There is no doubt lithium is the future of electrical storage in the 4WD and touring community, but the technology is improving constantly.
YouTuber XploringOz reviews the iTECH120X PRO - Deep Cycle Lithium Battery, designed to withstand the harsh Australian environment and able to be mounted in the engine bay of your vehicle.
iTechworld is one of the original Australian providers of low-cost lithium batteries designed to run in the engine bay of your vehicle. I have tested numerous models before, with a strong focus on one of their most popular units, the iTECH120X. This battery has been used, abused, discharged, and recharged numerous times over the last 12 months in my land cruiser, and it's performed very well. But iTechworld has taken this already proven and reliable unit and created the iTECH120X PRO lithium battery.
It is a true drop-in replacement lithium battery with an improved 120-amp hours of usable capacity while retaining a waterproof IP67 rating and being warranted for under-bonnet applications. That's what the documentation that came with this iTECH120X PRO tells me anyway. It's claimed to have all the benefits and advantages of the original iTECH120X. However, it uses a larger and full use of 120 amp hour of capacity. Today, we're going to look at everything from weights, dimensions, specifications, installation, and, of course, the much-anticipated capacity test. So let's get started.
First up, we're going to talk about the weight. There is no doubt that one of the biggest advantages to switching to lithium over traditional chemistry, like lead-acid or AGM, is the reduced weight. This iTECH120X PRO comes in at 12.5 kilos, which is 2.5 kilos heavier than the iTECH120X. It is a little heavier in hand.
However, unfortunately, living on the road, I don't have any way to measure this. This being said, the iTECH120X PRO came in at exactly 10 kilograms on my scale and is a perfect match to the claimed measurement. So, I have no reason to doubt the specifications provided by iTechworld on this.
Moving on to the physical dimensions, I can confirm that the PRO unit is identical to that of the iTECH120X. It comes in at 330 millimetres long, 173 millimetres wide, and 225 millimetres high. It should also be noted that the terminals are identical and placed in the same position and polarity as the previous units too. So, if you already own an iTECH120X PRO and are looking to upgrade, this battery will drop straight in and fit perfectly.
Let's move on to the technical details. Specification sheets for both the iTECH120X and the iTECH120X PRO claim to be using grade-A prismatic lithium-ion phosphate cells. Both units have a nominal voltage of 12.8 and have identical cycle life ratings, being 8,000 cycles at 50% discharge and 4,000 cycles at 100% discharge.
They both operate within the same temperature ratings, have the same recommended charging voltages, maximum charge currents, and I think we can see where this is going. The specifications for these units are identical in every way except the usable capacity from the battery. For some reason, iTechworld copped a fair bit of criticism from that iTECH120X PRO with the number 120 in a title inferring 120 amp hours of usable capacity but only delivering 105 amp hours.
Although I see the logic with this, I don't understand the criticism directed towards iTechworld as it's common throughout the industry.
If we take my previous AGM, for example, the Full River 105 amp hour, we can see that from my testing, I only pulled 74 amp hours despite 105 being in the title. This is just the way the batteries are built and the chemistry that they use within, and the same goes with these lithium units. They have to keep some power in reserve.
Depending on your setup and power demands, if you are constantly reaching the capacity limit of the iTECH120X PRO battery and have no space to add more batteries in parallel or a single larger battery, then the pro model with an extra 33 amp hour capacity would be a good choice. However, if the iTECH120X PRO is working fine for you, there's no need to upgrade since all other specifications are the same.
The installation process for the iTECH120X PRO is identical to the iTECH120X, and as mentioned before, it drops straight into the same space. It's essential to take note of the polarity of the battery before installing it. The battery terminals are marked in red and black, with a clear marking indicating which terminal is which. Make sure to connect them appropriately to avoid any short circuits or damage to your 12-volt system.
Now let's talk about the much-anticipated capacity test. To conduct this test, I used my trusty CTEK battery analyser. This analyser is a smart charger that can also provide a discharge test to determine the exact amount of usable capacity of a battery.
For the test, I discharged the battery down to 50% capacity, which is 12.4 volts, using a 20-amp discharge rate. The discharge test took approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, which is quicker than I expected. Once the battery was discharged to 50%, I reconnected the analyser to the battery and started the recharge process. The recharge took around 3 hours and 20 minutes to complete.
After the recharge was complete, I checked the capacity test results on the analyser, and it showed that the iTECH120X PRO had a usable capacity of 118.5 amp hours, which is very close to the advertised 120 amp hours. This is a significant improvement over the 105 amp hours I was getting from the previous iTECH120X PRO model.
To wrap things up, the iTECH120X PRO is a fantastic lithium battery that is a drop-in replacement for the iTECH120X. It's slightly heavier, but the dimensions and installation process are identical. The technical specifications of both batteries are almost identical, except for the usable capacity, where the Pro model has an extra 33 amp hours of capacity. The capacity test showed that the 120x Pro has a usable capacity of 118.5 amp hours, which is very close to the advertised 120 amp hours.
If you're looking to start a lithium battery system or replace an existing one and you're considering these two batteries, the extra 100 dollars you spend on the Pro model would be worth it for the 33% extra capacity.
As always, it's important to note that this battery review was conducted in a controlled environment, and further testing on the road with all the appliances hooked up to the 12-volt system will reveal any shortcomings. Follow-up review videos will be made in the future. The 120x battery has been in use for almost exactly 12 months, and it's time to see how it has held up over the year.
Thanks for watching today's video, where we discussed whether a lithium battery setup or the iTECH120X PRO is suitable for your battery needs. Check out the previous video for more details on the benefits of switching to lithium power. See you in the next episode!