Jul 06, 2020 Pageview：184
Lithium iron phosphate battery is a type of lithium-ion battery that uses Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material, then graphitic carbon as its electrode and a metallic backing as the anode. It’s from the cathode material that this type of Lithium battery was named after.
LiFePO4 batteries have a slightly lower charge density than the normal Li-ion batteries. This makes them more stable and safer in harsh temperature conditions. They can also under go more charge cycles than Li-ion before loosing their overall capacity. It’s for these reasons that they are used for solar batteries. They also have some many benefits over lead acid batteries that are widely used in solar energy systems.
What the benefits of the LiFePO4 batteries
These batteries have quite a number of benefits/advantages over other battery technologies. Some of the benefits include the following:
LiFePO4 are way lighter than lead acid batteries: A Lithium iron phosphate battery of the same capacity as the lead acid is just a fraction of the size of the Lead acid battery. This is what makes it possible to store more energy per unit volume in the LiFePO4 batteries hence occupying less space. For solar projects where space and weight are priorities, LiFePO4 batteries will always be chosen.
They can withstand harsh temperature conditions: The charge density of LiFePO4 batteries is not as high as that of Li-ion batteries. This makes them have the ability of handling higher temperatures before heating up. That’s why these batteries are safe and more appropriate for outdoor usage where temperature conditions are always changing.
LiFePO4 batteries also have more charge cycles that most of the other battery technologies. LiFePO4 batteries can be charged for 2000 to 3000 charge cycle before losing a significant percentage of their battery capacity. This makes them more cost effective in the long term since they can be used for a couple of years before replacement.
They charge faster than lead acid batteries: LiFePO4 operate at a lower resistance than Lead acid batteries which gives them the capacity to be fast charged without generating a lot of heat during the process. If used for solar they will always store the same energy within a shorter period than lead acid batteries
They have a big depth of discharge (DOD) than lead acid batteries: With a deeper depth of discharge one is able to discharge(use) more of the battery’s capacity without worrying of it losing its original capacity. The DOD of a LiFePO4 is almost 100%. The maximum you can get out for a lead acid battery on the other hand is about 50% to 59%.
Why are lithium iron phosphate batteries so expensive?
The only downside of the lithium iron phosphate batteries is their price. These batteries are way too expensive than Lead acid batteries. Here are some of the reasons why LiFePO4 are very expensive than lead acid batteries.
1.Manufacturing LiFePO4 batteries requires more precision and making a lot of engineering design decisions than Lead acid batteries. This at the end increases the cost of designing LiFePO4 batteries which affects their market price as well.
2.The demand for lithium is so high. Lithium is one of the main elements used in making this battery. In recent years, the increase in the number of electric devices and electric cars has led to too much demand for this material. This increase in demand had led to a rapid raise of the prices in the recent years.
3.The other parts used in making LiFePO4 batteries are also expensive. The materials used to make the cathode, anode, electrolyte, protections circuit and many other parts of the LiFePO4 are way more expensive compared to those used in making lead acid batteries
4.Shipping LiFePO4 batteries is more expensive. Despite Lead acid batteries having more mass, shipping LiFePO4 is more expensive mainly because they are riskier than lead acid batteries. This is mainly because of their high energy density. So, the extra shipping charges are added to the overall price of the battery which in the end makes it more expensive.
What are the manufacturers for the best Lithium iron phosphate batteries?
There are quite a number of manufacturers of lithium iron phosphate batteries worldwide. Below are some of the leading manufacturers in no particular order.
Powersonic corporation comprises of a group of companies that have manufacturing factories and offices located in different parts of the world. They specialize in manufacturing batteries, power supplies and battery chargers. They are among the leading manufacturers of Lithium iron phosphate batteries worldwide.
Universal Power Group
This is another big battery manufacturing company located in the USA. The company has been around since 1968 and is trusted by many individuals and companies around the world. They manufacture a wide range of batteries including Lithium iron phosphate batteries that come in different capacities. They also manufacture chargers, solar panels, Wires, and so many other power related products.
Expert Power is a USA based battery manufacturing company that has some of the most rated Lithium iron phosphate batteries on Amazon. Besides Lithium iron phosphate batteries, Expert power also makes portable power banks, solar panels, and lead acid batteries. Their products are reliable and most of them come with 1-year warranty or more
This is another lithium iron phosphate manufacturing company that has been in the market for quite some time. They specialize in manufacturing portable energy storage systems that one can move with as a backup in case they don’t have access to grid power. They also manufacture other power related products like solar panels, portable generators, car accessories, etc.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are slowly taking over in applications that were previously using Lead acid batteries. This is mainly because of the many benefits that lithium iron phosphate batteries have over Lead acid. They are efficient, durable, portable and more reliable than lead acid batteries. The only reason some people still use lead acid batteries is because of the high prices of lithium iron phosphate batteries.
However, when you calculate the life cycle costs for both batteries, Lead acid batteries turn out to be more expensive mainly due to the high maintenance costs needed for Lead acid batteries. Another good news is the prices of lithium iron phosphate batteries are slowly going down as manufacturers find cheaper means of making these batteries.
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