The Benefits of Lithium Iron Phosphate vs. Lead-Acid Batteries for UPS Systems

A new battery technology called Lithium Iron Phosphate has begun to find its way into UPS systems.

First a quick explanation: lithium iron phosphate (also known as LiFePO4, LiFePhos, or LFP), is a member of the lithium-ion battery family and shares many of its performance perks. What really sets LiFePO4 batteries apart from other lithium-ion battery types is its chemical stability that vastly improves battery safety.

With that in mind, let’s examine how lithium iron phosphate batteries compare to traditional lead-acid batteries.

Lithium iron phosphate batteries:

  • Have more than double the service life of an equivalent lead acid battery
  • Offer up to triple the number charge/discharge cycles
  • Charge significantly faster
  • Weigh 60% less

Those are pretty awesome stats, but you may be asking, “so what will become of lead-acid batteries?”

Lead-acid batteries are the oldest and most widely used battery technology available today, and it’s easy to see why—their tried-and-true operation and low cost will likely be found in most UPS systems for the foreseeable future. Yet, as the cost of lithium iron phosphate batteries continues to drop, it’s a safe bet more UPS options containing a lithium iron phosphate battery will become more readily available, especially for those environments where safety is a top concern.

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