LiFePO4 batteries are taking over the world of batteries. What exactly does «LiFePO4» mean? Why are these batteries better than others?
What is LiFePO4 Battery?
A LiFePO4 battery is made from lithium iron phosphate. Battery types in the lithium category include:
- Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2)
- Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO22)
- Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4)
- Lithium Titanate (LTO)
- Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2)
LiFePO4 Battery History
Arumugam Manthiram and John B. Goodenough discovered the LiFePO4 battery. Lithium-ion batteries were discovered by them for the first time. Lithium-ion batteries cannot use anode materials that are very suitable for use as anodes. They are prone to short-circuiting early because of their design.
Lithium-ion batteries can be made with cathode materials instead of lithium metals. The LiFePO4 battery variants demonstrate this very clearly. Increasing stability and conductivity – improving all kinds of things, and poof! The LiFePO4 battery is born.
Nowadays, LiFePO4 batteries can be recharged everywhere. Boats, solar systems, vehicles, and many other applications use these batteries.
In the long run, LiFePO4 batteries are less expensive than most of their alternatives (due to their lack of cobalt). There is no toxic substance in it, and it lasts for a longer period of time. We’ll talk more about that later. LiFePO4 batteries have very promising prospects in the future.
Chemistry & Battery Innovation
Some of these elements may be familiar to you from chemistry class. There, you memorized the periodic table (or stared at it on the teacher’s wall). You performed experiments there (or stared at your crush while pretending to listen).
Every now and then, a student adores experiments and becomes a chemist. In addition, chemists discovered the best lithium combinations for batteries.
To cut a long story short, that’s how LiFePO4 batteries were created. This was done by Texas University in 1996. The LiFePO4 battery is now known as the safest, most stable, and most reliable lithium battery on the market.
Lithium Ion vs. LiFePO4 Battery
After learning what LiFePO4 batteries are, let’s discuss what makes them better than lithium ion and other lithium batteries.
Wearable devices like watches can’t use LiFePO4 batteries. Compared to other lithium-ion batteries, they have a lower energy density. For solar energy systems, RVs, golf carts, bass boats, and electric motorcycles, it’s the best by far. The reason why?
For one thing, LiFePO4 batteries have over four times the cycle life of lithium ion batteries.
Compared to lithium ion and other types of batteries, this type of lithium battery is the safest on the market.
Last but not least, LiFePO4 batteries can not only reach 3,000-5,000 cycles, but can also reach 100% depth of discharge (DOD). What is the significance of that? This means you don’t have to worry about overcharging your LiFePO4 battery (unlike other batteries).
As a result, you can use it for a longer period of time. Quality LiFePO4 batteries can last for many years longer than other types of batteries. About 5,000 cycles are rated for it.
That’s roughly ten years. As a result, the average cost over time is much lower. Those are the differences between LiFePO4 and lithium ion batteries.
The following are some reasons why LiFePO4 batteries are better than lithium ion batteries:
Since LiFePO4 batteries are rechargeable, they are already a boon to the environment. However, their eco-friendliness doesn’t end there. In contrast to lead acid and nickel oxide lithium batteries, they are non-toxic and do not leak.
As well as recycling them, you can also reuse them. Since they last 5000 cycles, you won’t need to do that often. You can recharge them (at least) 5,000 times. Compared to lead acid batteries, they last only 300-400 cycles.
Safe, Stable Chemistry
It is important to ensure the safety of lithium batteries. Lithium-ion laptop batteries have recently exploded in the news, bringing this to light. The safety of LiFePO4 batteries is one of their most important advantages. LiFePO4 is the safest type of lithium battery. In fact, it’s the safest of all types.
In general, LifePO4 batteries are the safest lithium batteries. What’s the reason? Lithium iron phosphate is more thermally and structurally stable than lithium carbonate. In comparison to lead acid and most other battery types, LiFePO4 has this characteristic at a very high level. It is impossible to burn LiFePO4. Without decomposing, it can withstand high temperatures. Keeping cool at room temperature, it is not prone to thermal runaway.
There is no risk of a LiFePO4 battery exploding or starting a fire if subjected to harsh temperatures or hazardous events (such as a short circuit or a crash). In an RV, bass boat, scooter, or liftgate, deep cycle LiFePO4 batteries are used every day.
Lightweight and Small
LiFePO4 batteries are made better by a number of factors. When it comes to weight, they are total lightweights. Compared to lithium manganese oxide batteries, they’re almost 50% lighter. As compared to lead acid batteries, they weigh up to 70% less.
By using a LiFePO4 battery in a vehicle, you will use less gas and be more maneuverable. They are also compact, so they can be mounted on scooters, boats, RVs, or industrial equipment without taking up much space.