Lithium metal batteries are generally used to power devices such as watches, calculators, temperature data loggers, car key fobs, flashlights and defibrillators.
Lithium batteriesare generally safe and unlikely to fail, but only as long as they are not defective or damaged. As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of lithium batteries. Some are more secure and stable than others.
However, when used and maintained properly, lithium batteries of all types can be safe. This will often allow you to need fewer lithium batteries in your system to achieve the same capacity as a lead-acid system. OSHA notes that workers who frequently use or handle lithium-powered devices or batteries are at special risk if a lithium battery catches fire or explodes, since the device or battery is close to the body. When properly designed, manufactured and used, these batteries are a safe, high-energy density source of energy for workplace devices.
However, with the advent of new lithium technologies, it's clear that lithium batteries are, in fact, safe. The BMS ensures that the battery is not overcharged, calculates the state of charge of the batteries, monitors and regulates the temperature, and monitors the health and safety of the batteries. Lithium batteries outperform lead-acid batteries in general, so it's no surprise that they're quickly becoming the go-to standard for RVers around the world. LiFePO4 batteries have a lower energy density than lithium-ion batteries, making them more stable and making them an excellent choice for recreational vehicle applications.
Even if you follow this conservative rule of thumb, a 100 ampere-hour lithium battery provides approximately 80 ampere-hours before it needs to be recharged. You can only safely discharge a lead-acid battery to approximately 50% of its rated capacity before starting to damage the battery. Lead-acid batteries are also susceptible to damage and overheating when charged and discharged, but they don't have a BMS to protect them. As this technology has advanced, improvements, such as the stability of internal chemistry, have resulted in lithium batteries that are safer than any other.
Lithium-ion batteries have appeared in the media in recent years due to incidents in which mobile phone batteries catch fire or explode in airplanes or perhaps in an electric car that catches fire. In addition, a lithium battery will weigh about half as much as a lead-acid battery with the same capacity. For example, small cameras carried by workers, such as police and security personnel, can cause burns or other serious injuries if the lithium battery catches fire or explodes while it is in use. Safety, cost, weight and efficiency are critical factors in deciding what type of battery to use in your RV.