|When you invest in lithium-ion batteries, you’re investing in a battery with life spans that exceed those of lead-acid batteries tenfold. You want your battery life to extend as long as possible to get the highest return on your investment in lithium. Thankfully, there are a few measures that ensure you get the longest battery life for your rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Discover our top five tips to extending the life of your lithium-ion battery.
Don’t Make the Charger the Enemy
One key benefit lithium-ion offers is rapid recharge, but to get the most out of your battery, make sure you’re charging it the right way. Optimum 12V battery lifespan is ensured by charging at the proper voltage. 14.6 V is the best practice charging voltage while ensuring amperage is within the specifications of each battery pack. Most AGM chargers available charge between 14.4V-14.8V, which is acceptable.
Store With Care
With any piece of equipment, proper storage has an important impact on the lifetime of the battery. Avoiding extreme temperatures is vital to your battery’s life. When you’re storing your lithium-ion battery, do your best to adhere to the recommended storage temperature: 20 °C (68 °F). Careless storage leads to damaged parts and shorter battery life.
When you’re not using your lithium-ion battery, store it in a dry place at about 50 percent depth of discharge (DOD) of the amount of energy your battery has used – or approximately 13.2V.
Don’t Ignore Depth Of Discharge
Before charging your battery, you may be tempted to let the unit expend all of its energy. But, in reality, it’s far better for your lithium-ion battery to avoid a deep DOD in order to preserve its longevity. By limiting your DOD to 80 percent (12.6 OCV), you’re extending the cycle of life.
When you’re making an investment in lithium-ion over lead-acid, it’s important to maintain the health of your battery through diligent care. Taking these actions to protect your battery not only gives you more energy for your money but also keeps your applications running longer on greener power.
Fighting the Memory Myth
Unlike other materials, lithium ion doesn’t have memory. You may have encountered concerns about lithium ion maintenance and creating a memory that’s short when based on charging patterns. These batteries respond well to partial discharges and topping off the charge whenever possible. These actions don’t reduce the lifespan at all. In fact, maintaining a relatively full charge is how the battery will last longer than before.
Battery Bank Sizing for LFP
We hinted at this above: Lithium-ion batteries have 100% usable capacity, while lead-acid really ends at 80%. That means you can size an LFP battery bank smaller than a lead-acid bank, and still have it be functionally the same. The numbers suggest that LFP can be 80% the Amp-hour size of lead-acid. There is more to this though.
For longevity lead-acid battery banks should not be sized where they regularly see discharging below 50% SOC. With LFP that is no problem! Round-trip energy efficiency for LFP is quite a bit better than lead-acid as well, meaning that less energy is needed to fill up the tank after a certain level of discharge. That results in faster recovery back to 100%, while we already had a smaller battery bank, reinforcing this effect even more.
The bottom line is that we would be comfortable to size a lithium-ion battery bank at 55% – 70% of the size of an equivalent lead-acid bank, and expect the same (or better!) performance. Including on those dark winter days when sun is in short supply.
We have made a little list below. If you are going to do nothing else, please take note of the first two, they have by far the most effect on the overall time you will get to enjoy your lithium-ion battery! Taking heed of the others will help too, to make your battery last even longer.
To sum up, for long and happy Lithium-Ion Battery Life, in order of importance, you should be mindful of the following:
● Keep the battery temperature under 45 Centigrade (under 30C if possible) – This is by far the most important!!
● Keep charge and discharge currents under 0.5C (0.2C preferred)
● Keep battery temperature above 0 Centigrade when discharging if possible – This, and everything below, is nowhere near as important as the first two
● Do not cycle below 10% – 15% SOC unless you really need to
● Do not float the battery at 100% SOC if possible
● Do not charge to 100% SOC if you do not need it
Speak with the professionals at BSLBATT LIthium Battery today! They can break down the science behind lithium ion maintenance and beyond. Take control of your power needs so that every device is ready to go whenever necessary.
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