Does battery life time drain faster at higher altitudes?

I take frequent trips up to the mountains near my home of which the peak is about 10500 feet msl. I've noticed that the battery seems to die very quickly when I make the 5000 foot altitude change. Thanks

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good Question and I don't have a direct answer. I do know that pressure affects arching potential in batteries and wiring at very high altitudes but, have never heard that there is a noticeable effect at the altitudes you have mentioned.

    One way is to test the hypothesis.

    Experiment under3- 4 different conditions

    Set 1.

    Chose cells from the same lot and measure the current in each--Record

    Install the cells in the equipment .

    Place in a location out of the sun at your house(the jacket you are wearing?). Record the time and temperature.

    Turn on. Run till a point you feel the batteries are "depleted" or run a specific time. Record the temperature and length of time they were used.

    Pull the cells and measure the current in each record and average.

    Set 2. Repeat at altitude using cells from the same lot maintaining the temperature from the first set. Compare values.

    Set 3. Repeat with temp of fresh cells at typical temperatures you experience whilst at altitude. record and compare values.

    Was there a time difference between sets one and two? If there is not then your hypothesis is null and there is no effect of altitude. Difference between two and three? If so then cold can be inferred to be a factor in battery output.

    if If the value of set 3 is less than both 2 and 1 AND 2 is also less than 1 then you may infer that both altitude and temperature effect battery life.

    Another Set would be to run one more additional test back at home but in a cooler, large enough to dissipate the heat generated by your equipment and sufficient to keep the temperature from Set 3. This averaged difference if any will give you the amount of current drop owing to cooler temperature.

    If you are not motivated to do the above experiments..just go to and ask them!

    I used your question to hide a science fair idea in that we are inundated with on Yahoo Answers at the start of every school year. Your question will be another experiment to see if anyone does a question search before asking. I sincerely hope that you won't mind me doing so. Thanks for your indulgence.

  • John B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Batteries are drained more quickly when they are cold. Could that be the reason?

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