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Old 05-30-2021, 03:22 PM
gbin gbin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: upstate NY (but MN in my heart!)
Posts: 1,384
Default Storing boats with lithium batteries in cold climates

Recent discussions here and elsewhere have prompted me to study up a bit on lithium batteries for boats. As on so many subjects, I've found some of the best explanations of various things right here at WC!

I've been left with a few questions, though, particularly in the area of storing boats with lithium batteries in cold climates, so I thought I'd see if devoting a thread here to that specific area would help improve my education. Many thanks in advance to all who respond with knowledge/experience and on topic!

Background: Here are the minimum storage temperatures - mind you, I'm NOT talking about minimum discharge or charge temperatures - I found stipulated by a few of the more frequently discussed lithium boat battery manufacturers:
  • Battle Born -10F
  • RELiON/Tracker 23F
  • Ionic not specified anywhere that I can find
My questions:

- What does it really mean to say that one of these batteries has a minimum storage temperature? That is, what happens to the battery if it's stored below that temperature, and in principle how serious a matter could it be (other than possibly cracking the battery's housing if it gets cold enough)?

- Why does the minimum storage temperature vary so much from one manufacturer to another?

- In practice rather than principle, what are folks who live in cold climates and have switched to lithiums to power their trolling motors and maybe their main motor doing to store their batteries in the winter? Just leaving them in the boat with everything shut down and not worrying about it, so far with no apparent harmful effect? Taking the batteries out in the fall so they can be kept someplace at least somewhat climate-controlled for the winter before reinstalling them in the spring? Or ...?

In my case, I use an unheated barn for winter storage of my boat, and there's definitely plenty of time out there every year below 23F; there are always at least occasional days, sometimes spans of days, below -10F, too. Right now I have all lead-acid batteries which I leave in place and on a charger, but it's not at all clear to me what I would best do if I switch to LiFePO. And I'd like to make that switch at some point, maybe soon, so these aren't just academic questions for me.

Thanks again!

Gerry
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