LiFePO4 vs Lead Acid Leisure Batteries
Have you been considering making the switch from lead acid to a LiFePO4 leisure battery?
Have you not yet purchased a leisure battery and need to consider the pros and cons of both? If so, you’re in the right place.
We’ve rated both LiFePO4 and Lead Acid batteries across a myriad of features to help you make an informed decision, so…let's have a look in a little more detail.
Wondering how long your battery will be able to perform before you see a deterioration? A lead acid battery will probably last you around 300 cycles, or up to two years, before you see a deterioration in performance. A LiFePO4 will see you a good 4000 cycles of use, giving you a decade of use before tailing off - not much competition here right?
Battery Cycle Life
There is a pretty clear winner when it comes to cycle life and that’s the LiFePO4. 4000 cycles and ten years of solid use - the lead acid battery simply cannot compete.
Lead acid batteries do not come with the best safety reputation. They are highly corrosive and substantially more dangerous than most other batteries simply due to the toxic chemicals contained within them. Lead acid batteries contain sulfuric acid which may leak, or give off spray or droplets especially during the charging process. Long story short, you have to be remarkably careful with them.
The good news is, LiFePO4 leisure batteries contain a much safer chemical make-up. They contain no toxic chemicals, can withstand high temperatures and unlike lead acid batteries they aren’t prone to leakage. The high temperature resistance makes them flame resistant and explosion-proof, giving you greater peace of mind when taking them out in your precious camper, caravan or boat.
As with any battery products, we must make you aware that there are safety precautions you should adhere to at all times, and whilst lithium batteries aren't inherently dangerous, they can be if they are misused or mistreated.
Again, another win for the LiFePO4 leisure battery, providing complete peace of mind when it comes to safety!
The potential dangers of lead acid batteries do not just extend to humans, they also extend to the environment and if improperly discarded the sulfuric acid contained in the battery can contaminate soil, ground works and eventually rivers, lakes and the sea. With our planet in the midst of an environmental disaster, the last thing we need is to add more harmful, toxic, chemical substances to the mix.
Not only is the LiFePO4 completely recyclable, the lifespan of the product, weight of the product, and lack of harmful chemicals contained within the battery all contribute to a much greater environmental impact. These batteries are not only providing a fantastic off-grid power solution, they are also helping to save the planet.
Ensuring we use 100% recyclable products, such as LiFePO4 batteries, is one way we can support the environment and make better choices - there can only be one winner in this category.
Considering you’re going to be lugging these batteries around with you, the weight of them is rather vital! Vehicle payload, especially with the cost of fuel today, needs to be kept at a minimum. One lead acid battery alone weighs around 70lbs (or 31kg), whereas a lithium iron phosphate battery weighs around 22lbs (or 10kg) - that's quite some weight reduction!
Whatever adventures you plan on taking, the ability to shave off half your battery weight is going to be nothing but a good thing, or even take an extra battery for the same weight as your old lead acid!
Another clear win for the LiFePO4 leisure battery which is a third of the weight of a lead acid battery.
Depth of Discharge (DOD)
You’ve probably seen the term depth of discharge or DOD used frequently by other retailers, it simply means the percentage of the battery that has been discharged relative to its overall capacity.
When it comes to depth of discharge in lead acid batteries, you’ll typically draw around 50% of the capacity safely before you’ll notice significant deterioration in performance. The overall range of lead acid batteries is significantly hindered by the low depth of discharge.
LiFePO4 batteries, unlike lead acid batteries, have a DOD around 95% - meaning they utilise nearly the whole depth of the battery, without any fear of the lights going out!
Once again the LiFePO4 is a clear winner, with a depth of discharge at 95%.
There is no denying that lead acid batteries look more attractive with a price tag of around £120 (for a 12v 100ah) - but before we announce a winner, let’s look a little closer!
What you really need to do to get an accurate reflection of the price is look at the cost of the battery across its lifetime, and believe us when we say, the LiFePO4 lasts a whole lot longer.
Let’s quantify this over the lifetime of a LiFePO4 battery;
Throughout the 4000 cycle lifespan of a Fogstar Drift 105ah 12v battery, you’d need upwards of 13 lead acid batteries to achieve the same cyclic lifespan, the lead acid variety isn’t looking quite as cheap now, is it?
Yes, the lead acid battery wins on price tag, but when you factor in value over the lifespan of the product, there is one clear winner - the LiFePO4.
THE WINNER: LiFePO4 Leisure Batteries
It’s no surprise that LiFePO4 leisure batteries swooped in and stole the show here. With superior chemical make-up, greater depth of discharge, lower weight, exceptional pricing advantage and better environmental protection - there really was no competition.
If you’re ready to start shopping for your next LiFeP04 leisure battery, why not take a look at the Fogstar Drift range?
Utilising the latest Lithium Iron Phosphate technology, and built using EVE Grade A LiFePO4 prismatic cells and JBD BMS, our multi award-winning team here at Fogstar Batteries have developed the ultimate leisure batteries.
All of our batteries come with Bluetooth and built-in Heaters as standard - take a look at the range here.