Effect of Temperature
The effect of temperature on the performance of major dry cell systems is
shown in Figure 7-2 and Figure 7-3. Optimum performance
for most of these systems is achieved at close to room temperature.
Performance of all these systems decreases as the temperature lowers. This is
due to reduced chemical activity and increased internal resistance. Above room
temperature, performance decreases due to increases in unwanted (parasitic)
side reactions and other related losses.
As depicted in Figure 7-2
and Figure 7-3 the zinc/air
battery has the highest energy density at room temperature and low drain rate.
However, zinc/air battery performance falls off rapidly with decreasing
temperature. The mercury/zinc system behaves similarly. These curves are
idealized. Actual performance may vary because of significant differences
between manufacturer, design, cell type, and type of use.
Excessively low temperatures will drastically lower performance and can
damage the cell. Care must be taken in matching the system with the expected
low temperature. Freezing the cell during either operation or shelf storage
can cause serious damage to the cell.