As the weather starts to reminds us that Winter is coming, I was wondering just why batteries drain faster the colder it gets. If you’re thinking of heading out to take some shots as the temperatures head towards zero, or below, in the Winder months, you too may find your batteries running out a bit quicker than normal – but why?
The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals. A chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. Lowering the temperature causes chemical reactions to proceed more slowly, so if a battery is used at a low temperature then less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand. If the battery is warmed up again it will operate normally.
One solution to this problem is to make certain batteries are warm just prior to use – keep them in your pocket or other warm place. That said, the rate of discharge is also dependent on battery design and chemistry as well as temperature.
Personally, I’m more concerned about keeping myself warm, not my batteries!