Perhaps you have heard the misconception that you should never store a battery directly on concrete to avoid damaging it. You were more than likely told to first place a piece of scrap wood or cardboard underneath the battery. Maybe you heard this from your father, a friend, a mentor or even a trusted mechanic. Maybe you wondered if it was true, or you simply followed the advice.
At one time that may have been good advice. Through the years battery cases have been constructed using a variety of materials for the outer case—including wood, steel and hard rubber to name a few. Hard rubber can eventually deteriorate, develop cracks (no matter how small), and if placed on the damp ground or concrete, the battery can self-discharge.
Today however, the truth is that it is perfectly fine to place a battery directly on concrete. That’s because today’s battery cases are made of tough plastics such as polycarbonate or polypropylene for greater impact resistance. These plastics are strong and don’t degrade the way hard rubber can.
One example of today’s superior battery construction is the ODYSSEY® Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) battery from EnerSys®. The battery cases are made of polycarbonate to withstand a great deal of impact, shock and vibration. The internal case design securely supports the AGM cells and the internal components of the battery. The rugged case and tightly packed design helps prevent failures due to vibration.
No matter what surface you choose to store a battery on, it is important to realize that all batteries will self-discharge over time due to chemical reactions that occur within the battery cells. Two key factors that affect discharge rate are temperature and battery age.
Many believe that cold temperatures will speed up battery self-discharge rate. Actually, the opposite is true. Heat will cause faster self-discharge for most batteries due to the increased chemical reaction within the battery. A battery stored at 95°F (35°C) could self-discharge twice as fast as one stored at 75°F (23.9°C). Heat can also shorten the lifespan of a battery. Batteries stored in cooler climates generally last longer than batteries stored in hot climates.
ODYSSEY® batteries are engineered to be resistant to temperature extremes, feature a slower self-discharge rate and offer twice the life span of conventional flooded lead acid batteries. ODYSSEY® batteries can be stored for 24 months at room temperature without charging and without damage to the plates.
While placing a battery directly on a concrete surface doesn’t cause self-discharge, when storing a battery, it is always a good idea to clean off dirt and grime from battery terminals and wipe off the top of the case. Accumulated grime could create a circuit between the terminals that could cause self-discharge. As always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and direct any questions to your battery professional.
Now you know the truth about the “battery-stored-on-concrete” myth. Nonetheless, the next time you prepare to place a battery down on a concrete floor, you may still hear those words of caution passed down to you coming from deep within your memory. You might even automatically reach for a piece of scrap wood. If you do, don’t worry. Storing your battery on scrap wood won’t harm it either.
EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Energy Systems, which combine enclosures, power conversion, power distribution and energy storage, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies and numerous applications. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles requiring stored energy solutions. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. With the NorthStar acquisition, EnerSys has solidified its position as the market leader for premium Thin Plate Pure Lead batteries, which are sold across all three lines of business. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at www.enersys.com.
Sustainability at EnerSys is about more than just the benefits and impacts of our products. Our commitment to sustainability encompasses many important environmental, social and governance issues. Sustainability is a fundamental part of how we manage our own operations. Minimizing our environmental footprint is a priority. Sustainability is our commitment to our employees, our customers and the communities we serve. Our products facilitate positive environmental, social and economic impacts around the world. To learn more visit: https://www.enersys.com/en/about-us/sustainability/.