3rd October 2019

electronicsweekly
20

Can batteries be left in the cold?

One of the common laws of chemistry is that reactions generally speed up when they get warm and slow down when they get cold. Such is the life of a battery. The problem is not with storing batteries in the cold, but rather trying to use them when they are cold.

Considering this, how does cold weather affect alkaline batteries?

In general, alkaline batteries perform very poorly in cold weather. As alkaline batteries are engineered with a water-based electrolyte, cold near-freezing point temperatures can lead to reduced ion mobility which slows down the chemical reactions that provide electrical battery power.

Do batteries work better in the cold?

Batteries are a function of chemical reactions. In cold weather the chemicals can not react as fast as in warm. In fact keeping a battery cold will extend the life of the battery, by slowing the chemical discharge. A cold battery may still be good but will not have the same the power as a warm one.

Can cold weather affect your car battery?

Be aware that freezing temperatures can do a number on your car battery. During cold temperatures starting an engine can take up to twice as much current as needed under normal conditions. It is advisable to have your battery tested, as well as your starting and charging systems prior to the deep cold of winter.
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