Monday, January 06, 2020

on why I'm not throwing away good batteries...

Scary news regarding the Panama Canal, some interesting progress on identifying tsunami earthquakes, and an excellent point in cartoon form...

I've been thinking, rather a lot in fact, about new batteries for "So It Goes" and thinking about Lithium batteries in particular.

I like that Lithium batteries that are lighter. I like the fact that Lithium batteries charge faster than lead acid. I also like the idea that you get to use more than 50% of the battery's energy without shortening the life of the battery. I also really like the idea that Lithium batteries are supposed to outlast lead acid by a huge factor.

So, when it's time to replace the still-working-just-fine Trojan golf cart batteries aboard SOG I'll be replacing them with Lithium... Right?

Well, actually, there are a couple of things I worry about where Lithium is concerned. The first is the cost factor Lithium batteries are, as we speak, expensive. Sure I've read all of the arguments that Lithium batteries last so long that Lithium is actually cheaper that lead acid once you factor in longevity but I am yet unconvinced that some of those longevity claims may depend on factors other than chemistry.

For instance, while some of the Lithium battery sellers are touting awesome guarantees, will those companies be around to honor them five years from now? My laptop which runs on lithium batteries goes through batteries on a pretty regular basis of needing a new battery every nine months or so. They're supposed to last a lot longer but either a single bad cell or the BMS will malfunction and all of a sudden I'm buying another expensive battery for my computer.

Ever wondered just why there is such a big market in used Lithium chemistry battery cells?

Luckily, I have at least two more good years left in my Trojans, so I can afford to wait for costs to come down on Lithium and get a better handle on whether or not the companies currently doing business will still be around.

In the meantime I'll also be putting together some smaller Lithium batteries for a couple of projects I have in mind to see if the DIY line of thought makes sense for a house bank. For those of a similar mindset you might want to check out Jehu Garcia's channel for a cornucopia of Lithium cell DIY wonderfullness.

Listening to Balún

So it goes