Lithium Battery Max Continuous Discharge Rating Explained

Posted May 06, 2021

Did you know the maximum continuous discharge current is the highest amperage a lithium battery should be operated at perpetually? It may be a new term to hear because it is rarely mentioned with lead-acid batteries.

What Is The Max Continuous Discharge Rate Of A Lithium Battery?

The maximum continuous discharge current is the highest amperage your lithium battery should be operated at perpetually. This may be a new term that’s not part of your battery vocabulary because it is rarely if ever, mentioned with lead-acid batteries. RELiON batteries are lithium iron phosphate, or LiFePO4, chemistry which is the safest of all lithium chemistries.

What Conditions Will Damage LiFePO4 Batteries?

LiFePO4 batteries have a thermal runaway point of 518°F – which is the highest of all lithium chemistries available today. However, the battery management system must still monitor the temperature of the battery and shut it down should any conditions that could damage the battery occur. Some of these conditions include high or low voltage, high current, short circuit, and over temperature. Barring any other conditions, if you don’t exceed the maximum continuous rating, your battery should provide power to your application as expected.

For most RELiON batteries the maximum continuous discharge current is 1C or 1 times the Capacity. At the least, running above this current will shorten the life of your battery. At the worst, operating your battery continuously above the maximum could increase the internal temperature to the point where the BMS opens the circuit and stops providing power to your application.

It is very important to understand the demands of your application to remain under the maximum continuous rating to prevent permanent damage to your battery or loss of power. Be sure to review the maximum continuous discharge rating for each of your RELiON lithium batteries on our data sheets.

If you have any more technical questions or want to learn more about RELiON batteries, please contact our team of lithium professionals to assist you.

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