What is Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery? Lithium iron phosphate battery, better known as LiFEPO4, has been on the market for quite some time although it's gaining traction just recently. This lithium battery type's growing popularity is largely attributed to its overall safety construction and features, which adds to a number of benefits in terms of performance.
Unlike traditional lead-acid batteries or AGM batteries, LiFEPO4 can last for up to a decade or over 2,000 cycles without declining, especially since it’s a deep-cycle battery. This eliminates the need to replace your battery every after a few years so you actually get to save more and use your battery to the fullest at the same time. You might think that for it to last this long, you'd have to do a ton of work, but no. This battery type needs no active maintenance and has a low self-discharge rate. It's the perfect camping battery or caravan battery to help you power your essential appliances smoothly and for an extended period of time.
LiFEPO4 is a win in portability too. This lightweight champion comes in a compact form but with a higher capacity. They provide better energy density at half the weight of a conventional battery so you won’t have to haul something heavier in case you need added power. Plus, they’re space-savvy when you have limited camping space! A LiFEPO4 can be fully discharged safely and recharges fast as well, perfect for those who love going on trips from time to time.
This battery’s biggest highlight lies in safety. LiFEPO4 has an integrated battery management system (BMS) that ensures optimal cell performance and helps prevent over-voltage, under-voltage, overheating, and short circuits to avoid common hazards of battery usage. Aside from this, it’s comprised of non-toxic materials, can withstand extreme temperatures, and will not catch fire even when punctured so it’s a great pick for all kinds of campers.
Are Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Better Than Lithium-Ion?
Since they are the most interchanged among all lithium battery packs, a lot of people usually wonder about LiFEPO4 vs. Li-ion batteries. Obviously, these two have different chemical compositions. Energy-wise, lithium-ion is better suited for electronics that demand power at a high rate, while lithium iron is great for consistent, longer-term use with its excellent voltage discharge rate. LiFEPO4 has a lifespan of 1,000-10,000 cycles so it's more recommended for continuous and frequent use compared to a lithium-ion battery with only 500-1,000 cycles. Both are good when it comes to long-term storage, although LiFEPO4 has a slight edge at 350 days of shelf life in contrast with lithium-ion's 300-day shelf life.
Without a doubt, LiFEPO4 has more advantages over Li-ion in safety. Lithium-ion tends to be more unstable and heats up faster due to higher density—something you won't have to worry about in a lithium iron phosphate. A LiFEPO4 is ideal for equipment that needs to be powered for longer periods like electric motors, appliances, and medical devices. A Li-ion battery, on the other hand, is more commonly used for gadgets like smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
How to Charge a LiFEPO4 Battery?
The best way to charge a lithium iron phosphate battery and prevent damage is by using an appropriate LiFEPO4 charger since this will give you the correct amount of voltage every time. AGM and Gel batteries will do fine as they fall closer to the voltage limit of LiFEPO4 but using a wet lead-acid battery charger may cause the BMS to switch to protection mode which may cause issues on the charger's end. When charging your battery using solar panels, make sure to use a LiFEPO4 charge controller as well. Additionally, if you want to connect your batteries in parallel, it's recommended to have each pack charged individually and use a voltmeter to accurately check voltage levels (should be within 0.05V) after a couple of hours. The same thing applies when connecting your batteries in series too.
More from Outbax
If you're convinced about getting a LiFEPO4 for your next outdoor adventure, visit Outbax for a range of quality portable batteries. We have different kinds of LiFEPO4 for your every need including slimline batteries and lithium batteries for caravans. You can also check out our LiFEPO4 battery review for more info. Need additional camping gear? We have a variety of solar panels, inverter generators, power stations, and outdoor accessories too. This is every camper's go-to shop so feel free to browse and reach out to our team of experts anytime.