The Narada LiFePO batteries are a new addition to the GridFree line-up. Designed with a focus around off-grid solar in mind, the Narada is a cutting-edge new option. While more expensive than Lead-acid GEL batteries, the move to lithium-ion cells aim to offer low long term costs with the drastically longer lifespan of a lithium battery, and the substantially lower weight.
Due to the more expensive materials in a Lithium battery, the start-up cost for the battery is markedly higher, around five times the price of our standard battery. This is also partly due to the more complex Battery Management Systems involved in monitoring and controlling the batteries’ output, temperature, charge levels, and discharge depths. Narada features a top-of-the-line BMS, making the system itself even more hands-free.
Lithium-ion options are typically lighter than the varieties of lead-acid batteries, and the Narada is no exception. At 48kgs, the Narada is lighter and more portable than lead-acid batteries of similar specifications, making it a more user-friendly option when it comes to installing your own solar power systems, especially in weight-sensitive situations like caravans.
Regarded as a more efficient battery, lithium ion offers a greater depth of discharge, often 80%, and with the Narada as low as 0% with minimal degradation to the battery cells. In comparison, lead-acid is typically limited to 50% discharge before incurring degradation to the internal cells. Additionally, Lithium-ion batteries are more effective at storing incoming charge. Capable of storing 95% of the charge, an improvement on the 80-85% absorption rates of lead-acid batteries.
The question of which is better comes down to the intended application for the battery and attached system. With such a significant start-up cost to overcome, lithium-ion batteries are best implemented where their higher efficiency rates, lighter weight and longer life span will help to outweigh these initial costs. On the other hand, sealed lead-acid batteries offer a 5–7-year lifespan, and by the time these wear out the price of lithium batteries is likely to have dropped significantly. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your options!