Should You Switch to LiFePO4?

LiFePO4 - What You Should Know! 

The technology behind LiFePO4 is far from perfect. It is still in its developing stages. Although we can already see the many potentials of a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) used in creating a stable and safe battery, it still has disadvantages.

There are many articles online discussing how wonderful the battery is without giving much LiFePO4thought to the cons. So let me give you a rundown of what I think are the issues with the battery and allow you to make the decision yourself.

Price

Let’s start off with the price. A lead acid battery, say an 8 amp hour, will cost $15. The LFP counterpart will cost $100. That is the same battery with the same specifications. Lithium iron phosphate batteries cost more, obviously, but it will last longer than its conventional counterpart.

The lithium battery will have a significantly longer service life, but you will have to cash out three times more.

Specific Charger

Aside from the price range of LFP batteries, you also have to consider the charger. It is the best choice to invest in a charger designed especially for LFP. If you have lead acid battery chargers, yes, you can use them on LFP, but it won’t charge as effectively. To get a 100 % State of Charge or SOC, you will need a charger made for LFP batteries.

In this sense, if you are going to switch to LFP, you will have to buy new chargers and discard the old ones.

Regulator

Another disadvantage is the regulators. Some LFP batteries come with built-in regulating electronics, allowing the LFP batteries to be charged using regular chargers. But that is not the case with all kinds of LFP batteries. Motorcycle or e-bike batteries have the feature, but LFP batteries for amateur radio applications don’t have regulators built in.

Low Temperatures

We have noticed that LFP batteries work in high temperatures and won’t overheat even in a charging state. It is noticeable how it works poorly when setup in an environment with temperatures under 32º F. This means, if you need an LFP battery in this climate, you will have to look for ones that are designed to work well in low temperatures.

In a Nutshell

If you want to switch from lead acid batteries to LFP batteries because you want to enjoy the benefits of using an environment-friendly energy product, you need to consider both pros and cons. Yes, LiFePO4 technology is great and has many benefits, but it also has disadvantages.

The long lasting feature of LFP is great, but if won’t need it for a long period of time, then maybe you can opt for cheaper products like sealed lead acid batteries.

What are you going to use the battery for? if you’re in the business of creating things like electric bikes, cars, and solar power - go for the benefits of the LFP batteries. If you are going to use it to power an equipment that you may or may not use as often - keep your options open.

If the battery is pricier than the actual equipment you’re going to use the battery for, then does it still make sense? But if you can work your way around the disadvantages, then, by all means, switch to LFP or compromise by using both lead acid and LiFePO4 batteries.

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