What options are available in terms of batteries? You basically have a choice between a Deep Cycle battery bank or a Lithium-Ion Bank. A deep-cycle battery is a lead-acid battery designed to be regularly deeply discharged using most of its capacity. There is an indirect correlation between the depth of discharge (DOD) of the battery, and the number of charge and discharge cycles it can perform. A deep-cycle can discharge between 20% and 45% but the higher the discharge, the lesser the cycles.
Lithium-Ion Batteries is currently winning the race for the most popular choice in storing renewable energy. It is a rechargeable battery which allows for a discharge of 100%. You therefor use the full capacity of the battery where in the event of a deep-cycle battery you only use a portion of the batteries’ capacity.
Lead, which is the heaviest non-radioactive metal, has been the standard in batteries for decades. Why should you consider a lithium battery conversion? Here are seven features explaining the disparity between lead acid and lithium-ion batteries.
1) Weight: Lithium-ion batteries are one-third the weight of lead acid batteries.
2) Efficiency: Lithium-ion batteries are nearly 100% efficient in both charge and discharge, allowing for the same amp hours both in and out. Lead acid batteries’ inefficiency leads to a loss of 15 amps while charging and rapid discharging drops voltage quickly and reduces the batteries’ capacity.
3) Discharge: Lithium-ion batteries are discharged 100% versus less than 40% for lead acid. Most lead acid batteries do not recommend more than 40% depth of discharge.
4) Cycle Life: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries cycle 5000 times or more compared to just 400-500 cycles in lead acid. Cycle life is greatly affected by higher levels of discharge in lead acid, versus only slightly affected in lithium-ion batteries.
5) Voltage: Lithium-ion batteries maintain their voltage throughout the entire discharge cycle. This allows for greater and longer-lasting efficiency of electrical components. Lead acid voltage drops consistently throughout the discharge cycle.
6) Cost: Despite the higher upfront cost of lithium-ion batteries, the true cost of ownership is far less than lead acid when considering life span and performance.
7) Environmental Impact: Lithium-ion batteries are a much cleaner technology and are safer for the environment.
Though they are used to power the same applications, that is where the similarity between lithium-ion and lead acid batteries ends. Lithium batteries deliver higher-quality performance in a safer, longer-lasting package.