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The Differences Between LiTime Self-Heating and Low-Temperature Protection Series

22 Nov 2023
LiTime Self-Heating and Low-Temperature Protection Series

LiTime has enhanced the Winter series offerings by integrating cutting-edge features such as 12V 230Ah and 12V 100Ah TM for low-temperature protection, alongside a self-heating series. Consequently, several customers find themselves in a state of confusion when deciding between these options. In order to address this issue, this article aims to clearly outline the distinctions among these products.

Are Lithium Batteries Good in Cold Weather?

Before we start the product introduction, let’s make clear a question: Are lithium batteries good in cold weather?

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries are an excellent choice for cold weather conditions due to their ability to perform reliably in a wide temperature range. Unlike standard lead-acid batteries, which can be adversely affected by cold temperatures, LFP batteries remain efficient and durable in extreme cold.

LFP batteries can be safely used in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) and as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). This temperature range makes them practical for various applications, including off-grid solar systems, RVs, and camper vans, where owners may often encounter extremely cold conditions.

In colder temperatures, the performance of lead-acid batteries significantly diminishes. The cold limits their capacity, and the more power you draw from them, the weaker they become. On the other hand, LFP batteries exhibit superior performance in cold weather. When you use LFP batteries, they naturally warm up due to internal resistance reduction, which leads to increased voltage and improved performance.

Choosing lithium batteries, such as LFP, for your power needs in cold weather can help overcome the limitations of traditional lead-acid batteries. With their enhanced performance, reliability, and temperature resistance, lithium batteries, especially LFP, are the clear winner when it comes to powering your devices in cold weather conditions. Whether you're looking to upgrade your existing battery system or seeking a solution for cold-weather challenges, lithium batteries are an optimal choice.

Does Cold Weather Affect Lithium Battery Life?

Cold weather indeed has an impact on the life and performance of lithium batteries. While lithium batteries are generally more resilient than lead-acid batteries in cold temperatures, extreme cold can still affect their efficiency and capacity.

At temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), lead-acid batteries experience a noticeable reduction in both efficiency and usable capacity, providing only around 70-80% of their rated capacity. In comparison, lithium batteries can operate with minimal loss, providing 95-98% of their capacity at the same temperature.

During charging, lithium ions in the battery are typically absorbed by the porous graphite anode, the negative terminal of the battery, resembling a sponge-like structure. However, when the temperature drops below freezing, the lithium ions have difficulty being efficiently captured by the anode. Instead, many lithium ions end up coating the surface of the anode, a process known as lithium plating. This leads to a decrease in available lithium for conducting electricity, resulting in reduced battery capacity.

Charging lithium batteries below freezing temperatures, especially at inappropriate charge rates, can lead to decreased mechanical stability of the battery, making it more susceptible to sudden failure. The loss of lithium ions within the graphite anode during freezing charging conditions can cause plating, which further reduces battery capacity and increases resistance. If plating accumulates significantly, it can potentially puncture the separator and create a dangerous short circuit inside the battery cell.

To mitigate these issues, it is important to avoid charging lithium batteries in freezing temperatures, especially at high charge rates. Using appropriate low-temperature charging protection mechanisms can help maintain the battery's performance and prevent potential damage caused by excessive plating.

While lithium batteries offer better cold-weather performance compared to lead-acid batteries, it is still crucial to consider the effects of cold temperatures on their capacity and take necessary precautions to ensure their optimal performance and safety.

That’s the reason why LiTime upgrades the low-temperature series and self-heating series.

LiTime Low Temperature VS Self-Heating Sereis

Next, we will have a detail explore of these 2 series.

LiTime Low-Temperature Protection Series

Currently, LiTime has 2 products contains the low temperature protection function, LiTime 12V 100Ah TM and LiTime 12V 230Ah.

The Low Temperature protection, is one of the charging protection besides high temperature, over-charging, over-discharging, over current and short circuit.

When batteries are charged at low temperatures, several issues can arise that affect their performance and longevity. These issues include reduced charging efficiency, decreased battery capacity, and potential damage to the battery cells. Low-temperature protection mechanisms are implemented to mitigate these risks and ensure safe and effective charging in cold environments.

litime 12v 230ah lifepo4 battery with low-temperature protection

So when the charging temperature is lower than freezing point 37℉(0℃),the charging will cut off automatically. When put the battery indoor and the temperature is up to 41℉( 5℃), it will recover the charging.

LiTime Self-Heating Series

Self-heating series contains 12V 100Ah self-heating and 12V 200Ah self-heating LiFePO4 lithium batteries.

The biggest difference on this series of batteries is the built in heating pads. Two heating pads are installed on two sides of the battery, providing sufficient heating and more comprehensive protection of your battery.

litime 12V 100ah self-heating lifepo4 battery

This series batteries have the automatic self-heating function that will be activated by the BMS when the battery is connected to charger @-20℃ to 5℃ / -4℉ to 41℉. The heating will be stopped when the battery temperature has reached 10℃ / 50℉, which normally takes approx. 90 mins from -10℃ to 10℃ /14℉ to 50℉ and approx. 150 mins from -20℃ to 10℃ / -4℉ to 50℉.

How Does The Heating Pad Work?

Step 1: Connect the battery to the charger. (DC charging voltage:14.2V~14.6V, DC charging current >15A (for 100Ah battery)/20A (For 200Ah battery))

Step 2: The temperature sensors will detect the battery temperature.

  • (1) When the battery temperature is between -20℃ to 5℃ /-4℉ to 41℉, the BMS will start to heat the battery through the heating pads, and the battery will not be charged during the heating process. And it will continue to Step 3.
  • (2) Or when the battery temperature is >5℃ /41℉, the battery will be normally charged and the heating function will not be activated.

Step 3: When the battery temperature has reached the set value, the heating will be stopped and the battery will be charged. (Which normally takes approx. 30-60mins from -10℃ /14℉ and approx. 70-100mins from -20℃ /-4).

In Summary

These two series primarily address the charging issues of LiFePO4 lithium batteries in cold weather. The main difference between the Low-Temperature series and the Self-Heating series lies in the presence of an automatic Battery Management System (BMS) heating module. The Self-Heating series allows the battery to self-warm without any action required from the user while charging. However, the Low-Temperature Protection series requires you to take some measures, such as placing the battery in a warm indoor environment, to warm it up and restore charging capability.

It's crucial to choose the series that best suits your specific needs and preferences, considering factors such as charging convenience and temperature conditions you anticipate encountering.

Item LiTime 12V 100Ah TM LiTime 12V 230Ah Low-Temp LiTime 12V 100Ah Self-Heating LiTime 12V 200Ah Plus Self-Heating
Series Low Temeprature Protection Self-Heating
Cell Prismatic
Weight 24.25 lbs 45.25 lbs 24.3 lbs 44.1 lbs
Nominal Voltage 12.8V
Rated Capacity 100Ah 230Ah 100Ah 200A
Energy 1280Wh 3840Wh 1280Wh 2560Wh
Internal Resistance ≤40mΩ
Cycle Life 4000 cycles at 100% DOD, 6000 cycles at 80% DOD, 15,000 cycles at 60% DOD
BMS Board 100A 200A 100A 100A
Charge Method CC/CV
Charge Voltage 14.4V ± 0.2V
Recommend Charge Current 20A (0.2C) 46A (0.2C) 20A (0.2C) 40A(0.2C)
Max. Continuous Charge Current 100A 200A 100A 100A
Max. Continuous Discharge Current 100A 200A 100A 100A
Max. Discharge Current 5 Seconds 280A 600A / /
Max. Discharge Current 1 Second / / 500A 330A
Max. Continuous Output Power 1280W 2560W 1280W 1280W
Dimension L13*W6.77*H8.43 inch L19*W6.7*H9.5 inch L13*W6.77*H8.43 inch L21*W8.2*H8.5 inch
392*172*214 mm 483*170*240 mm 329*172*214 mm 532*207*215 mm
Housing Material ABS (Flame Retardant Plastic)
Protection Class IP65
Temperature Range Charge: 0℃ to 50℃ / 32℉ to 122℉ Charge: -20℃ to 50℃ / -4℉ to 122℉
Discharge: -20℃ to 60℃ / -4℉ to 140℉ Discharge: -20℃ to 60℃ / -4℉ to 140℉
Storage: -10℃ to 50℃ / 14℉ to 122℉ Storage: -10℃ to 50℃ / 14℉ to 122℉
Low Temperature Charging Protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Low Temperature Charging Protection Recovery 5℃/41℉(Battery Temperature) 5℃/41℉(Battery Temperature) / /
Heating Temperature / / Charge: -20℃ to 10℃ / -4℉ to 50℉
Approx. Heating Time @15A / From (-10℃/ 14℉): 30-60 mins
From (-20℃ / -4℉): 70-100 mins

Can I Connect the Low-Temperature Series with Self-heating Series in Parallel or Series?

Unfortunately, no. These 2 series have different BMS, attempting to connect these series together could result in incompatible functionalities and potential damage to the batteries.

It is recommended to use batteries from the same series and follow the guidelines for optimal performance and safety.

Tips: How To Charge LiFePO4 Lithium Batteries in Cold Weather

To charge a LiFePO4 battery in cold weather, you can follow these guidelines for optimal results:

Ensure the battery is at a reasonable temperature

LiFePO4 batteries perform best between 0°C and 45°C (32°F and 113°F). If the battery is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, it is recommended to warm it up before charging. Placing the battery in a warmer indoor environment for some time can help raise its temperature.

Charge at a reduced current

In colder temperatures, it is advisable to charge the LiFePO4 battery at a reduced current. This approach helps to minimize stress on the battery and maintain its longevity. Consult the manufacturer's specifications or charging guidelines to determine the appropriate charging current for cold weather conditions.

Monitor the charging process

Throughout the charging process, it is crucial to monitor the battery's temperature and charging status. If the temperature drops significantly during charging, it might be necessary to pause the charging process and warm up the battery before continuing. This ensures safe and efficient charging in cold weather. 

Suggest reading: What is a Battery Monitor, Why Do You Need It?

battery monitor with shunt

Protect the battery from extreme cold

Prevent exposing the LiFePO4 battery to excessively low temperatures during or after charging. Extreme cold can negatively affect battery performance and capacity. If possible, store and use the battery in a temperature-controlled environment to maintain its optimal functionality.

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