What are the main advantages of using LiFePO4 batteries?
Here at Fogstar, we can't help but sing the praises of LiFePO4 batteries - and for good reason! These power-packed rechargeable cells have taken the spotlight in recent years, thanks to their impressive edge over other battery chemistries.
Due to their numerous advantages, LiFePO4 batteries are becoming increasingly popular in off-grid applications, and are expected to continue this sharp growth in popularity over the coming years.
LiFePO4 is a type of lithium-ion battery that uses lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material, making it more stable and safer than other battery chemistries.
You'll find LiFePO4 batteries used in a variety of applications, including electric vehicles, leisure batteries, solar power systems, and backup power systems.
When we introduced LiFePO4 cells to our store in November 2021, it was a game-changer! These powerful cells now play a starring role in our Drift batteries and Server Rack batteries. There are numerous reasons why we use this chemistry over other variants, and in this blog we'll unpack exactly why that is.
LiFePO4 batteries have a long lifespan
One of the main advantages of using LiFePO4 batteries is their long lifespan. LiFePO4 batteries are known for their long lifespan compared to other battery chemistries. They can last up to 10 times longer than lead-acid batteries which are commonly used in applications such as cars and boats, this is due to the fact that LiFePO4 batteries have a much slower rate of capacity loss over time. They can also withstand a higher number of charge and discharge cycles without significant degradation, making them a more reliable and cost-effective option in the long run.
LiFePO4 batteries have a greater depth of dischargeYou'll also find an improved depth of discharge (DOD) in LiFePO4 batteries. The DoD is the percentage of the battery's capacity that has been discharged. Lead acid batteries have a limited DoD, typically around 50%, which means that only half of the battery's capacity can be used before it needs to be recharged. This is because discharging the battery beyond this point can cause significant damage to the battery and reduce its lifespan.
In contrast, LiFePO4 batteries have a much higher DoD, typically around 90%. This means that more of the battery's capacity can be used before it needs to be recharged allowing for longer run times and fewer recharging cycles. Overall, the higher DoD of LiFePO4 batteries makes them a more efficient and cost-effective choice for applications where long run times and low maintenance are important, for example in solar power systems.
They can be discharged to a much lower voltage than other battery chemistries
LiFePO4 batteries can be discharged to a much lower voltage than lead acid batteries due to their chemistry.
Lead acid batteries have a higher internal resistance, which causes the voltage to drop quickly as the battery is discharged. LiFePO4 batteries, on the other hand, have a lower internal resistance, which allows them to maintain a more stable voltage even as they are discharged.
This lower internal resistance is due to the fact that LiFePO4 batteries use a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte. The solid electrolyte allows for faster ion transfer, which reduces the internal resistance of the battery. This means that LiFePO4 batteries can deliver more power and maintain a more stable voltage even as they are discharged.
Overall, the ability to discharge to a much lower voltage allows for more usable capacity, more stable voltage, and higher power output. These benefits make LiFePO4 batteries a great choice for applications where reliable, consistent and efficient energy storage is required.
LiFePO4 batteries are safer than other battery chemistries
Another advantage of LiFePO4 batteries is their safety. Their chemical composition plays a key part in this. Unlike other battery chemistries, LiFePO4 batteries do not contain any toxic or hazardous materials such as lead or acid. This makes them safer for both the environment and human health.
They are less prone to overheating and catching fire compared to other battery chemistries, such as lead-acid batteries. This is because they are more stable and have a lower risk of thermal runaway, this is a process where the battery temperature increases rapidly and uncontrollably.
LiFePO4 batteries are more environmentally friendly than other battery chemistries
LiFePO4 cells do not contain toxic metals, such as lead and cadmium, which can be harmful to the environment and even our own health. They are also easier to recycle, which reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Another reason why LiFePO4 batteries are more environmentally friendly is because they have a longer lifespan than other types of batteries. This means that fewer batteries need to be manufactured, and disposed of, over time reducing the environmental impact of battery production and disposal. Additionally, LiFePO4 batteries can be completely recycled, further reducing their environmental impact.
The application of LiFePO4 cells is vast
LiFePO4 batteries have a wide range of applications in various industries. One of the most common applications is in electric vehicles, where they are used as the main power source. LiFePO4 batteries are preferred in electric vehicles because they are lightweight, have a high energy density, and can be charged quickly.
Another application of LiFePO4 batteries is in the renewable energy sector. They are used to store energy generated by solar panels or wind turbines. They are the preferred battery of choice in this application because they have a long cycle life, are highly efficient, and can operate in a wide range of temperatures.
You'll also find these batteries used in the marine industry to power boats and yachts, and in camper vans where their lightweight application makes a huge difference.
Lastly, LiFePO4 batteries are widely used in the military and aerospace industries to power equipment, vehicles and devices. They are preferred in these applications because they are lightweight, have a high energy density, and can operate in extreme temperatures. They are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellites to provide power for communication and other systems.
Why should you use LiFePO4 cells instead of other battery chemistries?
Whether you are looking to power your boat or campervan, store energy from a solar panel system, or simply need a reliable backup power source, LiFePO4 batteries are an excellent choice. With their long lifespan, high efficiency, and superior safety features, they offer a range of benefits that make them a compelling option for anyone in need of a high-quality battery solution.
Here at Fogstar we stock a wide selection of LiFePO4 cells and LiFePO4 BMS, assembled LiFePO4 leisure batteries, and LiFePO4 solar rack batteries. Next time you're looking to upgrade your batteries, why not consider switching to Lithium?