48V lithium golf cart batteries offer many benefits including some serious weight savings, more efficient battery chemistry, a larger number of charging/discharging cycles, faster charging, longer range, etc. However, the price of 48V lithium golf cart batteries is higher than the price of the 48V lead-acid golf cart battery pack – at least in the beginning. In the long run, 48V lithium batteries save both money and time …
48V Lithium Batteries Features and Specifications
First of all, 48V a is serious voltage, so whatever You do, be sure to stay safe.
When compared with equivalent (same nominal voltage and nominal capacity) lead-acid batteries, lithium golf cart batteries feature:
- higher initial price, especially if there is a need of buying a dedicated lithium battery charger, which is recommended,
- lower weight, by a factor of 2-4x, especially when considering actual (real-life) capacity, not only nominal (20h) capacity,
- simplified maintenance – most golf carts lead-acid batteries are still wet/flooded batteries, requiring users to periodically check the level of electrolyte, while lithium batteries are practically maintenance-free batteries,
- larger number of charging/discharging cycles: while most lead-acid batteries may withstand 500-800 cycles down to 50% DoD, lithium batteries can easily withstand 2000-3000 cycles down to 100% DoD and 4000-5000 cycles down to 80% DoD.
- faster recharging: most lithium golf cart batteries may be recharged with 1C currents, although 0.2C is usually recommended current. This allows the lithium golf cart battery to be ready for another drive rather quickly. Lithium batteries are also very efficient in terms of accepting charge from regenerative braking, although this very much depends on the vehicle’s battery brake controller, if present, of course. If not, braking energy is dissipated in the form of heat, which is not a very energy-efficient way of braking.
- connecting in series and/or parallel: while lead-acid batteries can be freely connected in parallel/series, as long as the same batteries from the same manufacturer are used, lithium batteries should be connected in series/parallel ONLY if explicitly permitted by their manufacturer and according to the manufacturer recommendations. Any other connection can cause damage, fire, or even an explosion of the battery.
- charging: lithium batteries should be charged with special CC/CV (Constant Current, Constant Voltage) battery chargers, while lead-acid battery chargers can be used only if permitted by the battery’s manufacturer. Note: many manufacturers offer lithium battery chargers at very acceptable prices – highly recommended if You already don’t own a dedicated lithium battery charger(s)!
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What are the Advantages of Lithium Batteries for Golf Carts?
Constant power – Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries operate at full power throughout discharge, even when they are at less than 5%. Low battery won’t result in sluggish performance.
Lightweight – Lithium batteries are 50-60% lighter than their lead-acid equivalents. This makes them significantly easier to install. Plus, it increases your golf cart’s weight-to-performance ratio, enabling you to reach higher speeds with less effort.
Fast charging – Lithium batteries can be fully charged within 1-3 hours. This is a vast improvement over lead-acid batteries, which can take over 8 hours to fully charge.
Maintenance-free – No water needed, and no cleaning of acid residue required. Just charge them up, and they’re ready to go.
Safety – Most lithium batteries utilize Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), a chemistry that is inherently safe. In addition, Battery Management Systems (BMS) have been developed in order to regulate heat, eliminating the risk of overcharging and overheating.
Long-life – Lithium batteries have up to a 10x longer life cycle than lead-acid batteries.
Long shelf life – Lithium batteries have a very low rate of self-discharge, meaning they maintain a state of charge for longer when not being used.
Eco-friendly – Due to their lower charge times, and the fact that they contain less hazardous materials, lithium batteries are far better for the environment than lead-acid batteries. Before you confirm a purchase, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the battery that’s right for you by taking the following into consideration. Battery capacity; Measured in Ah (ampere-hours), a battery’s capacity is the amount of power it can discharge in a single-use. In other words, it’s how long the battery will last before it needs recharging. Pretty much all lithium batteries will easily cover you for 18 holes of golf. Some batteries, with an AH of around 100, can run for as long as 36 holes. Voltage ; Voltage is basically the amount of electrical power that your lithium battery holds. 24v is a fairly standard amount of voltage for lithium golf cart batteries. Dimensions It’s essential to check the dimensions of your golf cart battery holder before you purchase a new battery. If you choose a battery that is larger than your holder, you will have a lot of difficulty keeping it secure. If you cross-reference the dimensions of your cart holder against the size of the battery, you can ensure your new lithium battery will be a good fit. Most lithium batteries are roughly (W)160mm x (L)250mm x (H)200mm. Batteries with larger capacity tend to be slightly bigger. However, generally speaking, lithium batteries are nice and compact; they’re a good fit for most modern golf carts.