Lithium Basics: Troubleshooting Your LiFePO4 Battery

Lithium Basics: Troubleshooting Your LiFePO4 Battery

Hey there, LiFePO4 battery user. Looking for lithium battery troubleshooting tips?

If you’re having issues with your lithium battery or need a little help with some battery handling procedures, check out our handy guide for common lithium battery concerns. Who knows, you might just be able to troubleshoot it yourself!

We’ve broken this down into different categories to make it easier for you to determine which steps to follow. Read on and learn how to handle that power pack like a pro!

Common Lithium Battery Issues and How To Fix Them

Let’s start with the usual LiFePO4 battery problems that users may encounter. These typically happen within voltage and capacity levels,so it’s crucial to have the proper equipment for testing and charging with you. You can use a voltmeter, multimeter, and a smart lithium battery charger to ensure optimal charging, especially for recharging an overly-discharged power pack.

Low Voltage

Low voltage in batteries can be caused by high self-discharge or uneven current. You can fix this simply by charging the lithium battery using a charger with over-voltage protection. Make sure to use a suitable charger, not a universal one, to ensure maximum safety.

High Internal Resistance

A battery with high internal resistance causes it to heat up and the voltage to drop. It usually happens due to extended storage time, leading to excessive capacity loss. You can try to solve this by activating your battery through the charging and discharging method.

Battery Expansion

Unfortunately, the only thing left to do with a swollen battery is to dispose of it. A swollen battery can be dangerous and is often caused by overcharging.To avoid lithium battery issues related to charging, monitor your charging process to avoid exceeding beyond 12 hours. 

Capacity Loss

Over-discharging is usually the root cause of capacity decline in lithium batteries. If you overcharge your battery, it's better to use a smart charger to top it off. Charge it slowly at first while constantly checking if it's getting hot, then gradually increase the charge rate. However, if after restoring it, you notice that the battery heats up too much, you might have to replace it already.

Inability to Charge

If your battery is plugged in but not charging, it could be due to a faulty charger, BMS failure, or charging system damage.Set it with a low-voltage charger first and switch to its original charger afterwards. If none of the above-mentioned issues are present in your battery but it's still not accepting a charge, this could be a sign of permanent damage.

LiFePO4 Battery Troubleshooting: The Basics

Testing Your Battery Capacity

Need to test your battery’s capacity before powering an appliance? Follow these 4 easy steps!

Step 1: Fully charge your battery using the appropriate lithium battery charger. Make sure you're using a charger compatible with your battery's chemistry.

For example, there are specific LiFePO4 battery chargers for LiFePO4 batteries, or you can also use a smart charger that can be adjusted to your battery's charging profile for optimised charging.

Step 2: Check the output current of the load/appliance you'll connect to your battery. You can either use an ammeter for this or check the appliance's specs sheet.

Step 3: Record the discharge time. Note: No output after the BMS protection kicks in means the power has been drained.

Step 4: Calculate the battery capacity using this formula:

Output current x Discharge time = Battery capacity


9.6A(output current of load/appliance) x 11 hours(discharge time) = 105.6Ah

Restoring Your Battery’s BMS

A malfunctioning BMS can cause your battery to discharge quickly and affect its lifespan. If your battery cuts off at 9.5V or lower, immediately disconnect the load and follow these steps:

Step 1: P After disconnecting the load, leave the battery aside for 30 minutes. Afterwards, check if the battery voltage is normal and can hold a charge.

Step 2: If the battery voltage still falls below 10V and cannot hold a charge, you have 2 options to activate it.

I. Use a charger with a zero-volt charging function (this can charge the battery starting from 0 volts). After fully charging it, the battery can be used as normal.

II. Use any type of 12V battery with charge and connect it in parallel with the battery. Once it detects charge, disconnect it from the parallel connection. Fully charge the battery afterwards before using it as usual.

Dealing With Charging Issues

One of the most important lithium battery troubleshooting basics to learn is dealing with charging issues. If your battery is having trouble holding charge, the first thing you need to do is determine whether your power pack has been over-discharged or left idle for an extended period. Once you have your answer, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Measure your battery's open circuit voltage using a multimeter. If the voltage is lower than 10V (for a 12V lithium battery) or 20V (for a 24V lithium battery), your battery is in under-voltage protection mode. Remove all connected wires afterwards, use an appropriate lithium battery charger to activate and charge the power pack at a temperature above 41°F, then wait for the terminal voltage to rise to the low voltage recovery value. 

Step 2: Check your charging parameters and ensure they are consistent with the battery parameters. You can also do checks on the charger itself to make sure it's working properly.

Activated Protection Features

At times, a battery’s undervoltage, overvoltage, and temperature protection get triggered. The keyword for this would be disconnect. If the undervoltage protection is activated, it means your battery management system (BMS) cuts off the discharge process to prevent cell damage, so you need to disconnect all loads right away and charge your battery to 1A for recovery. 

In the event of overcharging, you may also trigger your BMS to stop the charging process and activate the overvoltage protection. When this happens, disconnect your charger, reduce the voltage to 0.2-0.4 for 6 hours, and try charging again at its original voltage. 

Exposure to extreme temperatures can also trigger BMS protection. In case you encounter this, disconnect your battery immediately, cool down or warm up as needed and resume use. The BMS will automatically reset to normal once your power pack is within the normal temperature range.  

It's always beneficial to know how to troubleshoot common LiFePO4 battery problems. While there are designated experts who can look into it for you, knowing how to work on the basic troubleshooting requirements can help save your power pack from further damage that might be irreversible. This, in turn, helps you save on cash, too. Batteries don't come cheap, after all.

Got more concerns or want to know more about our products? Visit our website today for a range of premium LiFePO4 batteries and battery accessories. Our team of professionals is happy to assist you with your inquiries. Happy shopping!

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

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