Immediately after exposure to temperatures below freezing, do not attempt to recharge a battery-powered device

by -
Photo: Primakov (Shutterstock) – It might potentially cause the battery to explode. It happens all the time that our electronic equipment are left outside in the freezing weather. As a result of the holidays, you may have received a brand-new tablet that was placed on your doorstep; or you may have taken your iPhone to the slopes. Whatever the case may be, we have a public service announcement for you: If you have a lithium-ion battery in your gadget, do not charge it at temps below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

When charging a lithium-ion battery at temperatures below freezing, what happens?

In this case, there are two essential points to keep in mind. To begin with, charging lithium-ion batteries while they are below freezing permanently lowers their total capacity. Chemical aging is a phenomenon that affects all batteries over time. Charging a battery when it’s below freezing reduces its capacity quickly, giving the impression that it’s much older than it actually is. A brand-new piece of technology that loses battery life so soon isn’t worth it. Is there anybody who can help?

Yet another factor to consider is the hazard of using a battery that has been charged improperly. Charging a battery at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit makes it a ticking time bomb. The battery might practically blow up at any time. It is certain that the battery will fail at some time in the future, even if an explosion does not occur immediately.

User metacollin’s extensive electrical engineering forum post is the source of this information. An in-depth analysis of how lithium-ion batteries operate in the first place is provided in the piece, which is amazing. You can find out all you need to know by checking out their blog article. To make things easier to understand, I’ve provided a very short explanation.

Why Lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged at temperatures below 0°F.

The anode and the cathode are the two faces of a lithium-ion battery. This battery’s anode and cathode are sponges for the lithium ions, which transfer from one to the other when you use it. Your device will shut down after most of the lithium in the anode has transferred to the cathode, which is known as “discharging.”

Lithium is transferred from the cathode to the anode during charging. It’s a full charge when the majority of the lithium is returned to the anode. Is everyone on board?

Now, the anode does not “soak” up the lithium while charging a battery below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, the anode is covered with lithium. While charging, the anode’s natural expansion causes this lithium-coated anode to push its way into the battery. A fire or explosion might ensue if the anode and cathode come into touch with one other, which is possible if this problem results in a battery that dies abruptly.

The cold tech may be recharged when it’s convenient for you

Now, if you charge a battery in temps below freezing, you will experience similar problems. As long as the temperature is above 0°C/32°F, you may safely charge a “cold” battery.

On a frigid, 38-degree day, you may safely charge an iPad that the delivery guy left outside your door. The battery will need more time to warm up if the temperature outside is below freezing, so you’re better off leaving the iPad in the home for a few minutes. We have wonderful news! All you have to do is wait for it to charge. The time has come for you to turn it on. Batteries may be safely discharged at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and because most technology comes pre-charged, you can still get a head start on setting it up.

Lithium-ion batteries don’t have a lot of information available on how long it takes for them to reach acceptable operating temperatures. A decent rule of thumb is to wait until the gadget doesn’t feel as chilly as it did at freezing temps, although of course that’s a subjective one to consider.

The temperature of a battery may be measured in a variety of methods, each specific to a certain device. An software called Ampere, available for download from third-party app stores, may check to determine whether the batteries in an Android smartphone are above freezing temperature. However, these kinds of applications aren’t available on all smartphones. It is possible that you lack the gear required to open the gadget in question and check the temperature of the battery on your own, either.

However, our advise is to avoid overthinking things. You’d definitely hear more about this problem if it took too long for batteries to properly warm up after being outdoors. Instead, let your gadget warm up for a few minutes before connecting it in.