Lithium batteries have been all the rage ever since they were released. Today, several unique versions of batteries function with Lithium ions as the basis. LFP or Lithium-iron phosphate is the current version steadily increasing in popularity. The LiFePO4 has a long charging capacity and can run for an extended period.
However, if you want the maximum number of benefits from the LFP battery, you must ensure the best charging practices and maintain it regularly. This is where people get stumped – how do you charge a Lithium-iron phosphate battery? If you have been stuck with this issue, keep reading about charging an LFP battery correctly.
Optimal Charging Conditions for LiFePO4 Battery
There are certain guidelines you must follow during the charging process of the Lithium-iron phosphate battery to ensure it doesn’t get damaged and to maintain its long life. The great thing about charging this version of a Lithium battery is that you don’t have to fully charge or discharge it.
If you leave or disconnect the charger halfway down the road, it won’t affect the battery’s performance, at least in the short run. Likewise, you can wait until 80% of the battery capacity is used up before you charge it. But make sure not to go below the 80% capacity to begin charging, as doing that can lead to a temporary damage to the battery. And if you keep doing that or go drastically below this limit, you can permanently damage the battery.
Generally, the state of charging the LFP battery just partially won’t harm it. If the battery goes below the set capacity of 80% in the discharging process, the Battery management system will automatically stop the process. If that happens, you need to remove the attached load and charge it immediately.
Voltage Range for LiFePO4 battery
The specified voltage range is one of the most important things to care for when charging the LiFePO4 or any other battery. If you charge with a charger that does not fall in the voltage range the battery needs, it can destroy the chemical makeup and render it useless.
The max charge voltage lifepo4 battery carries are 4.2 volts for one cell. However, it is suggested that you leave a 1% range between the maximum voltage and the one at which you are charging. So, the proposed voltage range for charging is between 3.2 and 3.4 or 3.6 volts per cell. Don’t go below 2 volts, as it can lead to provisional damage.
For a 12-volt battery, the optimal range is between 14.2 and 14.6 volts.
Which Chargers to Use for LiFePO4 battery?
The obvious answer is to use the charger with the LFP battery, as it will match the exact specifications and won’t cause any long-term issues. Another way is to use the lead-acid battery charger, which comes in the same voltage range. Most lead-acid chargers are built in the acceptable parameters for a LiFePO4 battery, so you will be able to use them in most cases.
You can also charge using solar panels. Make sure to use a charge controller to keep the voltage requirement in check.
Even though the Lithium-iron phosphate battery is permed to tolerate varying thermal and electrical shocks, overcharging or undercharging can lead to above-par heating shocks leading to the death of the battery. Make sure you are using the correct charger and in the right voltage range. The manual with the LFP battery will contain all the specifications. Maintain it regularly, and the investment will be worth it.