Solar Panels

Ever wondered what the purpose of lithium battery banks is when it comes to outfitting a solar RV? Learn why more people are turning to lithium batteries than ever before and the pros of choosing lithium when it comes to updating your system.

While a basic lithium battery system can cost more to update, there are various benefits to switching over:

Lithium batteries have a longer lifespan that other solar powered batteries. Lead acid batteries have an estimated lifespan of around 5 years, while Lithium batteries can last for more than 10. Lithium batteries typically need less maintenance. They don’t require full charging regularly and they don’t need equalization. Some solar batteries need to keep a complete charge at most times in order to stay mostly functional. It is usually advised to keep your batteries at full charge, which is a great idea for unforeseen solar emergencies, and colder weather.

The cold tends to leach energy from batteries, so the more charged they are, the more of a charge they’ll retain. The power storage of lead-acid batteries can drop by 50 percent during sub-zero temperatures, compared to an only 8 percent drop with Lithium batteries.

Lithium battery systems can be custom designed to any of the following 5 sizes that Victron makes: 60Ah, 90Ah, 160Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah. AM Solar offers two types of lithium battery systems, the Essential and the Signature. The signature is the recommended system for RV-ers who are anticipating heavy usage for appliances like air conditioners, etc.

When using Lithium batteries, it is recommended by AM Solar, to use a Battery Management System or BMS. Management systems for batteries help protect lithium batteries from being over charged or discharged.

Due to the fact that these batteries have a high current output, they also offer a more usable capacity. They’re also smaller in size than other solar batteries and they’re more light weight. Lithium batteries are about one third of the weight that lead-acid batteries are, which is great for RVs.

Lithium batteries also lose less capacity if they’re left for longer, than if compared to lead-acid batteries. They lose about 1-3 percent for every 5-15 percent that lead acid does. This makes lithium batteries perfect for in-frequent use.

While lead-acid batteries are a great option for a solar powered RV system, Lithium batteries have many more benefits. It may cost more to outfit an RV with lithium batteries, but the batteries have nearly double the lifespan, and they hold a charge longer and at colder temperatures. If you’re considering going solar in your RV, check out the lithium batteries available at AM Solar.