Are LiFePO Batteries better? How to Use them For Small Projects



For years we have used rechargeable Li-Ion batteries for our projects. They are widely available, but are they still the best solution? Let’s have a closer look at the newer kid in the block, the LiFePo4 batteries. How do they compare, and more importantly, how are they used?
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31 thoughts on “Are LiFePO Batteries better? How to Use them For Small Projects

  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Nice overview ! Btw, never trust LiIon packs…. sooner or later they'll all inflate, it's just a matter of time. But so do many other battery technologies. I've been working with lead/acid for years, eventually they too will inflate. If you're lucky they don't burst.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    I have made a LiFEPO4 battery from individual cells, there is no need to fear this battery technology, as long as you have designed it to work within manufacturers guide lines and you have a good Battery Management System (BMS). BMS is a major topic in its own right, with active and passive devices being hotly debated.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Nice vid, I'd only capitalize the O for oxygen, it's phosphorus and oxygen and not polonium

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Now I hope that manufacturers listen to us and start producing packs instead of cells. Maybe we should give them our requirements, or what we want, and then they might produce it. The response here says enough. All I am asking for is some smaller packs which can be used for IOT's and which maybe can be charger/powered from a small solar panel. An included BMS should also be a good thing to minimize it all and make things simpler.
    I only charge my 18650 and 14500 cells when I am in the house and the charger (lii-500) stands either on the ground on tiles or in a metal box. When the weather permits the charger goes outside away from the house and in the shade. But every single time I think about how dangerous it is.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Great overview and summary, Andreas! Even Tesla will change/has changed their battery packs and there are already Tesla models released (initially only for China but now also in Europe) that run with LiFePo4 batteries. And even more interesting, they are operated with a heat pump to have a most efficient heating of the batteries in cold environments. So with your video you are again leading edge! Thank you for sharing!

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Hello Mr. Spiess =) In general, many marine solar-power setups in colder climates will use LiFeYPO4 3.2V cells, and proponents report good longevity/aging-capacity (typically 7000+ deep cycles, and 10000+ with minimal discharging.) Generally, most LiPol are rated at 2000 deep cycles (<50% full, post recharge resting ), to the full 4000 cycle lifespan with minimal discharge (>80% full). Not sure who wrote that temperature report, but most Li-Ion and LiPol safe-operating-areas are only between 4’C to 56’C… and many phones simply stop working at around -8’C unless in active discharge… Most Li batteries are exothermic during discharge, so will self-heat during use… but note a Tesla automobile may waste 15% or more range on the internal heater in Canadian winters.
    I hope the iron-air battery becomes available for testing soon.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    could you make another video adapted to the banks of batteries of big capacity in lifepo4 kind 16 batteries 320Ah of 3.2 volt adapted to the solar storage, personally I have already this assembly almost 17kWh, they are the solar panels which recharge the batteries via the hybrid inverter, I rather thought that these batteries had to be charged between 3v and 3.6 volt.
    I would like to have your point of view

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Grüezi aus DE lieber Andreas! Ich habe zwar persönlich ausserhalb von PC-Service bisher wenig mit Elektronik zu tun, deine Videos machen aber Lust drauf, mal selbst den Lötkolben in die Hand zu nehmen. Vielen Dank und weiter so!

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    I have a few old, unused iPods somewhere in a box in the attic. Suppose they contain Li-Ion batteries. Is this a fire hazard?

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    2 days ago I "found" 40 lifpo4 solar light batteries I bought a year ago because I needed them, your timing Andreas is perfect.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    The chemical symbol for oxygen is O (large letter) and not o (small letter), therefor use please LiFePO4 – the 4 of course as subscript letter which is not possible in the comments.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    Another great video mate.
    I have been using lifepo4 batteries in my espnow projects since your early videos.

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    I have been using a LiFePO4 32700 battery for a humidity sensor for a while. It lasts half a year on a charge and I love the idea that it won't spontaneously combust and burn down the house. Of course, that's only because its a 12 million MAH Chinese cell and has nothing to do with tuning the ESPs deep sleep and WiFi settings 😉

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    hi my guru. Greetings from (not so cold) my part of the world.
    My story with LiIon is like this: I always use LiIon batteries with TP4056 in all my projects where battery in use WITHOUT 3.3V voltage regulator. Why?
    1- from logic point of view, there will be no difference for the HIGH state if 2.6V (minimum voltage for ESP32) or 4.2V is applied – high will be inside the tolerance and btw it serves most of 3.3V and 5V logic.
    2- from safety of ESP32 point of view: after your last comment to me "do it on your own risk" I took a beer, bench power supply, chose one of my ESP32 and … sacrificed it – extensive tests showed: the death occurred (not mine – the ESP of course) at around 19V only 😉 – of course I would not like to feed HIGH state to/from sensors with such voltage but when ESP32 is concerned… no problems with 4.2V. 
    3- Funny thing with HIGH state from ESP32: it is completely unregulated, unstable etc. It is "just" HIGH within the tolerance – and directly proportional to the Vcc of the ESP32 (so with 2.6V it will be lower voltage than with 4.2V)
    4- for my project where there is constant 5V delivered, I add 3.3V regulator – no harm of course – because in such case battery is only to allow my ESP32 to still live when on move (i.e. I have CO2 sensor that is usually in my room with battery in it and connected always to 5V but if I want to take it to another room, battery inside prevents the device to reboot – that is important as CO2 sensors require pre-heat for few minutes after restart)
    5- where I have no constant 5V (i.e. solar operated sensors), I avoid 3.3V regulator for obvious reasons: below 3.4V of battery the regulator is OFF – too much to lose when sun in UK is on occasions only 😉
    6- yes, I am talking about my experience and I take the risk
    7- GREAT VIDEO as usual – very good on Sunday morning with cappuccino

    AMEN 😉

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  • November 14, 2021 at 10:01 am
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    The chart at end Lifepo4 do burn if punched, but very slowly. You can get Lifepo4 which seals after punchering, they still work fine after to, how amazing is that type.

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