Considering a 12V 100ah Lithium ion Battery?
If you’re considering forking over the cash for a 100ah lithium deep cycle battery, then you might already know the pros and cons of these handy little power nuggets. But if you don’t, we’re going to walk you through all the factors you should consider when shopping around.
Chances are, you’re looking at Lithium batteries for an off-grid, solar, RV, or boating application. Generally, the vast majority of people in your shoes have traditionally chosen SLA (sealed lead-acid) or the slightly more advanced AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) deep cycle batteries to house their power supply. But why?
Well, a 100ah deep cycle AGM battery (still technically a SLA) is pretty affordable, and it simply gets the job done. They’re proven to be reliable, have become quite safe from leakages, and are largely maintenance-free – no longer fussing with adding water, like you needed to do with older models.
But there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to battery technology – Lithium Ion (as well as Lithium Iron). Up until recently, this technology was too expensive to warrant it’s use for the average solar setup. But the price of 12V lithium ion batteries has been falling in recent years, making them more and more attractive for the average consumer. There are a good number of benefits to using Lithium ion batteries, including safety, longevity, allowable discharge levels, and more. Let’s take a deep dive before getting to the batteries that WE recommend.
Why Lithium Ion over a typical SLA?
A 12v 100ah lithium ion deep cycle battery is a common size to provide power to a range of appliances, lights, and other electronics. But why spend the extra money for a lithium battery? Well, here’s why it might be worth the investment. At a top-level view, 12V Lithium-ion batteries are:
Much lighter in weight
A 100ah 12V lithium battery weighs around 26lbs. Compare that to a 60lb lead-acid deepcycle battery, and you have something that’s much more manageable to work with.
Significantly more energy-dense
With lithium batteries, you’re looking at a Specific Energy level of around 150 Wh/kg, versus the 30-40Wh/kg that you’ll find in a normal 100ah AGM battery.
More forgiving in acceptable discharge levels
If you aren’t already aware, your normal SLA deep-cycle 12V battery should never be drained past 50% charge, or else you risk losing a significant number of lifetime recharge cycles. Depending on your daily amperage consumption, this might mean that you’d need a larger SLA battery to match your needs. However, a LiFePo4 12v battery can comfortably be drained to 20% without any damage to its lifespan. So it’s very possible that a single 12v lithium ion battery could take the place of 2 SLA’s in meeting your daily demand.
On the topic of cycle count, you’d be lucky if you get 400 charge cycles out of a normal AGM battery. But the advancements in Lithium ion battery technology have changed the game, offering up to 3,000+ cycles without issue!
Fast to charge
In terms of charge times, a 12v Li Ion battery dominates an AGM. Maybe you don’t need this, because you have plenty of daylight to capture in a day. But depending on your usage and charging setup, this might be a lifesaver. A 100ah Lithium ion battery will charge up to 3-4X faster than a traditional, sealed lead-acid battery.
What are the downsides to choosing Lithium Ion Batteries?
Everything comes at a price, right? Well, yes, sort of. There are a couple reasons why you might not want to make the jump to Lithium:
This is the real kicker. The best 12v 100ah Lithium Ion battery will run you between $800-$1000. *Gulp*. But when you consider the positive features listed above (and the fact that it’s lifetime is about 6X that of a normal AGM battery (~$200), it might be worth the expense.
Ultimately, you should consider the cost benefit of its intended use. If this battery is going to be used daily in your campervan/RV/off-grid site, then Lithium is a great choice and will save you good money down the road. But if these batteries are going to sit unused most of the year, then a run-of-the-mill AGM battery is probably the better choice.
ALL batteries come with inherent risks. With AGM/SLAs, theres the risk of the contents spilling, or gases leaking. Although these risks have been greatly mitigated with really any modern battery, each of which will vent small amounts of gases to avoid build up. It’s important to have these in a somewhat ventilated area.
A 12V lithium battery does not require venting, which is a plus. However, like all batteries, there are dangerous risks if the cells are punctured or damaged, which can result in a rapid escalation of heat. Keep Lithium batteries away from sharp edges that might slam into it, and consider placing it in a battery box for good measure.
Safety tip: Be sure to securely tighten the battery terminals (if applicable), as loose terminals might result in built-up heat and potential damage.
The Top 12V 100ah Lithium Ion Batteries
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve most likely made up your mind. The following 12V 100ah lithium ion deep cycle battery options are among the top in class, without being (too) expensive. They’re reliable, safe, and backed by incredible warranties.
Price: $800 – 820
Key feature: High charge cycle count, used with solar often
1. Renogy 100Ah Lithium 12V Battery
If you’ve read our other articles on 100AH batteries, you’ll know that Renogy is a top name in the solar and power storage industry. If you happen to have the popular Renogy solar panels, you might like having consistency in your products (making it easier in case you need to take advantage of their excellent customer service).
This Renogy battery is actually a Lithium-IRON battery in 200ah, (aka LiFePO4), which is slightly different than the other Lithium Cobalt Dioxide batteries, but functions the same. It also has a built-in “battery management system”, which improves performance by balancing the charged cells and protects against over-heating and over-charging. We personally love the build quality of this battery, which seems very rugged, and it is expected to reach over 2000 charge cycles. At just 28 pounds and 10″ x 9″ wide, its a wildly powerful package with a lot of applications. Perfect for a campervan/off-grid setup with solar panels.
Price: $950 – 970
Key feature: Affordable, no-frills
2. BattleBorn Lithium Ion Battery – 12V 100AH
Next up is the Battle Born, which is a tried-and-true alternative to Renogy batteries (it’s also a Lithium-Iron product). Like the Renogy, it also includes a battery management system (BMS), which is one of the features that will help bring this little guy up to almost 5000 cycles if you treat it right! It boasts a 100amp continuous output, and a 200amp surge output for up to 30 seconds. This can come in really handy if you’re running something like a microwave, big air compressor, or other power tools.
If it’s something that is important to your consumer habits, this BattleBorn 200ah 12v Battery is made in the U.S.A and is a “green energy” battery, built with sustainable efforts in mind.
While other lead-acid battery manufacturers offer a 2 year warranty (maybe), Battle Born stands behind their battery with a whopping 10-year warranty. So if you’re buying something that you need (and expect) to last many years, the price of this 200ah battery is going to be worth the extra spend.
Price: $690 – 710
Key feature: Operates in a wide range of temperatures
3. Torque Power 12V 100Ah Lithium Deep Cycle Battery
Ok, let’s say your budget doesn’t support a $900 battery, but you still want some of the long-lasting benefits of a Lithium Ion 12V battery. This deep-cycle lithium ion battery from Torque checks both of those boxes, coming in at just about ~$700. Surprisingly, you can get 350amp peak discharge (for 3 seconds), which might be perfect depending on your situation.
What’s really slick about this seemingly-basic battery is that it includes onboard bluetooth monitoring (for under ~$700, what?). You simply hook up their app to monitor the life and health of the battery in real time.
You can expect around 2,000 cycles out of the Torque battery, assuming you’re discharging down to 20% consistently.
Price: $850 – 860
Key feature: Top-tier quality and performance
4. AIMS 100 amp hour 12V Lithium Battery
We included this Aims Power deep cycle lithium battery because, frankly, it’s one of the only other quality options on the market.
Like some of the others, it also includes the online battery management system (BMS), and *claims* to be able to reach over 4,000 cycles. We’re a little skeptical about this number, and would expect it to reach more around the 3,000 mark. Regardless, you’ll also be qualified for their 10-year warranty, should anything go wrong. But AIMS Power takes great safety precautions in this battery, including fused cells that will isolate themselves from the other if they become damaged in some way. This prevents the 12V battery interior components from accidentally overheating.
All in all, a great battery at a fair price, considering the amount you’ll save from having to buy 4+ lead-acid batteries to match the lifespan of this single lithium-ion deep cycle battery.
We hope this in-depth review and explanation of Lithium Ion battery specifications helped to provide you with a better understanding of this great new technology. Let us know in the comments if you have questions, can vouch for a certain battery brand, or if we missed something important!