 50% of the battery. It is conducive to maintaining the battery life, but the battery will be self-discharged in storage, once the battery slowly runs out of power, it will seriously shorten the battery’s life. Cooler temperatures and less charge are conducive to maintaining the battery life, but too little charge cannot be.

According to the following relationship between lithium battery storage temperature and permanent capacity loss, the extent of the effect can be determined. Lithium Battery Modules Trusted Supplier.

How to Store Lithium Ion Batteries: A Complete Guide

Some may ask, should the battery be removed from the device when not in use for a long period of time?

Yes. There is also a small current flowing through the shutdown device, causing a complete discharge, which can damage the battery over time, and in the worst case scenario, destroy the device along with it.

To help you understand better about the storage of lithium batteries, we’ve summarized a list of prohibitions.

1. Do not charge the battery under fire or extreme heat. Do not use or store the battery near a heat source (such as a fire or heater). If the battery leaks or emits a peculiar smell, immediately move it away from the open flame;
2. When the battery swells up, leaks, etc., stop using it immediately
3. Do not put the battery in water or get it wet
4. Do not throw the battery into the fire or heat the battery
5. Do not connect the battery directly to a wall socket or car cigarette lighter socket
6. Do not short-circuit the positive and negative poles of the battery with wires or other metal objects. It is forbidden to transport or store the battery with necklaces, hairpins or other metal objects.
7. Do not knock, acupuncture, step on, modify, or expose the battery to the sun, and do not place the battery in a microwave or high-voltage environment.
8. Do not hit, throw or subject the battery to mechanical shock
9. Use a regular matching lithium battery charger to charge the battery, do not use inferior or other types of battery chargers to charge the lithium battery.
10. Do not disassemble the battery in any way
11. Do not mix the battery with metal objects, lest the metal objects touch the positive and negative electrodes of the battery, causing a short circuit, damaging the battery or even causing danger.
12. Do not use with primary batteries (such as dry batteries) or batteries with different capacities, models, and varieties.
13. Do not use the battery if it emits peculiar smell, heat, deformation, discoloration or any other abnormal phenomenon. If the battery is in use or charging, it should be removed from the electrical appliance or the charger immediately and stop using it.
14. In the transportation process, pay attention to moisture-proof, moisture-proof, avoid squeezing, collision, etc., to avoid battery damage.
15. Do not use or place the battery under high temperature (in the hot sun or in a very hot car), otherwise it may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire or function failure, and shorten its life.
16. Do not store in places with strong static electricity and strong magnetic fields, otherwise it is easy to damage the battery safety protection device and bring insecurity.
17.. If the battery emits peculiar smell, heat, discoloration, deformation, or any abnormality during use, storage, or charging, immediately remove the battery from the device or charger and stop using it.
18. Discarded batteries should be covered with insulating paper to prevent fire and explosion.

Lithium battery Storage Checklist

Before storing, remove the battery from the device

Charge or discharge the battery to 3.8V (use the charger set in “storage mode” or use a voltmeter to check V).

Use insulating materials (such as plastic, electrical tape) to protect the battery terminal.

Put the battery in a fireproof bag/container.

“Lithium-ion battery only” storage area

Room temperature and no heat source

Dry and well ventilated place

Remove all combustible materials (wood, carpet, gasoline are prohibited, ceramic or cement surfaces are recommended).

There must be an ABC or water fire extinguisher nearby. And know its location

Measures for factory storage

A separate warehouse should be established for each type of cell or battery.

Make sure storage areas are clearly marked with “No Fireworks” signs. Stacking combustibles and flammable items is strictly prohibited.

Temperatures in cell or battery warehouses should be controlled between 20°C and 5°C,

30°C is the maximum temperature,

Ideally, there should be a relative humidity of not more than 75%.

Ensure the warehouse is clean, dry, well ventilated, and that no other items are stored there.

Cell or battery warehouses should be equipped with smoke and temperature alarms, and the alarm signal should be transmitted to a 24-hour watch station.

4. Batteries or cell warehouses should have independent accident exhaust systems.

Smoke and temperature alarms should be interlocked with accident exhaust devices.

The placement of batteries and cells should be neat, not stacked too high, and storage facilities should be made of non-combustible materials, as well as anti-static measures.

A battery (cell)’s positive or negative pole position must be insulated to prevent short circuiting.

In the battery warehouse, automatic sprinkler facilities should be installed.

It is recommended that you store the battery at 50% power rather than full capacity.

The batteries should be equipped with protective plates if they are semi-finished.

After being discharged, waste batteries should be stored separately.

A battery and cell warehouse shall not exceed 250 square meters per fireproof zone.

Fire extinguishers or sprinklers should be hung in the battery and cell warehouses in sufficient numbers.

Each battery and cell warehouse should be equipped with two fire blankets and one special bucket for accident batteries.

A few tips:

It is recommended that battery warehouses and aging rooms use explosion-proof electrical equipment.

A special treatment cabinet must be used for the isolation and disposal of faulty batteries, and explosion-proof sand buckets should be used to dispose of accident batteries.

Daily Lithium Battery Storage Measures

1. Lithium-ion batteries should be kept charged at 50%-60% when not being used for a long time. Each 3 months and every half a year, they should be recharged.

2. To avoid battery damage, ensure the battery is moisture-proof and moisture-proof, to prevent squeezing, collisions, etc.

3. High temperatures (in sunlight or in very hot cars) may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, or fail to function and shorten its life.

4. Batteries should not be stored in places with strong static electricity and strong magnetic fields, as this can destroy the safety protection device and bring hidden dangers.

During use, storage, or charging, if an odor, fever, discoloration, or deformation occurs, remove the battery from the device or charger and disable it immediately.

Daily fire extunguish equipment and materials needed: dry powder fire extinguishers, sprinklers (water), fire blankets(for warehouses)

Frequently asked questions about lithium batteries

The self-discharge rate of lithium-ion batteries has been determined to be 3 to 5 percent per month, depending on the battery’s performance and design, as well as the temperature. As the temperature rises, self-discharge increases.

It is understood that a fully discharged battery is “squeezed out” until it can no longer produce this current. The voltage drops to 0 volts in this case. Battery electrodes will chemically react if this state is maintained, rendering it partially to completely unusable. This results in a greatly reduced battery capacity that may not be recharged. Battery types should not be discharged below their final cut-off voltage and should be recharged as soon as possible. Therefore, lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries should essentially not be discharged to the point of being completely unusable.

As a rule of thumb, lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery packs are recommended to be charged at about 10 to 20 percent of their remaining capacity. Good lithium ion rechargeable batteries generally have extensive protection and/or monitoring circuitry within the battery pack to prevent full discharge/overcharge and explosion.

3. in what temperature range should the lithium battery be used?

Lithium-ion batteries can be used in a temperature range of -20°C to +55°C.However, charging can usually only take place at temperatures of +0°C to +45°C.

4. How long is the battery life?

Lithium-ion batteries can be charged up to 1,000 times (depending on capacity). However, these values can only be achieved under optimal conditions. Depending on the handling and maintenance of the battery, the number of cycles may be reduced. During the service life, the capacity will decrease. Generally speaking, when the nominal capacity of the battery is less than 70%, it is called worn-out.

5. What is the memory effect (using NiCd technology) and/or the lazy battery effect?

The battery keeps track of its intensity of use. If the battery is not fully discharged before charging, small crystals will form on the electrodes and they will be less likely to accept an electrical charge. Thus, if the battery is not fully discharged one at a time, the operating time of the battery becomes shorter and shorter.

In the case of NiMH technology, a battery inertia effect (lazy battery effect) comparable to the classical memory effect occurs. Lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries can and may be recharged at any time. These batteries do not have a memory effect and should only be recharged at frequent short intervals. In addition, full charging in several stages, with or without partial discharge in between, will not cause any damage.

However, lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries should not be fully discharged.
The experiment suggests charging the lithium ion polymer battery if there is 10% to 20% remaining capacity.. Note that disconnecting a fully charged battery pack and reconnecting it to the charging unit will not result in a higher charge. This procedure will impair the performance capability of the battery.

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