Nowadays, the world of batteries is being powered by LiFePO4 batteries. But what does "LiFePO4" actually mean? What differentiates these batteries from other kinds? Are lithium-ion the same as lithium iron phosphate batteries?
Importantly, If you own a fishing boat, RV, solar home, or even you have commercial use, which types of batteries are the best options and tailored for your specific needs? In this article, we will discuss the different types of Lithium batteries, suggest some top products and answer all of these questions.
Today's portable gadgets use two different types of lithium batteries: lithium-ion and lithium iron phosphate. Despite certain parallels between them, there are significant differences in terms of high energy density, lengthy life cycles, and safety.
Since most people own a phone, tablet, computer and other electronic devices, they are certainly familiar with lithium-ion technology. Due to its inexpensive components and resilience in high temperatures, lithium iron phosphate batteries are a more recent form of battery that is gaining popularity in the manufacturing industries. Let’s briefly discuss the chemistry of these two types of lithium batteries.
What are the advantages of LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) Batteries?
The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, the same as other Li-ion batteries, operate by moving between the negative and positive electrodes in order to charge and discharge. However, these two types of lithium batteries have some major differences that we will discuss in more detail.
1- Environmental - Friendly
As we discussed earlier in the table above, LiFePO4 batteries utilize Lithium Iron Phosphate as the cathode material. Phosphate is a non-toxic material compared to lithium cobalt dioxide or lithium manganese oxide, which are the cathode materials in Li-ion batteries. This makes LiFePO4 batteries winners of being eco-friendly battle not only among lithium batteries but also compared to lead acid batteries and other types of batteries in general.
2- High Productivity and Performance
Being environmentally friendly is one of the super essential criteria these days. However, it is also worth noting to think about the performance of the batteries and choose the one which performs better.
Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, in many criteria such as state of charge efficiency, self-discharge rate, runtime and power consistency, are performing far better than other batteries like Li-ion and lead acid batteries. Moreover, due to the slower speeds of capacity loss, LFP batteries have a longer life (1,000 - 10,000) compared to other lithium batteries (500 - 1,000).
Additionally, maintenance and its cost always are important concerns for people. The great news is that LiFePO4 batteries don’t need maintenance, and this feature makes it an ideal battery for every use.
3- Safety, Stability and more
Generally speaking, the most secure lithium chemistry is found in LifePO4 batteries. This is because of the greater thermal and structural stability of lithium iron phosphate. Lead acid and the majority of other battery types don't have this to the same degree that LiFePO4 does. This makes lithium Iron Phosphate batteries nonflammable.
In other words, they resist high temperatures without decomposition. This way, they will maintain a cool temperature and are not prone to thermal runaway.
A LiFePO4 battery won't catch fire or blow up if exposed to extreme temperatures or risky situations (such as short-circuiting or a crash). This information is reassuring for people who often utilize deep cycle LiFePO4 batteries in an RV and bass boat.
Moreover, the other important advantage of LiFePO4 batteries is their weight. They are approximately 50%-70% lighter than lead acid, AGM deep cycle batteries and lithium manganese oxide batteries.
Having a lightweight and compact size makes this type of battery a suitable choice for freeing up some space on your boat, RV, or industrial or commercial applications. In terms of long-term storage benefits, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries have 350-day shelf life compared to Li-ion batteries, whose shelf life is approximately around 300 days.
For Each Application, a LiFePO4 Battery
For any electronics or machinery that needs safety and longevity but not a very high energy density, lithium Iron Phosphate is preferred. People mostly, besides portability, safety, and energy density, are looking for a cost-effective and less expensive option, which all can find in LiFePO4 batteries.
All characteristics and features that we discussed so far have proven that lithium iron phosphate batteries are a suitable option in a wide variety of applications. Fishing boats, any solar setups, RVs or camper vans, and commercial or residential use are some of the examples of the application of LiFePO4 batteries.
Short charging time, as well as long runtime, make these batteries the best option for boats. Clearly, these batteries with these unique characteristics let you spend more time out on the water and easily maneuver. No maintenance is needed; being cost-effective and lightweight are the features that every camper looking for when it comes to choosing the battery for their RVs. Finally, in any commercial, residential, or military applications, most people are looking for the safest option, which is nothing better than a LiFePO4 battery.
What is the best LiFePO4 Battery?
There are many different manufacturers currently available on the market, and choosing the best option which is tailored for your specific needs can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating. We will review some of the products and talk about the pros and cons to help you make the best decision.
Among various manufacturers who are offering LiFePO4 batteries, such as Lithium battery solution, Battle Born, Victron Energy, Relion, Renogy and Fortress, we will introduce the best options tested and recommended by our experts in volts energies.
Lithium Battery Solution
One of the best manufacturers for lithium Iron Phosphate batteries and battery systems is offered by Lithium battery solution. Their ground-breaking LiFePO4 batteries and second-life battery systems, produced with high-tech refurbishing processes, are praised for their chemical stability, dependability, and environmental friendliness. These batteries are made in different sizes for different Industrial, commercial, off-grid, marine and RV applications.
LBS Batteries come with an included battery management system and remote monitoring system, which allows you to monitor your battery system from everywhere at any time.
With their incredible performance and high-quality manufacturing, RELION Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are a fantastic complement to any RV or Van system. One of the long-lasting batteries to replace the older lead-acid batteries available on the market.
The RELION battery is a fantastic long-term investment because it has a longer life cycle and consistent amp-hours across its lifetime. Currently, three product has been made by this manufacturer, which are 12V 300Ah, 12.8V 200Ah and 12V 100AH lithium batteries. These lithium 12 Volt batteries have an internal BMS, allowing series and parallel connections for creating 12V, 24V and 48V battery banks.
Battle Born batteries are the perfect replacement for lead acid batteries. They are quite famous for their drop-in installation and are made to make installation easier than ever. Currently, there are 2 different versions of Battle Born batteries available, which are the Deep Cycle battery and the heated version.
The heated version is the ideal solution to keep your battery warm, disregarding any harsh weather conditions you may face. These batteries are designed and assembled in the USA and have 10 years of manufacturer's warranty.
Victron Energy is well known for its commitment to innovation in technology, dependability, and construction quality. Victron Energy has a variety of products, including BMS, battery monitors, inverters, converters, MPPT solar charge controllers, multiplus and many more.
Victron Energy Lithium batteries are available in 12.8V and 25.6V with integrated cell balancing and can be connected parallel and series. Moreover, the Bluetooth app, same as LBS, is available to monitor cell battery voltage and temperature. You should consider a BMS system if you decide to buy Victron Energy batteries such as VE.Bus BMS, Smart BMS CL 12/100.
LFP batteries with high performance, long lifetime, safety, stability and less expensive cost are the ideal solutions for building your battery bank. Regardless of the size of your application, these batteries can be a great complement to any Marine, RV, residential and commercial solar panel installations with the lowest environmental impact.