Charging battery in cold climate

Lead-acid battery charging in cold weather

Charging Batteries at High and Low Temperatures 

When the temperature of the electrolyte increase or decreases, the charging voltage needs adjustment from the usual setting/practices. For a full charge or float charge, a correction is required in the set voltage. At low temperature like -10 ⁰ C, the voltage setting has to be higher to compensate for the sluggish response to charging. Similarly, at high temperatures like 40⁰ C, the reactions are faster and need a lower charge and float voltages are to be set. THIS IS CALLED TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION. See the table below.

The following table gives the approx voltages to which a lead-acid cell should be charged at different temperatures

Temperature - Deg Centigrade Top up Charge voltage/cell Float Charge voltage/cell
-20 2.58 2.39
-10 2.52 2.30
0 2.50 2.29
10 2.48 2.28
20 2.45 2.28
30 2.42 2.25
40 2.39 2.22
50 2.36 2.22

These are ‘safe' temperatures for lead-acid battery charging

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