LiFEPO4 batteries have been around for some time, but are only getting traction in the global market lately. It stands out among other batteries for its significantly safer component and high power applications. Let's talk about safety first. These batteries are considered the safest kind due to incombustible lithium phosphate cells that help prevent damage and hazard in case of erroneous charging or discharging. They are also known for their built-in battery management system, which adds protection against over or undercharging. This is your best pick if you need a power source in an unstable environment since they don't explode or catch fire even when punctured, during a collision, and in case of short circuits.
Among the best things about LiFEPO4 is its unparalleled performance coupled with a space-saving exterior. Boasting a longer life span that stretches for over 10 years and a higher run time compared to other batteries, this is definitely worth every penny. They are built for functionality and convenience whether used as a backup or as a camping battery. Charging won't take you ages either—LiFEPO4 batteries charge 5x faster than lead-acid batteries so your appliances will be up and running in no time.
Those who are after environmentally-friendly power sources would love how these batteries are non-toxic and non-contaminating as well. Unlike lead-acid and nickel oxide lithium batteries, they contain no rare earth metal or anything that poses a serious environmental risk.
Is LiFePO4 the same as lithium-ion?
In terms of composition, these two batteries are different in the sense that lithium-ion or Li-ion batteries are composed of lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2) or lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) as a cathode. LiFEPO4, on the other hand, is made up of LiFEPO4 cells.
LiFEPO4 has a slight edge over Li-ion batteries in the stability and safety department. While the latter is more popular in gadgets like phones and personal computers, they have a tendency to heat up in larger systems which is where LiFEPO4's advantage comes in. Built with the outdoors in mind, this is a good option for a battery when going off-the-grid or choosing a caravan battery.
How long will a LiFePO4 battery last?
LiFEPO4 batteries are designed with cell balancing, which helps extend their overall lifespan. Additionally, the onboard BMS feature also helps regulate the charge and discharge rate to prevent common damages rooted in improper battery charging. If used regularly, LiFEPO4 batteries will last up to 7 years until you see a noticeable decrease in power. Overall, they last for 10 years or more with proper maintenance, of course. There are a couple of tips you can do to maximise your lithium battery's life. First, despite having a BMS, it's better to avoid overcharging or discharging as this is the most common cause of premature battery failure. With LiFEPO4, the better practice would be to charge more frequently and in shallower cycles, since this will generate a longer cell life.
The best way to charge a LiFEPO4 battery is with the appropriate LIFEPO4 charger or an efficient set of solar panels. Charging time may vary, depending on the amount of wattage you need and the size of your battery. In Australia, you can get a good six to seven peak sun hours for your solar panels, which can generate up to 1400W in a day. If you want to install a solar power system for your home or RV, make sure you know how much power you need either by doing a camping test or calculating the estimated wattage of the appliances you want to run first.
When it comes to installation, remember to clean the terminals first before setting up the battery to remove oxidation. Using the right mounting tools is important too, including regular checking if the bolts are still tight to prevent high-resistance connection and added heat generation.
More from Outbax
LiFEPO4 batteries are indeed built for every camper out there. In Outbax, we have a range of these for every outdoor adventure you want to take on, be it caravanning, camping, or even a simple beach trip. We have lithium battery packs with LCD for easy monitoring of battery levels, slimline lithium batteries and solar batteries.
We're all about comfortable camping and a reliable power source. Aside from batteries, we also offer portable power stations, inverter generators, and solar panels. Everything you need the next time you go off-the-grid, you can find it here. You also get access to expert advice on all of our products whether it's about maintenance, repairs, or usage guides