Lead acid batteries have been around for ages, and are still used by many industries and consumers alike. While they’re popular, they are not without their drawbacks. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest disadvantages of lead-acid batteries.
1. Limited “Useable” Capacity
Lead-acid batteries have a limited usable capacity, which means that they can only supply their rated voltage and current at a maximum rate of discharge before they begin to degrade and lose voltage or run out of energy altogether. This is generally one percent per month, but it can vary depending on how well you maintain the battery, the age of the battery, and other factors.
The capacity of a lead acid battery is limited by its size and weight, which is determined by the amount of lead in its plates. As the charge on a battery increases, so does the available space for each cell within it. The more cells you have in your battery pack, the bigger your battery can get before it becomes too heavy to carry around or store safely.
2. Limited Cycle Life
This is an extremely prominent difference between lead acid and lithium ion battery which is why lithium ion batteries are now being used in vehicles. Lead acid batteries are not able to withstand repeated charging and discharging without losing their performance. A lead-acid battery will lose about 10% efficiency every time it is charged or discharged more than 100 times within one year.
The lifespan of a lead acid battery depends on how often it is used and how much it is charged and discharged during that time period. In other words, if you charge your battery once every few months and use it daily, then expect its lifespan to be longer than if you only use it once per year at most (or never at all). The cycle life is around 400 charge cycles for most lead-acid batteries; this means you can expect your battery to last four years before it starts losing its ability to hold a charge well enough to start working again (this figure can vary depending on factors like temperature changes).
3. Slow & Inefficient Charging
One of the major disadvantages of lead-acid batteries is their slow charging and discharging rates. These are mainly due to the fact that lead acid battery cells have low specific gravity, which means that they have a low amount of active material in them. While this makes them cheaper, it also makes them slower to charge and discharge than other types of batteries.
4. Wasted Energy
Lead acid batteries waste energy when being charged or discharged as they are not able to take advantage of the different voltages available at different times during charging and discharging cycles. Lead acid batteries also do not use any energy while being charged as there is no chemical reaction taking place within them at this time either. This means that there is no energy being wasted in this process and therefore these batteries hold less energy than other types of batteries such as lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) which can be used more efficiently because they are capable of taking advantage of multiple voltages at once during charging and discharging cycles.