How long does a LiFePO4 battery last?

Generally speaking, lithium iron phosphate has a life span of up to 10 years. This is because it can undergo more than 4000 deep cycles. One deep cycle means fully charging the battery, fully discharging it, and then fully charging it again. Assuming you cycle your battery once a day and no other factors come into play, your battery should last more than 10 years. 

Proper use can also extend the life of your battery. So you should know more about battery maintenance tips than you should know about battery life. Of course, you also need to know the factors that affect the life of your battery.

Aolithium 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery

Understanding what is lithium iron phosphate

LiFePO4 stands for Lithium Iron Phosphate (Li) Iron (Fe) (PO4). It is a type of lithium battery. Compared with lead-acid batteries and other lithium batteries, it has many advantages such as longer life, lighter weight and better safety performance, lithium iron phosphate batteries are becoming more and more popular in the industry. More and more people are buying lithium iron phosphate batteries.

There are different models of lithium iron phosphate batteries, more on the market are 12v 100ah LiFePO4 batteries, 48v 100ah LiFePO4 batteries, and 51.2v 100ah Server Rack Lithium LiFePO4 Battery. They are widely used in golf carts, RVs, fishing boats and other fields.

Why do LiFePO4 batteries last longer than lead-acid batteries?

It has to do with the material properties of lithium iron phosphate and lead acid. On average, LiFePO4 batteries can last between 2,000 and 5,000 charge and discharge cycles without compromising their performance. Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, can only last 200 to 500 cycles. Basically, LiFePO4 batteries last about 5 to 10 years compared to lead-acid batteries that need to be replaced every 1-3 years. A comparative analysis conducted by the researchers shows that LiFePO4 batteries have low losses and longer cycle life and lower storage depletion rates than lead-acid batteries for use in power microgrid systems.

Understanding the factors that affect the life of LiFePO4 batteries

There are many factors that affect the life of a lithium iron phosphate battery, and you should read them carefully and memorize them.

Use the right battery charger. Poor quality chargers can shorten the life of LiFePO4 batteries.

Do not let the battery sit too long with a low charge. The life of the battery will be greatly reduced if it is discharged all the time.

Do not overcharge. Overcharging will shorten the life of the LiFePO4 battery.

Standby status. Is your battery always in a dormant state?

Device Maintenance. Are your connected devices kept neat and spotless? Cleaning all ports will help extend battery life.

Understanding the maintenance tips of LiFePO4 batteries

Clean the terminals before installation

The terminals on top of the battery are made of aluminum and copper, which over time can form an oxide layer when exposed to air. Before installing the battery interconnects and BMS module, thoroughly clean the battery terminals with a wire brush to remove oxidation. If bare copper battery interconnects are used, these should also be cleaned. Removing the oxide layer will greatly improve conduction and reduce heat buildup at the terminals. (In extreme cases, heat buildup on the terminals due to poor conduction has been known to melt the plastic around the terminals and damage the BMS module!)

Proper charging of LiFePO4 batteries

The most common causes of premature failure of LiFePO4 batteries are overcharging and overdischarging. To ensure optimal performance of LiFePO4 batteries throughout their lifetime, we need to charge them properly. One of the main causes of shortened battery life and poor performance is overcharging.

Overcharging can result in.

  1. Lack of a proper battery protection system
  2. Infection of battery protection system failure
  3. Incorrect installation of the battery protection system
  4. Heat inside the battery, overcharging may cause a fire

On 12v battery, by preventing the total battery voltage from falling below 11.5v and using low voltage cutoff instead of BMS, no battery damage will occur. On the other end, charge to no more than 14.2v and no battery should be overcharged.

On the other hand, over-discharging may also cause damage to LiFePO4 cells. If any battery is near empty (less than 2.5V), the BMS must be disconnected from the load. The battery may be slightly damaged below 2.0V, but is usually recoverable. However, a battery driven to a negative voltage will suffer unrecoverable damage.

Frequent charging and shallower cycles

For Li-ion batteries, battery life will be longer if deep discharge is avoided. The proper DoD range is 70-80% (depth of discharge), except in emergencies.

Store LiFePO4 batteries at the correct temperature

Proper storage is also important if you want to take good care of your LiFePO4 battery.

Batteries may self-discharge during storage (<3% per month for LiFePO4), and high temperatures can reduce the capacity and performance of LiFePO4 batteries. Therefore, storing the battery at the proper ambient temperature will extend its life. The following is the recommended storage temperature range.

1 month: -20°C to 60°C

Three months: -20 °C to 45 °C

Six months: -20 °C to 25 °C


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