Today’s battery review comes with some exciting news. Ampere Time, the company which has earned an outstanding reputation by providing reliable batteries at an affordable price, has announced that they will be rebranding their company as Li Time. Going forward, they will be focusing more on products and solutions to better meet their customers growing list of needs including energy generation, storage, and conversion. We’ll be reviewing their brand new battery, the 12V 100Ah smart edition. Li Time has sponsored this battery for the purpose of review.
This battery is rated for 100Ah, or 1.28kWh, of stored energy. The included BMS is capable of a continuous 100A charge and 100A discharge rate – which is quite impressive, though the manual states a recommended charge of 20A or 0.2C. Continual charging at such high rates could reduce the lifespan of the battery in the long run.
For the capacity test, I used the standard 2000W Bestek inverter connected to four incandescent light bulbs. This resulted in approximately a 300W load on the battery. I left the inverter run until the BMS decided the battery was empty and shut down our test. The resulting capacity was 101.79Ah.
With the top cover removed, we can see the BMS right on top along with a variety of connection points. This is a good reminder that you should never disassemble these batteries as it could result in fire or personal injury. On the bottom, we see the main negative and positive conductors leaving the battery pack. These are run with a bundle of 3x 10 AWG silicone-insulated wires. Next, we see a variety of connectors on the BMS itself, from left to right we have temperature sensors, balance leads, power button/led wiring (we disconnected this after removing the lid), and an empty connector labeled T3 (likely used on other models).
With the assembly removed from the case and BMS taken off/set aside, we can see how the battery pack itself is constructed. It’s comprised of four GFB-brand cells, each rated at 3.2V 100Ah. These four cells in series give us the 12.8V 100Ah overall rating of the battery. The cells are laser-welded with aluminum busbars. The balance leads are nicely routed out of the way and are terminated with ring terminals, labeled heat shrink, and screwed to separate threaded holes on the busbars. Perfect!
The battery is held together with a steel frame that appears to have been designed specifically for this battery. It’s loosely holding the cells, forming a fixture and not necessarily compressing them. This is important for longevity of the battery. I love seeing that they improved their prior design to avoid having the corners squeezed, which we saw in one of the Ampere Time batteries we reviewed – great work! Lastly, there is epoxy board separating the cells from the metal case such that the metal case is not coming in contact with the cells in any place.
Taking a closer look at the BMS, it appears to be their own brand (Li Time) based on the exterior label. The PCB (printed circuit board) has the name CirDance stamped on it; however, I couldn’t find anything relevant online. I’m 95% certain this is their own in-house BMS, which is super cool to see them designing something specific to their own needs vs grabbing something from another company to slap on. I’ve labeled a few of the key components. The board appears to be conformally-coated, which is a thin layer of protective sealant to help prevent corrosion and moisture damage.
Lastly, we wrapped up our testing with making sure the low-temp charging and high-temp shutdown protections both work. I used a bench power supply to charge the battery around 9A then cooled the temp sensor with computer duster spray. The charging shut down in about 2-3 seconds, near instant. It’s quite impressive to see this kind of response time compared to some of the others we have seen. The high temp protection was tested using a small heat gun and behaved nearly the same, shutting the battery down after about 8-9 seconds. The temp protection on this board seem to work flawlessly, exactly as expected.
If you would like to learn more about the Li Time battery we reviewed here, or have a look at their other products, please click here to visit their website. The discount code “LITHIUM SOLAR” will take 6% off your order of any batteries on their site. This code is valid through January 1st, 2023.