The fast-pacing of technologies and demands have caused the sophistication of batteries and power supply. But to pick the best one is not as simple as grabbing a cloth. Many sprouted versions of battery technologies in the market can be confusing. You have to look into their features, applications, and costs. Are they able to hold up to the expectations?
So, what is LiFePO4 battery in the battery world? Lithium iron phosphate or LiFePO4 is considered the best and safest lithium battery technology. Its features are highly recognizable. Cost-effective materials and chemical stability characterize them. Their indoor and outdoor applications are in a wide range. The glaring feature is its lifespan which can last up to 10 years or more. Read on to see their disadvantages and advantages.
Outstanding Advantages of LiFePO4 Battery
If this is your first time learning and using these batteries, you rest assured of its abundant solid features. LiFePO4 battery is useful in many ways, such as for portable electronics, electric motors, vehicles, medical equipment, electric boats, and grid energy storage. They are incredibly efficient but could be expensive in the market. Check their advantageous specs to see if your buying decision is a worthwhile and wise investment.
- The safest lithium type. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is known for its better thermal and structural stability. Its chemistry is stable, and the massive production of laptop batteries proves it.
- Incombustible. They’re not prone to thermal runways. They cope with high temperatures without decomposing and the possibility of exploding or igniting because of chemical stability.
- Rechargeable & Safe. They’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, don’t leak toxic fumes, spill sulfuric acid, and are recyclable. You can recharge them up to 5000 cycles.
- Lightweight. They are half the weight of lithium manganese oxide batteries and around 70% lighter than lead acid batteries.
- Cost-effective. They are expensive because of their valuable metals and materials, but their features carry long-term benefits.
- Excellent Performance
- The full charge is within 2 hours or less.
- When not in use, the self-discharge rate is only 2% per month.
- They have zero downtime, fast charging, a high discharge rate, and constant discharge.
- Power is consistent even below 50% battery life.
- They’re maintenance-free.
These great features of LiFePO4 battery are exceptional. It’s far better than lead acid batteries in starting the engine and powering up the trolling motor (a system comprises an electric motor, propeller, and control).
If you own an electric boat and fishing is your main purpose, use this type of battery.
Disadvantages of LiFePO4 Battery
LiFePO4 has drawbacks to watch for. Technically, they are mostly affected by the manufacturer’s decisions regarding material selection, ratio, and processes to be undertaken.
- LiFePO4 cell has a nominal voltage of (3.3 V) which results in low energy. If fully charged, it’s 3.65 V and 2.5 V when fully drained.
- LiFePO4 batteries have a low energy density at 90/120 Wh/kg, making them unfit for small devices like smartphones.
- One of the drawbacks of these batteries, they are less efficient in low temperatures. The cold temperature slows down chemical reactions inside the batteries. It can result in a higher discharge rate. When at 0°F, the discharge rate is 70% of its normal rated capacity. You can’t recharge these batteries when the temperature is below 32°F. Lithium plating occurs, which causes short-circuit and irreparable damage to the batteries.
- Overcharging and undercharging are “NO” things. Even if it is the safest battery type, they cause premature failure that could lead to permanent battery damages.
- If without proper installation, there’ll be the possibility of igniting due to a loose terminal connection.
- A low tap density of (0.8-1-3) – is another con of LiFePO4 that makes it unsuitable for small portable devices like mobile phones.
At a glance, it is easy to conclude that the disadvantages outweigh the good serviced features of LiFePO4 batteries. But don’t get overwhelmed because these cons only occur under controllable circumstances. You still have control over them. You have to increase your awareness of how to use them. See the interesting facts about these batteries.
- They’re a reasonable replacement for the 150-year-old technology of Lead-Acid batteries.
- The safest type as they don’t overheat and catch fire even if punctured.
- Its chemistry has unquestionable stability that it can accept a charge – from a lead-acid configured battery charger.
- Iron and phosphate are among the chemicals that are easier to find with a variety of uses.
- LiFePO4 is made up of these four major components as follows:
- The positive electrode (cathode) – determines the voltage of the battery.
- The negative electrode (anode) – protects the battery from getting corroded.
- Electrolyte – transports lithium ions between cathode and anode which promotes electrical conductivity.
- Separator– prevents electrical short-circuits.
Everything is always associated with pros and cons. As a buyer, be sure to know if choosing batteries will fit your needs, especially the budget. It is easy to pick the cheap but low-quality types.
But think of the long-term use. Buy the batteries with proven quality specs. Of course, finding genuine suppliers and manufacturers can’t be overlooked.