Planning scientific equipment for Antarctic conditions

Enjoy this excerpt about batteries…


All types of battery have reduced performance in the cold; they go flat faster and have less ability to deliver electricity in the cold. Make sure you are using batteries suitable for the temperatures you will encounter in Antarctica.

  • Always use fresh batteries from the major battery manufacturers. Don’t use cheap batteries because they will cost you dearly with their poor performance.
  • Use batteries which are commonly available.
  • If using rechargeable batteries, use batteries which are tolerant of the type of charger so you have more options should things go wrong.
  • Never use carbon-zinc batteries in Antarctica.
  • Alkaline batteries are usable down to −30 Celsius.
  • Lead acid batteries are usable down to −30 Celsius if they are kept well charged. They are easy to recharge if you don’t know how to recharge batteries. They can be recharged at low temperatures.
  • Nickel cadmium batteries are usable down to −30 Celsius. Don’t use nickel cadmium batteries if they are idle for weeks because they will probably go flat. They might not be rechargeable at low temperatures.
  • Lithium batteries have several different types of chemistry and some types are usable to below −40 Celsius. Make sure that you have the correct type. Note that you must have the correct battery charger to recharge lithium ion batteries; these batteries are fussy.
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