|If you’ve researched lithium and lead acid batteries (or if you’ve been reading our previous blog posts), you know that lithium is the right choice for power applications requiring a strong life span, deep cycling capacity and maintenance-free operation. But what you might not know is that to see optimal results, customizing your lithium battery isn’t optional. It’s critical.
If you’re thinking about picking up a lithium battery, here are 6 customization questions you must ask to ensure you get more from your chosen power solution. First, focus on performance by asking:
1) Custom lithium battery suppliers should meet the requirements
Consider working with an experienced custom lithium battery provider able to guide you through research, selection, installation and servicing. When talking to vendors, don’t be afraid to make these three key demands and find out who’s ready to provide an unparalleled experience – and who’s just selling batteries.
● Demand A Strong Warranty
Your chosen provider should offer an attractive warranty. While lithium batteries have a longer average life span than lead acid counterparts and require less maintenance, it’s reasonable – and just plain smart – to protect your investment. Look for a warranty covering at least six years, or preferably, eight years (most lithium-ion batteries are under warranty for five years). A skilled provider works as a partner, not a vendor, and may ask questions about usage and installation to ensure you’re implementing your chosen solution properly. Work with the provider to get more service from your battery and a better warranty.
Also inquire about the provider’s return policy. A provider confident in its custom lithium solutions allows returns within a reasonable timeframe (several months) with minimal processing fees on the consumer’s end.
● Demand Accessibility
Your chosen provider must be able to service you at your location, quickly. A good partner is committed to a user’s success, and accordingly, prioritizes support over sales. If you experience unexpected issues and reach out for help, expect a touchback within 24 hours.
You should also expect access to expert consultation. Don’t settle for stock responses or uneducated support; demand time with a lithium specialist capable of understanding your application, battery usage, custom specifications and any other important elements affecting your power experience.
● Demand Quality Service
A strong warranty and wide accessibility are important, but if you have to demand one thing on this list, make it this one: service. The best providers take service very seriously, going above and beyond to help you reach your goals.
Service doesn’t end with simply finding the right battery selection. Look for a provider that works with you on green initiatives, is available long after purchase to answer charging and maintenance concerns and keeps you informed about new technologies and industry trends.
If you encounter a provider that doesn’t offer a comprehensive warranty or lacks the extensive knowledge required to help you reach your goals, it’s time to find one that does. If you’re going to invest time and resources into your custom battery, make sure your provider acts like a partner instead of a vendor.
2) What are my capacity requirements?
After charging, consider your lithium battery capacity requirements. Capacity, as the name implies, is the measure of energy stored in a battery. Different types of lithium batteries perform better and last longer in different discharge situations, so it’s important you choose a solution based on how much power your application will draw and for how long.
Start by understanding your battery’s ultimate function. Are you looking for a battery to kick-start your application, such as for a motor vehicle? You’ll want a lithium battery capable of providing a high burst of power in a short time, making overall capacity less of an issue. Howe
ver, if you need to power electronics for a sustained period – such as keeping a watercraft’s electronics active – customize in favor of high capacity while deep cycling (i.e., draining the battery to near exhaustion).
By choosing a solution with optimal charging and capacity specifications, you’ll get more from your battery, and for longer. After tackling performance-related questions, focus on design. Now ask yourself:
3) What are my weight requirements?
Battery weight is important for several reasons, but it’s especially important when considering a solution for your vehicular application, such as a watercraft or plane. In these situations, the weight of your lithium batteries needs to be accounted for when calculating the weight of internal components and ensuring optimal balance.
Fortunately, lithium batteries are lighter than traditional, lead acid batteries. Still, when comparing different lithium options, pay close attention to heaviness. Choose the ideal weight to avoid balance issues.
4) What are my size requirements?
Finally, think about size. Make sure your application is able to house the battery you need based on the above factors: charge, capacity and weight. The last thing you want is to bring home a new battery with excellent performance, only to find it won’t fit.
This list just scratches the surface of considerations when customizing your lithium battery. To make the best purchasing decision possible, know your chosen application’s specifications and requirements inside and out before making a decision.
5) What Kind Of Charger Is Right?
Just as important as choosing the right battery type and size is choosing the right charger.
Different chargers restore battery power at different rates, so make sure you select one that fits your needs. For example, if your battery’s size gives you 100 amp hours and you purchase a 20-amp charger, your battery will charge in just over 5 hours (you typically want to add a little extra time to ensure optimal charge).
If you need an application charged quickly, consider investing in a larger, faster charger. However, if you’re looking for a low charge over a long period, a compact charger works fine. When you need to keep your vehicle or watercraft battery charged in the off-season to avoid degradation, a low capacity charger is the right fit. But if you’re restoring a trolling motor battery, you want a higher capacity charger.
6) Who Can Help?
There are plenty of other considerations when it comes to choosing the right lithium battery and charger, such as waterproofing, climate and input voltage. Consider working with a knowledgeable lithium battery provider to walk you through the research and selection process. Providers also help with battery customization, further optimizing your chosen product.
An experienced provider understands your applications and needs to guide you towards the best solution possible. Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions about your provider’s experience with your situation; the best providers act as partners, not vendors.
When it comes to your power supply, don’t make a trigger purchase and end up dead in the water. Understand the market and work with a skilled lithium provider to ensure future success and a smooth experience.
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