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Winter has finally arrived and with it a possible threat to your batteries. The time has arrived to pay attention to these critical items in the next few months.
Cold weather has a serious effect on batteries that are left out in freezing weather. This is caused by the cold affecting the chemical processes. All normal batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy to enable it to push electrons into the circuit and most of these chemical reactions happen faster and freer at warm temperatures (perhaps between 15 c and 37 c) so a cold battery won't deliver the current or life of a moderately warm battery. When an increase in temperature occurs, the electrons are excited and flow easily. During cold weather the reverse happens so a decrease in temperature inhibits electron flow. This is a natural reaction on electrons in most systems. Furthermore, the combination of a rapid temperature change and high humidity can cause condensation to form and a potential hazard for your battery and device for that matter.
If the weather gets cold enough the liquid or gel electrolyte may freeze and expand. This expansion force is very powerful and the casing will rupture do destroying the battery.
Make life simple and lift the battery off the ground and provide some covering. It should survive most winters in this manner.