When purchasing a battery-powered device, such as an eBike or electric golf caddy, you may not know what you’re looking for in terms of the battery or understand the differences between lead acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries.
But you will know when you’re unhappy with the product you’ve purchased. Over time, you may become dissatisfied with the performance or operational time of your battery, and even may need to request warranty replacements later on, as the lead acid battery starts to weaken.
Features of Lead Acid Batteries That Don’t Measure Up
Here are some of the most common reasons you may experience dissatisfaction with a lead acid battery:
1. Lengthy Charge Time
Lead acid batteries must be charged slowly in stages to maximize battery life and performance. Since a lead acid battery’s internal resistance becomes higher the deeper it is discharged, a charging algorithm is designed to slowly charge the battery at lower voltage levels. Unfortunately, this slow process means you have a long wait before the product is ready to use again.
Lithium batteries, by contrast, use a constant current algorithm, due to their high efficiency and low internal resistance. That means you are able to charge at a much higher rate. In turn, this reduces downtime and increases operational time.
2. Not Holding A Charge Long Enough
A product’s operational time – the length of time it may be used between battery charging – has a significant impact on customer satisfaction. If the lead acid battery in a golf cart doesn’t last long enough to make it through a round without additional charging, for example, you’re not getting enough value out of your battery.
A similar problem arises when devices are not used frequently enough, and lead acid batteries self-discharge to a point where performance is diminished. Lithium batteries are often a better alternative in this regard, in that they require far less frequent charging than lead acid batteries.
3. Losing Power Halfway Through Discharge
As a lead acid battery discharges, it becomes weaker and weaker, and that’s a major problem for people who need consistent power for their golf cart, electric boat or other vehicle. The fact that the battery still holds a charge isn’t much consolation if the voltage is too weak to power the product and leaves you stranded.
Unlike lead acid, lithium-ion batteries offer sustained voltage throughout the discharge curve. Providing a consistent power level is important to ensure you’re getting the most out of your battery investment.
When you expect consistent power and longer operational time from your battery, a traditional lead acid battery is likely to disappoint. A lithium-ion deep cycle battery, with its lighter weight, smaller size and longer cycle life, is a better choice to keep you reliably powered.