Lithium Battery Dangers - How to store lithium-ion batteries safely?

In today’s world, we have high expectations for smartphones. For most buyers, an important feature is the long battery life and fast charging times. However, this has brought lithium-ion technology to the extreme. Even global technology companies have not been spared. In this passage, we would remind you of the lithium battery dangers and provide you guidelines for the lithium battery storage

lithium-ion batteries safely

Exposing the Hidden Lithium Battery Dangers

lithium-ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery. When lithium-ions move between the anode and cathode of the battery and pass through the separator in an electrolyte solution, they will work. However, there are existing hidden lithium battery dangers. If the battery is charged too quickly, lithium can form polar plates around the anode, resulting in a short circuit. Manufacturing defects can also cause problems when tiny metal fragments lead to short circuits or small holes are formed in the separator. An internal short circuit can be caused by mechanical damage, such as squeezing or piercing, exposure to water or overheating, and overcharge. This can cause the battery to release heat and energy quickly, which is called “thermal runaway”. This phenomenon can lead to fire or explosions.  

It is special attention that we should be paid to lithium-based batteries storage because improper storage can lead to overheating of equipment and may cause a fire. If the negative and positive terminals of many models are on the same side, or the metal frame is not covered properly, it is easy to accidentally short circuit. In the process of thermal runaway, one overheated battery can trigger the next one, resulting in a chain reaction of overheating and fire. All lithium-ion batteries have their specifications for correct use, charging, and storage; Violating or ignoring any of these specifications can at least invalidate the warranties or damage the battery, and more seriously, it could lead to fire or explosion.

Exposing the Hidden Lithium Battery Dangers

Tips for Storage Lithium-ion Battery Safety

Considering that 18650 can cause exothermic reactions, thermal runaway, volatile gas release, fire, and explosions. When storing these batteries, we recommend following the guidelines. 

Avoid contact with battery terminals.

When storing a lithium-ion battery, the most important step is to ensure that the battery terminals do not contact any metals or other battery terminals. Your batteries (and the equipment containing them) should be placed in a stable cabinet, locker or shelves, and will not be collided or pushed by machines or personnel. This will prevent your batteries from shifting, thus keeping the terminal stationery. If applicable, consider using a battery terminal cover for added protection. Or just put them in the original packaging, if this is feasible for you.

Finally, to prevent them from touching, separate your batteries. Sometimes, a lack of space might force you to stack them, but if you can avoid stacking, it can be great. If not, please put them in a place where they will not be disturbed by movement, and do not put any other objects on them.

Lithium batteries store in a mild and dry environment.

The environment in which the batteries are located should be mild. Batteries should be stored away from the sun, high temperature, and humidity. Keep the storage area ventilated and dry, and keep the temperature relatively stable. The ideal storage temperature of the battery is around 59 degrees, but most room temperatures are enough. Unless your room is out of the range of 40 F to 122 F for some reason, in this case, we must assume that you live in an igloo or a volcano, and we can not recommend that you use battery anywhere within your home.

Store batteries in a mild and dry environment.

Separate batteries according to age and type.

Separating batteries by type just makes sense because a box or shelf is riddled with randomly scattered cells of all sizes and shapes. Not to mention, separating the batteries by type can simplify the process of preventing contact between both ends. Separating batteries according to their age is also an important safety measure. Because mixing old and new batteries can be very dangerous.

A constant voltage is an output from the chemical reaction occurring inside a battery. The reaction speed depends on the internal resistance of the battery. When using the battery, the resistance will increase. This resistance essentially causes the battery to heat up because the new battery forces energy to flow through the old battery, which may cause the old battery to overheat or even leak. In addition, the energy loss rate of new batteries is much faster, far from efficient. If you keep track of how long you’ve had your batteries, you’re more likely to safely get full use out of them. Write labels on your batteries pack, or simply leave the receipts in the batteries so that you can remember the purchase date.

Recharge the lithium-ion battery at least once every two months.

Keeping the voltage low for a long time may damage the battery. Similar to the battery of your car, if it is not used frequently, it is important to turn on the car at regular intervals to prevent the battery from dying prematurely. Even if you fully charge the battery, it will still discharge slowly over time. When your battery is completely exhausted for a long time, it may be difficult or impossible for the battery management system (BMS) of the battery to “wake up the battery” and restore its normal use. Instead of letting the battery completely drain to zero, it is better to keep the battery fully charged. 

Conclusion

Generally speaking, lithium-ion batteries are a safe and reliable portable energy source. There are relatively few incidents involving lithium-ion batteries, and the general possibility of being hurt by lithium-ion batteries is also low. However, as the saying goes, one ounce of prevention is better than one pound of treatment. A little understanding of the types of lithium-ion batteries, their potential lithium battery dangers, and the safe handling and storage of lithium-ion batteries will greatly help to ensure the safety of you, your colleagues, employees, and even your family. 

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