LiFePO4 batteries are often confused with Lithium Ion. In reality, LiFePO4 is a step up from lithium-ion, known as lithium iron sulfate. LiFePO4 incorporates iron sulfate for the positive side of the battery and graphite carbon for the negative side.
These batteries feature an improved energy density, even though they are technically lithium-ion themselves. If you’re looking for a LiFePO4 battery, the only differences you’ll run into are brands and how well these brands manufacture their LiFePO4s.
In general, all LiFePO4s should offer around 3,000 cycles and as many as 10,000 for the super-premium versions. “Cycles” refers to the number of discharges and charges a battery can take before it drops below 80% efficiency. With that being said, which LiFePO4s are worth a second look?
1. Digi Marker LiFePO4 Batteries
- BMS protection from overload, over-discharge, overheating, short circuits, overcharge, and over-current
- High quality, M8 Terminals
- ABS Plastic casing
- Companion App
- 4-year warranty and 24-hour service included
Whether you need a battery for a four-wheeler or a deep cycle battery for running the electronics on your boat or RV, Digi Marker manufactures them all. In addition, they market their LiFePO4 batteries as entirely maintenance-free.
Digi Marker manufactures ten different batteries, and in ascending order, they run from 12.8v, 60Ah, and 768Wh small batteries to 12.8v, 300Ah, and 3840Wh batteries. With that many batteries, Digi Marker has you covered for every eventuality.
The additional four-year warranty is a nice touch as well. In addition, it’s 40% of the battery’s lifespan, which is a good deal more than many of the lithium-iron sulfate battery manufacturers out there.
The ABS plastic casing isn’t the best protective shell out there, but it’s pretty good. It will protect your battery from small impacts, water splashes, and corrosion so that you can use these batteries for a number of applications.
Another advantage of these batteries is that they support 4 series and 4 parallel, a must-have feature if you’re living off the grid or boondocking in an RV for an extended period of time. A series set-up with some solid solar panels can keep you juiced up for days, if not indefinitely.
- [LiFePO4 Long service life] Lead-acid batteries usually only last for 300-400 cycles, while our lithium-iron batteries can continue for more than 4000 cycles at 100% DoD up to 5000 cycles at 80% DoD. The service life is more than 10 times that of lead-acid batteries.
- [BMS Protection System] The unique built-in battery management system (BMS) of our products lithium battery can protect it from overcharge, deep discharge, overload,overheating and short circuit, and low self-discharge rate.
- [More energy power and lighter weight]: the lithium iron phosphate battery has close to four times the usable capacity of regular lead-acid batteries without the increase in size or weight. Our 135Ah lithium battery weighs only 27.3lbs, which is only 1/4of the weight of a lead-acid battery, easy to move and install. It is an ideal choice for outdoor camping power supply and simple indoor installation.
- [Capacity expansion] The Max connection in series is : 4 pcs batteries to 48V, the Max connection in series/in parallels: Support 4 series and 4 parallel (in the case of simultaneous series and parallel connection). The Max connection in parallels is(In the case of separate parallel connection, no series connection) : it can connect multiple batteries, and no more than 10 pcs in parallel.
- [Long-term and high-quality after-sales service] : More than 90 days from the date of purchase, and within 4 years, If our product fails to work normally, the consumer assists us in completing all the battery testing , and both parties connfirm that the product does have quality problems, we will provide returns and exchanges to the consumer for free.
2. Li Time LiFePO4 Batteries
- Wifi connectivity
- Supports 99% of loads
- UL-Certified Grade A LiFePO4 Cells
- 5-year warranty
- High energy density
- 4000 to 15000 cycles
- Space-saving design
Li Time has built its reputation on a 2 to 7-day delivery service, its 5-year warranty, 24-hour customer service, and hassle-free returns and replacement. In addition, their batteries cover a wide range of applications, as the aforementioned “99% load support” insinuates.
Plus, Li Time markets three separate series of batteries, including the 12v, 24v, and 48v series. The 12v series includes five batteries, while the 24v and 48v series include 2 batteries each for a total of 9.
Their biggest and most expensive battery is the Lithium 51.2v, 100Ah, 5120W, while the smallest is the 12v, 100Ah battery. All of the Li Time Batteries support up to 16 series connections so that you can build a massive powerbase with them.
Throw in there the fact that Li Time placed a big focus on maintaining power superiority in a smaller package, and you can build a series of batteries without taking up as much space or creating as much weight as you might think. That’s an enormous advantage, especially if you’re talking about Li Time’s larger batteries.
Plus, Li Time offers a 5-year warranty, which covers 50% of the lifetime of the battery, a staggering amount compared to other competitors. Like Digi Marker, Li Time has 24-hour customer service, but these batteries are solid enough that you may not need them for years.
If you own a huge RV or a boat with a combo of fishing electronics (finders and transducers) and trolling motors or other wireless integration motors, Li Time should be at the front of the options line. Li Time batteries also include complete BMS protection systems built into each battery.
- 【Mini in Size Max on Power】LiTime 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 auto battery MINI took up only 0.25ft³ of space and is 35% smaller than before. Exquisite technology makes the 12V 100Ah size mini enough but powerful as usual (100% 1280Wh energy storage), install the mini 12V 100Ah battery wherever you want without regard for space.
- 【Weighs 19lbs, 10% Lighter Than Ever】Be your first choice of LiFePO4 batteries for every outdoor decision, weighs only 19lbs, 10% lighter than ever. (The 12V 100Ah regular version: weighs 24lbs) It will be easier to maintain, move and take on the go.
- 【All-New Design, All-Round Safety】The lithium battery is wear-resistant thanks to the newly adopted matte-finish battery case, and the housing is IP65 waterproof, ensuring the success of all your sea activities. To prevent crush damages, we optimize the internal layout and construction. Allowable operating temperatures for outdoor activities range from -4°F to 140 °F.
- 【Upgraded BMS and Battery Cells】After 14 years of research and testing, the 12.8V 100Ah mini version finally adopts the BMS that LiTime created, giving the battery powerful and stable performance throughout every cycle. Insisting on using automotive battery cells for all LiTime batteries ensures the high quality of LiTime batteries when leading the lithium battery provider in the market.
- 【1~3 Working-day Delivery & Outstanding Service】 LiTime is committed to providing you with satisfactory service. The battery will be shipped from our local warehouse in CA, TX, PA, and GA. ETA: 1-3 working days; the actual time may vary for the inventory situation. We also provide professional technical support and online customer service with quick feedback within 24 hrs. You can contact us, with the actual shipping address, to check the inventory of the nearest warehouse.
- 【Something You Should Know Before Purchasing】① The LiTime LiFePO4 battery is intended for use as an energy storage purpose; if you have any questions about starting batteries or golf cart batteries, please contact us before making a purchase. ② The LiTime 12.8V 100Ah mini version battery is suitable for 30-70lbs trolling motors
3. Expert Power LiFePO4 Batteries
- BMS protection system
- Bluetooth compatible
- Integrated self-heating system
- ISO 9001 or ROHS Environmental Certifications for every battery
- 2500 to 7000 cycles
- Very low self-discharge
- ⅓ the weight of similar batteries
Expert Power is based out of Los Angeles, California, and they’ve been in the business of manufacturing batteries since the mid-1980s. Not only are their batteries top rated on the market, but they’re also not quite as expensive as much of the competition.
It’s a relief to find exceptional batteries that don’t cost insane amounts. The only drawback is that Expert Power’s highest-end battery can’t match the 10000 and 150000 cycles of the Digi Marker and Li Time, high-end batteries respectively.
So, there’s a little bit of a trade-off, though the batteries manufactured by Expert Power are excellent, and even the low-end of 2500 cycles is still an incredible amount. In addition, all of the Expert Power batteries are integrated with Bluetooth technology, so you can monitor the diagnostics and any series you put together from the companion app on your smartphone.
Expert Power markets 12 batteries in their LiFePO4 lineup, starting from the smallest (12v 5AH) to the largest (12v, 200Ah). The batteries feature a flat discharge curve, which is barely a curve at all since the discharge rate is so minimal. If you like ice fishing in an ice house or toy hauler RV, you’ll love the integrated self-heating system, which keeps it warm in the cold.
Like the batteries above, the Expert Power includes the full suite of integrated BMS protections, and you can set them up in a series as well, though Expert Power isn’t clear on the allowable extent of the support.
Last but not least, Expert Power sells several lines of solar panels that are designed to hook up with their inverters and deep cycle batteries easily. So if you’re looking for some long-lasting, hardcore, off-grid equipment, consider shopping entirely in-house.
- LiFePO4: ExpertPower’s newest line of batteries – The No.1 Sealed Lead Acid Battery Seller on Amazon.
- Longer Service Life: Our LiFePO4 battery provides 2500 – 7000 cycles & a 10 years lifetime compared to 200 – 500 cycles & a 3 years lifetime in typical Lead Acid chemistry. Also supports expansion up to 2 batteries sequenced in series at 24V 100Ah, or max. 4 batteries in parallel at 12V 400Ah.
- Efficient Power: Our LiFePO4 battery’s flat discharge curve holds above 12V for up to 95% of its capacity usage providing astronomical boosts in run-time compared to only 50% in Lead Acid.
- Impeccably Lightweight: Our LiFePO4 battery is only a 1/3 of the weight of Lead Acid which makes it the disputable choice for RVs, Marine and Off-Grid Applications when towing or mobility is in the consideration.
- Complete Protection: The lithium battery’s unique built-in Battery Management System (BMS) protects it from overcharge, deep discharge, overloading, overheating and short circuit, and excessive low self-discharge rate ensuring up to 1 year maintenance-free storage. Built-in low-temp cut off prevents charging under 23 °F (-5 °C).
Why Choose LiFePO4 Batteries?
Firstly, LiFePO4 batteries have a longer lifespan compared to other types of batteries. They can last up to five times longer than lead-acid batteries and two times longer than lithium-ion batteries. This means that they require less maintenance and replacement over time, which saves you money in the long run.
Secondly, due to their stable chemical composition, LiFePO4 batteries are much safer than other battery types. As a result, they do not produce toxic gases or acids when charging or discharging and are less prone to overheating or catching fire.
Thirdly, LiFePO4 batteries offer more consistent performance throughout their life span compared to other battery types. They maintain a steady voltage even under heavy loads, which makes them ideal for high-performance applications such as electric vehicles and solar power systems.
Choosing a LiFePO4 battery offers numerous advantages, including safety, longevity, and environmental responsibility, making them an excellent choice for any application requiring reliable energy storage solutions.
Pros ; Cons
- Safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries
- Longer shelf life (up to 10 years)
- Lower self-discharge rate (so they can be stored for longer)
- More expensive than other types of lithium-ion batteries
- Shorter lifespan
- Lower specific energy
While the pros and cons of investing in a LiFePO4 battery will vary depending on the individual’s needs, they’re overall considered to be a safer and more reliable option when compared with other types of lithium-ion batteries. In addition, higher upfront costs may be counterbalanced by their longer shelf life and lower self-discharge rate.
LiFePO4 batteries have completely separated themselves from lead-acid, standard lithium-ion, and AGM batteries. Lithium-iron sulfate is clearly the newer and superior technology. However, you will pay a higher price point, at least until the tech ages for a time and the price naturally drop.
However, if you’re looking for an outstanding battery (or several batteries you can install as a series), you can’t go wrong with any of the above three brands. They all manufacture exceptional LiFePO4 batteries that will last for years.
Butler, S. (September 7, 2022). What Are LiFePO4 Batteries, and When Should You Choose Them?
Retrieved from: https://www.howtogeek.com/822326/what-are-lifepo4-batteries/
Beck, A. (September 20, 2019). LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE VS. LITHIUM-ION: DIFFERENCES AND ADVANTAGES
Retrieved from: https://blog.epectec.com/lithium-iron-phosphate-vs-lithium-ion-differences-and-advantages