Insulating your batteries

Insulating your batteries is an important step in battery protection and maintenance and for maximum performance. You may have heard the myth that tells us not to place batteries directly on cement because it will somehow suck the life out of them. This story has been framed to me as if cement has some special osmosis like ability to reach into a battery and magically neutralize the acid or otherwise drain the life out of it. This of course is not true. Actually cement holds moisture and dissipates heat rapidly so that it tends to be kept cool. Like you, batteries don’t want to be cold and miserable. The percentage of rated battery capacity has a direct relationship to temperature in that as battery temperature decreases so does its capacity. Different batteries can vary in their desired temperature but generally try to keep them around 25o Celsius or 77o Fahrenheit. Trojan usually benchmarks at a test condition temperature of 80oF or about 27oC. Also keep the cell-to-cell temperature variance to a minimum, I’ve read +/- 5oF. In other words, don’t allow some batteries to be left out in the cold while others remain warm and toasty. Taking all things into account, an ideal placement for batteries would be in a very well insulated, vented battery box on a southern wall (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere), inside a warm power shed. If the desired operating temperature of your batteries cannot be met naturally, you’ll either have to compensate for the loss during the system sizing or you can apply space heat a number of efficient ways. Simply put, cold temperatures slow down our electrons when we want them to be warm, happy and excited so insulate your batteries and they’ll surely appreciate it.