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New power revolution: Lithium explained

By Nicole DiGiose, Content Editor

Lithium batteries are the way of the future. The latest smartphones, and automaker and energy storage company, Tesla, are evidence of that. As a battery business, Goal Zero has investigated and produced products using multiple battery technologies, and with its new Yeti 1400 Lithium Power Station, is now also going the way of the lithium battery.

Of course, price is a major factor that comes into play. No longer a futuristic technology with a heavy price tag, lithium has arrived in the realm of attainable and affordable. The price of lithium has dropped dramatically in recent years, closing the gap in price per watt compared to lead acid, especially when factoring in the number of cycles and depth of discharge.

Compared to its lead predecessor, lithium is 2/3 lighter, while giving the same amount of power, or energy density. From a labor standpoint, this makes for a better user experience, and the smaller form factor allows for a versatile use case with convenient portability to get more power to more places and devices.

Lithium can be discharged further before harming the battery, increasing its power output and overall life. Because lithium holds a steady voltage, it can deliver 99% of its stored power. Better yet, lithium operates in a much larger temperature window, increasing safety. However, when lithium exceeds its limits, it fully shuts down, or catches fire. On the other hand, most of the time, lead acid will function, just with less capacity.

When it comes to lifetime, lead acid and lithium don’t differ too much. Only lithium iron phosphate has a significant increase in the number of cycles it can handle. Oddly enough, most devices aren’t using this technology, opting for the smaller size of other lithium technologies over the larger, heavier LFPs. Otherwise, heavy use sees just a few hundred cycles in non-LFP lithium cells, which can scale up to a few thousand with much lighter cycling, like lead-acids. Either way, you’ll get many years of good use out of your battery before needing to consider a replacement.

Watch the video below for information on Goal Zero’s new Yeti 1400 Lithium Power Station.

Fortunately, the drawbacks found in the lithium world are decreasing, and the impact of lithium use is changing the way we look at power.  From pocket batteries to micro grid community backup, lithium is working its way into our lives on multiple fronts. It’s the new power revolution.

Source: Goal Zero

By Nicole DiGiose

Power Supplies & Energy Storage Technology

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