A Comprehensive Guide on How to Store LiFePO4 Batteries
Jun 14, 2023
Properly storing LiFePO4 batteries is crucial to ensure that they have a long life and to prevent any potential hazards. Compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, these batteries are gaining more popularity because of their eco-friendliness, high energy density, and light-weight design. However, to optimize their benefits, knowing how to store them correctly is necessary.
This guide aims to provide in-depth information regarding the proper storage and handling of LiFePO4 batteries to extend their lifespan.
Importance of Proper Storage of Lithium-ion and LiFePO4 Batteries
Internal chemical reactions can still occur, even if the battery is disconnected from external devices. LFP batteries require fewer safety precautions than traditional lead-acid batteries and other lithium-ion batteries. The batteries use stable iron compounds and do not produce hazardous gases or explode. Despite this, LFP batteries are still a significant investment. Proper storage ensures that your investment is kept safe.
Battery management systems are built into several batteries, providing a safe storage option for LiFePO4 batteries. However, when the batteries are kept in a discharged state, the protection circuit should not be used. The protection circuit only applies when the batteries are charged to at least 40% to 50%.
How to Store LiFePO4 Batteries
The intended storage duration is the primary factor that affects LiFePO4 battery storage. Here are some key techniques for storing LiFePO4 batteries and specific recommendations for storage time.
Key Techniques for Storing Lithium Batteries
Almost all manufacturers recommend storing lithium batteries after turning them off. For RVs and motorhomes, turning off the electrical system only turns off some components, such as sensors, that remain active, even without external loads. Disconnecting the [+] and [-] wires connected to the battery pack terminals is the proper way to turn off the battery pack.
Unlike other battery types, lithium batteries do not require a trickle charge voltage, nor do they need to be powered during storage. LiFePO4 batteries have a self-discharge rate ranging from 1-3% per month. This means that they retain most of their charge capacity during storage.
It is critical to keep lithium batteries away from sources of heat, radiators, or other heat sources. Chemicals inside these batteries can overheat and explode when exposed to high temperatures for long periods. We really recommend you using a battery box to provide your LiFePO4 batteries a solid protection.
When storing batteries, make sure to keep them away from conductive objects like terminal clips or other metals that may come into contact with both battery terminals and cause a short circuit.
Any abnormal battery behavior after removal means that it should not be used. Strange behavior includes any odor, liquid leakage, physical deformation, or other abnormalities.
Avoid storing LiFePO4 batteries in strong magnetic fields, as these fields can disrupt or damage the lithium-ion battery management system.
Ensure that the battery is stored in a dry place and should not have any leakage or corrosive gases entering it. The wet temperature range for LiFePO4 batteries can range from -20℃ to 35℃ (-4 °F to 95 °F).
When you turn off and store LiFePO4 batteries, it's highly recommended to charge them to at least 50% of their maximum charge capacity using a lithium charger. This ensures optimal charging when the battery is reconnected and helps to maintain the overall battery condition.
The self-discharge rate increases with long-term storage. Self-discharge also increases when the battery warms up and stored outside the recommended temperature range. To address this issue, put LiFePO4 batteries in a warm location, and charge them adequately before disconnecting. An ideal temperature range is 10℃ to 35℃ (50°F to 95°F).
Once Battery storage time exceeds three months, run a charging and discharging cycle every three months to keep the battery healthy and in good operating condition when removed for use.
Cold temperatures stop the internal chemical reactions of the battery, improving its health. Therefore, keeping LiFePO4 batteries at freezing temperature is good for long-term battery storage health. However, the battery self-degradation rate should be considered. It is best to charge the battery to 40% to 50% of its capacity to keep it in optimal condition under these circumstances.
Ideal Storage Temperature for LiFePO4 Batteries
The temperature range for LiFePO4 batteries depends on the storage time. In general, follow the guidelines below:
- Less than 30 days: -20℃ to 60℃ / -4°F to 140°F
- 30 to 90 days: -10℃ to 35℃ / 14°F to 95°F
- More than 90 days: 15℃ to 35℃ / 59°F to 95°F
Storing LiFePO4 Batteries in Cold Weather (Winter)
Cold temperature is not a problem for lithium batteries because it slows down the internal chemical reactions within the battery, thus prolonging its life. However, although battery chemistry is enhanced in cold weather, extremely low temperatures can cause some battery components, such as the plastic casing, to fracture. Therefore, it's best to keep lithium batteries indoors and avoid extremely low temperatures.
Storing LiFePO4 Batteries in Hot Weather (Summer)
Storing LiFePO4 batteries in high temperatures or direct sunlight can pose a severe threat to the battery. Extreme temperatures can cause the battery to overheat internally, resulting in unnecessary chemical reactions that could cause uncontrolled battery voltage drop or even battery fires. Therefore, please avoid storing the battery for an extended period in high temperatures or outdoor sunlight.
FAQs about Storing LiFePO4 Batteries
1.Should LiFePO4 Batteries Be Disconnected from the System When Not in Use?
Yes, we recommend disconnecting the LiFePO4 battery system when not in use. Only switching off the main switch is not enough. Disconnect the battery terminal cable before storing the battery. If the battery is not unloaded, there will always be small current leakage, which will damage the battery's health or the device connected to the battery. Some components, such as sensors, typically bypass the main circuit breaker switch.
2.Do I Need to Fully Charge a LiFePO4 Battery Before Storage?
It is not necessary to fully charge a LiFePO4 battery before storage, as storing a battery at 100% charge for an extended period can harm the battery’s long-term health. Charging the battery to 50% capacity before storage is recommended.
3.How Long Will a LiFePO4 Battery Last in Storage?
LiFePO4 batteries can safely be stored for up to one year without significant degradation, as long as they are stored in the proper conditions outlined above, and their voltage is monitored periodically.
By following the techniques and guidelines outlined in this guide, users can store their LiFePO4 batteries correctly.
At Redodo, we offer dependable LiFePO4 batteries, and we stand behind our products with a 5-year warranty for our customers. If you encounter any issues with your batteries or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. .