Whether you use Dakota Lithium batteries for ice fishing, kayak fishing, or for ham radio electronics, it is not uncommon to store your battery for long periods of time during the off-season. When doing so, there are three easy ways to keep your Dakota Lithium Battery at its peak performance.
Store your battery in an area with ambient temperatures between 40F – 95F (4C – 32C). In general, extreme cold or heat will shorten your battery’s lifespan. The cells inside your battery will stay healthier and last longer if they are stored at room temperature. On the same note, it is best to charge your battery at room temperature as well.
It is also important to keep moisture away from your battery to prevent rust and other forms of weathering. If you live in a humid climate and/or are near salt water, you can keep your battery inside a plastic bag to keep ambient moisture and salt at bay.
As you know, the performance of LiFePO4 batteries is superior to SLA batteries. However, keeping any battery at low voltage for long periods of time will damage it. Similar to your car’s battery, if it is not in regular use, it is important to turn your car on every once in a while to prevent premature battery death. Even if you store your battery at full charge, it will still slowly discharge over time.
When your battery is completely depleted for extended periods of time, it may prove difficult or impossible for your battery’s Battery Management System (BMS) to “wake the battery up” and bring its cells back into normal usage. It is better to keep your battery charged than to let it completely drain to zero.
When you use your battery, sometimes individual cells will discharge their power quicker than its peers. Charging your battery to full capacity allows the cells inside to balance themselves which in turn will give you the maximum run time your battery is capable of. If you are on the fence about whether to charge your battery or not, it is better to stay on the safe side of charging it.
“Will my battery’s life span decrease if I charge it too much?”
You don’t have to worry about wasting any charge cycles as charging it to full capacity does not count as a complete charge cycle unless the battery is completely drained. Your LiFePO4 battery will last longer than advertised so long as you do not completely discharge it every time you use it.
We recommend using our chargers with your Dakota Lithium battery. Not only will they charge your battery faster, but they will bring your battery to it’s most full capacity. Your battery’s cells will be healthier, happier, and last longer.
So don’t forget to fully charge your batteries every two months during the off-season!