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Lithium Batteries (Related to Batteries)

Lithium Batteries are the most popular type of battery for the European and American markets due to the following reasons:
1) they are lighter in weight than lead acid
2) they have a longer life than lead acid

There are two main types of lithium battery being sold on the market today:  Lithium Iron Phosphate (LifePo4) and Lithium Manganese.  The process to create these cells is similar but the material between the anode and cathode is different.  LifePo4 cells have an advertised rating of about 2000 cycles per cell but when strung together in a pack this comes down to about 1000 cycles for a full pack.  Lithium Manganese have about 500 cycles but weigh less and cost less than LifePo4.

All lithium packs require a battery management system (BMS) to regulate the individual cells. Without a good BMS, individual cells could fail resulting in the loss of the entire pack very rapidly.  The purpose of the BMS is to ensure that all cells get charged equally and that no single cell ever goes below a certain minimum voltage threshold in case a single cell fails more rapidly than the rest of the pack.  If a single cell ever reaches 0 volts, the cell is permanently damaged.

A good lithium charger is also required for a healthy lithium battery pack.  Different cut off voltages apply to different chemistries.  Lithium Manganese cuts off at 4V per cell whereas LifePo4 cuts off at 3.85 per cell.

Many different manufacturers mainly based in China and Taiwan provide a wide range of qualities of Lithium cell, either in the form of loose cells or full packs.  If you are interested in introducing lithium cells as a replacement for lead-acid, the EV Future team can assist you in this.

 

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