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What is the difference in life between lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries?

Sep 14, 2023   Pageview:28

Several factors can cause significant variations in the lifespan of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. These factors include temperature conditions, maintenance, and usage patterns. Below is a comparison of the lifespan of the two battery types.

Lithium-ion Batteries

· Cycle Life- The cycle life of lithium-ion batteries is generally known to be longer. The complete charge and discharge of a battery is the cycle. Typically, Li-ion batteries can endure approximately 300 to 500 cycles without significant capacity degradation.

· Usage patterns- when Li-ion batteries are not frequently charged to full capacity or discharged regularly to extremely low levels can extend the battery's lifespan. Shallow discharges can prolong the lifespan.

· Temperature- Lithium-ion batteries undergo significant degradation in High temperatures. The usage or even storage of lithium-ion batteries in extremely hot surroundings might reduce their lifespan.

· Quality- Different manufacturers offer different qualities of lithium-ion batteries. High-quality batteries often provide better durability and cycle life.??

· Maintenance- Lithium-ion batteries do not require maintenance. It is important to follow the proper charging practices to extend the battery's lifespan.

Lead-acid batteries

· Cycle Life- Lead-acid batteries have a shorter cycle life. Lead-acid batteries provide around 200 to 700 cycles before significant capacity degradation on the discharge depth and type, which can either be gel, flooded, or AGM.

· Usage patterns- Lead-acid batteries are more tolerant of deep discharge cycles than lithium-ion batteries. However, these frequent discharges might shorten the battery's lifespan.

· Temperature- High temperature affects lead-acid batteries negatively, resulting in faster degradation. If stored and used in cool environments, the lifespan can be extended.

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· Quality- Different manufacturers provide different quality lead-acid batteries. Durability and better battery performance are dependent on those of higher quality.

· Maintenance- Lead-acid batteries require maintenance, unlike lithium-ion batteries. AGM and gel lead-acid batteries require occasional monitoring and less maintenance. Flooded lead-acid batteries demand regular maintenance.

Cycle Life of Lithium-ion Batteries.

The cycle life is the number of charge-discharge cycles the lithium-ion battery can endure before significant capacity degradation. The cycle life depends on quality, environmental conditions, usage patterns, and battery chemistry.?

· Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2, LCO)- mostly used in consumer electronics, is among the earliest Li-ion battery chemistries. Before capacity significantly decreases to around 80% of the original capacity, the LiCoO2 battery can withstand around 300 to 500 cycles.

· Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)- These are well-known for their robust cycle life. Typically, they can endure 2000 to 5000 cycles without significant capacity degradation as they maintain around 80% of their original capacity. They are suitable in applications where long cycle life is important, like in renewable energy storage and electric vehicles.

· Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4)- These provide a moderate cycle life of around 500 to 1000 cycles. They are common in consumer electronics and power tools.

· Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2)- NMC batteries offer a cycle life of around 500 to 1000 cycles and are used in electric vehicles and modern consumer electronics.

· Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2, NCA)- NCA batteries offer a cycle life of around 500 to 1,000 cycles and they are commonly used in electric vehicles.

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The cycle life estimates are approximate. The cycle life can vary depending on the environmental conditions, usage patterns, and battery designs.

Effect of Charging and Discharging?

Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries are affected differently by the charging and discharging process as they have different characteristics and chemistries.

· Charging Effects;

Lithium-ion batteries: Overcharging- Li-ion batteries are not tolerant to overcharging. Prolonged charging and excess voltage can result in safety risks. Protection circuits are available in high-quality batteries.

Fast charging:?Fast charging generates rapid heat, which, if not properly managed, can cause battery degradation.

Lead-acid batteries: Overcharging- Lead-acid batteries are more tolerant to overcharging. Excessive overcharging, however, can produce harmful gases, plate corrosion, and loss of electrolytes. To prevent overcharging, the correct float voltage should be maintained.

Gassing- lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases at the latter charging stage.

These gases can be explosive if left in confined spaces, so proper ventilation is necessary to prevent the buildup.

· Discharging Effects:

Lithium-ion batteries:?Depth of Discharge-deep discharges affect lithium-ion batteries. Regular deep discharges can reduce cycle life and speed up the capacity loss process.

Voltage Sag:During the discharge process, the battery's voltage decreases gradually. Some devices are likely to cease operation before total discharge to prevent over-discharge, which is a means of battery health preservation.

Lead-acid batteries: Depth of Discharge- Lead-acid batteries are more tolerant of deep discharges. Frequent deep discharges can, however, reduce the cycle life. To enhance battery longevity, it is advisable to avoid deep discharges.

Voltage sag:During the discharge process, the voltage decreases gradually, and lead-acid batteries exhibit voltage sag. Monitoring the voltage provides information about the battery's charge state and prevents over-discharge.??

External Environment

The external environment of the batteries is generally the conditions and factors outside of the battery that could affect their safety, longevity, and performance. The external factors affecting these batteries include;

External environment for lithium-ion batteries:

· Temperature- Lithium-ion batteries are not tolerant to temperature extremes. High temperatures can cause safety issues and accelerate capacity degradation. Extremely low temperatures might reduce the battery's output and capacity. The proper temperature range should be respected to ensure safety and optimal performance.

· Humidity- High humidity results in moisture-related damage to the internal components of lithium-ion batteries.

· Physical Shock can cause short circuits and damage the internal components of Li-ion batteries. Proper storage and handling should be practiced to avoid physical damage.

· Ventilation- Proper ventilation is necessary to prevent overheating, as lithium-ion batteries generate heat during the charging and discharging.

External environment for Lead-Acid Batteries:

· Temperature- Unlike lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries are less sensitive to extreme temperatures. They require moderate temperatures as extreme cold reduces their output and capacity, while extreme heat accelerates water loss, plate sulfation, and corrosion.

· Humidity- High humidity can affect the external components and battery terminals, resulting in corrosion even though they are sealed.

· Physical Shock- Lead-acid batteries are more tolerant of physical shocks but can still be damaged if mishandled.

· Ventilation- Proper ventilation is necessary to avoid gas buildup, as lead-acid batteries release gases during charging.


The cycle life of lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries is dependent on various factors. However, lithium-ion batteries can endure shallower discharges and typically have a longer lifespan. They do not require any maintenance. Proper usage patterns and appropriate care remain essential for maximization of the lifespan for both batteries' suitable environmental conditions.


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