Lithium Iron Phosphate Cells (LiFePO4) – No one can afford to be outside of this revolution!
It is not a case of LiFePO4 being affordable, it is a case of can one afford to use lead acid? The life cycle cost of LiFePO4 cells is a quarter of lead acid batteries. The upfront costs for a pack vary from similar to double depending on the application, but one must consider that in 3 to 6 years’ time the lead-acid batteries must be replaced and the LiFePO4 cells will last 13 to 20 years depending on the application and pack design.
LiFePO4 cells have revolutionised the potential and life cycle cost of operating battery-based power systems. These cells have a cycle life 10 times that of typical deep cycle lead-acid batteries. They only cost approximately 50% more to purchase upfront, however, the saving on life-cycle cost is substantial.
LiFePO4 cells are available in a wide range of sizes to accommodate loads of a few amps to over 1000 amps. They can deliver sustained high power without excessive heat generation. There are no gases released and LiFePO4 cells are also thermally stable. They can be charged repeatedly to full capacity in less than 60 minutes with no appreciable loss in performance
Lithium Iron Phosphate cells, or LiFePO4 for short, are now dominating the alternate energy storage sphere amongst the more discerning designers and customers in the more advanced markets including Europe, Australia and South Africa. Freedom Won has been using these cells in electric vehicles since 2010 and in stationary storage since 2014. Freedom Won provides competitive prices made possible by high volume manufacturing in South Africa and guarantees market leading technical backup and design assistance. Freedom Won has the market leading battery warranty of 10 years with no fine print or diminishing value spurred by our confidence gained from our own test programme in electric vehicles, which is far more demanding on the batteries than stationary power systems. The expected life in off grid systems is more than 15 years, and more than 20 years in grid connected back up installations with occasional cycling. The end of life is defined by when the cells contain 60% of their Beginning of Life (BoL) capacity. The capacity deterioration over time is linear (the deterioration does not become substantially more rapid with extended use), and the cells could therefore be used for even longer periods if a lower end of life capacity is acceptable.
The initial cost of installing a LiFePO4 system as compared to Lead batteries is only marginally higher since the 2018 price decreases in the Freedom Won range. For smaller batteries up to 10kWh this premium is about 40% but for batteries larger than 100kWh this premium is only about 10%.
These premiums in initial cost are dramatically overshadowed by the savings in the total life cycle cost, calculated as a cost per kWh delivered by the battery pack during its lifetime. The lifetime cost per kWh can be as low as 25% of the cost of typical lead acid deep cycle batteries. The main reason for this is that the cells offer up to 10 times the number of cycles than your average deep cycle lead battery and as much as 5 times that of the more robust single cell flooded lead acid types.
Another top benefit to the customer is the far greater efficiency of the LiFePO4 technology, which is typically better than 98%. A typical efficiency for lead batteries is 65%, although this can be as low as 55% in a house PV system where the Depth of Discharge (DoD) is limited to 20% as a measure to lengthen the life of the lead acid cells. In a grid connected back up scenario this high efficiency results in significant energy savings when recharging the batteries, and in a Photo Voltaic (PV) installation it enables a reduction of the size of the array by as much as 30% with the same usable energy.
Features of LiFePO4 Battery
Longer cycle life:
A LiFePO4 12V Lithium Battery offers more
than 2000 cycles which is approx five times more than a leadacid battery, helping to minimize replacement cost and reduce
total cost of ownership.
About 40% of the weight of a comparable
lead acid battery. A "drop in" replacement for lead acid
Delivers twice the power of lead acid batteries,
even high discharge rate, while maintaining high energy
Wider Temperature Range:
Lithium Iron Phosphate Chemistry
eliminates the risk of explosion or combustion due to high
impact, over charging or short circuit situation.
Modular design enables deployment of
up to four batteries in series and up to eight batteries in parallel.