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Batteries Shelf-Life – Storage and Meaning
Batteries have come a long way as one of the most popular storage options for electrical energy. You will find them everywhere you go because they power most of our devices today.
However, one of the main factors that affect battery use is storage. Manufacturers have tried developing batteries with larger capacities and better performance, but it is still a challenge to find one that can store energy for a long time.
In this guide, we shall be looking at battery shelf life, storage and meaning.
Batteries Shelf Storage
Every type of battery features active chemicals in the cells, which determines the optimum storage. When in storage, the battery is exposed to both self-discharge and possible decomposition of the components. As time goes on, you will find the electrolyte permeating through the seals. This causes the electrolyte to dry and become less functional.
The battery shelf storage is the amount of energy a battery holds on shelf life. Most people don’t know that stored energy in a battery depreciates even when it is not in use. Batteries do expire even when they are not used.
Certain conditions, like heat, can affect the cells. And that is why users are always advised to store them in excellent conditions to increase their shelf life. If you thought the glove compartment of your car was a suitable storage area, think again. Temperatures in the car can rise to more than 60%, shortening the lifespan of that battery.
Battery shelf storage is an important aspect of learning and using cells. Today, most manufacturers add different additives for cell performance optimization.
When storing batteries for a long time, it’s crucial to observe specific parameters that may affect the behavior of cells when in storage. The best way to store would be to consult manufacturer specifications and recommendations.
Here is some general storage information for specific batteries:
Primary cells or non-rechargeable batteries are much easier to store. Nevertheless, the conditions you set are particularly important.
Because these batteries cannot be recharged, you want them to keep as much energy as possible as you wait for the best for you. Note that energy loss primary cells are permanent.
It is recommended that you keep them ins a cool, dry place. Most users have found storing them in a refrigerator much better. A range of 0 degrees to 10 degrees in temperature would be more effective. The idea is to make sure the cells don’t freeze.
There is a wide range of chemistries for rechargeable batteries. One must understand how each type behaves and find a proper way of storing them.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are the most stressful when it comes to storage conditions. If the battery is wholly or partially discharged, it can form sulfate at the electrodes. If it’s kept in storage for a long time, the sulfate may become difficult to convert back into the right chemical components. As such, lead-acid batteries should always be stored when fully charged.
There are not many nickel-cadmium batteries out there. But if you have some, it’s important that you store them in the right conditions. They can be stored either in charged or discharged state. Always keep in mind the prolonged storage accelerates the rate of self-discharge and leads to deactivation. Always keep the batteries in a clean, dry, non-corrosive environment.
Nickel Metal Hydroxide
These batteries are not very different from nickel-cadmium. You can store them charged or discharged. But because they have a higher self-discharge rate, they will lose charge faster during storage.
Li-ion batteries are the most common in the world today. You will find them on most mobile devices, which is why storing them well is important. The temperature range for these batteries is between -20 degrees and 60 degrees Celsius. The recommended temperature is -20 to 25 degrees Celsius for prolonged storage and should be charged between 30% and 50%.
Batteries Shelf Life Meaning
Let’s say you buy a battery pack, but you don’t use them. You keep them on the “shelf” to use later. Do you know long these batteries will hold a charge? This period is what we call “shelf-life.”
Battery shelf life means the length of time the battery can stay in storage without losing its capacity. Batteries will always edge even when not in use. The process is often affected by a wide range of factors, including the chemical composition, temperature, and length of storage.
All batteries self-discharge during storage, and their components can easily decompose. Higher temperature accelerates the rate of discharge, while cooler conditions decrease it.
During storage, the electrolyte may leak through the seals, causing internal damage to the battery. Dry cells, in this case, will become useless.
Different batteries come with different shelf life. Here are some examples:
Nickel Metal Hydride – slow to medium self-discharge with a 5-year shelf life
Nickel-zinc – fast self-discharge with a 1-year shelf life
Nickel Cadmium – fast self-discharge, 5-year shelf life
Rechargeable alkaline – very slow discharge, 5 to 7 years.
Alkaline – very slow self-discharge, up to 10 years shelf life.
Lithium – Very slow, 7 – 15 years on the shelf
Factors that affect a battery shelf life include:
Temperature. Too much heat can be devasting to the cells. It increases the chemical reaction, hence, making the batteries lose energy much faster.
Poor storage. If batteries are stored in contact with other items, it might affect their shelf life.
Chemical composition. Different batteries come with different chemical compositions, which is another factor that determines the shelf-life.
Batteries Shelf-life Date
Do batteries expire? Yes.
A battery’s shelf-life date is the period it’s expected to stay in storage without completely losing its capacity to hold energy.
In most cases, people think of the expiration date when we mention a battery going bad. Batteries will not start smelling like rotten food when they expire. A shelf-life date of a battery means that time when it no longer has life.
You can use most batteries even when they are past this date. Unless there is physical damage, you should not have any issues.