Technology

Can a 12V LiFePO4 Battery Be Used in Cold Climates?

12V LiFePO4 Battery Be Used in Cold Climates

The winter season is coming and it’s time to make sure your RV, van or battery bank in your off-grid home are prepared. With colder temperatures, lithium batteries can have issues. Fortunately, it’s easy to overcome these issues with a self-heating lithium battery, like the LT series from Relion, that’s built for cold climates.

Lithium batteries are able to power up at lower temperatures than lead-acid batteries and still deliver double the energy at half the weight. However, the chemical reactions that occur within a 12V LiFePO4 battery at low temperatures can have an impact on its performance. Lead acid batteries will lose their efficiency and usable capacity at freezing temperatures, only delivering 70-80% of its rated capacity. LiFePO4 batteries have a higher discharge tolerance and don’t suffer from these same effects of cold weather, making them the ideal choice for Canadian winters.

However, even with a high discharge tolerance, lithium batteries can still experience damage when charged at below freezing temperatures. The reason for this is because the lithium ions aren’t effectively captured by the porous graphite of the anode (the negative terminal). Instead, they become deposited on the surface of the anode, which results in a process known as “lithium plating.” This reduces the ability of the anode to cause electricity flow and the battery’s capacity drops. This damage can be minimized by reducing the charge rate below freezing but that isn’t always feasible for users who don’t have a battery management system or charger with this capability.

Can a 12V LiFePO4 Battery Be Used in Cold Climates?

For this reason, many users choose to rely on battery blankets to help prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Battery blankets are insulated covers that fit over the battery to keep it warm and avoid damaging chemical reactions. While they can work in some situations, they can be inefficient for long-term use and are expensive to purchase and replace.

Another option is to invest in a heated lithium battery, like the PowerBrick options from Battle Born Batteries. Their innovative self-heating technology allows the battery to warm up before charging, preventing damage from the cold. In addition, the battery’s stable chemistry and built-in battery management system ensures safe and reliable power for all of your needs, backed by Canada’s best warranty.

The LT series from Relion is designed to excel in colder environments by heating the battery before commencing charge with a specialized heating element. This eliminates the need for the user to bring the battery into warmer temperatures before charging and dramatically reduces charging duration.

The RB100-LT is a 12V 100Ah lithium battery that delivers the same size and performance as other popular Relion lithium batteries but also provides cold-weather performance. This makes the RB100-LT ideal for RVs, electric vehicles and other off-grid solar applications that require a battery with high cold-weather capability. The LT series is available in single-voltage (12V) and can be connected in parallel or series up to 4 units to increase voltage or amperage. Get yours today and be prepared for the Canadian winters ahead!

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