Lead acid battery charging in cold weather
This blog covers lead acid battery charging at low temperatures. A later blog will deal with lithium batteries.
Charging lead acid batteries in cold (and indeed hot) weather needs special consideration, primarily due to the fact a higher charge voltage is required at low temperatures and a lower voltage at high temperatures.
Charging therefore needs to be ‘temperature compensated’ to improve battery care and this is required when the temperature of the battery is expected to be less than 10°C / 50°F or more than 30°C / 85°F. The centre point for temperature compensation is 25°C / 77°F.
Cold weather also reduces a battery’s capacity. This is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration, along with the load and charge rate compared to the battery capacity (Ah). Both of these factors affect the correct and consequent sizing of a battery for your particular application.