LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery is a type of secondary battery or more commonly called a rechargeable battery that is known for its impressive lifespan. Known to have a total of more than 4000 cycles, this simply means that a LiFePO4 battery can be charged and discharged up to over 4000 times before it needs a replacement. Let’s assume that the battery gets recharged on a daily basis, 4000 cycles would translate to a total of 10 years and 95 days of battery usage. That’s a really long time for a rechargeable battery so you are definitely getting your money’s worth.
Lifespan of LiFePO4 Batteries
LiFePO4 batteries have a much longer lifespan when compared to other lithium-ion types of battery. The reason behind this is that this kind of battery is known for its stability and has a lower risk of thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a phenomenon wherein the heat generated inside a battery shoots up rapidly causing other parts of the battery to destabilize and degrade faster.
In addition, another contributing factor to the long life span of LiFePO4 batteries is that they can operate at a wider range of temperatures. Simulation and experimental results show that this type of battery remains in optimal condition and performs as expected in a working temperature range between 10℃(50°F) and 40℃(104°F).
Since LiFePO4 batteries are known for their stability, it should not come as surprising that it also has the ability to maintain a consistent voltage throughout the discharge cycle. This means that they can deliver power more consistently and reliably compared to other types of batteries. This is another major factor that makes this battery achieve a long lifespan.
Lastly, safety is one of the top priorities when it comes to batteries and LiFePO4 batteries are known as one of the safest batteries in the market at the moment. They have a lower fire risk and explosion compared to other types of lithium-ion batteries since its components are incombustible to begin with. This characteristic means they are more resistant to thermal runaway, which can occur when a battery gets too hot during charging or discharging which helps achieve that longer lifespan compared to other types of batteries.
Eco-Intelligent Li - A Perfect Example of an Impressive LiFePO4 Battery
In the solar community, the LiFePO4 or LFP battery is becoming the preferred option of many users compared to other types of batteries because of its lifespan. Other lithium-ion batteries offer a wide range of lifespans from as short as 500 cycles (1.36 years) to as long as 3000 cycles (8.21 years). As mentioned in the beginning, LiFePO4 enjoys approximately 4000+ cycles (10.95 years) which means you’ll be using this battery for a decade or more. Truly impressive, isn’t it?
Eco-Intelligent Li is a great example of a LiFePO4 battery. Developed and manufactured by Nature’s Generator, one of the leading solar generator brands in the US, Eco-Intelligent Li was created to provide maximum battery capacity for their solar generators.
Aside from its impressive 6000+ life cycle and lighter load, what makes Eco-Intelligent Li great is that it uses LiFePo4 as the main battery and at the same time, allows users to connect and mix and match old lithium and lead acid batteries in the system for additional power. These were all made possible thanks to the high-performance and state-of-the-art Battery Management System (BMS) that Nature’s Generator pioneered.
How to Take Care of LiFePO4 Battery
LiFePO4 batteries are known for their durability and long life. However, proper care and handling is still needed in order to achieve and enjoy their optimal performance. Below are a few tips that can help you take care of your LiFePO4 battery.
1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
LiFePO4 batteries should be kept in a range of 0°C(32°F) to 45°C(113°F) to avoid damage. High temperatures can cause the battery to degrade quickly, reducing its lifespan. When exposed to low temperatures, the battery may start to lose its capacity to hold charge. Hence, it is important to avoid exposing your battery to extreme temperatures as it can cause permanent damage and shorten the lifespan of the battery.
2. Charge and Discharge Regularly
Regularly charging and discharging your LiFePO4 battery will help maintain its capacity and extend its lifespan. Just like any other type of secondary battery, it is recommended to use it regularly and avoid leaving it unused for long periods of time. LiFePO4 batteries have a low self-discharge rate, which means they can hold their charge for a long time. However, leaving the battery unused for a long time can cause the battery to lose its capacity to hold its charge. So make sure to use the battery regularly to maintain its capacity.
3. Use the Right Charger
Manufacturers do not provide chargers for their products just for the sake of recharging the battery. Every type of battery, including LiFePO4 batteries, need a charger that is designed specifically for them to ensure optimal charging is achieved and for safety reasons as well.. Using the wrong charger may overcharge or undercharge a LiFePO4 battery which can cause damage to the battery and shorten its lifespan.
4. Avoid Overcharging
Overcharging a LiFePO4 battery, or any battery really, can cause permanent damage and shorten its lifespan. Read the user manual and follow the charging instructions provided by the manufacturer to enjoy the battery’s maximum lifespan and prevent any potential damage or hazard. Overcharging can cause the battery to overheat, leading to swelling or worse, leakage of the battery. It can also cause a reduction in the battery's capacity to hold the charge, leading to poor battery performance.
5. Store in a Cool, Dry Place
Proper storage is very important to keeping your LiFePO4 battery in great shape. When not in use, LiFePO4 batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to heat or moisture can affect the battery chemistry balance which can greatly damage the battery and reduce its lifespan.
In totality, LiFePO4 battery is an excellent choice for applications that require a long-lasting, reliable and durable power source. When used, handled and stored properly, this type of battery can last for more than 10 years. Nowadays, they are commonly used in renewable energy systems such as solar powered generators along with other high-performance applications where reliability, longevity and safety are critical.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ann Matthew, contributed research and content to this blog titled: LiFePo4 Battery Lifespan Thank you, Ann, for your contributions!