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Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (LiFePO4) Compared with SLA Battery

Jul. 15, 2020

Different Lithium Technologies

The lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4 battery) or LFP battery (lithium ferrophosphate), is a type of lithium-ion battery using LiFePO4 as the cathode material, and a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic backing as the anode. The energy density of LiFePO4 is lower than that of lithium cobalt oxide(LiCoO2) chemistry, and also has a lower operating voltage. The main drawback of LiFePO4 is its low electrical conductivity. Therefore, all the LiFePO4 cathodes under consideration are actually LiFePO4/C. Because of low cost, low toxicity, well-defined performance, long-term stability, etc. LiFePO4 is finding a number of roles in vehicle use, utility scale stationary applications, and backup power.

Why LiFePO4?

The LiFePO4 battery uses a lithium-ion-derived chemistry and shares many advantages and disadvantages with other lithium-ion battery chemistries. However, there are significant differences.

LFP chemistry offers a longer cycle life than other lithium-ion approaches. Like nickel-based rechargeable batteries (and unlike other lithium ion batteries), LiFePO4 batteries have a very constant discharge voltage. Voltage stays close to 3.2 V during discharge until the cell is exhausted. This allows the cell to deliver virtually full power until it is discharged, and it can greatly simplify or even eliminate the need for voltage regulation circuitry.

Because of the nominal 3.2 V output, four cells can be placed in series for a nominal voltage of 12.8 V. This comes close to the nominal voltage of six-cell lead-acid batteries. Along with the good safety characteristics of LFP batteries, this makes LFP a good potential replacement for lead-acid batteries in applications such as automotive and solar applications, provided the charging systems are adapted not to damage the LFP cells through excessive charging voltages (beyond 3.6 volts DC per cell while under charge), temperature-based voltage compensation, equalisation attempts or continuous trickle charging. The LFP cells must be at least balanced initially before the pack is assembled and a protection system also needs to be implemented to ensure no cell can be discharged below a voltage of 2.5 V or severe damage will occur in most instances.

The use of phosphates avoids cobalt's cost and environmental concerns, particularly concerns about cobalt entering the environment through improper disposal.

Compared to other lithium chemistries, LFP experiences much slower degradation when stored in a fully charged state. This makes LFP a good choice for standby use.

Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (LiFePO4) Compared with SLA Battery

Lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4 battery) VS SLA battery

★Small size and light weight

The volume of the lithium battery is 2/3 of the volume of the lead-acid battery, and the weight is light, only 1/3 to 1/4 of the lead-acid battery.

★Long cycle life

The cycle life of lithium batteries is 1200 to 2000 times, but traditional lead-acid batteries are only 500 to 900 times.

★Good discharge characteristics

Lithium battery pack charge and discharge energy conversion efficiency can be greater than 97%, lead-acid battery charge and discharge energy conversion efficiency is about 80%. For the same fully charged lithium iron phosphate battery, at the same temperature, using different rates of discharge current, its discharge output characteristics are very stable.

★Safety and Environmental Protection

Lead-acid battery: Heavy metals such as lead and antimony cause serious pollution to the environment, easy to leak during use and maintenance, internal sulfuric acid spillage causes equipment corrosion and personal injury accidents.

Lithium iron phosphate battery: Lithium iron phosphate material does not contain any heavy metals and rare metals, non-toxic, no pollution in production and use, in line with European RoHS regulations, is a green environmental protection battery lithium battery. In experiments such as puncture, squeeze, overcharge, and short circuit, there is no explosion or fire.

★Good performance

Lead-acid batteries:

1. It has a memory effect and cannot be charged and discharged at any time;

2. There is a serious self-discharge phenomenon, and the battery is easily discarded after being left for a period of time;

3. The battery cannot be used at low temperature due to electrolyte freezing, and the battery is in winter;

4. The performance is greatly reduced;

5. The discharge rate is small and cannot be charged and discharged with a large current for a long time.

Lithium iron phosphate battery:

1. No memory effect, the battery can be charged and discharged at any time.

2. The self-discharge of the battery is low, the monthly self-discharge is less than 1%, and the battery can be stored for a long time.

3. Wide temperature range, can be used normally at -20℃-55℃, and can be discharged to more than 90% of the rated capacity at -20℃,

4. The power is strong, it can be charged and discharged quickly, it can be filled with more than 80% in 20 minutes, and the electricity can be discharged in 15 minutes.

★Good high temperature performance

The operating temperature range is wide, and the thermal peak value of the lithium iron phosphate battery can reach 350℃-500℃, while the lead-acid battery is only around 200℃.

Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (LiFePO4) Compared with SLA Battery

Summary

If you are considering replace your SLA battery to LFP battery, A&S Power battery 12V 100Ah deep cycle lithium battery is the perfect replacement from a group 31 AGM, GEL or lead-acid Battery. Weighing in at only 30 lbs it’s a lightweight alternative to lead-acid and one of our most popular lithium batteries. 

The battery surpasses expectations by being versatile, compact and more powerful than its lead-acid counterparts. It’s the perfect combination of size and capacity to fit many applications including, RV, marine, solar energy systems and more. 

A&S Power lithium batteries provide more energy for high consumption than traditional lead-acid batteries. They also offer ultra-fast charging and discharging, high efficiency and longer cycle life – plus no maintenance! 

Not all lithium batteries are created equal. All A&S Power Batteries use the safest and most stable components, including a LiFePO4 cathode and a built-in Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS ensures a long lifetime, safe handling – and high-accuracy State of Charge (SOC) calculations.

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