Lithium Battery Charging – Voltage Range
Relion Lithium battery specifications call for our batteries to be recharged to 14 to 14.6 volts for bulk charging and to float the battery at 13.8 volts. Many customers ask how strictly they need to observe those limits. In this video below we’ll answer this common question and discuss why.
Many users ask how strictly they need to observe those limits. The short answer is “not very.” If you recharge the battery below that range, you’ll have less than 100% charge in the battery, it will be at a partial state of charge. All that means is you’ll need to recharge it again sooner than you otherwise would. But you’re not harming the battery in any way by coming in lower than our recommended range, you’re only cutting into the capacity you’ll have from that charge. If you go over the 14.6 volt limit, our battery monitoring system or BMS, will sense the over-voltage and disconnect from the battery. That’s it! The only thing that will happen is that the BMS will do what it is designed to do and protect your battery. Relion batteries are designed to be easy to use, and that includes the recharging process. When it comes to the recharging range, the lower bound is protected by the characteristics of a Lithium battery and the upper bound is protected by our BMS. Thanks for watching.
Lithium Deep Cycle Battery Frequently Asked Questions
Switching to a LiFePO4 battery can seem like a daunting task at first, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re a battery novice excited to make the switch to Lithium or a tech guru who’s trying to figure out how much power you’ll need, Relion has the answers you’re looking for!
We want to make it easy for you to better understand LiFePO4 batteries. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of questions we get asked all the time.
What is a BMS? What does it do and Where is it Located?
BMS stands for Battery Management System. The BMS protects the cells from getting damaged — most commonly from over or under-voltage, over-current, high temperature, or external short-circuiting. The BMS will shut off the battery to protect the cells from unsafe operating conditions. All Relion batteries have a built-in BMS to manage and protect them against these types of issues.
How Long will my Relion Lithium Battery Last?
Battery life is measured in life cycles and Relion’s LiFePO4 batteries are typically rated to deliver 3,500 cycles at 100% depth of discharge (DOD). Actual life expectancy is dependent on several variables based on your specific application. If used for the same application, a LiFePO4 battery can last up to 10X longer than a lead-acid battery.
What 12 Volt 100Ah is Right for Me?
Some key differences to consider:
RB100 battery: our standard group 31 Lithium Iron Phosphate battery
RB100-D battery: a DIN size battery, commonly used in Europe.
RB100-HP battery: a dual-purpose battery, which provides a higher peak current than our standard RB100.
RB100-LT battery is designed specifically for cold weather charging.
Learn more about the different Relion Series of batteries.
Does Relion Offer a Starting Battery?
Yes, our HP Series are dual-purpose batteries specifically for applications that require occasional starting power. These batteries can serve as your cranking battery, where the rated peak current for 5-10 seconds is sufficient, and to run your motor or equipment.
Current products within the HP Series:
RB100-HP: ideal for bass boats, shallow bottom boats, and more
RB300-HP: ideal for boats with larger power requirements such as sailboats and catamarans
Can I Upgrade to LiFePO4 Batteries?
As with any battery replacement, you need to consider your capacity, power, and size requirements, as well as make sure you have the right charger. Keep in mind, when upgrading from lead-acid to LiFePO4, you may be able to downsize your battery (in some cases up to 50%) and keep the same runtime. Most existing charging sources are compatible with our Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Please Contact Go Batteries technical support if you need assistance with your upgrade and they will be happy to make sure you pick the right battery.
What’s DOD Mean and how Deep can a Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery be Discharged?
DOD stands for depth of discharge. When a battery is discharged, the amount of energy taken out will determine the depth at which it was discharged. LiFePO4 batteries can be discharged up to 100% without risk of damage. Make sure you charge your battery immediately after discharge. We recommend discharging be limited to 80-90% depth DOD to avoid the BMS disconnecting the battery.
Can I use my Existing Lead-Acid Battery Charger (Wet, AGM or Gel) to Charge Relion Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries?
Most likely, yes. Our Lithium batteries are very charger-friendly. Most chargers today have a Lithium charge profile, which is what we recommend using. AGM or Gel charge profile chargers will work with our batteries. We do not recommend the use of a flooded charge profile with our batteries. These chargers may reach the over-voltage protection limit and disconnect. It won’t damage the battery but will likely result in charger faults.
Can I use my Alternator to Charge my Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries?
Relion batteries can be charged with most alternators. Depending on the quality of the alternator, it should work with LiFePO4 batteries. Low-quality alternators with poor voltage regulation can cause the BMS to disconnect LiFePO4 batteries. If the BMS disconnects the batteries, the alternator could be damaged. To protect your LiFePO4 battery and alternator please be sure to use a compatible high-quality alternator or install a voltage regulator. Please Contact Go Batteries technical support if you need assistance.
Interested in more? Check out our full FAQs page for a comprehensive list of commonly asked questions.
Do you still have a question? Contact us and someone from our Technical Support team will be in touch.
Relion Lithium – InSight Series – FAQ’s
The InSight Series™ is the newest addition to the Relion Battery product family. InSight is the first scale-able LiFePO4 drop-in replacement battery requiring no extra hardware when connected in parallel. InSight makes connecting batteries easy using parallel connections to increase the available capacity for longer run-times. Just connect and go! InSight also boasts several intelligent features that make it truly unique, including a SuperSmart BMS that allows for Bullseye Balancing™ through innovative algorithms ensuring precise balancing between cells. Current products within the InSight Series™: InSight 48V – GC2 size (48V 30 Ah) & InSight 24V - GC2 size (24V 60 Ah). 12V size coming soon!
How many batteries you use, depends on your individual needs. Depending on the vehicle make, the terrain, the load in the vehicle, and driving style; 2, InSight batteries will provide 24-34 miles and 3 will provide 36-51 miles. For light usage, we suggest using 2 batteries whereas if you use your vehicle to play golf and get around your neighbourhood, then you might want to try using 3 batteries. You can always add another battery to your vehicle if you decide you want even more range.
InSight batteries are super easy to install. Because they are a GC2 size battery, they’re designed to fit perfectly in your golf car. Simply remove your old batteries, drop-in your new InSight batteries, connect them in parallel, connect the CAN cables that come with your battery then turn your batteries on via the wake-up button. There’s no tray modifications and no extra components needed. We do recommend you use our spacer batteries in the empty battery slots so you can use the existing battery hold down that come with your vehicle.
Relion’s InSight batteries were designed exclusively to run in parallel. For starters, each InSight battery is 48 volts. This simplifies installation and makes each unit more reliable than the normal method of connecting several 12 - or 24 - volt batteries in series. At 48 volts each, you need fewer batteries for your golf cart. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use more. Up to 10 Insight batteries can be connected in parallel, giving you up to 300 amp-hours. Because they are in parallel, if any one battery goes offline, you will not notice any difference in performance, only duration. A parallel connection extends the reliability of each individual Insight battery to the entire array, giving you more power, more capacity, and less to worry about when driving your golf cart.
The short answer is “not very.” Our specs call for the batteries to be recharged to 14 to 14.6 volts for bulk charging, and to float the battery at 13.8 volts. If you recharge the battery below that range, you’ll have less than 100% charge in the battery, it will be at a partial state of charge. All that means is you’ll need to recharge it again sooner than you otherwise would. But you’re not harming the battery in any way by coming in lower than our recommended range, you’re only cutting into the capacity you’ll have from that charge. If you go over the 14.6 volt limit, our battery monitoring system - or BMS, will sense the over-voltage and disconnect from the battery. That’s it! The only thing that will happen is that the BMS will do what it is designed to do and protect your battery.
Regenerative currents are currents that are provided to the battery like a charge current during breaking and/or for speed control. InSight batteries are unlike other Lithium batteries in that they have the ability to manage these regen currents when they occur. InSight batteries are built with intuitive software to manage this, avoiding disconnects that occur in these scenarios.
1 InSight 48V Battery = 12 - 17 miles per charge, 2 InSight 48V Batteries = 24 - 34 miles per charge, 3 InSight 48V Batteries = 36 - 51 miles per charge, 4 InSight 48V Batteries = 48 - 70 miles per charge, 5 InSight 48V Batteries = 60 - 85 miles per charge, 6 InSight 48V Batteries = 72 - 102 miles per charge.
We recommend using our Battery Spacers to fill the empty battery spots so you can use the existing battery hold-down that comes in your vehicle. If you do not use our Battery Spacers, you must take precautions to ensure your InSight batteries are securely held down.
Let’s first start with some basics about your golf cart motor. Electric motors are reversible machines, they can function as motors or as generators. In fact, while your motor is operating, it is the generator effect that produces the Counter Electromotive Force (CEMF), which reduces the current into the motor. Without this effect, the currents in the motor would be too large to manage. An additional advantage of the CEMF is that it can be used to send energy back to the source. The typical situation is one of an electric vehicle rolling on a sharp downhill slope and forcing the motor to turn fast enough to engage the regenerative braking, which sends energy to the batteries. If your battery’s BMS isn’t built to handle regen currents, when this occurs your battery will simply disconnect resulting in a sudden stop, which can be concerning. The good news is our InSight batteries feature intuitive software that tells the BMS to manage these regen currents when they occur. This is quite unique in the lithium battery world today, making InSight truly different from other lithium batteries.