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A lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery is a type of lithium-ion battery that is capable of charging and discharging at high speeds compared to other types of batteries. It is a rechargeable battery consisting of LiFePO4 as its cathode material; hence the name.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries have several distinctive features, including:
Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are also known as lithium ferrophosphate batteries.
The first model of the lithium iron phosphate battery was made after the discovery of phosphate as a cathode material for use in li-ion batteries in 1996. Improvements in the coatings and usage of nano-scale phosphate have made this type of battery more efficient.
The major distinction that lithium iron phosphate batteries have from other li-ion batteries is that LFP is capable of delivering a constant voltage and also has a comparatively higher charge cycle, in the range of 2000-3000. LFP batteries are environmentally safe and structurally stable. They have a lower energy density and low discharge rate. They do not heat up easily and are relatively cooler than other batteries. The chemistry of the battery saves it from thermal runaway, and hence it is considered to be safe for home use.
Due to their constant voltage and safe discharge, LFPs have found applications in cars, bicycles and solar devices. They are also used as replacements for costly lead-acid starter batteries. They are well suited for applications that require high-load currents and endurance. They are easy to store and carry due to their light weight and ability to provide huge amounts of energy. They are widely used in portable electronic devices like laptops and mobile phones.
A recent improvement over the original lithium iron phosphate cathode material by MIT has allowed these batteries to be charged up to 100 times faster than the previous speed. An improvised coating of an ion conductor onto the LFP has enabled the acceleration of ions, and thus the charging time has been greatly reduced.