Deep cycle batteries are a necessary expense when you own a bass boat, RV, or other battery-powered machine. But let’s face it: good ones don’t come cheap. Battery protection is your priority if you want to safeguard your investment.
Here’s some great news: our lithium batteries come with battery protection mode. Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief! We’ll tell you what that is, and what other battery types have it below.
What does battery protection mode do?
Our LiFePO4 lithium batteries have a built-in battery management system (BMS). This system protects your battery from events that could cut its lifetime short. It also manages your battery’s performance and ensures safe operation.
Most importantly, the BMS keeps your application (and the people who use it) safe from battery accidents. It will shut the battery down when it detects unsafe conditions. This is called “battery protection mode”.
Do all batteries have battery protection mode?
The short answer is “no”. Most batteries don’t have this essential battery protection. Here’s looking at you, lead acid batteries.
Lead acid batteries come with a cheaper price tag. But they rely on YOU to be their protector. You’re responsible for shutting them off if they get too hot, and preventing them from being discharged too much. Otherwise, they’ll continue to work until they’re ruined. (Or worse–they could damage your vehicle or injure those who use them).
AGM and Gel batteries also use lead acid chemistry. So they don’t have battery protection mode either.
Ionic lithium deep cycle batteries offer battery protection mode (and peace of mind).
Reasons for Battery Protection Mode
Why might your lithium battery go into protection mode? We’ll give you the most common reasons here:
- Over current
- Short circuiting
- Voltage too high or low
- Temperature extremes
- Loose connections
- Defective battery cells
- Wire insulation breakdown
- Defective battery fan
The BMS has guidelines for safe battery operation. If conditions veer outside those specifications, it activates the battery protection mode.
Next, let’s take a look at what you can do should your battery go into protection mode.
What to Do if Your Lithium Battery Goes Into Protection Mode
Battery protection mode signals an adverse or unsafe condition. Your battery won’t come out of protection mode until that condition passes.
In most cases, you need to wait for the condition to pass. The battery will turn itself back on when it’s safe to operate.
However, there are some things you can do to make conditions safe again.
If battery protection mode comes on because of high voltage, here’s what to do:
- Remove the charging source.
- Allow the voltage to return to safe levels.
Low voltage issues are a bit more complicated. The easy answer is to charge it to bring voltage back up. But that might be a challenge if it’s down to zero. Your smart charger may have no problem detecting your battery even if it’s at zero volts. Or, you may need to select “force mode” on the charger. Otherwise, you might jump start it using another battery that matches its voltage.
Lithium batteries are built to handle temperature extremes. But even they have their limits. So here’s what you can do if toasty temperatures are activating battery protection mode:
- Make sure your battery is well-ventilated. That could be the reason why it’s getting hot.
- Try reducing your load or the charge rate.
- Move your battery to a cooler place if possible. (Lithium batteries are safe to store and use indoors).
You can use lithium batteries even in the bitter cold of winter. But if you try to charge in below freezing temperatures, the BMS will send it into battery protection mode. That’s because charging below 0 F can cause plating/crystallization.
Here are some actions you could take:
- Seek a warmer spot.
- Invest in a battery with a built-in heater. This type of battery springs into action to keep your battery toasty enough for you to charge it.
- Use solar panels to keep your battery active so the internal battery temperature won’t drop below freezing.
High current/Short Circuit:
Too large a current load can damage your battery’s cells. You might need to reduce the load on your battery. The problem could also be an internal or external short circuit. In that case, you’ll have to fix the short first. Then your battery will snap out of battery protection mode.
Keep in mind that internal battery problems are rare but possible. If you can’t get your battery out of protection mode, you can contact our battery experts for advice.