Many car owners, especially those who leave their cars unused for a long time, are wondering about the battery's self-discharge time. So how long will it take to keep the battery charged if you remove it from the car and leave it in the garage, and how long can the battery stand on the shelves of stores before you buy it and keep its performance?
What is the battery self-discharge?
Battery self-discharge is the process by which the battery discharges with the terminals and consumers removed and disconnected, i.e. stored in a garage, at home, or in a special storage facility.
What types of storage are used?
- Serviced batteries are stored by the dry method, i.e. they are not filled with electrolyte. This method of storage is not a single-year-old, and it allows you to keep the battery working for several years.
- Maintenance-free batteries are stored using the "wet" or charged method. With this method, the battery is filled with electrolyte, charged and stored in a warehouse or store. This method is very complex.
Based on the above, it can be concluded that storing a dry battery is easier and safer.
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Battery self-discharge types
The battery can self-discharge in two ways:
- Surface self-discharge begins when a conductive film of moisture, electrolyte, dust, and dirt is formed on the battery body and starts to flow through it. The problem can be solved by cleaning the enclosure and terminals. The terminals should also be treated with an anti-corrosion compound.
- The internal discharge of the battery is caused by oxidation and recovery reactions on the battery electrodes. The reaction is also intensified when the electrolyte density increases and when foreign particles or the electrolyte itself is of low quality. The battery also discharges faster at high temperatures, so it is recommended to store a fully charged battery in a cool place.
What is the self-discharge rate?
Self-discharge will be present even when the battery is stored according to all requirements. The self-discharge rate of a new and used battery will vary.
For a new battery, the average value of the self-discharge is 0.5-1% of the capacity, i.e. the battery goes into deep discharge after 50-60 days, and full discharge occurs after 100-140 days.
For already used batteries, the average discharge rate is 1-1.7% depending on the condition of the battery.
If you store the battery at home or in a garage, be sure to check the charge level once or twice a month and, if necessary, recharge the battery to preserve its life.
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