How to Store Lithium Batteries & Care of lithium batteries

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How to Store Lithium Batteries & Care of lithium batteries

How to Store Lithium Batteries & Care of lithium batteries Feb. 05, 2024

How to Store Lithium Batteries & Care of lithium batteries

If you’re taking the time to invest in solar energy, a solar panel battery is a great way to store excess energy and use it at a later time. Though it’s possible to install solar for your home or RV without a battery, foregoing the use of a battery will make it so that you might have to connect to the power grid more often, spending more money on energy than you need to.

When you do invest in off-grid solar batteries or any other type of solar battery, solar panel battery maintenance is critical. When stored properly and cared for correctly, your solar batteries will last longer, store energy better, and ensure you’re getting the right bang for your buck. We’ll break down everything you need to know about storing and caring for lithium batteries.  

Table of contents:

How to Store Lithium Batteries

Lithium Ion batteries, like this 12V 200Ah Renogy Iron Phosphate Battery, require a bit of extra care when it comes to storage techniques. These are often the most sought-after batteries for solar battery charging because they are rechargeable, but they can be expensive, so storing them properly is in the best interest in terms of cost and longevity. Below are the top factors to consider when storing lithium-ion batteries:

Battery Charge

Before disconnecting your battery from the system that it supports, charge it between 30% and 50% charged. You don’t want to fully charge it before placing the battery in storage, but you should charge it every 3-6 months so that it doesn’t lose too much of its charge over time. When you are ready to use the battery again, take it out of storage and charge it fully prior to use.

Storage Area

You wouldn’t store dried food in cold, wet conditions, right? In the same way that food can spoil if not stored properly, your lithium battery can be ruined if you store it improperly. Keep it in an open, dry area that gets air regularly and stays within a temperature range of -13°F to 149°F.

Battery Handling

Lithium-ion batteries are powerful, but they are also fragile. When you are moving or handling the battery, do so with care. The last thing you want to do is drop it on a hard surface, bump it against a sharp corner, or put large amounts of pressure on the battery casing.

Temperature

As mentioned above, keeping your Renogy battery within the recommended temperature range is critical. Make sure it stays out of extreme sunlight or heated areas that could reach temperatures higher than 149°F. Batteries are often stored in garages or outdoor shops but depending on the weather in your area and the ventilation offered by your space, that could lead to a disaster for your battery.  

Exposure to Elements

Being hit with direct sunlight, rained on, or even subject to high amounts of humidity and moisture can cause corrosion and damage to your battery. Battery storage is an integral part of solar panel battery maintenance, so don’t overlook it.

How to Keep Lithium Batteries Warm in Cold Weather

Though lifepo4 batteries hold up better in the cold than many other battery types, it’s still important to protect them from low temperatures as much as possible. In low temps, your battery can lose a charge faster or struggle to charge at the rate that it would in a normal temperature range. Unfortunately, for many US residents, the winter season is a part of life that comes around every year. 

If possible, store your battery in a place that is temperature-controlled or insulated. If that’s not an option, be sure to warm your battery up before using it and charge it every once in a while to keep its charge retention at a good level (30%-50%). With Renogy’s Smart Lithium-Ion Battery, you can enjoy the self-heating function which will automatically turn on if the battery’s internal temperature drops below 41°F. This feature takes the guesswork out of storing your battery and keeps the battery maintenance requirements as simple as possible.

Battery Maintenance Tips for Lithium-Ion Batteries

With proper lithium-ion battery care, your batteries will last longer, charge faster, and perform better. When you’re using batteries to help power your house, RV, or other devices, you want each battery at peak performance always, and your battery maintenance will have a major impact on that. For the care of lithium batteries, the following items should be a regular part of your solar panel battery maintenance routine:

Cleaning

Lithium-ion batteries are more resilient than other types of batteries such as lead batteries, but you should still keep them clean to enjoy the best results. Be sure to disconnect your battery before conducting any cleaning steps. Once disconnected, take a damp cloth or soft brush to clean the top of the battery and terminal, removing any dust or debris. If needed, you can use a gentle household cleaner to remove difficult dirt or grime. Then, use a clean cloth to dry your battery and ensure it is completely dry before placing back in storage or connecting it to a charging source.

Review & Inspection

If you stick your battery away and never look at it, you could uncover an unwelcome surprise down the line. Be sure to check in on your battery and conduct regular inspections no matter what season it is. Look at the top of the battery and its terminals to ensure that it is clean and clear of corrosion or damage. Also, take a few minutes to examine the cables and connections; if needed, replace damaged cables with new ones.  

Voltage & Charge Checks

You want your battery to stay within a healthy level of charge, so be sure to regularly check its levels to see if it is discharging too quickly. In terms of voltage, if your battery cannot be activated with a current greater than 1A or if it is activated with a voltage below 10V, something is wrong. Do not use the battery until the situation is fixed.

Should Solar Batteries be Kept Outside or Indoors?

Installing and storing your off-grid solar batteries can be done both outdoors and indoors, but like anything, it will depend on the specific situation your batteries are expected to operate in. If you live in a place with heavy rain, high levels of moisture in the air, or a ton of direct sunlight, it’s probably best to store your lithium-ion batteries indoors if possible. On the other hand, if you live in a temperate area with plenty of dry air, these batteries are sturdy enough to be stored and used outside.  

No matter where you choose to set up your batteries, regular maintenance checks will ensure that they remain in the best condition possible so that you can get the most out of them for the longest period of time. Renogy’s batteries are portable and versatile, allowing you to move them as needed.

How to Monitor Your Solar Batteries

Part of solar panel battery maintenance is monitoring your system. Since many households choose solar energy as a way to offset high energy prices, being able to monitor how much energy your battery stores – among other factors – is a great way to understand your payoff and make the most out of your investment. To monitor your system, you have two options: battery monitoring or Bluetooth monitoring.

Battery monitors are often the simplest option; with these, you can see the amperage coming from your battery and the charge level. These are two of the most important variables to monitor and battery monitors are simple to set up. You can also gain insight into the time needed to charge the battery or the time left to discharge with this option.

For a bit more high-tech approach, consider a Bluetooth monitor. This mechanism connects to a downloadable application on your phone or tablet and allows you to see many of the same variables from the comfort of your living room. You just have to be within 50 ft. of the battery in order for your system to be readable. This approach is actually a bit simpler to set up, contrary to popular belief. However, it is not weatherproof, so be sure to factor that in when making your decision.  

There are several battery monitoring devices from Renogy, for example, the powerful monitoring system Renogy One, as well as Bluetooth modules for not only the batteries but also the whole solar system.

Best Batteries for Solar Off-Grid

When it comes to outfitting your solar energy system, choosing the right battery for your needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. At Renogy, we make some of the best batteries on the market, so whether you’re looking for gel batteries, AGM batteries, or lithium-ion batteries, we’ve got you covered.

Click here to learn what is an agm battery.

AGM batteries are resilient, reliable, and convenient, making them a great option for projects that don’t require as much monitoring. You can count on these batteries to discharge a lot of power and do well in a range of temperatures. Gel batteries can withstand more intense charge and discharge cycles, so if you need to ensure power at all times, these are the way to go. Last but not least, lithium iron batteries are a great “catch-all” solution that can be used in nearly any situation. Whichever battery type you choose, Renogy offers the best quality and prices on the market.

Related articles:

Is A Solar Battery Necessary For My Solar Energy System?

Buy Lithium Solar Batteries In 2022: How To Choose A LiFePO4 battery

Expectations vs. Reality: Making Sense of Battery Voltage & Percentages

What to Know About Lithium Batteries

Solar Gel Batteries: Everything You Need To Know

How To Safely Store Lithium Batteries

The world of batteries has suffered a radical change since LiFePO4 batteries were introduced. However, much information still needs to be included, and one is how to store them properly. 

We use LiFePO4 batteries seasonally. Be it summer or winter or travelling to unkown places. For instance, my partner and I use it with our motorhome during ski season. Once you do not need your battery, you must store it appropriately. Storing it properly will not only avoid damage it but also maintain its best performance for many years.

LiFePO4

basics

LiFePO4 are lithium-ion batteries that provide the necessary electricity when you are not near a typical power source. You will incorporate or will see them incorporated into off-grid power systems, such as boats, tiny homes, and even golf carts.

They are famous for their longevity and ability to utilize more stored power without damaging the battery. They are more eco-friendly than any other battery because of the materials they are built with. You can read more about it in this article.

You can use LiFePO4 batteries for and different gadgets. From small devices as minibars, to your motorhome electricty to golf carts. Therefore, if you store them according to these following steps and tips, will extend their life-span.

Factors that affect storage

Before you store your battery. Before placing it into a box and leaving it in your shed, you need to consider the following factors:

Temperature

The recommended storage temperature should be between -5 to 35°C. However, this will vary depending on the storage time as well. You can follow the guideline below:
  • 30 days: -20°C to 60°C

  • 90 days: -10°C to 35°C

  • More than 90 days: 15°C to 35°C

Summer

The recommended storage temperature should be between -5 to 35°C. However, this will vary depending on the storage time as well. You can follow the guideline below:

If you consider storing your battery during summertime, you need to make sure it is not exposed to high temperatures or sun rays. Exposing your battery to high temperatures can result in unwanted internal chemical reactions. Even though these batteries do well with hot temperatures, it will affect them if exposed for long periods. 

Winter

Contrary to hot temperatures, exposing your battery to cold temperatures will avoid chemical reactions. However, if the cold temperatures are extreme, some components, for instance, plastic, can crack. 

Since winter in some areas in the US can reach temperatures lower than -10°C, ensure room temperature to be higher. If you store your battery for longer than 3 months, charging or checking their discharge percetage is recommended. 

State of charge


LiFePO4 batteries have a very low self-discharge rate. They normally discharge at 2% per month. It is recommended that you fully charge your LiFePO4 battery before storing it. The higher the charge, the larger the charge-retaining power of the battery during storage.

If you do not charge the battery before storing it, you risk an over-discharge. As a result, the discharge level can go below what the BMS can protect. Also, if over-discharged due to storage without charge can cause permanent damage and void your battery warranty.

Location

If you need or want to store your battery for some time, keep it in the right place. The garage or outside are not the ideal places.

Make sure you allocate or place your battery in a room temperature and dry place. Always double-check temperature is within the recommended range. 

You also need to avoid a humid room. Moisture can damage your battery cells. Any type of liquid should avoid the contact with the battery.

Exposure to other elements

It is crucial to store a lithium battery away from any fire, radiator, or heat source. Avoid exposing also to conductive objects such as hairpins or other metals. These objects can cause a short circuit if they accidentally come into contact with both battery terminals.

It is also important to ensure no dust or debris enters the battery compartment. These elements can cause short circuits, which damage cells over time. 

Preparing storage place


Where you will store your battery is vital. Avoiding or consider these tips before storing.

Disconnect

Firstly, disconnect the main positive and negative wires from the lithium batteries. Doing this will ensure that the battery is not being discharged during storage time. As a result, when you use them again, you will have plenty of charge in the LiFePO4 batteries.

Clean them with a soft dry cloth. Double-check that there is no dirt, moisture, or debris that may affect it during the time stored. 

Keep it charged

Before placing your LiFePO4 battery in cold storage, ensure it is fully charged or has enough charge to withstand the low temperature. The ideal percentage is 50% and above it. Depending on the storage period, you will need to charge it. Remember the discharge rate is of 2-3%.

Even when stored in cold temperatures, keeping your LiFePO4 batteries charged regularly is important to offset any power loss due to self-discharge. That is why you should recharge the battery every 3 to 6 months to ensure that the battery's health is not affected.

A box or container is another factor that will maintain a stable temperature. Considering placing your LiFePO4 battery inside an insulated box is an extra feature.

Safety considerations



For maximum safety, use a battery storage cabinet. If you have different batteries that you need to store, it is better to have a separate box for each one. This ensures you know your battery type, even if they are new or older.

Batteries that are dropped, damaged, or show signs of swelling should never be put back in your store or placed on charge.

Well-ventillated areas is ideal for LiFePO4 batteries. As a result, you will avoid excessive heat or humidity. Therefore, keeping your stores ventilated through natural or mechanical means is necessary to store your battery cells safely.

If you need to dispose of your battery, check your local battery disposal location for the correct way to dispose of or recycle them.

Final thoughts

As we purchase more gadgets for our daily or seasonal activities, we must know how to store them.

The main factor to consider is temperature. If it is favorable, your LiFePO4 battery will function for an extended period. Keeping them in cool or low temperature is ideal. Plus, The storage space should be dry and indoors, away from direct exposure to sunlight. 

Following the information above will be enough to store most lithium-ion batteries, especially LiFePO4 batteries. Lastly, getting a good-quality battery can make the storage process much more manageable. 

You can check GOLDENMATE batteries and contact our staff members for any queries.

3 Tips to Store Lithium LiFePO4 Batteries for Long Term

STORING LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERIES

LiFePO4 batteries are usually used seasonally for camping in the summer or ice fishing in the winter. Therefore, people commonly store their lithium batteries during off-season. However, it is essential for people to have the knowledge of how to store them properly so that their performance can be optimized for many years ahead. There is barely any maintenance required for lithium-ion LiFePo4 batteries for golf cart, RV & many other applications.

HOW TO STORE LIFEPO4 BATTERIES?

A question frequently asked by customers on a daily basis is: how do I store my lithium battery in both normal and extreme environment? The answer to this question really depends on the period of time and temperature batteries are stored in. Don’t worry, here is a nutshell of how to store your LiFePO4 battery:

  1. In normal case, store in this temperature: -5 to +35°C (23 to 95 °F)
  2. If less than a month, store in this temperature: -20 to +60°C (4 to 140 °F)
  3. If less than three months, store in this temperature: -10 to +35°C (14 to 95 °F)
  4. If more than three months, store in this temperature: +15 to +35°C (59 to 95 °F)

Storing lithium batteries indoors during off-season is highly recommended. Also, to optimize battery performance, you should make sure your LiFePO4 batteries has a state of charge (SOC) at more than 50% before you store them. It is not recommended to store discharged batteries. What’s more, it is also important to cycle the batteries at least once every 6 months for lifepo4 long term storage

DISCONNECT BEFORE STORING LIFEPO4 BATTERIES

Many batteries have the main switches so that users can turn their batteries off easily. However, in the case that there are no main switches on batteries, it is highly recommended to take an extra step to ensure your battery is completely off and disconnected to the power. Since RVs would have backlit stereo, emergency sensor and CO2 sensor running in the background, this may bypass the main disconnect switch. Therefore, when you are storing the batteries, it’s important to physically disconnect the positive and negative wires from your batteries. By doing this, you can ensure that batteries would not be undercharged during storage time and can be ready for use anytime. Last but not least, you should always make sure to only use the lithium charger.
 
One thing to keep in mind is that the low self-discharge rate of LiFePO4 batteries is 2% per month, which means a lithium battery will lose 2% of its charge capacity every month during storage time.  It is highly recommended to disconnect all power draw from your batteries so that higher rate of discharge can be further prevented. You should always store your lithium batteries with a state of charge of 50% or higher, especially when you want to store for a long period of time. For users who want their batteries to be retained at a good level of charge, it is essential to charge them to 100% and store them at a fully charge state.

HOW TO STORE LIFEPO4 BATTERIES WITH THE SYSTEM

It is recommended to use a battery guardian to protect LiFePO4 batteries if you store your batteries along with the entire system. To be more specific, once the voltage is 11.5V or higher, you can disconnect your batteries from parasitic loads. We also recommend you disconnect all battery connections if there is no disconnect switch installed on your battery. Since a trickle charge is not required by LiFePO4 batteries, it is acceptable to disconnect the charger during storage time.

HOW TO STORE LIFEPO4 IN COLD WEATHER

If the battery pack is not being used, extreme temperature can’t affect lithium cells. It’s not recommended to store lithium batteries in extreme temperatures for a long period of time. Because it’s possible for the ABS casing of the battery pack to crack. Besides, it can damage other components in the battery pack if the temperatures go beyond 60°C (140°F). Therefore, we recommend you to always avoid high temperatures for extended periods of time, which means storing your batteries indoor is the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q. What are Lithium LiFePO4 batteries?

A. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of rechargeable battery in use today. They have a high energy density and power and are lightweight. There are many lithium-ion batteries, but the most common is Lithium LiFePO4. It has a higher energy density than other lithium-ion batteries, which means it can store more electricity for a given weight.

Q. What is the most important thing about storing lithium-ion batteries correctly?

A. A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable type commonly used in portable electronic devices. Li-ion batteries are the most popular rechargeable batteries found in laptops and cell phones. The most important thing about storing lithium-ion batteries is keeping them out of direct sunlight, which can cause the battery to overheat and even ignite.

Q. How do I maintain my lithium-ion Batteries?

A. By charging it correctly and taking good care of it, you can extend the life of your lithium-ion battery. If you're going to store lithium batteries, charge them to 50% and ensure they're holding their charge every two to three months.

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