The introduction of lithium batteries was a breakthrough in the world of batteries and they have taken charge since then. Before that, we were not left with any other choice but lead acid batteries – being the only ones with high capacity at that time.
The wide applicability of lithium batteries make them fit for almost anything and everything on the market. From small appliances like watches to heavy electric vehicles, lithium batteries prove to be perfect in terms of their pack voltage, shelf life, storage capacity, etc.
The top two options among the wide range of lithium-ion batteries are Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) and Lithium-ion NCM, NCA.
Both are similar to some extent in construction but outmatch at several parameters. Let’s take a look at how these two differ from one another.
Table of Contents
What are the Differences between Lifepo4 vs Lithium-ion?
Chemistry of LiFePO4 vs Lithium-Ion batteries
Principally, both batteries utilize the movement of ions between electrodes for the generation of electricity.
Lithium-ion may have different chemistries with options of lithium manganese oxide or lithium cobalt dioxide. What remains constant is the graphite cathode. Lithium-ion batteries can produce specific energy of up to 224 watt-hours per kilogram and have a discharge rate of 2-15C for NCA batteries and 1-15C for NCM batteries.
Alternatively, Lithium iron phosphate has an anode made up of iron phosphate and a cathode made up of graphite similar to that in lithium-ion. It produces specific energy of 90/120-watt hours per kilogram and has a discharge rate of 1-28C.
Explore more about the difference on example of LFP and NCM Batteries 48V 30Ah
Both lithium ion and lithium iron phosphate cells are similar when it comes to charging. Constant current is required by both with a constant voltage for charging.
There Are two steps for proper charging of these batteries. You need Constant Current (CC) along with Constant Voltage (CV) charging. In the first step, the CC charge brings the voltage up to the end of the charge level. After that, the CV charge starts, decreasing the current. As the current reaches the lowest level, the charge is done so the current must be stopped.
Density and Storage Capacity Lifepo4 vs Lithium-ion
For lithium iron phosphate cells to reach the same density as lithium-ion cells, they are stacked in a parallel form which also increases their capacity. You’ll need more lifepo4 cells to achieve the same capacity with fewer lithium-ion cells.
The reason for the above is the higher density level of lithium-ion cells than lithium iron phosphate cells. The higher the density, the higher the capacity. You can achieve the same levels with LiFePO4 batteries however it will be larger than a battery with a lithium-ion battery of similar capacity.
Battery weight becomes an important factor in the case of portable devices, whereby it affects performance.
Cobalt and lithium manganese oxide used in lithium-ion batteries are heavy due to their high density. So, they are not quite preferable for field functions. Here, lithium iron phosphate batteries save the hassle by being light-weighted and bearing a healthy cell density.
Thus, LiFePO4 batteries prove to be best for portable devices, bearing half the weight and size as compared to lithium-ion batteries of the same capacity.
Life Cycles Lifepo4 vs Lithium-ion
Due to the instability of lithium-ion batteries, they last for 500 up to 1000 cycles. Whereas lithium iron phosphate batteries are more stable, even in extreme temperatures that last for more than 2500 cycles. Hence LiFePO4 batteries are better suited for appliances and equipment that need a continuous power source without any break.
Long-term storage with no active maintenance
Batteries that don’t lose their charge for a longer period (unused), are best suited for long-term storage. Lithium batteries ought to be good at a lower self-discharge rate and show decent shelf life.
Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries can withstand harsh weather conditions i.e., high temperatures, making them fit for a wide range of appliances that may experience extreme conditions. Although Li-ion batteries are also good in such conditions, lifepo4 batteries are much better.
In extremely cold conditions, charging both lithium ion and lithium iron phosphate cells becomes a challenge. In that scenario, the battery needs to be sheltered from the weather so it remains above the freezing point.
Your power source may withstand direct extreme temperatures but you need to take care of your battery.
Both batteries have harmful impacts on the environment. Lithium-ion batteries raise more concerns for the producer and consumer regarding their proper disposal, under the soil. Or otherwise, they pose serious environmental impacts.
Along with all other benefits, LiFePO4 also tends to be more effective economically. It’s because of the less expensive manufacturing materials and design of the battery. Whereas Lithium-ion batteries require cobalt for their manufacturing, which is a pricey ingredient – making it a bit more expensive.
Choosing the right battery
Who doesn’t want a long-lasting battery with a suitable power capacity to cater to their needs? Choosing the right one from a bunch of available options is both tricky as well as important.
With the introduction of lithium in manufacturing batteries, it has become the most sought power source for various devices used in this modern era.
Now that you have reviewed both the features of lifepo4 vs lithium-ion batteries, we’re positive that you can make the right choice. In any case, the choice can vary concerning the application and we know any of the two will be perfect.
As a consumer, you want a safe, non-toxic and efficient power source for your battery source devices. Feel free to check out Tritek for your battery needs. 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.
You can choose from a full range of solutions for LEV lithium batteries and accessories, including the customized battery pack from Tritek and we assure you, you’ll thank us later.