Why you should replace your batteries with Lithium ion LiFePO4 Batteries
Light on Weight; Heavy on Power
lithium batteries typically weigh one-third less and provide up to 50% more energy than traditional flooded, AGM, or GEL lead-acid batteries, and they provide more power.
lithium batteries offer super-low resistance (and 99% efficiency), allowing much faster charging, with minimal losses. Lead-acid batteries lose power quickly during discharge.
More Hours of Power
Lithium batteries provide 100% of their rated capacity, regardless of the rate of discharge. Lead-acid batteries typically provide less usable energy with higher rates of discharge. They are usually limited to 50% of the rated capacity to prevent diminished life.
Rechargeable lithium batteries cycle 3,500 times or more, and higher rates of discharge minimally affect cycle life. Lead-acid batteries typically deliver only 300-500 cycles, as higher levels of discharge greatly reduce cycle life.
Myth #1: Lithium batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries – FALSE
How much do lithium batteries cost? While it’s true that lithium batteries often have a higher upfront price point, they offer a much longer lifespan and far greater usable capacity than lead-acid batteries. A single lithium battery lasts 10 times longer than its lead-acid counterpart on average. The cost of lithium-ion batteries over time can be a lot cheaper than lead-acid. Measured by cycle life, or how many times a battery can be drained and then recharged before it needs to be replaced, lithium-ion batteries offer a 3,000 cycle life when discharged up to 80 percent. Flooded lead-acid and VRLA batteries, on the other hand, only offer around a 300 to 500 cycle life when discharged up to 80 percent. If you cycled your lithium battery once a day, it would offer more than 14 years of life, while a standard lead-acid battery often lasts less than two years.
Beyond cycle life, what most often fail to factor in is that you have to buy many more lead-acid batteries – sometimes double, triple, or quadruple as many – just to reach the same usable capacity as far fewer lithium batteries. This is because most only look at the total rated, or nameplate, capacity of a battery (i.e., the kWh the battery is theoretically able to store) rather than the usable capacity (i.e., the kWh the battery is able to store after factoring in depth of discharge, efficiency and charge/discharge rate restrictions). You can think of nameplate versus usable capacity like you would think of the salary stated in your employer’s offer letter versus actual take-home pay; In theory, your offer letter says you will earn 700,000/, but with taxes, social security, healthcare, and other expenses removed, you are left with just 550,000/ of usable income. Lead-acid batteries have a lower allowable depth of discharge, efficiency rates, and charge/discharge rates that directly impact the number of batteries you need to purchase up front, but also significantly impact the Levelized Cost of Storage or the overall cost per kWh you can obtain from a battery over the course of its lifetime.
From lifespan, depth of discharge, lithium battery cold weather charging, to battery safety, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to determining the best battery to power your next Project. Fortunately, you are now armed with some of the most important facts to help simplify your decision to convert to lithium batteries.