Lithium vs Lead-Acid Batteries Compared

May 2, 2017 Tripp Lite


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 Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries.

Lead Acid vs Lithium Batteries

Here are some of the main differences between lithium iron phosphate and sealed lead acid 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

For more on LiFePO4 battery applications and performance, watch this video: Lithium vs. Lead-Acid Batteries.

The Future of Sealed Lead Acid Batteries in UPS Systems

Those are pretty awesome stats, but you may be wondering, “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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