Battery Safety Guidelines

Have you ever held a battery before? Did you know that a battery though relatively safe can act and operate like a mini bomb? Don’t worry your next battery more than likely will not explode on you if handled correctly. In fact in excess of 100 million battery related devices have been bought by consumer since 2003 (that is a conservative number). So the 339 incidents report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission represent .000003 (a very small percent) of all battery related devices on the market. So the likelihood of your next battery exploding is highly unlikely. However if you ever use a battery or plan on using a battery you should know how to handle and maintain basic battery safety guidelines.  In fact as a general rule of thumb battery packs have to be:

  • Batteries have to be stored safely
  • Batteries have to be charged correctly
  • Batteries have to be protected from unexpected damage
  • Batteries have to be handled safely

Batteries have to be stored safely

Batteries can be stored both indoors and outdoors as long as batteries are kept in cool conditions without direct sun light on the battery or battery storage box or container. Batteries should be stored in a dry location with low humidity, and a temperature range of –20°C to +30°C. Batteries can be stored for a long time however the longer the storage time is the faster the acceleration of the battery’s self-discharge which can lead to the deactivation of the batteries. To minimize the deactivation effect, store battery packs in a temperature range of +10°C to +30°C.  Also if a battery has been stored for a long period of time please note that the deactivation of the batteries may have led to decreased capacity. To recover batteries in this state simply repeat several cycles of fully charging and discharging. Also when storing packs for more than 6 months be sure to charge the battery at least once every 6 months to prevent leakage and deterioration in performance due to self-discharging.

Batteries have to be charged correctly

Batteries must be charged correctly. This means you need to charge your battery with a charger that has the specified voltage and current to correctly charge your battery. You should never attempt reverse charging, since charging a battery with the polarity reversed can cause a reversal in battery polarity, causing gas pressure inside of the battery to rise, which can lead to leakage of the batteries in the pack. Also avoid overcharging. Repeated overcharging can lead to deterioration in pack performance and the battery pack may get over heated. Also note that battery charging efficiency drops at temperatures above 40°C.

Batteries have to be protected from unexpected damage

Batteries, understandably should have some basic protection everyday damage. For example the battery terminals [(+) connector and/or (-) connector] should never be touched or connected to metal wires, necklaces, or chains. Batteries should not be dropped since dropping a  battery will cause the battery to malfunction or puncture. Also batteries should not be twisted or bent. Since any such forced movement will cause the battery to fail.

Batteries have to be handled safely

Furthermore batteries should never be disassembled. Batteries should never be used if an abnormality is detected such as foul odor, deformation, discoloration, bubbling and so on. Battery cells, such as Li-ion or Li-polymer cells should never be reused after removing from the chemistry from the battery pack. Also never touch any liquid coming out of the battery if there is an electrolyte leakage. Also batteries and water should never mix. Once water or moisture gets onto the battery, the battery has the potential to malfunction. In addition never store batteries in hot temperatures 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Furthermore do not put batteries into a fire, do not crush, puncture, or nail a battery. Finally never solder directly onto the battery casing or terminals.

Until next time Dan Hagopian –
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