Temperature and battery ?

Wolfe

Member
What's the lowest temperature to ride, without causing damage to your battery? Is it also safe to use insulation??
 

sheddy

Guru
Location
Suffolk
Why should there be damage when riding ? When I was a boy, battery power output fell with temp so range will reduce.

There may be issues with charging at low temps, if so charge indoors ?
 
Last edited:
Good morning,

Why should there be damage when riding ? When I was a boy, battery power output fell with temp so range will reduce.
....
If we are talking properly cold -5 to -20 degrees centigrade then there is a real issue of damage.

As the battery capacity reduces dramatically at these temperatures (90% to 65% of capacity) as well as just shortening the range you can get permanent damage from cell reversal as you are more likely to run some cells within the battery flat.

Whenever you get close to fully discharging a multi cell battery there is a risk/certainty that various cells within the battery will have various levels of charge, when a cell has a significantly lower charge it risks a current flow from the surrounding cells in the wrong direction to recharge it, this will cause cell reversal which is permanent damage.

The same is of course true whenever you get close to fully discharging a battery pack in the warm, but protective electronics may say "no more power" when there is still some power left to avoid this.

As the temperature reduces cells with significantly lower capacity will discharge faster proportionally than their surrounding cells thus may be enough to kill a few cells but not enough of an overall power drop to trigger the protection circuitry.

Bye

Ian
 
Location
Loch side.
What's the lowest temperature to ride, without causing damage to your battery? Is it also safe to use insulation??
Batteries have a temperature range specified and usually printed somewhere on the battery. Look in the manual. You'll be surprised what's in there.
Your question needs some clarification however.

If you have the bike at room temperature and then go out and ride in the freezing cold, the battery will keep itself warm. Insulation may or may not help, I doubt it, the thing will look after itself.
If you plan to store the bike outdoors in the cold but "protect" the battery with insulation, you're wasting your time. No matter how well you insulate it, it will reach ambient temperature if there is no heat source. In other words, in the morning when you break your two bikes out of the ice, the one with the battery in a blanket and the one with the naked battery will be at exactly the same temperature.
 
OP
Wolfe

Wolfe

Member
Batteries have a temperature range specified and usually printed somewhere on the battery. Look in the manual. You'll be surprised what's in there.
Your question needs some clarification however.

If you have the bike at room temperature and then go out and ride in the freezing cold, the battery will keep itself warm. Insulation may or may not help, I doubt it, the thing will look after itself.
If you plan to store the bike outdoors in the cold but "protect" the battery with insulation, you're wasting your time. No matter how well you insulate it, it will reach ambient temperature if there is no heat source. In other words, in the morning when you break your two bikes out of the ice, the one with the battery in a blanket and the one with the naked battery will be at exactly the same temperature.
 
OP
Wolfe

Wolfe

Member
Thank you for the info, problem is I have seemed to have misslayed my manual. I remember reading in it somewhere, the temperature below which it is not recommended to ride. The charging is not the problem, as I always charge in the garage, which is nearly the same temperature as outside.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Pulled from Google search- should cover general guidance of operating range

The use of a lithium-ion battery is possible in a temperature range of 10°C to +55°C. However, the charging should take place only at a battery temperature of +5°C to +45°C. The ideal temperature range of the batteries is room temperature.
 
Pulled from Google search- should cover general guidance of operating range

The use of a lithium-ion battery is possible in a temperature range of 10°C to +55°C. However, the charging should take place only at a battery temperature of +5°C to +45°C. The ideal temperature range of the batteries is room temperature.
As commented elsewhere - the 10C figure seems like rubbish. However, I have found a proper reference to it - so your comment is not daft - you just used data that cannot be correct. The source I found indicated that the battery would not function below 10C - and I know I have cycled perfectly well below that - even when my bike+battery had been in the shed all night at below that (that was before I knew better!)

I have looked around and found other sources that suggest that below -20C is a better figure and the performance drops off quite quickly before that - I think that maybe the figure you used was a misprint and should have been -10C not +10C!
This is one source I saw
https://www.electronicdesign.com/power/operating-conditions-get-tougher-li-ion-batteries
There is also some proper chemistry stuff on there that I should read and try to understand - when I am in the right mood - it all looks complicated!
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I suspect, as always, the 10C figure mentioned is simply a manufacturer giving themselves a healthy safety margin against failure in cold conditions. Of course they will work in lower temps, its the manufacturer putting up the umbrella so's to speak. (IMHO)
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
I dont overthink things with my ebike batts. They are left in different states of charge, sometimes charged from low, sometimes when 3/4 full. I've stored them indoors and often in a cold shed in winter. They get used in all sorts of temps from heatwaves to cold snaps. My last ebike batt lasted 6 years before the range started getting not so good, but it was still usable.
I just cant be bothered to have set rules for them.
 
OP
Wolfe

Wolfe

Member
Good morning,



If we are talking properly cold -5 to -20 degrees centigrade then there is a real issue of damage.

As the battery capacity reduces dramatically at these temperatures (90% to 65% of capacity) as well as just shortening the range you can get permanent damage from cell reversal as you are more likely to run some cells within the battery flat.

Whenever you get close to fully discharging a multi cell battery there is a risk/certainty that various cells within the battery will have various levels of charge, when a cell has a significantly lower charge it risks a current flow from the surrounding cells in the wrong direction to recharge it, this will cause cell reversal which is permanent damage.

The same is of course true whenever you get close to fully discharging a battery pack in the warm, but protective electronics may say "no more power" when there is still some power left to avoid this.

As the temperature reduces cells with significantly lower capacity will discharge faster proportionally than their surrounding cells thus may be enough to kill a few cells but not enough of an overall power drop to trigger the protection circuitry.

Bye

Ian
 
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