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The electro-chemical reaction is more favorable at higher temperatures. Consequently, when it is warmer, the batteries will perform better. This is also evident from practice: old batteries do not start the car when it's cold.

Now, about storing batteries. I heard some people store their batteries in the refrigerator. How, if at all, is it beneficial, as opposed to storing at room temperature? If it is not beneficial, what are the souses of such misconception?

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What chemistry? Different types of batteries will have different temperature-performance characteristics. –  JYelton Jul 16 at 18:22
    
@JYelton I am talking in general terms. I meant to reference Nernst equation. –  Naz Jul 16 at 18:25
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4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Storing batteries/cells in a refrigerator slows down their rate of self-discharge, which is a good thing.

See below some graphs of self-discharge rates as function of temperature for different battery chemistries.

For SLA:

SLA

For alkalines:

alkalines

And here's some information for Lithium Ion.

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The OP's question was whether storing batteries in a fridge was beneficial, and since slowing the rate of self-discharge is a good (beneficial) thing, my post was a valid and relevant answer. –  EM Fields Jul 16 at 19:12
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Someone else marked this answer as a low quality post and I reviewed it. I considered that the answer could be more elaborated, at least showing some evidence and citations to support it. In its current form, it would be better posted as a comment to the original post. What was confusing was that I selected the wrong ready-made review answer provided by the system. What I meant to say was that this post would fit better the SE format as a comment. So, I'm deleting the original comment posted by the system. –  Ricardo Jul 16 at 20:17
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@Ricardo: Well, since you put it like that, I've edited my answer in order to make it a little less sketchy. Thanks :-) –  EM Fields Jul 16 at 20:51
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@VladimirCravero please see my comment above to explain that what happened was just a misunderstanding. The answer actually is great. –  Ricardo Jul 16 at 21:04
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@Ricardo that thing got me quite some times, no need to be sorry, thanks for coming back to it. –  Vladimir Cravero Jul 16 at 21:11
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It's beneficial to store them at lower temperatures. The benefit depends on the chemistry. enter image description here

See here for more info.

As long as you don't introduce condensation and you don't have an electrolyte that freezes at whatever temperature you bring them down to, the colder, the better.

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Storing alkaline batteries in the refrigerator is not recommended. Manufacturers recommend storing batteries in a cool, dry location, and perhaps some people have taken that to mean "the colder, the better" — but that's a myth.

Energizer, for example, has this excerpt on their do's and don'ts of battery care:

DO practice proper battery storage by keeping batteries in a cool, dry place at normal room temperature. It is not necessary to store batteries in a refrigerator.

For more detail, see the Energizer FAQ on non-rechargeable batteries.

Is it a good idea to store batteries in a refrigerator or freezer?

No, storage in a refrigerator or freezer is not required or recommended for batteries produced today. Cold temperature storage can in fact harm batteries if condensation results in corroded contacts or label or seal damage due to extreme temperature storage. To maximize performance and shelf life, store batteries at normal room temperatures (68°F to 78°F or 20°C to 25°C) with moderated humidity levels (35 to 65% RH).

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Considering the source of this answer and the contradictory responses of some of the other answers, is it possible this is company rhetoric/FUD emphasizing condensation designed/intended to discourage customers from storing in cold in order to sell more product? –  JoshDM Jul 17 at 0:10
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It's possible, however I think it is mainly directed at end-users who might not think of the condensation aspect and store batteries without sealing them in a moisture barrier. I expect it's more like something that wound up on their FAQ after having complaints about batteries faring worse from being stored improperly. –  JYelton Jul 17 at 0:12
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As JYelton said I'd say that storing batteries in a refrigerator may damage them because of condensation, but I'd add that sometimes refrigerating batteries might be a good idea.

LiPo batteries for RC models are high power, high capacity light cells capable of delivering some 2kW of power (small ones). Sometimes they go "puffy", i.e. one of the cells inflates, usually because of over discharge. If the cell is only slightly inflated you can try to save the pack by putting it in the freezer. I've tried it a couple of times, with the battery sealed in a plastic bag to avoid humidity, and the bulge does go actually away, but it has always returned.

So storing battery in the fridge is probably a bad idea, while some cold in some occasions might help a bit.

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protected by Nick Alexeev Jul 17 at 6:03

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