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Replacing traditional lead-acid with Lithium Ion

The substantial benefits that Lithium Ion technology offer over lead-acid technology means that using Lithium Ion batteries is becoming an ever more popular choice.

When considering replacing an existing lead-acid battery bank by a Lithium Ion battery bank one needs to take a couple of things into consideration. Although the term ‘drop-in replacement’ is occasionally used in this case, it is actually never as simple as that.

To get the most from the Lithium Ion batteries stay within the recommended operating conditions. Although the batteries are set up to do this automatically and safely, taking proper care of your new batteries will prevent nuisances during use such as Lithium Ion batteries disengaging themselves (by a safety relay). Things to take into consideration are:

  • The charge voltage of the battery bank needs to be checked and possibly changed. Where low charge voltage will result in incompletely charged batteries, overly high charge voltage will potentially push the Lithium Ion batteries outside their allowed operating conditions.

Voorkeurinstellingen MLI en MLS

  • Battery monitoring needs to be shunt (Ah counting) based, not voltage based. Some basic battery monitoring products base the battery status fully on voltage measurement. In case of Lithium Ion batteries this will result in unreliable readings, potentially leading to deep discharges. Only shunt-based monitoring devices that incorporate a Lithium Ion battery type setting should be used.

The MLI Ultra series has an external safety relay (battery disconnect switch) and integrated battery monitoring, requiring proper installation and commissioning by a qualified installer. Setting this up correctly, including alarms and events through the MasterBus network, results in a safe and intuitive user interface.

The MLS products have an integrated safety relay. This results in a Lithium Ion battery that is as close as possible to a ‘drop-in replacement’ for lead-acid, as long as the above considerations are kept in mind.

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