Pro's & Con's of battery types

Flooded Lead Acid

Pro’s

• Inexpensive
• High specific power- capable of high discharge currents
• Good low and high temperature performance

Con’s

• Poor weight-to-energy ratio (30watt hours per kg)
• Slow charge- fully saturated charge takes 14-16 hours
• Must be stored in charged condition to prevent sulfation
• Limited cycle life
• Requires maintenance (watering)
• Ventilation needed


Gel Lead Acid

Pro’s

• Maintenance Free
• Long lasting due to its ability to transfer heat to the outside
• Performance stays high until the end of life then drops rapidly
• Safe operation and forgiving if abused- less dry-out than AGM
• High cycle count- tolerance to abuse and heat 

Con’s

• Higher cost than Flooded and AGM
• Sensitive to overcharging but more tolerant than AGM
• Moderate weight-to-energy ratio (30-40 watt hours per kg)
• Ventilation needed
• Must be stored in charged condition (less critical than flooded) 


AGM Lead Acid

Pro’s

• Maintenance free
• High specific power, low internal resistance, responsive to load
• Up to 5 times faster charge than flooded
• Better cycle life than flooded
• Higher vibration resistance
• Stands up well to cold temperatures
• Has less electrolyte and lead than flooded 

Con’s

• Higher cost than flooded
• Sensitive to overcharging- AGM has tighter tolerances than gel
• Capacity has gradual decline
• Low specific energy (30watt hours per kg)
• Must be stored in charged condition but less critical than flooded 


Lead Crystal

Pro’s

• Maintenance Free
• Can be discharged to 0% SOC
• High cycle life span
• Very low self-discharge rate
• Can be stored uncharged for long periods of time
• Work well in both low and high temperature environments 

Con’s

• Low specific energy (20-30watt hours per kg)
• More expensive than flooded, AGM and GEL
• Heavier than flooded, AGM and GEL
• Requires high current charging to maintain capacity (30% of AH rating =60amp charger for 200ah battery) 


Lithium Ion LiFePo4

Pro’s

• Maintenance Free
• Can be discharged to very low State Of Charge
• Approximately 1/3 the weight of traditional Lead Acid batteries
• Extremely Quick Recharge
• Stable discharge Voltage and Current
• Extremely low self-discharge
• Very High Cycle-Life Span (5000 cycles to 50% SOC)
• Low to No venting
• High Specific Energy (90-120 watt hours per kg) 

Con’s

• More Expensive than Lead Acid type batteries
• Requires LiFePo4 compatible charger 


 

Read more about Lithium Iron


Credit: Content supplied by Greg Mitchell (Redarc, Territory Manager New Zealand )