There’s no question that the world as a whole is moving toward environmentally friendly practices. Unfortunately, not all batteries are keeping up with the times; times where consumers and business owners want (need) options.

RELiON lithium iron phosphate batteries are stepping up to the plate with innovative solutions to some of the battery industries oldest complaints, helping to take us into the future.

Lithium iron phosphate batteries – what’s it all mean?

RELiON lithium batteries offer solutions to some of the peskiest battery problems. For instance, they weigh less than a traditional lead-acid battery. About a quarter less! So when you are talking about a nearly 30-pound battery, every ounce you can shave off makes a big difference.

They last longer too. With a lifespan that is 10 times longer than a standard lead-acid battery, you can install it and forget it. Of course, you’ll have to practice battery maintenance like cleaning and recharging but that’s not a big deal either.

The RELiON lithium iron phosphate batteries recharge faster because they operate with a lower resistance. Just when it couldn’t get any better, we discover that these batteries are also tolerant of extreme hot and cold temperatures and they’re smaller!

All of these improvements over the traditional battery chemistry and design means the applications for batteries just went through the roof.

So How Does All This Work?

A  just like any other battery; a positive charge moves through the electrolyte to the negative plate and remains there until used.

So while the idea of how a battery works didn’t change, the materials used to make it happen did.

Because RELiON uses a battery chemistry that is so far removed from the traditional lead-acid construction, they virtually eliminated the limitations that went along with it.

This means you can have a relatively maintenance-free battery that doesn’t require watering or lose capacity when idling or not in use.

Environmentalist, rejoice: they are environmentally friendly as well. Lead-acid batteries create fumes and require a lot of ventilation. RELiON batteries are non-hazardous and require no special protections against gassing.

These batteries are highly efficient as well. They have proven to be 99% efficient where lead-acid batteries are traditionally only 80% efficient.


So What Can RELiON Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Be Used For?

The better question is, what can’t they be used for? They are available in a variety of sizes which makes them perfect for whatever application you can dream up.

Their lighter weight and longevity makes them perfect for automotive needs. Many people prefer these batteries as a backup power source because they have to be replaced less often.

RELiON lithium batteries are designed to be deep discharge batteries, which means that they maintain their effectiveness to a discharge of 100%. Lead-acid batteries begin to fail at a depth of discharge around 75-80%.

This means that with a RELiON battery, you can use it at full power to the last drop and still be able to recharge quickly and go again. With traditional batteries, this would mean certain death. Once you’ve used and recharged just so many times, the battery is done.

Not with RELiON. Even when cycled over 2,000 times the lithium iron phosphate battery will still perform at about 80% of capacity.

With a battery on the market that lasts 10 times longer, requires virtually no maintenance, and can be used and quickly recharged over and over again, it’s no wonder that the RELiON lithium iron phosphate battery is becoming the battery of the future.

If you want to learn more about these batteries, give our team a call. Plus, keep an eye out for more spotlights, like our feature on the Trojan Solar AGM line.

Battery 101: How To Store Your Batteries In The Off Season

We get a lot of questions about how to properly store batteries. Let’s break down the real do’s and don’ts for storing your batteries in the offseason.

Do: Get It Clean and Keep It Clean

Dirt and corrosion can increase a battery’s discharge rate. It’s important to clean the battery casing and the terminals thoroughly before you connect anything to it and throughout the battery’s life cycle. As long as you properly cleaned the battery before you store it, you should be able to just keep it clean and dust free with a clean dry rag for dusting.


Don’t: Put Your Battery In Storage Without a Charge 

One of the worst things you can do is store a battery away for a few months without charging it. All batteries have a natural rate of self-discharge. By not charging the battery fully first, you are just asking to come back to a completely dead battery that can’t be revived.


Do: Make Sure It’s Completely Disconnected

If you’re not planning on removing the battery completely from the equipment it’s connected to, you’ll need to make sure that the battery is disconnected from any and all terminals. It’s important that nothing touches the battery terminals that could potentially create a discharge.


Don’t: Forget To Plan For Off Season Charging

Whether you will be using a trickle charger or just simply hooking up a standard charger every so often while the battery is in storage, it’s important to make sure that you have the charger you need and that it is in good working order.

There’s nothing more frustrating than to check on your batteries and find out the charger you have isn’t working or isn’t an effective charger for your battery. A battery that has been kept charged throughout its lifecycle will last longer and perform at peak levels throughout its lifespan.


Do: Keep An Eye On The Environment

While not storing your batteries on a cement floor isn’t really an issue anymore, it’s still the safest bet to keep it off the ground and in a temperature controlled environment. Moisture and extreme temperatures are a sure fire way to increase your batteries rate of self-discharge.

A good rule of thumb is to store the battery above 32°F and below 80°F.


Don’t: Store It and Forget It 

Batteries are not items you can put away for the winter and forget about. They have to be checked and maintained throughout the entire time they are in storage.

In fact, lead-acid batteries that are properly maintained can be stored for up to 2 years. Pay attention to the charge levels. Some maintenance chargers have an auto shut-off and some don’t. (You’ll want to make sure your charger is keeping the battery right in the charge range as outlined by the manufacturer.)

If you are charging off and on throughout the storage time as opposed to using a trickle charger, you may find yourself getting frustrated with how long it takes the battery to charge. Keep in mind that while a higher voltage may charge faster, it’s a lot more damaging to your battery.

Once you know how, storing a battery is an easy and effective way to lengthen the life of your battery and keep it working like the day you bought it.

Battery 101: The Pros And Cons of a Gel Mat Battery

If you’ve ever shopped for a battery you know 1) there’s a ton, and 2) they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Gel mat batteries are no different. Understanding the pros and cons of a gel battery is the best first step in determining if this type of battery is right for you.

What Is A Gel Battery?

Before you can determine the pros and cons of a gel battery and how they will affect you, it’s important to understand what exactly a gel battery is. A gel battery is very similar to a traditional lead-acid battery with the addition of silica to the electrolyte to create the gel like substance.

This thickening of the electrolyte means that gel batteries can be installed in a variety of positions and don’t emit as many fumes.

Pro Tip: This allows for gel batteries to be used in applications where ventilation is limited.

How Does It Work?

A gel battery (often referred to as a gel cell battery) is a lead-acid battery that is valve regulated. When the electrolyte is mixed with sulphuric acid and silica, it becomes a relatively stationary gel substance.

This gel mixture allows the battery to utilize the acid and electrolyte in the same way it would with a traditional lead-acid battery, just without the added maintenance.

The Pros

– Maintenance Free: Because the batteries are comprised of gel instead of liquid, there is little to no maintenance to keep the battery working properly.

– No Leaks: Even though wet cell batteries are sealed in a plastic encasement there is still the chance that it will leak. Gel batteries are also sealed but with a valve that removes excess pressure. This means that between the gel substance and the removal of pressure, there is nowhere for the mixture to go.

– Install Them Anywhere: Gel batteries have the advantage of being able to be used in virtually any position, because they don’t leak and are generally maintenance free. This greatly increases the number of applications gel batteries can be used for.

– Minimal Risk: When damage occurs to a traditional lead-acid battery you are faced with a massive and dangerous clean up (not to mention the impact on anything the battery acid may come into contact with during the process). Gel batteries will not leak out if the casing becomes damaged, so there is a reduced risk of harm coming to the equipment and clean up hazards.

– Vibration Resistant: One of the biggest complaints with wet cell batteries is that they are very susceptible to extreme vibration and other impacts. Gel batteries absorb the impact and vibrations, making them great batteries for items such as four wheelers.

– No Fumes: Because these batteries are comprised of a gel substance there are minimal fumes created as a result of use. This means that there is a reduced need for ventilation which increases the potential applications gel batteries can be used for, as well as making them easier to charge anywhere.

– Resistant To Discharge Death: When using a wet cell battery it’s important that you don’t allow the battery to discharge too much. Otherwise, it will never recharge. Gel cell batteries aren’t that way. They are deep cycle batteries which means that they can discharge more and still be recharged like new.


The Cons

– The Price: While the benefits of a gel battery are pretty hefty, so is the price tag. Many people looking to switch from wet cell to gel batteries see this as the biggest drawback.

– Charging Challenged: When charging your gel battery, you’ll want to plan on giving it extra time. Slow charging cycles are pretty common with these batteries, but you can’t walk away and leave it. Because it’s a gel instead of a liquid you’ll need to take it off the charger as soon as it’s complete. To leave it on could cause voids with the electrolyte which is irreversible damage.

– Heat Control: This is truly a drawback with most batteries and gel cell batteries are no exception. Heat is one of the fastest ways to cut the lifespan of your battery short. By controlling the batteries exposure to heat, you can lengthen the life cycle and keep your battery running like new.

6 Steps to Check Your Battery’s Electrolyte Levels

Battery maintenance is a commonly overlooked topic, especially when it comes to car batteries.

More often than not, if you pop your car hood, the battery you will see is what’s called a wet cell battery. This means that it has water, or electrolyte, that is used as a connector between the battery’s electrodes.

This water reacts to the environment in the same ways that water anywhere else does: it evaporates.

To prolong the life of your wet cell battery it’s important to check the electrolyte levels and replenish them as they get low. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as it may sound. Fortunately, these six steps will help make it easier.

Step 1: Safety first

You’ve heard it a million times, and it’s not because we like to say it. It’s because safety is always the first thing you should consider when working with a battery.

Whenever you are working with a battery you’ll want to take some safety precautions. Not only can the battery give you quite a jolt, it can also become dangerous if not handled properly.

Make sure you have gloves and safety goggles. You’ll also want to disconnect the battery and remove it from the car before you start messing around with it. Taking this step is a much better option than creating a potentially dangerous situation.


Step 2: Clean it up

There are many reasons why you should keep the top of your battery clean at all times. Aside from not wanting to contaminate the inside of the battery once you open it up, you’ll also decrease the risk of unintended discharge.

The best way to clean the battery is with an old toothbrush or wire brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Dip the brush into the mixture and use it to scrub away any dirt or corrosion build up. Use a clean, lint free rag to wipe the battery clean.


Step 3: Check The Electrolyte Levels

Before you just start filling the battery with distilled water, you’ll want to check the electrolyte levels to see if the battery even needs to be topped off.

You can do this by:

  • First remove the plastic tops covering the cell ports. This may require some prying with a screwdriver.
  • Once the covers have been removed, carefully clean away any dirt that may have built up underneath.
  • Now that the cells are open you will want to check the level of the electrolyte. The best way to tell if the battery needs more electrolyte is if the plates are exposed or coming close to exposure. Another way to tell is if the electrolyte levels are not equal in each cell.


Step 4: Adding Electrolyte

In this case, electrolyte simply means distilled water. You do not want to add another form of water and definitely not acid. Knowing how much to add is also an important distinction. A common rule of thumb is to add enough water to cover the electrodes or plates.

For newer batteries that are fully charged, you can safely add enough electrolyte that the level meets the bottom of the filler tube.


Step 5: Recover The Cells, Replace The Battery

Now that the electrolyte levels have been replenished, replace the covers to the cell ports. Make sure that there is no dirt or dust has landed on the bottom of the covers to prevent possible contamination.

Once the covers are secure it is safe to replace the battery and reconnect the cables.


Step 6: Use The Battery

Now that the battery has been cleaned and the electrolytes replenished, try starting the car and even drive it around for a bit.

Pay attention to the overall performance of the battery. Was it easy to start? Can you turn off the car and restart it with no issues? If there is no improvement or the battery will not hold a charge, it’s possible that you will need to replace the battery completely.


Proper battery maintenance can help keep your battery at peak performance levels longer. You can even save money by not having to replace your battery as often. Try adding battery care to your maintenance routine. This will help you keep track of how often you will need to replenish the electrolyte levels and can clue you in when something is just starting to go wrong.