Have Questions?

Below you will find the answers to the questions we get asked the most on RELiON and lithium batteries.

1) I want to upgrade to lithium iron phosphate batteries. What do I need to know?

As with any battery replacement, you need to consider your capacity, power, and size requirements, as well as making 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 RELiON technical support if you need assistance with your upgrade and they will be happy to make sure you pick the right battery.

2) Can I use my existing lead-acid battery charger (Wet, AGM or Gel) to charge RELiON lithium iron phosphate batteries?

Most likely, yes. In general, lithium batteries are charger-friendly. Most chargers today have a lithium charge profile, which is what we recommend using. In most instances, AGM or gel charge profiles 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. Before using any charger with RELiON batteries it is best to first verify the charge profile is within our specifications, which can be found in our Charging Instructions. Be sure to read over our charging guide in detail prior to charging your RELiON battery.

3) 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 RELiON technical support if you need assistance.

4) How long will it take to charge a lithium battery?

Lithium iron phosphate batteries can be charged in as fast as 1 hour. We recommend using a rate that charges our batteries in 2-5 hours. Please refer to the data sheet for your particular model, to find the recommended charge rates. All of our data sheets are available on our website within the product section.

5) 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.

6) What size terminals and bolts come on RELiON batteries?

RELiON’s LiFePO4 batteries feature M6, M8 or M10 terminals. These types of terminals are insert terminals, also referred to as internal threads, and come with bolts. The terminal and bolt sizes are metric and the numerical signifier is the dimension in mm. For example, the M8 terminal is 8mm in diameter. The bolts have coarse threads (1.25tpi). Longer bolts, if needed, can be found at most hardware stores.

7) Can you mount the batteries in any position?

Yes, because there is no fluid inside of LiFePO4 batteries. This gives you the flexibility to install the battery where it is best suited for your application.

8) How do LiFePO4 batteries perform in cold temperatures?

As with all batteries, cold temperatures will result in reduced performance. LiFePO4 batteries have significantly more capacity and voltage retention in the cold when compared to lead-acid batteries.

Important tips to keep in mind: When charging lithium iron phosphate batteries below 0°C (32°F), the charge current must be reduced to 0.1C and below -10°C (14°F) it must be reduced to 0.05C. Failure to reduce the current below freezing temperatures can cause irreversible damage to your battery.

RELiON’s LT Series is specifically designed for cold charging, utilizing charge current to heat the battery before allowing charge. With the LT series, you can start the charge below 0°C (32°F).

9) How do LiFePO4 batteries perform in hot temperatures?

LiFePO4 batteries will provide their full capacity and performance until they reach the Battery Management (BMS) protection level. The BMS maximum temperature ranges from 60-80°C (140-176°F).

Refer to the data sheet for your particular model to find the exact upper temperature limit. LiFePO4 batteries produce less heat than other lithium chemistries , but if they reach an upper limit, our BMS will protect the battery by shutting it off.

10) How deep can a lithium iron phosphate battery be 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 of discharge (DOD) to avoid the BMS disconnecting the battery.

11) What is the expected life of a LiFePO4 battery?

Battery life is measured in life cycles and RELiON’s LiFePO4 is typically rated to deliver 3500 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.

12) How does the rate of discharge effect capacity?

The rate of discharge for LiFePO4 batteries has virtually no effect on the delivered capacity. This is not the case with lead-acid batteries which have significantly reduced capacity of up to 50% as the rate of discharge increases.

13) What’s the difference between parallel and series connections?

Parallel connections involve connecting 2 or more batteries together to increase the capacity of the battery bank. In this case, the positive terminals are connected together and the negative terminals are connected together of all the batteries until you reach your desired capacity.

Series connections involve connecting 2 or more batteries together to increase the voltage of the battery system. The positive of one battery is connected to the negative of another until the desired voltage is achieved. For example, if you connect 2 x 12V batteries in series, the battery system will be 24V.

14) How can I determine the state of charge (SOC) of my lithium iron phosphate battery?

The best way to determine the SOC of your battery is to use a battery indicator— a high-precision instrument that captures instantaneous and integrated data in real-time. RELiON’s battery indicator uses a 500A shunt to accurately measure the discharge/recharge currents and calculates the Ampere-hours (Ah) flowing in and out of the battery. Our battery indicator can be purchased here.

15) What type of solar charge controller do I need to charge my batteries with my solar panels?

There are two types of charge controllers. Both work with RELiON batteries.

  • Pulse width modulation (PWM)
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT).

16) There are a few RB100 battery options, which one 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.

18) Will a 12V, 100Ah lithium iron phosphate battery give a longer run time than a 12V, 100Ah lead-acid battery under the same conditions?

Yes. Lithium iron phosphate batteries provide more useable capacity than a lead-acid equivalently rated product. You can expect up to twice as much runtime.

18) How does the RB100-LT (Low Temp) battery work?

The RB100-LT features the same size and performance as RELiON's RB100, but can safely charge at temperatures that drop below 0°C (32°F) using a standard charger. The system features proprietary technology which draws power from the charger itself, requiring no additional components. The entire process of heating and charging is completely seamless for the user. Simply plug the battery into the regular lithium charger and the internal heating and monitoring system takes care of the rest. Because it takes time to heat the cells, the charging process will take a little longer in below freezing temperatures. Learn more about the LT Series.

19) How many CCAs (cold cranking amps) does the RB100 have?

Lithium batteries are rated for peak current (20°C/68°F for 5-10 seconds) instead of cold cranking amps (0°C/32°F for 30 seconds). The RB100 is rated at 200A for 5-10 seconds.

20) Does RELiON offer a dual-purpose 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.

21) Where can I buy RELiON batteries?

RELiON batteries can be purchased online with free ground shipping within the continental U.S. You can also order through our dealers and distributors all over the world. Use our online tool to locate a dealer in your area.

22) How quickly can I get my batteries after I order them on RELiON's website?

Online orders are shipped via UPS ground from Rock Hill, SC within 1-2 business days after your order is placed. The transit time will depend on the shipping address. You will be notified via email when your order ships.

23) Are there required certifications to ship lithium iron phosphate batteries in the U.S.?

Yes, the Department of Transportation requires UN38.3 certification. All batteries must be UN38.3 certified in order to be legally transported via land, sea or air.

24) How long has RELiON been in business?

RELiON Battery was founded in 2014. RELiON’s founder-owned and operated a lead-acid battery company for over 20 years prior to founding our company with the goal of developing innovative and efficient energy storage solutions.

25) What is the InSight Series?

The InSight Series™ is the newest addition to the RELiON Battery product family. InSight is the first scalable 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 runtimes. 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

24V and 12V sizes coming soon

26) How strictly do I need to follow the recharging limits?

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.

27) Can InSight batteries be connected in parallel or series?

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.

28) How do I prep my lithium battery for off-season storage?

Simply charge your battery to 14.4 volts, disconnect the battery from your charger, and your equipment, then store in temperatures anywhere between 23 to 95°F. If you’re storing your battery for only 3 to 6 months, then it’s safe to store at a 50% state of charge. Unlike lead-acid batteries, a partial state of charge does not harm lithium batteries.

29) How are LiFePO4 batteries safer than other lithium batteries?

Phosphate-based batteries offer superior chemical and mechanical structure that does not overheat to unsafe levels. Thus, providing an increase in safety over lithium-ion batteries made with other cathode materials. This is because the charged and uncharged states of LiFePO4 are physically similar and highly robust, which lets the ions remain stable during the oxygen flux that happens alongside charge cycles or possible malfunctions. Overall, the iron phosphate-oxide bond is stronger than the cobalt-oxide bond, so when the battery is overcharged or subject to physical damage then the phosphate-oxide bond remains structurally stable; whereas in other lithium chemistries the bonds begin breaking down and releasing excessive heat, which eventually leads to thermal Runaway.

Lithium phosphate cells are incombustible, which is an important feature in the event of mishandling during charging or discharging. They can also withstand harsh conditions, be it freezing cold, scorching heat or rough terrain. When subjected to hazardous events, such as collision or short-circuiting, they won’t explode or catch fire, significantly reducing any chance of harm. If you’re selecting a lithium battery and anticipate use in hazardous or unstable environments, LiFePO4 is likely your best choice. It’s also worth mentioning, LiFePO4 batteries are non-toxic, non-contaminating and contain no rare earth metals, making them an environmentally conscious choice.

30) Are lithium batteries poorly affected by partial state of charge (PSOC)?

No! Drawing current from a lithium battery does not produce any harmful or undesirable byproducts. Charging and recharging simply moves lithium ions from one side of a membrane to another. Lithium batteries also have their peak performance when they spend their life at a partial state of charge. The ideal maximum charge for a lithium-ion battery is about 80-90%. This is much more practical in terms of the time and amperage necessary to recharge your battery, and it gives you a margin of error for when things don’t go as planned.

31) How does regenerative braking work for golf carts?

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.

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