Renogy Or Battle Born Batteries? Who Is The Winner When It Comes To Lithium Batteries?
12 volt Lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular and two main companies that are making them right now are Renogy and Battle Born. Renogy started in Louisana while Battle Born is located in Reno, Nevada where it designs and assembles its batteries.
Renogy’s 12V 100Ah smart lithium iron phosphate battery and Battle Born’s 100Ah LiFePO4 battery are what I am going to review and compare in this post.
A big reason that lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular is that the prices of lithium-ion batteries are becoming very affordable, and research says that it’s expected to keep going down in prices with an annual rate of 6.5% for the next decade. That is great news for us solar addicted people, who need batteries to store our generated power.
Today I am going to review and compare the two lithium battery market leaders in the United States. These deep cycle lithium batteries are especially popular with RV travelers that need lightweight batteries with a lot of capacity. Lead-acid deep cycle batteries are the standard on RVs, but we all know how heavy and limited they are in terms of features. I’ll talk more about the benefits of lithium-iron phosphate batteries after the reviews and comparison.
Renogy Lithium Vs Battle Born Batteries Specifications Compared
A Review Of Both 12V Lithium Batteries
If you’ve ever researched solar panels, you’ve probably seen Renogy’s products before. They’ve recently started making lithium batteries, and this version they call the Smart Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery is the newest battery in the lineup, which is why it’s the one I am comparing against the Battle Born battery.
With 100Ah capacity, a 100A continuous discharge current, a communication port, an auto-balance feature for connecting several batteries in parallel, and a built-in BMS (battery management system) it’s a solid lithium battery that would make a great RV house battery or in any off-grid solar setup.
Weighing 26 pounds, it’s a much lighter alternative to the standard lead-acid deep charge batteries like the 100Ah lead-acid AGM battery, which usually weighs around 60-70 pounds. Another great thing with lithium is that you can use much more of the battery capacity without damaging the battery in the long run.
Lead-acid deep cycle batteries should be kept above 50% state of charge, as where lithium batteries should be kept above 20%, and if necessary, they’re safe to discharge even lower than that. Lithium also charges more efficiently.
The Renogy 100Ah 12V Smart Lithium battery is even lighter than some other lithium batteries with the same battery capacity, and this is due to the use of pouch battery cells, instead of cylindrical found in most other products.
Its maximum continuous charging current is 50A, and discharge current 100A.
You can connect several batteries in parallel to increase your battery capacity. Unfortunately, you can’t connect these Renogy batteries in series to combine the voltage for a 24V or 48V setup.
Renogy advertises a cycle life of 4000 cycles to 80% which is great compared to lead-acid batteries, and common when it comes to high-quality lithium batteries.
The battery measures 11.4 by 6.8 by 7.4 inches and it has an IP54 protection rate. It fits in battery boxes used by lead-acid batteries, so if you’re looking to replace your RV batteries, it’s a quick drop-in replacement.
The terminal rings on the battery are M8 size and Renogy has made the battery box easy to open up.
The Nevada company Battle Born Batteries has started showing up everywhere lately, and the one product usually in the spotlight is the Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery.
They’ve come a long way by helping YouTubers install lithium batteries on their campers while selling a product that is made with high-quality parts and put together by a team that knows what it’s doing.
In addition to their 100Ah battery, they sell a 50Ah lithium battery that is very similar in terms of features, although not as powerful.
The 100Ah model has 100 amp-hours of capacity, uses the LiFePO4 battery chemistry, and is capable of 100 amps of continuous current going either in or out of the battery. It also supports an impressive 200 amp of surge current for up to 30 seconds, and a 1/2 second surge for even higher loads.
Battle Born advertises 3000-5000 cycles to 75-80% capacity. Of course, the number of cycles will depend on how fast you charge/discharge the battery and other factors. But even 3000 cycles to 75% is a lot better than a lead-acid battery which provides between 200-300 cycles before sharply declining in battery capacity.
The high number of cycles is one of the biggest reasons to go with lithium instead of lead-acid batteries. Lithium batteries last longer and the cost over time is lower.
Battle Born’s 100Ah battery measures 12.75 by 6.8 by 9 inches, so it’s the perfect lead-acid replacement since it will fit in the same battery boxes. This makes it a great option for the RVer who has a camper with battery boxes mounted on the front with lead-acid batteries and wants to remove and replace them with lithium.
How Renogy Lithium Compares To The Battle Born Battery
The biggest difference between the two is weight. While both are lightweight compared to lead-acid batteries, the Renogy smart lithium battery weighs 26 pounds versus Battle Born’s 31 pounds. This is most likely due to the pouch cell batteries used by Renogy that are more lightweight than the cylindrical batteries in the Battle Born.
It’s also possible that the Battle Born has slightly more battery capacity. Although it’s a 100Ah, I believe Battle Born has put a couple of extra batteries in there to make sure that every single battery they send away is capable of at least 1200Wh capacity.
Another big difference between the two is Renogy lithium batteries don’t support a series connection. If you would like to increase your battery capacity, you’re going to have to parallel connect them. Battle Born allows both series and parallel, so if you want the option to go 24V or 48V in the future, Battle Born is the way to go.
They’re very similar in terms of lifecycles, where Renogy advertises 4000 cycles, and Battle Born 3000-5000. Of course, how many lifecycles you get out of your battery depends on how you use it. A battery that has been charged/discharged relatively fast 5000 times will be in worse shape than one that been charged/discharged the same amount of time but slower.
Lithium batteries last longer if you take good care of them. Michael Kassner has written a good short post about this over at TechRepublic where he also shares what you should think about.
Another difference between the two is the continuous charge current rating. Renogy maxes out at 50A, while Battle Born can handle up to 100A. Both are capable of discharging at 100A continuously. What this means is that it can handle 1200W at 12 volts until the battery is empty.
The difference between the two won’t make a huge difference unless you have a large solar panel farm and want to be able to input more than 50A at 12V. If you have more than 8 100W solar panels, you’d want to go with the Battle Born.
The Conclusion, Which One Is The Best?
Both the Renogy smart lithium battery and the Battle Born LiFePO4 battery are incredible lithium batteries. You’re going to be happy with either of them and if you’re looking for new batteries for your RV camper, they would both be a huge improvement compared to lead-acid batteries.
If you’re creating a relatively large solar panel farm with 8 panels or more, I would go with the Battle Born LiFePO4 battery due to its maximum charging amperage. The Battle Born is also better since it allows you to connect several batteries in either series or parallel.
Battle Born Batteries are also excellent in RVs due to their surge watts. If you had two of them wired in parallel paired with a large inverter, you wouldn’t have to worry about the surge watts at all even when using a large air conditioner.
So the conclusion is, both are great batteries, but if you want to have the option to expand in the future by connecting several batteries in series, I recommend the Battle Born LiFePO4 battery.
How Many Watt-Hours Does A 100Ah Lithium Battery Have?
Since we’re talking about 12V batteries, a 100Ah battery has 12V*100Ah=1200 watt-hours.
What Is A Good Starter Setup With A 100Ah Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery For An RVer/travel trailer camper?
A good way to get started with solar would be with a lithium battery. Both the batteries we’ve reviewed today are excellent choices. Here is what a small setup could look like that will allow you to run everything in your RV camper except for the microwave and air conditioner:
Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery – The battery is the heart of the setup. A 100Ah battery would give you 1200Wh to work with, and two batteries wired in parallel would double that. Battle Born also sells a kit with the Victron battery monitor so you can monitor your battery’s state of charge, time to go, and power consumption in watts.
Victron SmartSolar Charger – When charging lithium batteries, you want to make sure your charge controller supports it. Battle Born recommends Victron chargers and has written a guide about how to set up their batteries with this specific charge controller, click here to view that guide. The 1000/30 charge controller supports up to 450W of solar at 12V.
Renogy 100W solar panel – These 100W monocrystalline solar panels from Renogy are great solid and durable panels. The Victron charge controller supports up to four of these at a 12V configuration. They can be mounted easily to an RV roof with a solar panel mounting kit, although I recommend using an adjustable tilting kit so you can improve the charging efficiency during the winter months.
If using a parallel connection (which I recommend) you would combine two panels with a MC4 Y branch connector. These also come in larger sizes if you want to connect three panels or more.
In addition to your solar panels and batteries, you can use an inverter so you can run your regular 120V electronics. There are some more feature-packed inverters out there that can also help charge your 12V batteries when you’re plugged into the grid. An example of that is the Victron MultiPlus.
For a small starter setup for a camper, I would recommend something smaller just to get started. Like the Renogy 1000W pure sine wave inverter. This would let you use everything in your camper except for your AC and microwave.
Where Are Battle Born’s Lithium Batteries Made?
Battle Born Batteries are located in Reno, Nevada, where they design, put together, and test their batteries.
What Is A Good Charger For A 12V 100Ah Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery?
A good solar charge controller for a 12V lithium battery is the Victron SmartSolar Charger. Battle Born recommends Victron and has a guide on how to set it up for their batteries.