When it comes to selecting the correct battery for your usage, there are a few factors to consider – how much voltage is required, standby or cyclic battery, what is the capacity requirement, etc. Once these specifics have been narrowed down, your next train of thought might be about whether to opt for a lithium-ion battery or a lead-acid battery.
There are several aspects to consider before choosing a battery because both of them have major differences, and varied strengths and weaknesses. So, let’s check out the differences between lithium-ion battery and lead-acid battery.
Differences Between Lithium-Ion Battery and Lead-Acid Battery
Life Cycle and Performance
Generally, lithium-ion batteries are known to have a better life cycle as compared to lead-acid batteries. This disparity in the life cycle becomes greater with an increase in the ambient temperature. The life cycle of both batteries can be elongated by restricting the depth of discharge (DoD), temperature, and the discharge rate. It is also important to note that lead-acid batteries are more sensitive to these factors.
According to tests carried out, lithium-ion batteries have an 18% higher lifetime cost as compared to lead-acid batteries in a moderate climate. However, they are much more cost-effective in hot climates.
Lead-acid batteries take a long time to charge. Additional sets of lead-acid batteries should be made available in cyclic applications. This is because one set can be used in the application, while the other set is being charged. The lead-acid batteries should also be kept on float charge in standby applications.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries charge four times faster than lead-acid batteries. They also recover quickly after being utilized in a standby application or as a backup. Apart from this, lithium-ion batteries do not have to be kept on float charge for storage.
Capacity refers to the measure of the quantity of energy that can be stored (and ultimately discharged) by a battery. Capacities do vary between battery manufacturers and models, but lithium-ion batteries generally have a higher energy density than lead-acid batteries. This means that a lithium-ion battery stores more energy in the same physical space, hence powers appliances for a longer period.
A lithium-ion battery is more environmentally friendly than a lead-acid battery. This is because lead-acid batteries require greater raw material during the mining process to achieve the same energy storage as lithium-ion batteries, which adversely affects the environment. The lead processing unit also utilizes large quantities of energy leading to huge amounts of pollution.
However, lithium-ion batteries have their own sets of environmental problems as well. Iron ore, lithium carbonate, aluminum, and copper have to be mined to produce lithium-ion batteries, which again adversely impact the environment. Furthermore, there are high hopes regarding the lithium-ion recycling industry, which is expected to overtake the already established lead-acid recycling industry.
Lithium-ion batteries are more efficient than lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries are only about 85% efficient, which depends on the battery model and the condition. If 1,000 watts of power comes into the batteries, only about 850 watts would be available after the charging and discharging procedure.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are 95% efficient. Using the aforementioned example in this situation, 950 watts of power would be available for utilization. Greater efficiency also indicates that the batteries charge faster and hence, a smaller backup generator and less battery capacity would be required.
Which Battery Should You Choose?
Lithium-ion batteries provide greater benefits to business and homeowners alike. Even though it is a relatively new technology in this age-old market, it has managed to hold its own in terms of efficiency, performance, and durability.
On the other hand, lead-acid batteries are the old warhorses in the battery market that continue to be in demand. They are more affordable as compared to lithium-ion batteries and are suitable for those customers who do not want a heavy-duty option.
With the aforementioned factors in your mind, it is critical that you prudently examine your requirements before settling on either of the batteries. If you are unable to make an informed decision by yourself, it is a great idea to approach professionals who will help you along the way.