Boat owners and operators around the world will benefit by switching to LiFePO4, and we're here today to explain why investing in Lithium Iron Phosphate marine batteries makes more sense than buying more AGM or Lead Acid batteries.
"Normal" Battery Usage
First, let’s talk about longevity under “normal use". Normal use can mean different things to different people. For example, I have a number of friends who work in or around the industry and they are on their boats over 250 days a year catching fish and using their equipment hard. These same people are fishing in moderate to rough conditions because their paycheck depends on it. A family who keeps their 24’ flats boat in a storage unit 30 miles from the water probably won't be using their boat more than 20 times a year. To the family, this is “normal use”. We consider normal use to be somewhere in the middle of these two. Both of the above examples will benefit from the use of LiFePO4 in regards to longevity under normal use, simply because LiFePo4 batteries offer more cycles and last longer than the other two types of batteries on the market (lead-acid and absorbed glass mat), and that’s a fact, no question about it. Most of the decent LiFePO4 batteries will go at least a few thousand cycles at or around 90% capacity. LiFePO4 batteries pack more power into a smaller space, so you can get more use out of them before needing to recharge.
There are multiple grades of LifePO4 cells, internal components, cases, wires, battery management systems, etc. available on the global marketplace, but at Abyss Battery we only use the best components available, and as technology advances, so do we. This is why we consider our batteries to be the highest quality available. We work closely with our engineers and software developers to maintain our technological edge while offering safe and efficient batteries. We are a small company and that allows us to do stuff the big guys can't do, like 120AH group 24’s. Low to mid-grade LifePo4 batteries typically come with a 90 day to 2-year warranty and they claim 2,000 cycles. They are about half the price of our batteries. At Abyss Battery, we only sell the best and we offer 10-year warranties with direct customer support and even have a 50% off lifetime purchase deal available. We trust our components will make well over 5,000 and up to 10,000 cycles under what we consider normal use. We also pay organizations to stress test them under various conditions in order to achieve ongoing international safety ratings in order to meet the standards required by professionals.
Number of Cycles & Life-Span
Longer life span - LiFePO4 batteries can last up to four times longer than lead acid batteries, meaning you won't have to replace them as often. Lead Acid batteries typically have a 1-year warranty. They will charge a few hundred times if they are taken care of properly (never discharged below 50%). Discharging a lead-acid battery below 50% will permanently damage the cells, and the same thing goes for discharging AGM batteries below 80% capacity. Luckily, our batteries can be drained down to 0% and brought back up safely without damaging cells or the longevity off the LifePo4 battery. Most AGM batteries (Group 31) carry a 30-month warranty and can handle about 1,200 30% discharges and only about 500 50% discharges before they start to lose their capacity and functionality.
The last major benefit I would like to point out about LifePo4 batteries is the weight savings. Less weight makes for a more economical trip on the boat by increasing the gas mileage of your engines and allowing you to hit higher speeds with less work from the props. On small boats with 150 hp or 200 hp single outboards, the difference between 200lbs in batteries and 20lbs of batteries is huge. LiFePO4 batteries are much lighter than lead acid batteries, making them easier to handle and transport. For comparison let's take a 100 amp hour sealed lead acid battery and put it up against our ABYSS 120AH LiFePO4. The lead-acid battery comes in at 74 lbs (AGM is about 68 lbs.) and offers 50 amp hours of usable capacity. Our 120AH battery (which is actually a group 24 and is significantly smaller) weighs 20lbs and has 120AH of usable capacity. You would need two Group 31 lead-acid batteries to equal one of our group 24 LiFePO4’s capacity and that also translates to 148lbs vs. 20lbs. Did I mention our batteries are available with built-in Bluetooth for monitoring and system diagnostics? We also carry a 10-year warranty program.
To prevent rambling, I decided to leave out other benefits such as charge rates (we charge the fastest via high-grade intervals), discharge rates, temperature ratings (our batteries have built-in heaters for arctic use), etc, but I will say that LiFePO4 battery wins in every single category. Even the cold-cranking amps are higher than the competition. However, not all LiFePO4 batteries are the same, check into what you are buying. Don’t just assume because it's lithium, it's good. If you have any questions, please reach out. We take pride in our customer service and are here to help.