How freezing temperatures affect batteries



Recent sub zero temperatures in Victoria have caused problems with liquid in solar panels and batteries freezing.

Plumbers and solar installers say they have struggled to keep up with unprecedented demand for help as temperatures plummet. Cold weather can cause water in solar panels to freeze and expand, resulting in snapped and split panels and broken frost valves. Naturally this problem is worse in cheaper products or products that aren’t installed properly to allow for temperature extremes.

We have also heard of several instances of batteries freezing as well. Most lead acid and lithium ion batteries only operate effectively between around 5 – 35 to 40 °C which is problematic on days when the temperature gets very cold or even is below freezing as we experienced in Melbourne recently.

When lithium ion and lead acid batteries are expected to operate below their minimum recommended temperature, either they will simply not operate, will start to deteriorate and thus reduce their lifetime or will need external heating to keep the core temperature of the battery higher than the ambient temperature.

There will be more and more issues, like this with solar panels freezing and batteries not performing, as climate change gets worse and produces more extremes in weather, both higher temperatures and lower temperatures.

This is when the up-front cost of quality products are no longer so expensive.

Our sodium nickel chloride batteries have an operating range of -20° to +60°C which means they will operate just as well in freezing temperatures as they will in hot temperatures which makes them a much better alternative to other batteries for Australia’s extreme weather conditions.

If you would like to know more about getting safe, reliable, recyclable, SoNick (molten salt) battery storage for your own home, business or micro-grid application visit us at

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