Lead acid batteries were largely applied until about fifty years ago when the advent of even more long-lasting lithium-ion batteries stormed the battery market with their unique benefits. While both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and are used for different situations and applications as they are both efficient at energy storage, lithium-ion batteries have taken a more popular spot in the last few decades over other battery types. Let us juxtapose both these battery types on some important points and see their merits and flaws to help you decide on the right battery type for you.
Battery cost and longevity
Lead acid batteries are usually preferred for short-term applications as they are much cheaper in cost than lithium-ion batteries of a similar size. A lead acid battery is usually about half the price of a lithium-ion battery of the same storage capacity but also lasts a much shorter length of time than the latter. The cost of a battery system of a higher capacity would be higher and a smaller system would be cheaper, much the same as a solar panel installation. While lithium-ion batteries have a much higher cost of purchase and installation than lead-acid battery systems, they are also much more durable and hence are not so expensive in the long term. With healthy battery management, a lead acid battery can last up to two years whereas a lithium-ion battery can last more than twice that time.
The capacity of a battery is the amount of energy it can store and provide. Lithium batteries have higher storage capacity as compared to lead-acid batteries. They are built with more advanced battery technology resulting in higher energy density than lead acid batteries. Therefore, lithium-ion technology is capable of storing more energy and hence can provide more power for a lengthier amount of time.
When comparing batteries of the same capacity, a lithium-ion battery charges way faster than a lead-acid battery. A lead acid battery would take about 8 hours to charge while a lithium-ion battery would be fully charged in less than 2 hours. The fast charging speed of lithium batteries makes them commonly utilized in most modern gadgets like laptops, smartphones, and even electric vehicles.
Just like we compare different solar panels on their efficiency when considering a solar panel installation, a storage battery’s efficiency is an important indicator to consider while weighing battery options. Batteries with higher efficiency charge more speedily and provide more effective battery capacity. Usually, lead acid batteries provide up to 85 percent efficiency whereas lithium-ion batteries provide 95 percent or more. This means 95 percent and more of the power stored in lithium batteries can be utilized to energize the property.
Batteries gradually lose storage capacity with time. This means that the amount of energy the batteries can store will reduce over time. This is the same as how solar panels become less efficient over the years and lose productivity from the time of the solar panel installation. Batteries losing productivity with time is called battery degradation, resulting in decreased overall efficiency. Utilizing or discharging your battery to power your appliances and then fully recharging it counts as one ‘cycle.’ The lifespan of a battery is determined by how many cycles it can last. Lithium batteries generally last way more cycles than lead acid batteries therefore they have a much longer life expectancy than the latter.
Both lead-acid and lithium batteries are effective at storing and supplying energy. To determine the best option for you, you must consider your needs first. For example, if you have an electric vehicle or are in an area that needs a long-lasting energy reserve, then a lithium-ion battery would be a perfect choice. A lead acid battery system would be a cost-efficient solution for smaller backup supplies like UPS for PCs and inverters. Look for a credible solar company in your area for authentic solar battery deals, expert evaluation of your needs, and recommendations for the best storage solutions for your situation.
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