Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) compared with Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Batteries
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- LiFePO4 cells are much lighter and smaller than VRLA.
- LiFePO4 contains no toxic or hazardous materials and can be disposed of in domestic waste.
- LiFePO4 are safe technology that will not catch fire or explode with overcharging - they do not produce any flammable gasses under any circumstances.
- LiFePO4 weigh one third to one quarter of the weight of a lead-acid battery of equivalent power
- LiFePO4 can deliver more than 5000 deep discharge cycles, compared to typically around 300 to 800 for ten year design-life VRLA, or 1500 cycles to 50% depth of discharge for 20 year design-life VRLA.
- In higher discharge rate applications LiFePO4 can produce double the usable capacity of similarly rated lead-acid batteries.
- Virtually flat voltage discharge curve means maximum power available until fully discharged (no "voltage sag" as with lead-acid batteries)
- LiFePO4 have a higher discharge rate capability, 10C continuous, 20C pulse discharge, compared with VRLA which have 0.1 C to 0.25 C maximum charge rate recommendations.
- LiFePO4 accept higher continuous charge rates - up to 3C = much faster recharging possibilities
- Unlike lead-acid batteries, LiFePO4 can be left in a partially discharged state for extended periods without causing permanent reduction of battery capacity.
- LiFePO4 extremely low self discharge rate (unlike lead-acid which will go flat quite quickly if left sitting for long periods)
- LiFePO4 do not suffer from "thermal runaway". To minimise the risk of their thermal runaway, in standby applications VRLA charge rates should be limited to 0.1C.
- LiFePO4 can be used safely in high ambient temperatures, up to 85 deg.C without any performance degradation. VRLA should be maintained at around 25 deg C to deliver their design-life.
- LiFePO4 operate down to -40 deg. C without performance degradation. VRLA may deliver only 20% C at between -20 to -40 deg. C, depending on quality.
- LiFePO4 are 100% maintenance-free for the life of the battery, VRLA yearly capacity and impedance checking.
- LiFePO4 can be operated in any orientation, including inverted. Some VRLA can be positioned horizontally.
- LiFePO4 do not contain any toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, nor any corrosive acids or alkalis.
- LiFePO4 batteries are the most environmentally friendly battery chemistry available today.