How Do Lithium-Ion and Lead Acid Batteries Compare?

  • As far as efficiency and reliability are concerned, nothing can beat Lithium-ion batteries. However, for off-grid storage systems, the lead-acid battery can be a better choice for a number of reasons. Basically, both types of storage units can store energy in an effective manner, but both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Given below are some points of comparison between the two. Read on to know more.

    Cost

    Cost is one of the main factors that draw a line between the two. If you get two batteries of the same capacity, the Lithium-ion battery will cost you three times more. Based on the size of the system you want to install, this can increase your expenditure significantly.

    Although the lead-acid batteries have relatively lower price tags, they cannot last as long as their counterpart.

    Capacity

    The capacity of a battery pack refers to the amount of energy it can store. The great thing about these batteries are that they have a higher energy density than their counterpart. Therefore, these units can store more energy without occupying additional space. So, you can install more of these units in less space.

    Depth of Discharge

    The depth of discharge of a battery is the percentage of the power that can be drained without causing any damage to the unit. The disadvantage of lead-acid batteries is that they cannot be drained by more than 50%. On the other hand, Li-ion batteries can be safely drained up to 85% of their capacity.

    Efficiency

    Another good comparison point is the efficiency of these units. Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries offer 95% more efficiency. In other words, 95% of the power stored in these units can be used. On the other side, the other type of battery offers only 85% efficiency.

    Lifespan

    Just like solar panels, batteries continue to degrade with the passage of time. As a result, they lose their efficiency. After recharging a battery, when you discharge it completely, it is considered one discharge cycle. As far as the number of discharge cycles is concerned, lead-acid batteries cannot beat Lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, the latter offers a much longer lifespan.

    Should you Install a Lead-Acid Battery or a Lithium-Ion Battery?

    If you need to install a backup system, you can go for either a lithium-ion battery or a lead-acid battery. However, since the former offers a lot of advantages, you may not want to go for Lead-acid battery packs. Although lithium-ion units have a higher cost, they offer a great return on investment for many reasons explained above.

    However, if you don't want to use your battery packs quite often, your ideal choice may be lead-acid batteries.

    It was a brief comparison between Lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. Hopefully, this comparison will make it easier for you to make the right choice. Therefore, if you can afford it, you can spend more money and install lithium-ion battery systems.