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There has been a new entry in types of batteries that can be used to power a forklift. The new alternative is called a lithium iron phosphate battery.
For the last several years, there has been an increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries as an alternative to the 150-year-old technology known as lead-acid batteries. The lithium iron phosphate is the so-called cousin of the lithium ion battery. There are many who favor this type of battery and who claim that it is the most efficient lithium-based battery available.
What is liked about the lithium iron phosphate battery is its superior chemical stability. Moreover, it is considered the safest option of battery available.
Benefits Of The Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
The lithium iron phosphate battery includes no rare metals or battery acid and yet it remains stable in extreme temperatures of up to 158°F while conventional lithium-ion batteries remain stable at a much lower temperature of 140°F. The lithium iron phosphate battery has zero risk of exploding or catching fire even if it is punctured or damaged.
In addition, the battery has a minimal to zero maintenance requirements resulting in minimal downtime and maximum productivity and extended lifecycle. For example, a typical lithium iron phosphate battery features up to a 2,000 charge cycle and will last for up to 10 years The lithium ion battery has a life of four years and the lead-acid battery lasts for one year. The lithium iron phosphate battery also has a high discharge capacity of about 100 percent. The lead-acid batteries has a high discharge capacity of 80 percent. This means that the lithium iron phosphate battery has longer and fewer charge cycles than the lead-acid battery, adding to the total lifespan of the battery.
The lithium iron phosphate batteries outperforms in all categories related to storage. Its condensed weight and size offers four times the charge storage capacity of the led-acid alternative. The minimal self-discharge allows it to hold a charge for up to a year when not in use. When in use, low internal resistance yields a faster rate of charge and recharge. It also gives the battery the ability to handle higher discharge currents while maintaining constant voltage of typically 3.2 volts. This permits the battery to supply full power until it is depleted.
In addition, the lithium iron phosphate battery has fewer problems when disposing it in relation to the lithium-ion battery. A lithium-ion battery is made with a lithium cobalt dioxide chemistry that is considered to be hazardous material because it can cause severe medical problems if ingested. So you have to take precautions when disposing of the lithium-ion battery.
Disadvantages Of The Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
Of course, there are disadvantages to the battery. For example, it performs poorly in extremely cold conditions when compared to the lead-acid battery. It also suffers decreased energy/cell density when compared to a lithium-ion battery. However, because the lithium-ion battery has a faster deterioration rate than the lithium iron phosphate battery, its capacity after a year of use will fall to the level of a lithium iron phosphate battery and after two years of use, the lithium iron phosphate battery will have a higher energy density than the lithium-ion battery. Moreover, the greater cell density of the lithium-ion battery results in a higher volatility in contrast to the chemical stability of the lithium iron phosphate battery.
As a result, the lithium iron phosphate battery is considerably more expensive than a lead acid and lithium-ion battery.