• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Storing LiPo Battery in Fridge

#1
Hey!

I just got my first LiPo battery. It's a Turnigy 3S 2200mAh 25C battery. But I'm worried that our hot weather, 30-24C in room will reduce it's lifespan.

What if I store it in our refrigerator? (It measured the temperature inside and it's about 17C or 62F)
Will it destroy my battery even more?
Will the humidity in the fridge damage my battery?
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#3
Hai Lee swears by putting his in the fridge. I do it if a battery feels a bit puffy after a hard run for a few charges to tighten things back up. Seems to help. weather here does not warrant storing in the fridge though. the only thing I can think of that might be detrimental is condensation on the battery terminals in the plug corroding contacts over time. On the other hand we tend to use them a lot and they see regular use so I would just keep an eye out of the contacts start to get too dark in color.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#4
Psyborg is correct in that I do swear by the storage of Lipos in a refrigerator, (do NOT FREEZE). Here in Aus the weather in summer can get very hot and summer before last wiped out my entire range of flight batteries in a single week. (I was not storing them in the fridge at the time). Considerable expense was incurred in replacing all of my batteries. The oldest battery was almost 12 months old at the time.

Since I started storing my batteries in the fridge I have managed to have my batteries maintain low IR and almost full capacity for 18 months now with none really showing any serious issues. I also do not deep discharge my batteries any longer and ventilate the battery compartments to keep those batteries subject to high discharge currents a little cooler. Maybe its my "scottish heritage" but I would rather spend my money buying, repairing and building planes than to have a near permanent standing order for replacement flight batteries.

During the time out of the fridge I keep my flight batteries all together in an insulated cooler bag so they do not gain too much temperature before I use them.

I have found a number of good uses for batteries with high IR, (Internal Resistance), and one is to test electronics and complete setups on planes either being built or those in for repair. A second use is as a dummy battery of the correct weight when working out the placement of the electronics to obtain correct balance of the model.

Have fun!
 

jamboree1

Active member
#5
I suppose you could store in the fridge, bur consider this, even if you keep them in a lipo safe bag or container if a battery goes up in flames for whatever reason kiss that fridge goodbye or at least the food in it
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#6
Many mention battery fires and some even have experienced one. The battery cannot vent its contents to the atmosphere unless the case is ruptured either due to impact or the build up of extreme internal pressure. The punctured batteries should be disposed of and never charged anyway.

The build up of internal pressure is due to internal temperature getting too high and gassing the electrolyte. If the battery is maintained at a low temperature then the gas pressure cannot build up.

TO further describe the safety aspects of the refrigeration of the batteries it should be noted that the batteries are "Chilled" prior to charging. The batteries are NOT charged in the refrigerator and the usual monitoring of the battery on charge should applied. When the battery charger has finished its charge cycle the battery is placed into the fridge to reduce the internal temperature to improve storage life.

If a battery is very warm to hot after a flight it should be isolated from your other batteries until its temperature has normalised. For my batteries I charge them at 1C or less religiously to prevent too much heat build up. I have seen new batteries catch fire in flight because they were hot from the previous flight, put on a fast charger and then dropped back into the plane whilst still quite hot! The only fires I have ever experienced in my aircraft are because I push a motor TOO hard and it burns out!

Keep your batteries cool, treat them with the same respect you would if handling explosives, follow the manufacturers recommendations and your batteries will last a long time! I fly over 100 times each month with a pool of around 10 batteries and have had no battery losses in over 18 months. An average of 180 flights on each battery so far!

I do not expect you or anyone to follow my battery handling methodology but for me it works in 40 degree Celcius summers. Should you find that your batteries are not lasting then I suggest you try keeping a couple of your batteries cool and the rest handle as normal. You will soon find out for yourself if the managing of battery temperature extends the life of flight batteries for you!

Have fun!
 

Jrok57

New member
#8
Thanks, Prithul, for this post. And Thanks PsyBorg and Hai-Lee for your answers.
I have only been in the hobby for a few months and 2 of my 3 batteries have started to get a little puffy. Not because I push them too hard, but because they do not agree with the Arizona temperatures in my garage.

Question:
Having these two puffy batteries (that were not hot after flight), would it be best to dispose of them? Or could I try the refrigeration technique before their next charge?
How do you know when to truly dispose of a battery?
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#9
Hmm... I've heard one problem with storing lipos in a fridge is the risk of condensation developing inside the cells. I suspect it would be an indication of a poorly made battery in the first place, combined with too cold a temperature. While I suspect it may be a real risk, it may also be rare.

I had thought about getting one of those small mini fridges like this:
https://www.target.com/p/coca-cola-personal-refrigerator-red-kwc4/-/A-10490770

For $50, it seems reasonable, and the reviews say it doesn't get too cold (bad if you want a cold bevie, but perfect for not freezing lipos). It's rated to 40F and other reviewers say you'll be lucky to get 60F which is fine with me. I don't think it has a compressor, but does have a fan, so it shouldn't be too loud.

A bigger and more costly version with adjustable thermostat would be something like this:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Avanti-...Mini-Refrigerator-in-Black-SHP1701B/203464662

Anyway, just something I was thinking about.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#10
Thanks, Prithul, for this post. And Thanks PsyBorg and Hai-Lee for your answers.
I have only been in the hobby for a few months and 2 of my 3 batteries have started to get a little puffy. Not because I push them too hard, but because they do not agree with the Arizona temperatures in my garage.

Question:
Having these two puffy batteries (that were not hot after flight), would it be best to dispose of them? Or could I try the refrigeration technique before their next charge?
How do you know when to truly dispose of a battery?
In answer to your questions I would suggest that you refrigerate your batteries before charging and do not charge at a high rate, (>1C).
After charge I return by batteries to the fridge for storage.

I normally dispose of my batteries when their internal resistance makes them unusable or if they are badly crushed or punctured.

Being puffy is not an immediate reason to retire them BUT if they are too puffy or if after refrigeration they are still "Rock hard" puffy I pension them off quickly.

As a side note you may find that it is the centre cell on a 3S pack that fails first and this is normally due to the poor ability of the cell to dissipate its heat to the air like the other cells seem to be able to do. The majority of my battery retirements are due to the centre cell failure at this time.

Have fun!
 
#14
I have had lipo in the UK summer, this year it was 20-30C for quite a while, just stored in a box near the middle of my home, at storage voltage, for about 5 years. Never had a problem.

Undamaged lipo at the correct state of charge DOES NOT spontaneously combust.

If you live somewhere where the ambient temps are over 30deg C or below freezing then a solution that keeps your batteries from temperature extremes is a good idea. Otherwise there is NO NEED to store them in a fridge, in fact lower temps and damp are not good for them, just like high temps and humidity are. The key is keeping them at a sensible median temp away from extremes.
Lipo becomes volatile in several states, damaged (usually obvious), over discharged (below 3v per cell but I try to never go below 3.3v) and at extremes of the temp range where it’s capacity or internal resistance change due to the temps. Then it’s easier to damage the battery via over discharge or overheat, simply because the conditions are more extreme.
There is some very good advice in this thread about how to compensate for local conditions in using your lipo safely. Pay attention to that but if you are at usual temps (20-35degC)routinely putting your batteries in the fridge is not required or advisable IMO.
Many transmitters support flight battery monitoring via additional modules but the cheapest and easiest thing to do is to plug in a $3 battery alarm the first few times you fly. Look for one with a 3.5v setting. Time your flights (use your smart watch?) from start to the buzzer going off. Then round down by the nearest 30 sec or a minute, that gives you the flight time for that battery and model. You then set the timer on the TX or your watch for the new time, safe in the knowledge your battery won’t get over discharged and that you will have a small reserve should you be far away/high up when the timer goes off.
A cell and volt checker is worth it, as some other people have mentioned, as you can then check packs on the spot.
Get in the habit of making a log book, with entries for each model. Note things like build date, motor type and ESC current, battery detail, flight duration and the date the prop was installed. Some props require replacement after 3 years as the materials can become brittle. That way you can always have the info you need at hand.
 
Last edited:

Merv

Well-known member
#17
But I'm worried that our hot weather, 30-24C in room will reduce it's lifespan.
Here in IL it gets much warmer than 30C (84F), it’s not uncommon for us to get near 100F (38C). I’ve never had any trouble with my batterys staying outside. I get more then 2 years life from them.
 
Last edited:

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#18
It is good to hear that many do not experience any problems with their batteries. Sadly their lack of such an experience does not nullify the experiences of others! I try not to berate others that experience issues that I have never experienced or have managed to avoid!

Normally where I am not sure of a claim validity I at least decide as to whether it is worth my effort to actually investigate the matter to see if it has any relevance to my situation or to see if the claim has any possible merit. If I decide to not investigate then I remain mute on the subject! If I chose to do an investigation it must be comprehensive and then I am empowered with knowledge and experience on the subject to comment but not to impose any results I have unless the result is a matter of safety!

The topic of this thread is not the only topic which has brought out those who berate anything they have never experienced, this even included handling and other issues with some of the FB designs in the forums.

I was told experience is a great teacher and a lack of experience is an extremely dangerous and blinding thing!

If you have never experienced a problem then you should thank your lucky stars and not deny the problems existence out of hand or infer that those who have had the experience are somehow faulty in procedure or mental capacity.

For me the cooling of batteries works and VERY well! If it isn't needed by you then GREAT!

Have fun!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#20
I apologize if I was berating anyone comments. That was not my intent.
No offence taken and it was not a post targeting you.

Whilst i realize that their are many who never experience any issues there are some who jump in to any point of disagreement and like to escalate matters. I think they call them trolls. My post was to deter any trolls from exercising their passion.

If my post upset you I apologize!

Remember one thing.

Have fun!