LiFePO4 batteries, or lithium iron phosphate batteries, hold immense promise for LEV, energy storage and beyond. However, misconceptions hinder their potential.
This discussion debunks these myths, offering accurate insights supported by research. By clarifying LiFePO4 batteries’ strengths and addressing concerns, we empower informed decision-making across applications, from renewable energy to electric vehicles.
Common Myths and Misconceptions of LiFePO4 Batteries:
- Low Energy Density of LiFePO4 Batteries
- Slow Charging of LiFePO4 Batteries
- Unsuitability of LiFePO4 Batteries for Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs)
- Proneness of LiFePO4 Batteries to Self-Discharge
- Unnecessary Need for Protection Circuits in LiFePO4 Batteries
Table of Contents
Myth 1: Low Energy Density of LiFePO4 Batteries
Fact: LiFePO4 batteries do have a lower energy density compared to other lithium-ion battery chemistries. However, they make up for this with their unique advantages that make them suitable for specific applications.
Energy Density Comparison (approximate values):
- NCM18650: 150Wh-220Wh/KG
- LiFePO4: 90Wh-120Wh/KG
At the same time, it’s crucial to consider the overall system performance and safety benefits. The notion of “energy density” should not be the sole factor when evaluating battery chemistries.
As example we will take two similar battery packs 48V 30 Ah:
From this table below you may see, that power remains similar for both battery packs 1440W. The main difference is it’s dimensions – the 48V 30Ah lfp battery pack is larger and weights more than 48V 30Ah ncm battery pack. But at the same time the cycle for lfp battery life is longer.
|Cell Type||NCM 21700||LFP 32140|
|Max Continuous Discharge Rate||60A for 5 mins||60A for 30min|
|Cycle Life||500 cycles||1500 cycles|
When Does Lifepo4 Battery is Not the Best Choice?
If your application have limited space and require ultra compact design, small size and low weight, it is better to choose other battery chemistry.
Real-World Applications Where LiFePO4 Excels
LiFePO4 batteries excel in applications where safety, cycle life, and reliability are paramount. Examples encompass renewable energy storage, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and power tools.
Myth 2: Slow Charging of LiFePO4 Batteries
C-Rate and Charging Speed: LiFePO4 batteries are designed to handle higher charge and discharge rates compared to other lithium-ion chemistries.
Slow charging might be beneficial for some chemistries to prevent overheating or stress, but LiFePO4 batteries can handle faster charging without significant negative effects.
Charging Process and Factors Affecting Charging Time
Charging LiFePO4 batteries involves multiple stages, including bulk, absorption, and float charging. Factors influencing charging time include capacity, state of charge, and charging current.
For example lfp batteries support 1C charge rate continuously.
Charging current for 48V 30Ah lifepo4 and ncm battery packs is 10A for both.
Advancements in Charging Technology
Recent developments in charging technology have significantly improved LiFePO4 battery charging times. New charging algorithms and Battery Management Systems (BMS) are designed to optimize the charging process while ensuring battery health.
Faster charging is achieved by carefully managing current and voltage levels during each charging phase, reducing overall charging durations without compromising the battery’s performance or safety.
Myth 3: Unsuitability of LiFePO4 Batteries for Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs)
A prevalent misconception suggests that LiFePO4 batteries are ill-suited for powering light electric vehicles (LEVs), implying inferior performance compared to other battery chemistries.
There is a new trend in lev and energy storage industry using lifepo4 batteries for cargo bikes, micro mobility and other applications where weight and space is not so important and long cycle life and safety.
It happens as before lfp batteries were too large but now due to the new innovations for lfp cells it becomes reasonable to to choose lfp batteries.
Outstanding features of lifepo4 batteries (on the example of TK09-4830 and TK08-4830)
- Working temperature for lfp batteries is -30-65℃ comparing -20-45℃ for ncm batteries.
- Cycle life for lfp batteries is 1500 cycles comparing to 500 cycles for ncm batteries.
LEV Performance and Safety Considerations
While LiFePO4 batteries generally have lower energy density, they excel in safety, cycle life, and thermal stability. These attributes make LiFePO4 batteries well-suited for LEVs, where reliability, safety, and long-term performance are crucial.
Myth 4: Proneness of LiFePO4 Batteries to Self-Discharge
A common misconception suggests that LiFePO4 batteries are highly susceptible to self-discharge, leading to concerns about their long-term storage and usability.
Explaining Self-Discharge and Its Management
Self-discharge refers to the gradual loss of battery charge over time, even when not in use. While LiFePO4 batteries do experience self-discharge, the rate is significantly lower compared to some other battery types.
Proper storage conditions, including maintaining a partial state of charge (typically around 50%), cool temperatures, and periodic recharging, can effectively manage self-discharge in LiFePO4 batteries, ensuring they remain ready for use.
Recommended storage: -20ºC~50ºC
Relative Humidity: 65±20%
Practical Examples of Self-Discharge Rates
LiFePO4 batteries typically exhibit self-discharge rates of less than 2-3% per month under optimal storage conditions.
For context, this rate is notably lower compared to certain other battery chemistries, making LiFePO4 batteries well-suited for applications that require reliable energy storage over extended periods without frequent recharging.
Myth 5: Unnecessary Need for Protection Circuits in LiFePO4 Batteries
There’s a misconception that LiFePO4 batteries do not require protection circuits, leading to assumptions that such safeguards are unnecessary.
Importance of Protection Circuits for Battery Safety
Protection circuits are vital components in any battery system, including LiFePO4 batteries. These circuits serve as safeguards against overcharging, over discharging, excessive current flow, and temperature abnormalities.
In LiFePO4 batteries, as in any battery technology, protection circuits prevent potentially hazardous scenarios by regulating voltage levels and controlling the flow of energy.
These circuits are fundamental in mitigating risks associated with battery malfunctions that could result in fires, explosions, or irreversible damage.
Risks Associated with Neglecting Protection Circuits
Neglecting protection circuits exposes LiFePO4 batteries to a range of risks, primarily centered around safety and longevity.
Overcharging or discharging beyond safe limits can compromise the battery’s integrity, leading to reduced capacity, shortened lifespan, or even catastrophic failure.
Additionally, inadequate temperature regulation due to the absence of protection circuits could result in thermal runaway, a dangerous condition where battery temperatures escalate uncontrollably.
In conclusion, LiFePO4 batteries offer unique strengths that make them valuable for specific applications such as light electric vehicles, renewable energy storage, and uninterruptible power supplies.
Dispelling these myths helps in recognizing the benefits of LiFePO4 batteries, empowering informed decision-making across various industries.
If you’re a drive system or complete product manufacturer/supplier searching for high-quality li-ion battery solutions, look no further than Tritek!
As a leading LiFePO4 battery manufacturer, our experienced team is dedicated to assisting you in selecting the ideal LiFePO4 battery solutions for your unique projects.
Whether you’re seeking batteries for light electric vehicles, renewable energy storage, consumer electronics, or industrial applications, we have the expertise and products to meet your demands.
At Tritek, we take pride in offering not only a diverse range of standard LiFePO4 battery options but also the flexibility for deep customization, ODM, and OEM services. Our global certifications guarantee quality and safety.
With a commitment to innovation and quality, Tritek ensures that our batteries deliver exceptional performance, longevity, and safety.
With a European branch, we provide responsive support across the continent. Contact us today to power up your future with Tritek’s advanced LiFePO4 batteries!