We often hear that we should look at the number of battery cycles before purchasing a new battery. We see specific metrics for this, which are usually associated with the years your battery is bound to last. But what really do these battery cycles mean and what part do they play in the overall performance of your battery?
What is Battery Cycle?
Cycle life or simply battery cycle pertains to the number of charge and discharge cycles a battery can undergo before it shows a noticeable decline in performance. This is largely affected by what we call depth of discharge or DoD, which refers to the amount of your battery's storage capacity that you have utilised. For example, your battery cycle life will be significantly longer if your DoD is only at 20% (at a full charge rate) compared to when you let it drop to 80%.
So, does a battery cycle equate to battery life then? No. Your battery's lifespan is directly related to how deep you typically cycle your battery. The most ideal discharge rate for optimal battery life would be at 50%. This does not mean you cannot go down to 80% occasionally though. The half of your battery's full charge is only the most recommended rate you should go for when you're planning to calculate how long you will use your battery and how much load you will plug in it.
How Many Cycles Does a Battery Have?
This will depend on what type of rechargeable battery you're using. If we're going to talk about the batteries used in your computer, these usually fall at around 400-500 charge cycles. When it comes to camping batteries, cycles are a lot higher—going up to a thousand or more since these are meant to power appliances or tools.
Lead-acid batteries, the oldest in the field, have at least 1,000 charging cycles when used in proper conditions. However, if you leave it exposed to extreme temperatures or other environmental factors, this could cause a huge decline in its longevity. AGM batteries have around 1,200 charge cycles if you discharge at 30% and 550 cycles if you constantly let it go down 50%. Lithium-ion batteries have a pretty good cycle number at 2,000, which translates to about 5 years. Last but not the least, the lithium iron phosphate battery or LiFEPO4 has the most cycles among all battery types, going over at 2,000. It's among the reasons why it's currently very popular, aside from the higher capacity it packs and top-notch safety features.
How Many Cycles Does a Deep-Cycle Battery Last?
Deep-cycle batteries can never go unmentioned if we're talking about battery cycles. If you're after longevity, these are your best option as they go above 2,000 cycles—sometimes even lasting up to 5,000 cycles! Another great feature of these batteries is that they supply reliable power even at 80% discharge. They are designed to repeatedly charge and discharge without affecting your battery's overall lifespan, making them perfect as camping batteries or caravan batteries. Here at Outbax, we have a section of deep-cycle batteries including 100Ah deep-cycle batteries, 12V deep-cycle batteries, and slimline deep-cycle batteries.
There are also different kinds of deep-cycle batteries such as AGM deep-cycle batteries, flooded lead-acid batteries, Li-ion batteries, and LiFEPO4. If you want to get great value for your money, it would be best to go with a lithium deep-cycle battery, especially a LiFEPO4 as it is known for its long life and improved overall quality as well. They can be pricier than other battery packs but can last up to 10 years, which will save you a lot in the long run.
Of course, going for a deep-cycle LiFEPO4 does not mean you won't have to do even a minimal amount of maintenance. If you really want to make sure that you maximise your battery power, there are ways to extend your battery's life. These include giving it a chance to fully charge and avoiding frequent discharge levels of below 10%. When not in use, how you store and charge your battery plays an important role too. Make sure you keep them in a dry place with just the right temperature and follow the proper charging procedure required for the type of battery you have. In the case of deep-cycle batteries, trickle charging is always the best charging method.
More from Outbax
Want access to really good off-grid batteries? Visit Outbax now. We have excellent batteries here that we can deliver to you no matter where you are in Australia. Looking for a deep-cycle battery in Ballarat? No problem. Just browse, add your pick to your cart, checkout, and wait for it to arrive. Aside from batteries, we have other camping gear to choose from too. Check out our inverter generators, solar panels, and power stations for sale in case you want an alternative power source for your next adventure.