Lithium and gel batteries are the two popular types of batteries out there. If you want to pick between these two, you need to know which of these is best for your application. Both these batteries have got its pros and cons. In this guide, we will make an in-depth comparison of lithium vs gel battery based on various factors. It will help you decide which is better.
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1. Cost Factor
In many applications, cost becomes a critical factor when choosing a battery. Here, you must not only consider the selling cost of the battery. There are three more types of expenses that you need to consider. They are the installation cost, maintenance cost, and operating cost.
The price of a gel battery is less when compared to a lithium battery. But if you are looking to use the battery for the long term, a lithium battery will be a better choice. If you use a gel battery in the same place, you will have to replace it once it is exhausted. Thus, your overall cost will go up. Maintenance cost is also low for lithium batteries. If you want to use the battery for a short period of time, gel batteries will be a better choice over lithium ones.
2. Lifespan of the Battery
The lifespan of the battery is another important factor to consider while selecting a battery for any application. You always want the battery to last longer. When you compare lithium with the gel battery, the lifespan is more for the lithium battery. If you compare the operating temperature range of the lithium and gel batteries, it will be more for the lithium batteries. Also, the lifespan can come down for the gel batteries if they are operated at high temperatures. So, lithium battery wins when it comes to the lifespan factor.
3. Charging Time
Lithium battery is well known for their fast charging capability. A faster charging rate ensures that the device can be used most of the time. The fast charging feature of the lithium batteries does help to bring down the down time. It is also one of the main requirements for most applications.
The charging time for a gel battery is more when compared to the lithium one. It is due to the fact that there are multiple stages in the charging cycle of a gel battery.
4. Energy Density
If you compare the energy density of lithium vs gel battery, the energy density is higher for the lithium battery. Thus, it is possible to get more energy inside a lithium battery compared to a gel battery of a similar size. So, you can get lithium batteries in large capacities of smaller dimensions compared to gel batteries. If the size of the battery is a constraint in your application, a lithium battery will be a perfect choice.
5. Lithium vs Gel Battery – Safety
In all applications, we need to ensure that our battery does not cause any safety issues. Both lithium and gel batteries are safe to use, provided you follow the installation and usage instructions from the manufacturer. But when you compare these two batteries, the lithium battery has a slight edge over the gel battery.
Efficiency is another important factor that you must consider while selecting a battery. The efficiency of the battery affects the overall efficiency of the application. Lithium batteries are more efficient when compared with gel batteries. The efficiency percent of lithium batteries is more than 95 percent. The efficiency of the gel batteries comes in between 80 to 85 percent. If the discharge period is more, then the efficiency of the gel batteries does come down drastically. Regarding the efficiency factor, the lithium battery is a clear winner.
7. High-Temperature Performance
Some applications run at high temperature environments constantly. For such an application, you need to ensure that the battery is also capable of delivering consistent power output at higher temperatures. The performance of the gel batteries does drop at high temperatures. But lithium batteries can work without any issues at higher temperatures. You need to check the manufacturer’s temperature specification to know the exact high level temperature value supported by the specific lithium battery. This value will vary for different lithium batteries. So, if you want the battery to perform efficiently at high temperatures, go for a lithium battery.
8. Vibration resistance
There are applications that demand vibration resistant batteries. Gel batteries are popular for their vibration resistance feature. The gel inside the gel battery helps to absorb the shocks and vibrations to an extent. Thus, making it vibration resistant. If you compare the vibration resistance with the lithium battery, the gel battery will have a slight upper hand. But lithium batteries do offer some resistance to small shocks and vibrations. The higher energy density feature of the lithium battery helps to get a lithium battery in a smaller size. Thus, you can cover the battery with vibration resistant material. This protective layer can handle shocks and vibrations. It is possible because of the smaller size of the lithium battery for the same energy level when compared to a gel battery.
9. Battery Performance with Temperature Fluctuations
Certain applications demand to work at temperature conditions that are too fluctuating. When the temperature fluctuates, there will be an energy drop happening in the gel batteries. There are noticeable energy drops during temperature fluctuations in the case of a lithium battery. If you are looking to use a battery in an application that operates in a fluctuating temperature environment, lithium batteries will be a better choice.
10. Weight of the Battery
If you are looking for a battery for a portable application, you must consider the weight of the battery. Portable mobile applications demand a light weight battery. When you compare lithium vs gel battery, lithium battery is lighter than gel ones. The weight of the gel battery is almost twice the lithium battery. So, lithium battery wins when it comes to the weight factor.
11. Low Temperature performance
Lithium batteries are capable of delivering constant power at low temperatures. The gel batteries do come with excellent cold resistance. But when you compare the performance of lithium vs gel battery at low temperatures, the lithium battery is still the winner. You can check the manufacturer’s specifications to know the lowest possible temperature supported by the specific lithium battery.
When you go through the above comparison for the lithium vs gel battery, the lithium battery does have a slight edge over the gel battery. The higher efficiency and long lifespan of lithium batteries make them a popular choice in many applications.