What is lithium iron phosphate battery?
A lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP) is a lithium-ion battery that can be charged and discharged at high speed compared to other types of batteries. It is a rechargeable battery made of LiFePO 4 as the cathode material; therefore the name.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries have several distinguishing properties, including:
Better power density
Low discharge rate
Flat discharge curve
Higher number of charging cycles
Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are also known as lithium ferrophosphate batteries.
The first model of lithium iron phosphate battery was made after the discovery of phosphate as a cathode material for use in lithium ion batteries in 1996. Improvements in the coatings and the use of nano-phosphate have made this type of battery more efficient.
The main difference that lithium iron phosphate batteries have from other Li-ion batteries is that LFP is able to deliver a constant voltage and also has a comparatively higher charge cycle in the 2000-3000 range. LFP batteries are environmentally friendly and structurally stable. They have a lower energy density and a lower discharge rate. They don't heat up easily and are relatively cooler than other batteries. The chemistry of the battery protects against thermal instability and is therefore considered safe for home use.
Because of their constant voltage and safe discharge, LFPs have found applications in automobiles, bicycles, and solar systems. They are also used to replace expensive lead-acid starter batteries. They are well suited for applications that require high load currents and endurance. They are easy to store and carry due to their light weight and ability to deliver large amounts of energy. They are widely used in portable electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones.
A recent improvement by MIT over the original lithium iron phosphate cathode material allowed these batteries to charge up to 100 times faster than the previous rate. An improvised coating of an ion conductor on the LFP enabled ions to be accelerated and thus the charging time was greatly reduced.