The market for rechargeable batteries is growing very fast. There was a time when only the flooded Lead-Acid battery was used to power the vehicles and small electrical equipment. With time, there has been a drastic change with gradual research and development.
LiFePO4 battery is one of those modern batteries. But how long do LiFePO4 last? How good it is?
Well, a lithium Iron-Phosphate battery can last for ten long years with general usage. You can stretch the longevity even more with proper maintenance and servicing of the battery.
It is normal to be confused while purchasing a new rechargeable battery because these batteries do not come cheap. Thus, if you plan to get a LiFePO4 battery, you should go through this article until the end to learn more about the lifespan and service life.
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How Long Do LiFePO4 Batteries Last- Factors That Affect the Battery Lifespan
Like every other battery type, the LiFePO4 batteries come with some weaknesses. Hence, the factors which affect the lifespan of the LiFePO4 batteries are stated below.
Minimal Energy Density
The energy density of the Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries is lower than other types of batteries on the market. The maximum capacity of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery is about 1800mah only.
This means the battery is not suitable for delivering power to electronics with high current requirements for a longer amount of time. As a result, the Cold-cranking Amperage and the battery’s Reserve capacity are too low to power up to four-wheelers.
Due to a lack of energy density, power loss happens frequently using heavy machinery. This affects the overall service life of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFePO4 batteries are very sensitive to overcharging. The cell number in the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries is lower than that of other batteries. Most AGM, Gel, or Lead-acid batteries come with six cells with 2V.
But in the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, there are four cells with around 3.3V in each cell. As a result, overcharging for a longer period of time results in overvoltage in each cell. This slowly reduces the capacity of each cell to produce a sufficient amount of power output.
Therefore, if you do not maintain the timetable of charging the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, it will likely damage the internal circuitry. Thus the lifespan of the battery decreases.
The depth of discharge(DoD0 is the limit over which a rechargeable battery should not lose the state of charge. Going beyond the limit causes permanent damage to the battery in the future. Most batteries have a depth of discharge of about 50%.
But the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries have a depth of discharge of about 100%. But it is theoretical, not practical. The battery becoming overly discharged regularly creates an irreversible blockade to the electrodes.
Therefore, the available surface area of the electrodes becomes shorter with time. This results in the lower flow of free electrons from the electrolyte to the electrodes. It finally affects the lifespan of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
Very Low Temperature
The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries cannot perform well in low temperatures like the AGM batteries. This happens because the electrodes and the electrolytes used in the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery are sensitive to the temperature spike.
Lowering the temperature decreases the rate of electrochemical reaction. As a result, expected power delivery is not found through the battery. Using the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery at a very low-temperature halt the regular performance and degrades the workability.
It is a very slow process that ultimately affects the optimum service life of the battery. This makes the battery to be used only in suitable working conditions.
Using Incorrect Battery Charger
The main function of a battery charger is to reverse the electrochemical reaction that happens during the power delivery. It is done by inducing the required voltage and amperage to the battery.
For different types of batteries, there are different charging profiles. That is why you should use only the authorized battery chargers. Using an incorrect battery may cause an intense voltage and current flow through the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
This phenomenon may cause permanent damage to the battery circuit. Unlike all the batteries, the cell number in the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery is lower. Therefore charging with the wrong charging profile will hamper the total longevity of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
Common Aging Effect
Unlink other rechargeable batteries; Lithium Iron Phosphate battery faces an aging effect. Using a battery for a long time degrades the internal components such as circuits, electrode plates, electrolytes, etc.
The electrodes and electrolytes used in the LiFePO4 battery are more sensitive to the reaction time than the Lead plates of other batteries. Hence, with regular use, the reaction capability of the LiFePO4 batteries degrades. This natural cause also affects the lifespan of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
Minimum Tap Density
The tap density of a battery shows you the battery’s compatibility with different applicable equipment. Most AGM and gel batteries have a high tap density. Thus these batteries can power up high-performance vehicles, RVs, and hop appliances.
In the case of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, the tap density is around 0.8 to 1.3 only. It is very low to induce power in high-end electronic equipment. Therefore if you push the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries to work beyond their limit, the battery will eventually degrade its lifespan.
How to Improve The Lifespan Of LiFePO4 Batteries
Nowadays, the use of LiFePO4 batteries is becoming more common than for most electrical equipment and home appliances. Therefore you should know the improvement tips and tricks to keep your battery safe.
Almost all types of batteries have trouble with the temperature. Other very high temperatures or very low temperatures may cause damage to your battery. To improve battery health, you should use your LiFePO4 battery at the optimum temperature to avoid any difficulty.
Using Authorized Charger
It is recommended to use the company-authorized charger to charge your LiFePO4 battery. You should refrain from using aftermarket fast chargers or conventional non-automatic chargers. Moreover, it is better to keep track of the state of charge of your battery. You should not let the battery drain over 70-80%. Though, the depth of discharge of LiFePO4 is said to be 100%.
It is better to avoid a fast charging process with high amperage unless it is very important. Slow charging keeps the battery safe and enhances the service life.
Using the Battery In Dry Place
You should avoid using the battery in very moist places. The precipitation of the moisture on the terminals of the battery can cause a short circuit or abrupt electricity flow. Hence, keep your LiFePO4 battery in a Dry place to increase its longevity.
Cleaning the Battery
Check the connectivity of the battery with the cables regularly. You should keep track of the terminal ends. If the terminals are getting covered with corrosion, they should be cleaned regularly. You can use steel wool to clean the corroded terminals.
Frequently Asked Question
Still, got some questions in mind? Check the FAQ below.
How many cycles do LiFePO4 batteries last?
The Lithium Iron Phosphate or LIFePO4 batteries will last 3000-5000 cycles. It is four times the Gel, AGM, or Lead-Acid batteries. This high number of cycles makes the usability of the LiFePO4 more enhanced and effective as a rechargeable battery.
The LiFePo4 battery is a blessing to RV users and adventure lovers. Its lightweight, continuous power delivery and friendly chemistry are very popular over other batteries. But similar to most other electrochemical-based batteries, the LiFePO4 batteries have some limitations.
This limitation may confuse you and make you wonder how long do LiFePO4 batteries last. But the good thing is that you can bypass these limitations and use the LiFePO4 battery in a very optimum way. Thus you can easily enhance the longevity of the Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.