Cold Weather Battery Use and Care
Cold can be good and bad for a battery. It’s good to store batteries in a cool environment as the cold slows down chemical degradation of your battery. But the cold also robs the battery of working capacity. Don’t count on a cold battery to deliver the same amount of energy as a warm one.
Standard recharge times assume the cells inside of your battery are at 25C so, a colder battery takes longer to fully recharge, meaning not only will a colder battery deliver less energy but it will also take longer to recharge.
Finally, there is a risk of irreversible physical damage from a frozen battery as a deeply discharged battery is more susceptible to freezing.
|Approximate State of Charge (SOC)
|SG (temp corrected to 25C)
|FLA & AGM
|Measurable in FLA only
To offset cold weather effects and to ensure a full charge, a higher charge voltage is required.
Never assume your default battery charger settings are adequate! A good charge controller senses temperature and will automatically compensate the charge settings for the cold. The best charge controllers include a remote battery temperature sensor that is affixed directly to the battery (or even in the battery) for the most accurate readings. But they’ll still take longer to recharge than a warm battery so expect less performance from your battery in winter than the rest of the year.
Be sure to confirm your batteries see a full recharge at least once every week or two. If an Equalize charge is required, try to get the battery warmed up before charging.