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Battery comparison: LiFePO4, Li-ion and Lead/Acid

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Lead Acid Battery

Lead acid batteries are one of the most commonly utilized types of batteries in solar systems. In comparison to other battery types, lead acid batteries have a longer lifespan and lower price due to their poor power density, mediocre efficiency, and considerable maintenance requirements. One of the particular benefits of lead acid batteries is that they are the most often used type of rechargeable battery and hence have a well-established, mature technical foundation.

 

li-ion battery

Today, lithium-ion batteries are gaining in popularity. There are laptops, PDAs, cell phones, and iPods available. They are so popular because, pound for pound, they are among the most powerful rechargeable batteries available.

Lithium-ion batteries require less maintenance than the majority of other chemistries. There is no memory and no programmed cycling is required to prolong the battery’s life. In addition, lithium-ion has a self-discharge rate that is less than half that of nickel-cadmium, making it ideal for use in sophisticated fuel gauge applications. When lithium-ion batteries are dumped, they pose minimal danger.

LiFePO4 (Lithium-Iron Phosphate) Battery

Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries, often known as LFP Batteries or LiFePO4 batteries, have a lifespan that exceeds five years. Low resistance and high electrochemical performance characterize LFP. The thermal stability of these batteries is superior to that of conventional Li-Ion battery chemistries. 3.2V is the voltage level of an LFP single cell. Common uses for these batteries include E-Mobility, Solar Energy Storage, and others. The advantage of using these batteries is that they have a high rated current and a long cycle life, as well as superior thermal uniformity, enhanced dependability, and endurance for severe conditions.

Which battery is superior: lead-acid or lithium-ion?

Here are the three most major differences between the two battery chemistries, as well as some examples of when to choose one over the other when going electric.

1.Charging

Depending on the battery’s capacity, charging a lead-acid battery can take up to 10 hours, while charging a lithium-ion battery can take anywhere from 3 hours to a few minutes. Lithium-ion chemistries can sustain a higher current rate, allowing them to be charged more quickly than lead acid batteries. This is especially critical in situations where time is of the essence and vehicles are regularly utilized with limited break times. In the case of a terminal tractor, every minute the ship is moored at the port costs the fleet owner money, so the batteries must be charged rapidly during breaks so that the ship can be loaded.

2.Energy & Range

Comparing the two chemistries, lithium ion batteries achieve an energy density of 125-600+ Wh/L, while lead acid batteries achieve 50-90 Wh/L. During the same period. Hence, the use of lithium-ion batteries frees up space for other essential payloads. When powered by lithium-ion technology, a vehicle with a high energy density has a significantly longer range, thus the user does not need to recharge as frequently.

3.Cost This is typically the question on everyone’s mind and a significant factor in determining “what is the best product for my fleet?” As is often the case, there is no obvious answer, and the cost-effectiveness is totally dependent on the needs of your application. Lead acid is a common, low-cost battery chemistry that is readily available in vast quantities and a variety of off-the-shelf pack sizes. Large-scale stationary applications with ample space and modest energy demands are excellent for lead acid batteries. Lithium-ion technology is typically the more cost-effective option in terms of power or range.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to batteries; rather, it is about providing the optimal electric solution for the needs of the application. Cummins manufactures and distributes adaptable lithium-ion batteries for commercial vehicles and other mobile and stationary applications.

Are LiFePO4 batteries superior to lithium-ion?

Two types of lithium batteries are used to power contemporary technologies: lithium-ion and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). Despite their nearly identical names, these battery types share a number of commonalities and distinctions. Their life lengths, safety mechanisms, and charge densities vary.

1.Self-Discharge Rate

Self-discharge rate refers to the rate at which a battery loses charge when it is unplugged. Reduced self-discharge rates are advantageous for batteries since they indicate greater chemical stability and longer charge retention.

A lithium-ion battery’s self-discharge rate is around 5 percent every month. This implies that a lithium-ion battery that has been charged, disconnected, and stored for one month will decrease from 100 percent to 95 percent. The lithium iron phosphate self-discharge rate is roughly 3% per month. This means that the battery will reduce from 100% to 97% after one month.

2.Energy & Range

The energy density of lithium-ion batteries is the highest of any form of battery. The energy density of these batteries ranges from 100 to 265 Wh/kg. Whereas, The energy density of a LiFePO4 battery is lower than that of a lithium-ion battery. Their energy density ranges from 90 and 165 Wh/kg.

3.Cost

Before calculating the cost per KWh, the KWh rating of the battery must be determined. Although this number is not typically shown on the battery, it is straightforward to ascertain.

Adding cobalt as an electrode material to a lithium-ion battery increases the battery’s price. The Lithium Iron Phosphate battery uses substantially less expensive cobalt-free components, such as iron and phosphate.

In every significant manner, LiFePO4 is the superior option. These batteries offer superior performance, more value, and a much longer lifespan. Only when energy density is considered does the lithium-ion equivalent attract greater attention. Thus, they are a superior solution for electronic applications such as smartphones, laptops, e-cigarettes, and other electronic devices.

LiFePO4 batteries are superior in all applications other than electronics. Whether for electric vehicles, solar panels, caravans, motorhomes, or other high-capacity applications.

Is LiFePO4 faster to charge than lead acid?

The LiFePO4 battery has the same constant current and constant voltage phases as a lead-acid battery. Although these two phases are equivalent and serve the same purpose, the LiFePO4 battery has the advantage of a substantially faster recharge rate, resulting in a significantly shorter charging time.

 

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