When discussing Lithium batteries it should be remembered that the word “Lithium” tends to be used as a generic term covering a wide range of chemistries.
While it is a generic term, many of the advantages and disadvantages of these chemistries are consistent when compared to Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) and NiMH alternatives. We have tried to illustrate some of the similar advantages and disadvantages below, although please be aware that the extent of either can vary depending on the specific chemistry.
- Weight – Lithium chemistries are almost always lighter than VRLA or NiMH alternatives.
- High Cycle Life – even as low as 80% depth of discharge, Lithium batteries often exhibit a cycle life above 1,000 cycles.
- Low Self Discharge Rate – particularly true of primary chemistries.
- Cost – Lithium alternatives are (almost) always more expensive than a VRLA or NiMH alternative.
- Temperature – while there are exceptions to this, generally Lithium batteries perform poorly at low temperatures (below about -5°C).
- Safety – again there are exceptions to this but generally Lithium batteries can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. This is why the UN testing regulations exist.
The different possibilities using the range of Lithium chemistries available is very exciting and we are keen to expand their use where it offers operational improvements and value for money. As an independent battery company we can offer different solutions utilising various chemistries (Lithium as well as VRLA or NiMH) allowing you, the customer, to decide between the benefits of all the options.
We have also published a document trying to dispel a number of the most popular myths which can be found here.
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