Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries are the fastest charging and discharging batteries, suitable for use in power tools and electric vehicles. The advantages of traditional Lithium-ion coupled with the safety features of phosphates, make LiFePo4 Battery technology the Lithium-ion technology for the future. LiFePo4 Lithium-ion technology utilizes natural, phosphate-based material and offers the greatest combination of performance, safety, cost, reliability and environmental characteristics.
The safety characteristics inherent to LiFePo4 technology result from the incorporation of phosphates as the cathode material. Phosphates are extremely stable in overcharge or short circuit conditions and have the ability to withstand high temperatures without decomposing. When abuse does occur, phosphates are not prone to thermal runaway and will not burn. As a result, LiFePo4 technology possesses safety characteristics that are fundamentally superior to those of Lithium-ion batteries made with other cathode materials.
LiFePo4 Battery technology does not contain any heavy metals and does not exhibit the “memory effect” of Nickel-Cadmium and Nickel-metal Hydride solutions. LiFePo4 technology demonstrates excellent shelf life, long cycle life and is maintenance free. LiFePO4 is an intrinsically safer cathode material than LiCoO2 since exothermic reactions cannot occur in batteries based on this material: LiFePO4 cells do not incinerate or explode under extreme conditions. In addition, LiFePO4 cells have a higher discharge current, are not toxic and have a much higher cycle life than LiCoO2 cells.
LiFePO4 Batteries – Construction and Operating Principle
Lithium iron phosphate (molecular formula is LiFePO4, also known as LFP), is used as cathode material for lithium-ion batteries (also called lithium iron phosphate battery). Its characteristic does not include noble elements such as cobalt, the price of raw material is lower and both phosphorus and iron are abundant on Earth which lowers raw material availability issues. Batteries using LiFePO4 cathode material have a moderate operating voltage (3.3V), high energy storage capacity (170mAh/g), high discharge power, fast charging and long cycle life, and its stability is also high when placed under high temperatures or in a high thermal environment. This revolutionary and novel cathode material for lithium-ion batteries belongs to the olivine group.
This lithium battery’s cathode material of olivine composition is already being mass produced by several up source professional material manufacturers. It is expected to widely expand the applications in the field of lithium batteries, and take it to the new fields such as electric bicycles, gas-electric hybrid vehicles and automation vehicles.
Benefits of LiFePO4 Batteries
- Flexible Form Factor – Small in size and light in weight 1/3 weight of Lead Acid and 65% weight of NIMH.
- High Rate Capability – For all high power output application
- Extraordinary Long Cycle Life – over 1000 times recharge, actually lowers the cost of ownership, you could use them for more than 5 years, would be over 8 times life of Lead Acid and 3 times of NIMH, 2 times most Lithium batteries
- Extremely Safe Chemistry – made of stable materials, High intrinsic safety , no explosion & will not catch fire under collision, over charged or short circuit. High thermal stability of phases up to 500C.
- Wide Working Temperature Range – From -4 F to 150 F (-20C to +70C) Extremely cold and extremely hot weather will not effect its performance
- No Memory Effect