Comparing Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries: Which one is the Best?

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Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by admin

Comparing Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries: Which one is the Best?

Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries

For homeowners who are looking for battery storage, there are different types available in the market. The common types are Lithium-ion & other Lead-Acid. While comparing Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries, the concern is which one is the best for your home.

Nowadays, battery storage is becoming more popular with solar energy systems. Lithium-ion and lead-acid are two of the most common battery chemistry types. Lithium-ion batteries are made with the metal lithium, while lead-acid batteries are made of lead.

In this article, we’ll compare two of the most common battery types: lithium-ion vs lead-acid batteries. Apart from the different materials that make up both types of battery, the main distinction is in terms of cost and performance. Lead-acid batteries are less expensive, whereas lithium-ion batteries are more efficient and perform better.

Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries: How do they work?

Both batteries operate by storing a charge and then releasing electrons through electrochemical processes. Positive and negative ions from the lithium material discharge between electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. Similarly, Lead-acid batteries operate in the same manner, but with a different material.

Mostly, lithium-ion battery technology surpasses lead-acid battery technology due to its efficiency, among other benefits. In the case of small off-grid storage systems that aren’t used regularly, however, less expensive lead-acid battery options may be preferable.

Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries Comparison

battery storage

Both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries can effectively store energy, but each has different advantages and disadvantages. Here are some key comparison points to keep in mind when selecting a battery type:

  • Cost of the Battery
  • Battery Storage Capacity
  • Battery Efficiency
  • Charging Rate of the Battery
  • Battery Energy Density

·         Cost of the Battery

The one area where lead-acid batteries appear to outperform lithium-ion options is cost. A lead-acid battery system may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars less than a comparable-sized lithium-ion setup.

On the other side, lithium-ion batteries currently cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 including installation, and this range can vary depending on the size of the system you require.

While lead-acid batteries typically have lower purchase and installation costs than lithium-ion options, the lifetime value of a lithium-ion battery balances the scales. 

·         Battery Storage Capacity

The capacity of a battery is a measure of how much energy it can store (and eventually discharge). While capacity numbers vary depending on the battery model and manufacturer, lithium-ion battery technology has been shown to have significantly higher energy density than lead-acid batteries. 

This means that a lithium-ion battery can store more energy in the same physical space. Because lithium-ion technology can store more energy, it can discharge more energy, allowing you to power more appliances for longer periods.

·         Battery Efficiency

Battery efficiency, like solar panel efficiency, is an important metric to consider when comparing different options. Most lithium-ion batteries are 95 percent efficient or higher. This means that you can use 95 percent or more of the energy stored in a lithium-ion battery.

 Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, have efficiencies of 80 to 85 percent. Higher efficiency batteries charge faster, and improved efficiency, like depth of discharge, means a larger effective battery capacity.

·         Charging Rate of the Battery

Higher efficiency means a faster charge rate for lithium batteries. They can resist high amperage from the charger, allowing them to be refilled much faster than lead-acid batteries.

 Primarily, Lead-acid batteries contain limited  amount of charge current they can handle. This is because they overheat if charged too quickly. Furthermore, as you approach full capacity, the charge rate slows significantly.

During the bulk phase, lead-acid batteries can charge around C/5 (up to 85 percent capacity). The battery charger then automatically slows down to top off the batteries. This means that lead-acid batteries take longer to charge, sometimes more than twice as long as lithium batteries.

·         Battery Energy Density

Lithium batteries have a much higher energy density than lead-acid batteries. It means they can fit more storage capacity into less space.

Although most installers can handle the extra weight. But, DIYers may find lithium batteries more difficult to install. It’s a good idea to get some help lifting and moving them into place.

If you need to get creative with how you mount your battery bank, this is a big help. If you are mounting an enclosure on the wall or concealing it in a closet. The more energy density allows your lithium battery bank to fit into smaller spaces.

Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries: Which one is the Best?

Although, Lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are both viable options for battery backup systems. However, because of the many advantages of lithium-ion technology, such as a longer lifetime, higher efficiencies, and higher energy density, installing one is usually the best choice. Despite their higher initial costs, lithium-ion batteries are typically more valuable than lead-acid alternatives.

solar battery

In the case of an off-grid solar installation that isn’t used frequently, lead-acid batteries may be the better choice. For example, keeping a lead-acid battery on a boat or RV as a backup power source that is only used once a month or so is a less expensive option than lithium-ion, and you’ll avoid many of the drawbacks of lead-acid technology, such as their shorter lifespan, due to the lower usage rate.

Are you are looking for a suitable battery storage option for your home? The solar SME team is here to help you out. Simply reach us by dialing 214-556-8288 or visit our website and get a free quote. Our energy consultants will guide you throughout about the best battery storage option between Lithium-ion VS Lead-Acid Batteries

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