Basics on LiFePO4 Battery

LiFePO4 battery is one of Li-ion batteries. You may have noticed that LiFePO4 battery grandually become everyone’s choice and it has possibility to charge to world. Why does LiFePO4 battery become so important?

If you do not know, you will find the answer after reading this article.There are everything you want about LiFePO4 battery.

What is LiFePO4 Battery?

The lithium iron phosphate battery or lithium ferrophosphate is a type of lithium-ion battery using lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material, and a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic backing as the anode.

  • Simple History

In 1996, the University of Texas (and other contributors) discovered phosphate as cathode material for rechargeable lithium batteries. Then LiFePO4 battery born.

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  • Rule of Naming

Lithium-ion batteries get their name from the active material in their positive electrode. These words are either complete(The lithium iron phosphate battery) or shortened by their chemical symbols(LiFePO4 battery). Because a series of letters and numbers strung together can be hard to remember and even harder to pronounce, battery chemistry is also identified by acronyms(LFP battery).

The right side is the chart about other kinds of lithium ion batteries.

LOOK at their names.

Complete Name Chemical Symbols Acronym
Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide LiNiMnCoO2 NMC
Lithium Cobalt Oxide LiCoO2 LCO
Lithium Manganese Oxide LiMn2O4 LMO
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide LiNiCoAlO2 NCA
Lithium Titanate Li2TiO3 LTO

What’s the Specification LiFePO4 Battery?

Here is a chart which briefly describes LiFePO4 battery mainly specification. It is a reference when you are choosing batteries.

Cell Specification LiFePO4 battery
Nominal voltages(v/cell) 3.20V 3.30V
Working voltage(v/cell) 3.0-3.20V
Minimum discharge voltage 2.5V
Maximum charge voltage 3.65V
Energy density 220Wh/L
Charge C-rate range 0.5-1.5C 1C typical
Discharge C-rate 2-10C
Cycle life(1C) ≥ 2000 (according to realistic situations)
Working temperature range -20 ~75 ℃
-4~167 ℉
Thermal runaway temperature ≥ 500℃

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What advantages does LiFePO4 battery have?

1.Extremely safe:

In LiFePO4 crystal, the P-O bond is stable and difficult to decompose unlike lithium cobalt acid which will collapse and form strong oxidizing substances at high temperature or overcharge situations. LiFePO4 battery does not spontaneously ignite and does not decompose at high temperatures. It is not prone to thermal runaway and can remain cool at hot room temperature.

Thus the chemical and thermal stability makeLiFePO4 battery more reliable and safe.

In the needling or short circuit test, scientists found that there were samples were burned, but no explosion occurred. In the overcharge experiment, scientists used the high voltage charge which is several times higher than the self-discharge voltage. Explosion phenomenon rarely occurred.

2.Longer life span:

A standard qualified LiFePO4battery remains 80% DOD till 2000 cycles of discharging and charging. And in reality, the number of life cycles can up to 10,000. For its long life and good performance,LiFePO4 battery can be used in many ways.


LiFePO4 battery provide more energy than lead-acid batteries. You do not have to concern about battery weight because they are typically half the mass of lead-acid batteries.

4.Improved Discharge and Charge Efficiency:

The discharge and charge efficiency of LiFePO4battery can reach over 90%. Thus it has great advantages over NI-MH and Ni-Cd batteries.

5.No Memory Effect

Memory effect refers to the fact that rechargeable batteries often operate without full discharge and can quickly drop below their rated capacity.

Nevertheless, LiFePO4battery does not have this phenomenon. It can be used no matter what state the LiFePO4battery in.

6.High capacity

The LiFePO4battery monomer capacity range from 5Ah to 1000Ah.

7.Good Resistance in high temperature

When temperature reaches 350-500℃, lithium manganate and lithium cobalt oxide lose performance totally, while LiFePO4battery can operate normally.

8.Environmental friendly

No heavy metals and rare metals included

     (heavy metal: Gold, silver, copper, iron, mercury, lead, cadmium)

     (rare metal: Francium, radium, polonium)

It is non-toxic (SGS certification), pollution-free, in line with the European RoHS regulations

Identified as green battery.

What Disadvantages does LiFePO4 Battery have?

Obviously, LiFePO4battery has its disadvantages. We will also list out.

  1. low nominal voltage:

It will reduce energy

  1. Poor low temperature performance:

In low temperature, lithium ions have poor diffusivity and electronic conductivity decrease which cause internal resistance increases.

  1. quite high self-discharging rate:

You have to face age balancing issue.

  1. low energy density:

It needs more protection and care

  1. Poor Consistency

From material preparation to manufacturing, it is difficult to ensure the product consistency, Moreover, the voltage platform of lithium iron phosphate is narrow, which further increases the difficulty of observation of the battery.

  1. High manufacturing cost

Due to the harsh environmental requirements of battery manufacturing and low battery yield will also cause high manufacturing costs even if there are much Lithium, Phosphorus and Ferrum.

That’s all about advantages and disadvantages of LiFePO4battery.

So next,

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What are LiFePO4 battery used for?

According characteristics of LiFePO4battery, manufacturers produce varies kinds of capacity. Thus LiFePO4battery can apply in many ways.

For example: Light electric vehicle, Power tools, Electric toys, storage equipment and Small medical instruments and portable instruments,etc.

Application Categories Application In Detail
Light electric vehicle electric bicycle, golf cart, small flat battery car, forklift, cleaning car, electric wheelchair, etc
Power tools electric drill, chainsaw, lawn mower, etc.
Electric toys Remote control cars, boats, planes and other toys;
storage equipment Solar and wind energy storage equipment
light UPS and emergency lights, warning lights and mine lights
others Small medical instruments and portable instruments

Q&A   Here are Some Questions Extracted Online

  • Is LiFePO4 better than lithium ion?

Yes, it is. For safety and fast charging speed, LiFePO4 battery is the best one because it is hard to get fire and explode because its internal structure is stable and it can tolerate temperature up to 500℃.

  • Is LiFePO4 battery the same as lithium ion?

Nope. It is a kind of lithium ion battery. There are many kinds of lithium ion batteries.

For example,

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide battery (NMC)

Lithium Cobalt Oxide battery (LCO)

Lithium Manganese Oxide battery (LMO)

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide battery (NCA)

Lithium Titanate battery(LTO)

  • Why Is It A Better Choice?

For its longer cycle life, extremely safety , better charging efficiency, great high-temperature behavior and etc, it’s hard not to be impressed

  • Why are lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries so expensive?

Because manufacturing cost much thus you will spend more. Nevertheless, it is quite cheap for  you to hold one LiFePO4 for 7 to 8 years because it has a long cycle life.

  • How do you charge a LiFePO4 battery?

The following is the right method to charge LiFePO4 battery

  1. It is best to use the special charger equipped by the manufacturer.If you lose it, it is OK to use other one.
  1. Constant current charging: That is, the current is certain, and the voltage of LiFePO4battery increases gradually with the charging process. Generally charge it with 0.2C current. When the battery voltage closes to the full voltage of 4.2V, charge it with constant voltage.
  1. Constant voltage charging:That is, the voltage is certain, and the current gradually decreases as the saturation degree of the cell deepens. According to the specification, when the current decreases to 0.01c, that is, 10mA, the charging is terminated.


  1. Stay away from water while charging
  2. The best charging temperature is 0-45℃ which can accelerate internal chemical material moving speed. Then we can charge more quickly.
  3. When charging process finished, please do not put your charger and LiFePO4battery together.

  • Do LiFePO4 battery need a special charger?

Yes. It is best to use the special charger equipped by the manufacturer. If you do not have one, it is OK to use other one. Because different types of batteries have their own charging programs and termination detection methods, thus it is best to charge your LiFePO4 battery with matched charger.

  • Do LiFePO4 battery battery explode?

Of course not.

First of all, its internal structure is stable and it can tolerate temperature up to 500℃.

Second, here is a protecting circuit inside the battery. Once there is a trend to uncontrollable things, the protecting circuit will take actions quickly.

Third, internal material of LiFePO4 battery are inflammable which will not give chances to fire or explosion accident.

  • Are LiFePO4 batteries good?

Yes.  Well, for starters, LiFePO4 batteries are incredibly efficient compared to traditional batteries. Not only that, they’re super-light and you can use most of your battery’s capacity without any problems.  So overall, yes– LiFePO4 batteries are great.

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