Marine, Automotive and Industrial Lithium Batteries

lithium btl35a480c tSealed lead-acid AGM, gel cell and lead-acid flooded cells are the most common marine batteries because of their safety, price and performances. But, lithium batteries are slowly entering this market too, due to their lightweight design and excellent capacity-to-weight and power-to-weight ratio.

Rechargeable lithium batteries come in several, slightly different chemistries, and some of the most important ones are:

 - IMR batteries feature Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 3.6 - 3.7 V per cell, with maximum recommended charging voltage of 4.2 V. IMR lithium batteries commonly have smaller capacity when compared with other lithium rechargeable batteries, but are capable of delivering larger currents. IMR lithium batteries are used for starting batteries.

- INR batteries feature Lithium Manganese Nickel (LiNiMnCoO2) chemistry. INR batteries are very similar to IMR batteries, in respect to voltages, currents and capacity. They are commonly used for starting batteries.

- IFR batteries feature Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 'only' 3.2 - 3.3 V per cell, with the maximum allowed charging voltage of 'only' 3.5 - 3.6 V. Lithium batteries MUST be charged with the chargers recommended by their manufacturer - IFR batteries, due to their lower voltage, can be fire hazard if charged with lithium battery chargers set to 4.2 V per cell charging!

 - ICR batteries feature Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 3.6 - 3.7 V per cell, with the maximum allowed charging voltage of 4.2 V. ICR batteries commonly have higher capacities, but maximum allowed discharging currents are often limited to just few C. Thus, ICR batteries are commonly used as deep cycle and low-current starting batteries, since 100 Ah ICR batteries can provide 300-500 Amps (depends on the battery!) for shorter period of time.

Other lithium battery chemistries are present on the market too, including hybrid technologies like Lithium Nickel Cobalt Oxide (LiNiCoO2), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2), etc.

Most popular marine, automotive and industrial heavy-duty lithium batteries are given in the following chart:

Model Battery Type Goup Size Cell Type 20h Capacity (Ah) CCA MCA RC Weight (lbs/kg)
AIMS Power LFP12V100A Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4  100 - - - 30.2 lbs; 13.7 kg
Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4 100 - - - 29 lbs; 13.2 kg
Bioenno Power BLF-12100WS Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4  100 - - - 28.1 lbs; 12.8 kg
Eastup 1250750 Dual Purpose - LiFePO4  50 750 930 - 15.43 lbs;  ~7.0 kg
ExpertPower EP12100 Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4  100 - - - 29.7 lbs; 13.5 kg
GreenLiFE GL50-50AH Deep Cycle 21 LiFePO4  50 - - 120 min 15 lbs;  6.8 kg
GreenLiFE GL80-80AH Deep Cycle 27 LiFePO4  80 - - 190 min 28 lbs; 12.8 kg
GreenLiFE GL100-100AH Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4  100 - - 240 min 31 lbs;  14 kg
GreenLiFE GL260-260AH Deep Cycle 8D LiFePO4  260 - - 620 min 80 lbs; 36.24 kg
Miady LFP100AH Deep Cycle 31 LiFePO4  100 - - - 28.9 lbs; 13.1 kg
Mighty Max ML100-12Li Deep Cycle 30H LiFePO4  100 - - - 29.54 lbs; 13.4 kg
Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-50 Deep Cycle - LiFePO4  50 - - - 14.77 lbs;  6.7 kg
Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-100 Deep Cycle - LiFePO4  100 - - - 28.1 lbs;  12.73 kg
Renogy RBT100LFP12S-G1 Deep Cycle - LiFePO4 100 - - - 26 lbs; 11.8 kg
Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-170 Deep Cycle - LiFePO4  170 - - - 46.3 lbs; 20.97 kg
RUIXU RX-LFP-4S-100B Deep Cycle - LiFePO4  100 - - - 33.1 lbs; 15 kg

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Many lithium ion batteries come with built-in electronics and are designed to be drop-in replacement for SLA batteries, requiring no changes to the boat/car/truck electrical system.

Main advantages of the lithium ion drop-in replacement batteries is their lightweight design (3-4x lighter than SLA batteries), and their higher number of charging/discharging cycles (up to 4-6x times more charging/discharging cycles than SLA batteries).

Main drawback of lithium batteries is their cost, making their initial purchase rather expensive. But, due to the number of charging/discharging cycles, their actual price during the use of the boat/vehicle is lower of the price of required SLA batteries.

Note: never, but really never charge your lithium batteries with chargers not explicitly recommended by their manufacturer.

Lithium-ion batteries are used as wheelchair batteries, trolling motor batteries, as RV battery, as off-the-grid battery etc. anywhere where higher initial costs are acceptable due to the weight savings and prolonged operating use.