Lithium Ion batteries were designed for the tool man who wants more power, more power, however, anglers are figuring out that more power is good for them. How much power, life cycles, weight or other factors depends on the brand and model. The good news is Lithium Ion or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are perfect for anglers, but there is one drawback and that’s price.
For all practical purposes we are not going to include Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. Popularity of AGM technology started in the early 80’s and was used in military airplanes or vehicles as a sealed lead acid battery. UPS also started using them because AGM batteries were reliable and to reduce the weight.
Not all lithium batteries are the same. There are basically two popular types of lithium batteries for anglers to pick from either lithium-ion or lithium iron phosphate. Both have their advantages, but cost is the biggest factor normally.
Lithium-ion normally consists of lithium manganese oxide or lithium cobalt dioxide and has a graphite anode. On the other hand, Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) has a cathode of iron phosphate along with an anode of graphite. Although both are lithium batteries you will often find anglers will use lithium-ion for power hungry marine electronics. Lithium iron phosphate batteries excel at high temperatures, its discharge rate doesn’t decrease as the capacity is reduced and they are safer than lithium-ion.
Why is lithium iron phosphate a safer choice in batteries? First it has excellent chemical and thermal stability; in addition to staying cooler in high temperatures. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are incombustible if it short circuits or if mismanaged when rapidly being charged or discharged. Note lithium-ion batteries can be unstable and experience thermal runaway while lithium iron phosphate battery phosphate cathode will not explode or burn when overheated or overcharged.
Co-owner of MTech Lithium Dean Yoder said, “Our company started around 10 years ago and in the past 3 years has grown to offer high quality, light weight and dependable RV and Marine batteries. Great batteries like MTech Lithium start with using high quality grade A cells and superior sophisticated electronic battery management system. Plus our customer service is second to none.”
Yoder noted that the MTech Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery has a life cycle of 2000-3000 cycles. A complete cycle consists of a fully discharged and recharged battery. Typically that would equal into having a 12- to 15-year battery life span for an angler. What battery charger is a question that Yoder gets asks often and he recommends the Minn Kota Precision.
The list of crappie pros using lithium iron phosphate is an impressive list. It includes John Godwin, Dan Dannemueller Sr., Greg Robinson, Mike & Tony Sheppard, Brandon Threadgill and Joel Harris. All of them represent MTech Lithium and either guide, fish crappie tournaments or both.
Beaver Lake fishing Guide Greg Robinson not only guides, but installs marine electronics in the northern Arkansas area. “I will do installs on boats and they will ask what I use for batteries to keep my four Garmin units going and I tell them the MTech Lithium Iron Phosphate 12 volt, 100AH/1150 CCA starting battery. It runs the Garmins all day and starts my outboard every time.”
Robinson has been using his for over 1 year now. “I typically troll non-stop all day long during the summer months using PICO Lures (www.picolures.com) at 1.5- to 2-mph with 3- to 4-people in my boat and I always have enough power to last. When I was using AGM batteries I wouldn’t have enough time between trips to charge the AGM up, but with lithium iron phosphate batteries they charge up fast and they are ready for the next trip out the following day.”
Cost is really the negative aspect of lithium iron phosphate batteries. Depending on brand and quality a Marine starting battery 12 volt 100AH with 1150 CCA can be round $955. A Deep cycle marine battery 12 volt 100AH is around $825.
On the other hand, these batteries usually come with an extended warranty; have good density, lightweight and a long life span. Lithium iron phosphate batteries have a stable chemical thermal chemistry with no thermal runaway and safe when fully charged.
.This article was originally published in forum thread: More Power, More Power with Lithium Ion Batteries by Brad Wiegmann