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How cold is too cold to STORE Lipos?

Old 11-25-2007, 02:09 AM
  #1  
Twmaster
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Default How cold is too cold to STORE Lipos?

Ok, I just read a long and wandering thread with regard to cold storage of LiPo batteries.

I want to store my packs on my back porch in a steel (fire safe) container. I will be running them down to about 60% charge.

Yes I know not to attempt to charge a cold battery. They will be brought up to room temp before use in the spring.

So the meat of the question, the same question that never really got answered by anybody who I'd consider a battery expert is:

How cold is too cold to store your batteries? Here in the DC area winter is usually no colder than 0*F for too many days.

Are we safe with that?

Please keep your answers/comments on topic.

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:31 AM
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Neko
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I've been wondering the same thing. I'd like to keep mine in the garage and it gets pretty cold in Chicago. So I just Googled "lithium polymer battery storage temperature" and up came several hits that all say you can store them between -20 and 35 degrees Celsius, which is -4 fahrenheit.
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Old 11-25-2007, 05:32 AM
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EpoweredRc
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I am not sure how cold you can keep them EDV keeps his in a refrigiator, but I belive its set on around 30 or so.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:22 PM
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weathervane
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Hi Mike, I was going to post the same question. You beet me to it.

-Andrew
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:26 PM
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Mike Freas
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Mike Parsons needs to chime in on this one. I keep mine in the fridge all year round when not in use. I'm not sure freezing temps are good for the battries or not.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:31 PM
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weathervane
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I keep mine wraped in towels in a fire proof box in a semi-insulated paint cabinet. The garage is detatched and has no heat. I thought of useing an Igloo cooler to help fight off the cold.

-Andrew
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:43 PM
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I saw a link to an article on RCGroups saying you can store between -20C and 30C. So I think you would be OK. I have heard you should store at 40% of capacity, but others say 50-60%.

Here is the link:

http://www.hardingenergy.com/pdfs/LiPolymer.pdf
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:38 PM
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redgiki
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If stored too warm with a full charge, you will lose capacity. I demonstrated this unintentionally this summer on a brand-new LiPo. I stored it fully-charged for six months in a hot garage, and only used it three times. I could fly for 1800mAh and not hit low-voltage cutoff on the 2200mAh battery. I flew this weekend for only 1100mAh and hit LVC. Admittedly, the temperatures this time of year are lower so it's not terribly scientific, but it does seem to back it up.

As far as storing LiPos below freezing? I store most of mine in a deep-freeze between uses and have done so for the last year, and see no loss of capacity. The deep-freeze is around 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I understand you can go really quite cold with a LiPo; the danger is that you must let them warm up to a reasonable temperature before attempting to charge or discharge them.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:44 AM
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everydayflyer
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0 C / 32F is the recommended ideal storage temp. and approx. 40% state of charge.
My excess / infrequently used LiPoly are stored in Zip Lock freezer Bags in a frig at 35-45 F charged to 3.7-3.85 volts per cell. When removed from frig. they are allowed to reach room temp. before opening the bag(s). This helps to prevent condensation on the cells which is really not great for them.

Charles
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:09 PM
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Nice PDF QuietRC, thank you
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:40 PM
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constantCrash
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It seems even the experts are conflicted on this. From the PDF above:

6.8 Lithium Polymer Storage Guidelines
* Store the cell in a dry location between –20C and 30C. Keep out of direct sunlight.
* When storing for an extended period, store between 10C to 30C
* Store at 40% of capacity.
* When charging the first time after long-term storage it may take several cycles to achieve original
performance.

So does that say that short term you can store at -4 F but for long term you should bring them someplace warmer (50 F). That's really frustrating. I don't really have a basement in my house so I like to keep them out in my attached garage, which while it usually stays above freezing it's definitely not 50 F.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:50 PM
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Thunderpower reccomends storage at 40-70 degrees at 3.8 volts.. Charging from 32 to 113F and Discharging from 32-140F....

A guy i fly with actually talked to Mr. Wang about battery charging and storage a while ago.. We store our batteries at 3.8 volts, in Ammo cans, in the basement, which stays about 55 degrees all year and our batteries are just fine.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:54 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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If you're only storing them in the garage due to safety concerns, then go ahead and bring them in the house. LiPolys don't spontaneously combust just sitting on a shelf in undamaged condition.

When space is concern, that's another story. Storing them in a cooler out in a cold garage doesn't really protect the batteries from extreme cold unless the temperature drops are relatively short. Put a remote thermometer in the cooler, and one in the garage. After several hours, maybe up to a couple of days depending on the cooler, the temperatures will equalize. The cooler won't react as quickly as the rest of the garage, but it does react and eventually gets down to "room temperature."
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:22 PM
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Go here http://www.batteryuniversity.com/ read and apply. He supplies a bibliography in section 3 so this is not just a guy talking out of his hat!
Yes most of the reff are not direct to RC use, look for high draw discharge as that best fits our use. Lots of good info on storage plus stuff on charge/discharge relating to batt life and capacity. Enjoy
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:56 PM
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tkilwein
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At 15F they puff and go bad, At 160F and above they puff and go bad, I know.
TP replaced them for a fee. I dorked them so they should not replace under warranty.

Tony
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:24 PM
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constantCrash
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how did you puff one at 15 degrees? was it fully charged? I know that at fully charged they can't go below ~50 but at 80% or below they should be safe to ~0.

Originally Posted by tkilwein View Post
At 15F they puff and go bad, At 160F and above they puff and go bad, I know.
TP replaced them for a fee. I dorked them so they should not replace under warranty.

Tony
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:26 PM
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Folks....

Nevermind..
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
how did you puff one at 15 degrees? was it fully charged? I know that at fully charged they can't go below ~50 but at 80% or below they should be safe to ~0.

It was discharged to 9.3v in the plane and left at that state. 3cell 2100.
I was going to charge when I got home but it did not get to it until the next morning then I discovered the puffed pack. Low that night was 15F.

Tony
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tkilwein View Post
It was discharged to 9.3v in the plane and left at that state. 3cell 2100.
I was going to charge when I got home but it did not get to it until the next morning then I discovered the puffed pack. Low that night was 15F.

Tony
Well you say you left it in the plane, but that is not really what we mean by storage. Leaving it in the plane, there could have been a moisture issue involved.

Also, did you disconnect your battery from the ESC? Even if the ESC comes with a swich and you turn the switch off, it will draw power.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:35 PM
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Franny
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Hi Guys,

I know this thread is about storage, but I am wondering about flying... I have a small airplane I fly at home with an exposed battery (3 cell lipo), ESC, and motor. Any idea how cold we can fly? After a recent flight at about 40 deg, the battery was cool but not cold and I then moved it inside. It seems just fine... Our club has a "Frozen Fingers" fun fly in January which would be fun, but could be well below freezing. Is the battery fine exposed to the cold as long as it is working (discharging) and then kept warm after? What do you think?

Thanks,

Franny
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:20 PM
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Kosh
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Franny, I fly when its freezing out but warn the batteries up first on the car defroster or with air activated pocket warmers. Igloo makes a Cooler/Warmer that plugs into a cigarette lighter that should do the trick also.
Some batteries with higher C ratings just simple don't like cold weather and perform poorly until warmed up. (Like Thunder Power Extremes)
Never had much of a problem with the 12C to 15C rated batteries but then again I don't fly much when it drops below 30.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:36 PM
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Franny
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Great. Thanks Kosh. I'll keep those puppies warm and it sounds like I'll be good.

Thanks!

Franny
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