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Storing Batteries in Refrigerator- Effect, Possibility and Protection
Batteries are devices that transform the chemical energy contained in active materials into electrical energy through the process of an electrochemical oxidation-reduction reaction. This kind of reaction involves transferring electrons from one substance to another through an electrical circuit. Although the term battery is often used, the cell is the actual electrochemical unit used to generate or store electrical energy.
These batteries can be dangerous to our health if they are not stored and cared for properly. To store batteries for a long time entails specific attention that ensures the battery does not explode, leak, or damage other batteries. There are certain things you can do to protect your battery's life. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways you can store your batteries and prolong their lifespan. Some people rely on storing batteries in the refrigerator to extend battery life and keep them fresh.
In the following paragraphs, we will take a look at the benefit of keeping batteries in the refrigerator, whether it is advisable to store your batteries in the refrigerator or not, including how you can improve your battery performance.
Does keeping batteries in the refrigerator help?
Have you ever wondered if simply putting batteries in the refrigerator is the right way to store your battery and increase its usability? If yes, read on because we will take a look at whether it is helpful to keep batteries in a refrigerator. One big myth about the battery is that the refrigerator makes it last longer. This may be true, but in most cases not that much. Some batteries, such as alkaline battery discharge at least 2 percent a year, but in persistent heat of around 100 degrees, they would lose a quarter of their charge.
Lithium and alkaline disposable batteries have a very slow self-discharge rate. This means that they will maintain most of their charge if left untouched for many years. This is one reason most battery producers can confidently print usage by dates on disposable batteries.
NiMH and NiCd rechargeable batteries have a much faster self-discharge rate. Normally 1 to 3 percent of stored capacity is lost each day and about 10 percent is lost in the first one day after charging. This is one reason rechargeable batteries are unsuitable to power electrical items that are used infrequently, for example, an emergency touch light left in a vehicle or any device that consumes a small amount of current over a long period of time, such as a smoke alarm.
Storing rechargeable batteries in the refrigerator is an alternative to trickle-charging. By keeping NiMH batteries at temperatures below freezing, the self-discharge rate can be reduced to about 1-3 percent each month. When storing batteries in the fridge after charged, it is important to put them in a weatherproof container. Preferably, they should be left secure inside a battery holder whose connecting cables have been disconnect to eliminate the risk of short-circuiting when moving the contents of the freezer.
Should you store batteries in the refrigerator?
A lot of people believe that storing alkaline batteries in a freezer actually extends the battery life. But there are things you need to consider before you start mixing your fruit with alkaline. The idea of refrigerating batteries first started when batteries were made primarily of mercury. Many people, especially photographers, have tried to reduce the amount of mercury that dissipates from these batteries when not using by storing them in cooler temperatures.
Finally, the refrigerator was found to be the best place to do this. But, during the 1980s the American government banned the sale of mercury batteries due to health concerns. Since then, all mercury batteries have been replaced by alkaline batteries. Though alkaline batteries do not get the same benefits of refrigerated storage as mercury batteries, most manufacturers still recommend storing your batteries at room temperature.
Rechargeable batteries are not different, but be careful not to store them for a long period without charging them once in a while. This is because rechargeable batteries that are stored for a long period without charging tend to drain very quickly. The point is that you won't damage your batteries by refrigerating them. Most battery makers don’t recommend storing batteries in the refrigerator, because despite the fact that the fridge temperature can extend the battery life, the moisture inside the fridge can damage the battery in other ways. And if you choose to keep the batteries in the refrigerator, make sure you store them in a watertight container.
How to Improve Your Battery Performance
When it comes to improving battery performance, there are few things you can do to achieve this. The following tips focus on how to improve your battery performance.
The device should not be left with the battery discharged for a long time. You should leave the device fully or half-charged because leaving it completely discharge for too long will reduce its charging capacity.
Make sure you occasionally test and top-up rechargeable batteries, if they are to be stored for a long time, allowing them to fully discharge in storage can seriously affect their performance.
Always read the instructions on your device before installing the batteries. Use only the type and size of the battery specified in the instructions.
Save battery life by turning off the device and removing the batteries when not in use, or when it is not expected to be used for long periods.
Practice proper storage of batteries by keeping them in a cool, dry place at standard room temperature. It is not necessary to store batteries in the refrigerator.
Use a battery storage container when storing the battery: These storage containers are an easy and convenient way to secure and store batteries. They are sometimes known as battery organizers or battery cases. The storage containers and cases are generally made of sturdy plastic and are drop-proof and shatterproof. They are plastic casing where batteries can be easily slipped in or removed.
Lastly, keep the battery cool. This is because high temperatures limit discharge rates and energy storage capacity, which cause the batteries to degrade faster. Colder temperatures will slow down chemical reactions inside the battery.