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Batteries and heat

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  • Batteries and heat

    I got a new Ridgid drill combo kit that came with two 18v hyper lithium batteries and a soft carry case. So far there working great.

    I do commercial cabinets and trim and here recently it's been rather hot outside and I did a recent job where the temperature inside the building was very hot. The A/C was not on because the electrical work was not finished. Also sometimes I store my tools in my truck toolbox and it can get hot in there also considering its been 100 degrees around where I live for the past week.

    I was wondering if this kind of heat could possibly effect my batteries or damage them ?
    They get hot from the environment more so than they do from me using them.
    I worry that it might damage them.

    In example recently I didn't even use my drills all day but the kit was in my truck and it got real hot in there when I got home I opened up my soft case to check the batteries and they were really hot. Can that damage my batteries ?

  • #2
    Re: Batteries and heat

    I can't speak to the specific science of lithium batteries (see batteryuniversity.com) but I can comment on my own experience and a lot of online information.

    You can find a number of sites that give you charts and graphs about the effects of leaving lithium batteries in hot cars. The consequences include reduced battery life and false charger readings of the battery. In other words, a good battery with low charge may show up as defective or fully charged if it has been stored in a hot car. The gas in the battery gets most of the blame, but the circuit boards that are housed in lithium batteries also gets some of the blame.

    Of all my lithium batteries, I've only had one that simply stopped taking a charge for no apparent reason. That was a battery that I had left in my car for about 10 hours on an incredibly hot Atlanta day. That was last summer, and the battery hasn't taken a charge since. I recognize that there may be other explanations for its failure, but I'm going with my gut.

    But I've also noticed that my batteries that have warmed up through ambient heat (rather than through actual use) have less run time before they have to be charged again. This has become a big enough issue for me that I now carry my batteries in a little 6-pack cooler with no ice, when they're in the car. That may be a simple solution for you.

    Dan

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    • #3
      Re: Batteries and heat

      We do lots of church mission trips in the summer..yes heat kills the batteries. Try storing them wrapped in a plastic zip-lock bag in your ice chest. It usually works.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Batteries and heat

        If you put them in a cooler with no source of cooling (ice, thermoelectric, etc) does that
        really help much? Won't the cooler interior be at the same temperature as outside or
        be there soon if it starts at a lower temp with no way to remove or counter the heat?
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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        • #5
          Re: Batteries and heat

          The cooler itself is insulated from the surrounding heat/cold. That's why ice melts more slowly in a cooler than in a pot or bag. I've found that even the most inexpensive styrofoam coolers provide a really good buffer from the outside heat. This is really apparent when I remove one of my batteries that has been stored in my cooler, inside my hot car. The temperature in the car is well over 100 degrees, but the battery feels as cool as it did when I put it in the cooler.
          Dan

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          • #6
            Re: Batteries and heat

            Originally posted by AtlantaDan View Post
            The cooler itself is insulated from the surrounding heat/cold. That's why ice melts more slowly in a cooler than in a pot or bag. I've found that even the most inexpensive styrofoam coolers provide a really good buffer from the outside heat. This is really apparent when I remove one of my batteries that has been stored in my cooler, inside my hot car. The temperature in the car is well over 100 degrees, but the battery feels as cool as it did when I put it in the cooler.
            Dan
            Dan you are a pretty smart guy and just taught me something. The following offers additional suggestions I got off the Internet.

            "Now what can you do to keep things inside a car from heating up? If you put things at the bottom of the car, in the shade, it will help some -- say in the footwell of the passenger seat. If you put them in an insulated container, say an ice chest, and put the ice chest out of the sun, it will reduce the heat on the ice chest, and the ice chest's insulation will help keep anything in it cooler, with or without ice. If you can't put it out of the sun, put some insulation on it (a blanket, for example) to reduce the heat soat from the hot air in the car, and put something reflective on top of that to reflect back some additional heat."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Batteries and heat

              Originally posted by AtlantaDan View Post
              The cooler itself is insulated from the surrounding heat/cold. That's why ice melts more slowly in a cooler than in a pot or bag. I've found that even the most inexpensive styrofoam coolers provide a really good buffer from the outside heat. This is really apparent when I remove one of my batteries that has been stored in my cooler, inside my hot car. The temperature in the car is well over 100 degrees, but the battery feels as cool as it did when I put it in the cooler.
              Dan
              Well yeah but ice is ICE...it's already colder than the surrounding air, so it naturally will stay colder for some time until it gains all those BTUs from the air outside the cooler as those BTUs leak INTO the cooler. A battery starts off with zero differential between it and the surrounding air, if the cooler has no other means of reducing its internal temperature then there is little if any advantage to putting the batteries in a cooler except for a few minutes to an hour. Cooler insulation is not 100% efficient so it will not maintain a temperaure differential on its own.

              I agree with what you and Frank say but it will not last forever(or even many hours); those methods will only delay the temperaure from equalizing between the two spaces.
              Last edited by Bob D.; 07-22-2012, 06:01 AM.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Batteries and heat

                the other day I was using the cordless tools out side and when I took them in to recharge them they were so hot they would not recharge so I put them in the refrigerator for some time to cool them down to charge them, (the heat was from the air temps and not from working the tools),
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                • #9
                  Re: Batteries and heat

                  >>Well yeah but ice is ICE...it's already colder than the surrounding air, so it naturally will stay colder for some time until it gains all those BTUs from the air outside the cooler as those BTUs leak INTO the cooler. A battery starts off with zero differential between it and the surrounding air, if the cooler has no other means of reducing its internal temperature then there is little if any advantage to putting the batteries in a cooler except for a few minutes to an hour. Cooler insulation is not 100% efficient so it will not maintain a temperaure differential on its own.<<

                  Indeed, ice is ice, and that fact alone means condensation. With proper time and preparation, I suppose I could ice up my cooler and I would certainly have a chillier home for my batteries. But my own experience has shown me that it just isn't necessary for my situation. That same experience has also shown me that the temperature inside the cooler does not reach the ambient temperature within "a few minutes to an hour". Again, my stored batteries remain very close to their original temperatures (to the touch) for many hours. I'm using a throw-away six pack styrofoam cooler from a convenience store, and I keep it on the floor of the vehicle. There may be variables that keep others from having the same success that I've had, but down here in the South, a non-iced cheap cooler is standard equipment for our batteries. And trust me, we deal with a lot of very long, very hot days.
                  -Dan

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                  • #10
                    Re: Batteries and heat

                    Glad it works for you. I do agree that it will work, I am surprised you
                    get all day relief for your batteries though. but if it works, it works.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment

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