Frequently Asked Questions

What are Lithium batteries?

Lithium batteries are rechargeable batteries in which lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode during discharging and back when charging. They are popular batteries for use in consumer electronics because they provide high energy density, possess no memory effect and have a slow loss of charge when not in use. These batteries come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Compared to lead-acid batteries, Lithium batteries are lighter and provide a higher open circuit voltage, which allows for power transfer at lower currents. These batteries have the following characteristics:

Features of Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries:

  • Light weight, up to 80% less than a conventional, comparable energy storage lead-acid battery.
  • Lasts 300-400% longer than lead-acid.
  • Lower shelf discharge rate (2% vs. 5-8% /month).
  • Drop-in replacement for your OEM battery.
  • Expected 8-10 years of battery life.
  • No explosive gasses during charging, no acid spills.
  • Environmentally friendly, no lead or heavy metals.
  • Safe to operate!

The term “Lithium-ion” battery is a general term. There are many different chemistries for lithium-ion batteries including LiCoO2 (cylindrical cell), LiPo, and LiFePO4 (cylindrical/prismatic cell). Ionic mostly focuses on designing, manufacturing and marketing LiFePO4 batteries for its starter and deep cycle batteries.

What are LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) Batteries?

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are a type of lithium battery that provide several advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries based on LiCoO2 chemistry. LiFePO4 batteries provide much higher specific capacity, superior thermal and chemical stability, enhance safety, improve cost performance, enhanced charge and discharge rates, enhanced cycle life and come in a compact, lightweight package. LiFePO4 batteries an offer a cycle life of over 2,000 charge cycles!

All of the Ionic Lithium batteries that LithiumHub sells are LiFePO4 batteries.

Why should I purchase an Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle Battery?

Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries provide multiple advantages over standard lead-acid batteries for energy storage use that we’ll outline below:

  • Substantially Lighter – Lithium-ion batteries are just a fraction of the weight of the original lead-acid battery.
  • More Powerful – Lithium-ion batteries operate at a higher voltage than standard lead-acid batteries, giving you faster engine speed for longer durations. Lead-acid batteries drop to just 12.5V when only 20% of the battery capacity is used, but lithium-ion batteries provide over 12.8V even when only 20% of the battery capacity is left.
  • Low Self-Discharge Rate – Lead-acid batteries lose 4%-25% of their charge every month depending on the quality of the plates and separators used. If you leave a vehicle unattended for a month, the lead-acid battery might lose too much power and the vehicle might not start. On the other hand, our lithium battery chemistry loses less than 3% of charge per month; you can go for several months without having to worry.
  • Environmental Friendly – Ionic batteries contain no toxic substances. There is no poisonous lead or corrosive sulfuric acid and as a result, no possible way for an explosive gassing event that is common with lead-acid batteries. In addition, there is no need to maintain acid levels or worry about venting like traditional lead-acid batteries do. The only maintenance that ionic batteries require is ensuring that the battery never drains beyond 80% to ensure optimal life.
  • Long Lasting – Cheap lead-acid batteries usually only last 1 to 2 years while gel and AGM lead-acid batteries last 3-5 years with proper maintenance. However, ionic’s lithium-ion batteries can provide 8-10 years of use, easily exceeding the life of any lead-acid battery. Battery life depends purely on proper operation and maintenance, so use common-sense and ensure the battery does not drain beyond 80% discharge. If you are replacing a lead-acid battery in two years or less due to deep cycling damage, you will save money in the long run moving to a ionic lithium-ion
  • Fast Recharging – Ionic’s lithium batteries can accept charge current at up to 5 times faster than a lead-acid battery. What’s more, the charge efficiency is about 75% for lead-acid in contrast to 97% for Ionic’s lithium battery. That means less energy is needed to charge and causes less strain on your alternator.

What advantages do Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle batteries have over other batteries?

Ionic utilizes the latest advancements in lithium battery technology along with custom features to provide you with the best battery for your vehicle:

Internal Cell Balancing Circuit – Ionic batteries have a micro-processor controlled internal cell balancing board in each of its batteries designed to maximize the performance of each cell in the batteries.

Battery Management System (BMS) – Ionic lithium-ion smart batteries contain a solid state switch that controls temperature volatility. This switch prevents overcharging and discharging, improving the overall lifespan performance and safety of the batteries.

Quality Engineering – Ionic’s innovation laboratory prides itself on the design and construction of its batteries utilizing the highest quality components in all phases of design and construction. The ionic built-in intelligent components guarantee the safety and quality of each ionic product.

Prismatic Cells – Cylindrical cells only come in certain sizes which limits the possible shapes and sizes of the starter battery case designs. As such, batteries fit for many vehicles may be poor, or impossible as they are too wide or too tall and create internal hot spots. Ionic prismatic cells on the other hand, are rectangular packages which can be freely designed and sized according to the size requirements of the battery case. As such, Ionic offers perfect drop-in fit in most vehicles along with having better thermal management properties.

A fully charged lithium battery can sit for a year or more and still retain adequate capacity, without damaging the battery. As such, any electrical device that has no current flowing when OFF should never need a tender. However, some equipment may have a significant draw even when OFF, to maintain clocks, computers, navigation systems, pumps etc. Thus, Ionic recommends using a Ionic lithium charger sold at LithiumHub.

Ionic’s lithium battery chargers have been designed to work together with the internal cell balancing board and BMS in the “Deep Cycle” batteries that have special algorithms to prevent over-charge and maximize life of the battery. We have a very simply approach where all the cell balancing maintenance is done automatically when the charger is attached. NO expensive, complicated charger/tender is needed.

Ionic recommends using lithium (LiFePO4) chargers but using lead-acid chargers for (LiFePO4) batteries can work. Lead-acid batteries charge at 2.30V to 2.45V per cell or ~14.2V to ~14.4V for a 12V battery whereas lithium (LiFePO4) batteries require 3.60V per cell or at 14.6V for a 12V (LiFePO4) battery. Using lead acid chargers, your battery would potentially be undercharged by 1% to 2% which typically would not matter in most applications. The floating charge of the lead-acid charger typically is at 13.8V is fine to hold that voltage for lithium (LiFePO4) as well. However, Lead-acid chargers that do not have a float voltage should be turned off when the battery charge voltage is reached. Avoid lead acid batteries with "de-sulfation" mode or lead acid chargers that charge above 14.6V. Those would potential damage the lithium battery. It is best to use Ionic’s charger.

How does Ionic's deep cycle capacity (Ah) rating comapre to lead-acid Ah ratings?

Ionic’s Deep Cycle Batteries have true lithium capacity rating at 1C discharge rate meaning a 12Ah deep cycle lithium battery will be able to provide 12A for 1 hour. On the other hand, most lead-acid batteries have a 20hr or 25hr rating printed for its Ah capacity meaning the same 12Ah lead-acid battery discharging in 1 hour would typically only provide 6Ah of useable energy. Going below 50% DOD will damage a lead-acid battery, even if they claim to be a deep discharge battery. Thus a 12Ah lithium battery would perform closer to a 48Ah lead-acid battery rating for higher discharge currents and life performance.

Ionic’s Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries have 1/3 the internal resistance of a similar capacity lead-acid battery and they can be safely discharged to 90% DOD. Lead-acid internal resistance rises as they are discharged; the actual capacity which can be used may be as little as 20% of the mfg. rating. Discharging in excess will damage the lead-acid battery. Ionic’s lithium batteries hold a higher voltage during discharge.

Can I use lead-acid battery chargers or charger/tenders with Ionic Lithium Ion Deep Cycle batteries?

A fully charged lithium-ion battery can sit for a year or more and still retain adequate capacity, without damaging the battery. As such, any electrical device that has no current flowing when OFF should never need a tender. However, some equipment may have a significant draw even when OFF, to maintain clocks, computers, navigation systems, pumps etc. Thus, ionic recommends using a ionic lithium-ion charger sold at Lithiumhub.

Ionic’s lithium-ion battery chargers have been designed to work together with the internal cell balancing board and BMS in the “Deep Cycle” batteries that have special algorithms to prevent over-charge and maximize life of the battery. We have a very simply approach where all the cell balancing maintenance is done automatically when the charger is attached. NO expensive, complicated charger/tender is needed.

LithiumHub recommends using Ionic chargers with the Ionic batteries.  However, lead-acid chargers for Ionic (LiFePO4) batteries can work. Lead-acid batteries charge at 2.30V to 2.45V per cell whereas Ionic (LiFePO4) batteries require 3.60V per cell. Your battery would potentially be undercharged, so you will not get use of the full capacity of the (LiFePO4) battery, nor will balancing be triggered in the (LiFePO4) battery pack, both of which are not desired. Furthermore, the floating charge of the lead-acid charger is not expected by the battery and can cause problems.

What happens if I charge my lithium deep cycle battery too high?

If you charge your lithium deep cycle battery above 15V for 12V battery, the BMS inside the battery terminal will turn off. The cut-off voltage settings will vary slightly depending on current levels, temperature and part tolerances. To turn ON the battery again, disconnect the charging source and let the battery rest for several seconds (~30 sec) it should come on. In the event the 12V battery had voltages higher than 18V, the internal BMS is damaged and will not turn ON.

Can I charge my lithium deep cycle battery with a solar panel?

Yes, but you need to make sure the open voltage of the solar panel is below 18V for a 12V battery. It is best if your solar panel has a voltage regulator to stop charging at 14.4V or (LiFePO4) setting of 14.6V.

If you charge your lithium deep cycle battery above 15V for 12V battery, the BMS inside the battery terminal will turn off.

The cut-off voltage settings will vary slightly depending on current levels, temperature and part tolerances. To turn ON the battery again, disconnect the charging source and let the battery rest for several seconds (~30 sec). In the event the 12V battery had voltages higher than 18V when turned off, the internal BMS is damaged and will not turn ON.

Why does the battery stop working a few seconds after a high current draw?

Make sure the load is not exceeding the rated continuous output current. If the electrical load exceeds the limits of the BMS, the BMS will shut down the pack. To reset, disconnect the electrical load and troubleshoot your load and make sure that the continuous current is less than the maximum continuous current for the pack. To reset the pack, attach the charger back to the battery for a few seconds. If you need a battery with additional current output, please contact us at info@lithiumhub.com or call us at 704-360-9311

How do I maximize the life span of my lithium deep cycle battery?

Battery life for a lithium battery can be enhanced by not discharging the battery to 1Ah capacity or BMS lower voltage cut-off settings. Discharging down to BMS lower voltage cut-off settings can quickly decrease the life of the battery. Instead, we advise discharging down to 20% capacity remaining then re-charging the battery.

Do lithium batteries perform poorly when it gets cold?

Lithium deep cycle battery life can be enhanced by not discharging the battery to 1Ah capacity or BMS lower voltage cut-off settings. Discharging down to BMS lower voltage cut-off settings can quickly decrease the life of the battery. Instead, we advise discharging down to 20% capacity remaining then re-charging the battery.

Can Lithium Deep Cycle batteries be mounted in any position?

Yes. There are no liquids in the Lithium Deep Cycle batteries. Because the chemistry is a solid, the battery can be mounted in any direction and there are no worries about lead plates cracking from vibration.

I heard Lithium Deep Cycle batteries were unsafe and are a fire hazard. Will they blow up or catch on fire?

Every battery of ANY chemistry has the potential to fail, sometimes catastrophically or catch on fire. In addition, lithium metal batteries which are more volatile, that are non-rechargeable, are not to be confused with lithium-ion batteries. However, the lithium-ion chemistry used in Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries, lithium iron phosphate cells (LiFePO4) is the safest on the market having the highest thermal runaway threshold temperature from all the different lithium type of batteries. Remember, there are many lithium-ion chemistries and variations. Some are more volatile than others, but all have made advances in recent years. Also note, that all lithium batteries undergo rigorous UN testing before they can be shipped worldwide further insuring their safety.

How long will my Lithium Deep Cycle battery last?

There are several factors that affect the life of a battery. Weather, temperature, recharge cycles, depth of discharge (DOD), discharge current, charging current, charging method, vibration and duration of static use can all have dramatic effects on battery life. A properly maintained Lithium Deep Cycle Battery should last roughly three times as long as lead-acid battery used in similar conditions. Life expectancy is 8-10 years.

What applications can I use my Lithium Deep Cycle battery for?

These batteries are designed and developed to be used for lower discharge current applications. The larger 50Ah and 100Ah Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries can be used to start engines with. Smaller batteries like the 6Ah, 9Ah, 12Ah, 20Ah, 30Ah can NOT be used to start engines with. If you have a question about applications please call 704-464-6656 or email info@lithiumhub.com and our customer service professionals will be happy to help.

Will Ionic be making batteries for cars?

We have no solid introduction date in mind for automotive versions at this time, but we do plan on having more battery models available in the near future to be used in cars as well. The higher PB eqv Ah batteries will start vehicles, but will have limited reserve energy.

Do Lithium Deep Cycle batteries generate more heat than a lead-acid battery?

No. One of the advantages to the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry is that it generates its own internal heat energy. The outside heat of the battery pack itself will get no warmer than a lead-acid equivalent in normal use.

Will the cost of Lithium batteries become cheaper?

At the moment, Lithium materials are about 3~4 times higher than lead-acid for the same capacity. This will no doubt come down as worldwide supply goes up.

Is a Lithium Deep Cycle battery a direct OEM replacement for my stock battery?

In most cases, YES but not for engine starting applications. The Lithium  Deep Cycle Battery will perform as a direct replacement for your lead-acid battery for 12V systems. Our battery cases match a lot of OEM battery case sizes.

Can Ionic Lithium Deep Cycle batteries be fully discharged and then disposed of in the regular garbage?

Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries are subject to disposal and recycling regulations that vary by country and region. Always check and follow your applicable regulations before disposing of any battery. Many countries prohibit the disposal of waste electronic equipment in standard waste receptacles. Place only discharged batteries in a battery collection container. Use electrical tape or other approved covering over the battery connection points to prevent short circuits.

Where can I recycle my Lithium Deep Cycle battery?

Consumers can find the nearest participating drop-off location by going online at www.call2recycle.org or www.rbrc.org or calling 1-877-2-RECYCLE or 1-800-8-BATTERY.