Lithium batteries have quickly become the go-to battery type when it comes to designing a solar system for you Campervan. A long life-span, lightweight, efficient, an internal management system, and the ability to use 100% of it`s capacity. What more could you ask for? Keep reading for our detailed review of the Canbat Lithium Battery and why you should consider one for your next build!
Canbat is a Canadian company that make a selection of superior sealed lead-acid, lithium iron phosphate and lead carbon batteries. In this review we will be talking about why we chose a Lithium battery, why we LOVE it, and how you can get a discount on yours! (HINT: use code MADETOTRAVEL for 5% off your entire order with Canbat!)
Lithium VS Lead Acid Batteries
First of all, lets talk about why we chose a Lithium iron phosphate battery. If you`re comparing apples to apples, a Canbat lithium battery wins every single category except one – price. Lithium-ion cells have the highest energy density compared to any other cell, especially, lead acid. Since the cells are much more energy dense, they are able to discharge and recharge at a much quicker, and more efficient rate.
This will allow you to power large electronics like water heaters or an induction cooktop without the possibility of damaging your battery. Another huge benefit to these energy rich lithium cells is size and weight. Lithium batteries are 60% lighter than lead-acid batteries! This means easy installation/maintenance, massive space savings, and improved gas mileage. With these cells being much more efficient, they also have a much higher lifespan.
HINT: use code MADETOTRAVEL for 5% off your entire order with Canbat!
Although lead acid batteries are cheaper, it might now be as good a savings as you think! Here’s why. You need to compare the price per usable amp hour. A 100Ah (amp hour) lead acid battery will cost roughly $400. Since you can only use 50% of it`s capacity, that equals $8/Ah. A 100Ah lithium battery will cost roughly $1000, but you can use 100% of its capacity. That equals $10/Ah. Depending on charge cycles and how the battery is maintained, lithium battery’s are also capable of a much longer life span. So when you really break down the cost per amp hour, lead acid batteries are definitely not as cost efficient as there price tag makes them out to be.
Lastly and most importantly is the environmental impact of each battery. Mercury, lead, and cadmium which are found in lead acid batteries, are highly toxic heavy metals. Remember, you need twice as much capacity for a lead acid battery to have the same power as a lithium battery. This means, twice as much mining and material for the same amount of amp hours. Although both batteries can be recycled, it is common that lead-acid batteries aren’t disposed of properly and aren’t worth the effort to recycle. Lithium ion batteries are 100% recyclable and with a longer lifespan, are much more environmental friendly.
The Cold Weather Feature
I`m about to drop a bomb on you so listen up! Something very important that you might not know is that once most batteries are in temperatures below 0°C, they stop accepting charge. For that reason, Canbat`s cold weather feature sets them apart from all other manufacturers! This feature allows the lithium iron phosphate battery to continue to charge at temperature as low as -35°C.
We live in Canada and often experience temperatures lower the -20 throughout the winter so this feature was a huge selling point! Even though we insulated the van; the battery is located on the floor, near the rear doors, underneath our bed, and in the coldest part of the van. Thanks to this feature, we can be confident that our battery is warm and charging when were out doing all of our winter activities.
Canbat`s Intelligent BMS
Each Canbat lithium battery also has a built-in smart battery management system. This system protects the battery from a variety of factors including low and high temperature, over discharge, over-recharge, and short circuits. If you`re a beginner like us, this feature will help protect your battery during charge and discharge cycles. It`s also nice to know that if you accidentally make a mistake during the electrical install, the battery will shut down to protect itself.
Installation Options: Series or Parallel
Canbat’s lithium batteries can be installed in either series or parallel. The big difference between the two is that series doubles the volts while keeping amps the same, while parallel doubles the amps while keeping volts the same. Almost all campervans will only use 12v/120v circuits but some systems will require 24v or 48v. It is also popular to install two 6V batteries in series which gives you 12v.
This is an important feature when it comes to planning out your solar system because it allows you to expand your battery capacity easily without having to resize wires. Before deciding on whether to install your batteries in parallel or series, make sure you research the pros and cons of each configuration and what your system will require. It`s important to note that not all lithium batteries can be installed in series. Renogy, for example, can only be installed in parallel.
10 Year Warranty
Canbat backs their lithium batteries with a 10 year warranty. This gives us piece of mind with such a large purchase. They also offer lifetime technical support which is very handy when your learning the ins and outs of installing a solar system. With a lifecycle of 5,500+ discharge cycles, we`re expecting a VERY long life out of our Canbat lithium battery!
When it comes to tech support, Canbat is the best we`ve experienced. We’ve been using this battery for a few months now and I’ve had multiple questions regarding the install/charging parameters. The staff at Canbat were very knowledgeable and had know problems helping out over the phone and email. It`s worth mentioning that I did NOT have anywhere close to the same support with Renogy!
100Ah Lithium Battery Comparison
|Shipping||Free (US & Canada)||Free (US & Canada)||Free only to Lower 48||Free only to Lower 48||Free only to Lower 48|
|Warranty||10 Year||10 Year||11 Year||10 Year||5 Year|
How To Save Some Money!
Canbat products do go on sale occasionally so keep your eyes peeled, especially around Black Friday and Boxing Day. They do offer free shipping to Canada and the US which is awesome since batteries can be quite heavy/expensive to ship. Finally, make sure to use the code MADETOTRAVEL for 5% off your entire purchase with Canbat; it adds up in a hurry!