Crunching The Numbers: Facts About Lithium Vs. Lead Acid Batteries
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 80% for lead acid. Most lead acid batteries do not recommend more than 50% 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.