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Things You Should Know When Using LiFePO4 Batteries

Things You Should Know When Using LiFePO4 Batteries

As you may notice LiFePO4 batteries are gaining popularity and taking charge of the batteries used for things like solar energy systems, RVs, golf carts, bass boats, and electric motorcycles, as they're the best by far.

In this article, we'll give a brief guide on how to handle the LiFePO4 batteries and get the most out of them in charging, protection, and temperature tips.
LiFePO4 lithium batteries offer a couple of huge benefits over traditional lead acid batteries, including the fact that they’re super lightweight and safe, have a higher energy density, much longer cycle life, and lower maintenance. 

Although LiFePO4 lithium batteries require little maintenance, there are still something that we need to pay attention to.

Charging 

Take LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 lithium battery as an example, the recommended battery charger should support lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery charging. And to fully charge the battery, the DC charging voltage should be between 14.2V~14.6V and the charging current less than 100A.

The voltage levels that the LiFePO4 battery will reach under different charging stages. (Take LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery as example)

Voltage Type  Specs
Nominal cell voltage 12.8V
Peak cell voltage 14.6V
Over-charge voltage 15V
Discharge voltage 8.8V

 

Charging a LiFePO4 battery involves two steps to raise the state of charge (SOC) level to 100%. The first step is constant current charging. In this step, the charger applies a constant current to the LiFePO4 battery. The voltage level floats until it reaches 14.6V. Until this stage, The charger charges the battery at a constant current. But when the voltage reaches 14.6V, the charger will lock in on the voltage and keep it constant. At this stage, the SOC level of the battery is approximately 90%. Here onwards, the charger will output a decreasing current into the battery while keeping the voltage constant at 14.6V. When the SOC level reaches 100%, the charger will automatically disconnect and no longer charges the battery.

Attention

  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 the charging process is finished, please do not put your charger and LiFePO4battery together.

Full Battery Protection

In Lithium batteries, over-discharge occasionally occurs. The lowest value of the voltage that you can discharge a LiFePO4 battery is 8.8V. LiTime LiFePO4 battery has built-in BMS to protect it from overcharge, over-discharge, overcurrent, and short-circuit along with an excellent self-discharge rate. Without BMS protection, the battery may be destroyed over discharge even a bit below this voltage, and the destruction would be irreversible, meaning that if you discharge the battery lower than 8.8V, the damage would be permanent.

Therefore, it is important to stop using the battery before it reaches this deadline, and LiTime's LiFePO4 batteries are built-in with such a BMS board for self-protection.

Temperature Effect

The temperature is one of the critical factors that can affect the battery's performance. The lower the temperature is, the lower the capacity available. At a temperature below 0 degrees, most LiFePO4 lithium batteries cannot be charged at all.  

Long-term Storage

  • Temperature

The battery can be operated at a temperature of -20℃ to 60℃, and a temperature between 10℃ to 35℃ is ideal for long-term storage. Store in a fireproof container and away from children.

  • Capacity

It is best to store your battery at a 50% charge level and recharge every three months if it is not used for a long time.

As mentioned at the beginning, LiFePO4 batteries have many advantages over Lead-Acid batteries. However, make sure that LiFePO4 has a suitable environment to work in to reap the benefits it offers.