Advantages of Lithium-Iron Batteries:
Lithium itself is not toxic, and it does not bio-accumulate like lead or other heavy metals. But most lithium battery chemistries use oxides of nickel, cobalt, or manganese in their electrodes. Estimates suggest it takes 50% more energy to produce these materials compared to the electrodes in lithium iron phosphate batteries.
A 2013 report by the EPA revealed Li-based batteries based on nickel or cobalt have the highest environmental impact including resource depletion, ecological toxicity, and human health impacts, all almost entirely due to the production and processing of nickel and cobalt.
Lithium-iron batteries are sealed with no off gassing and require no maintenance.
LiFePO4 batteries, by contrast, have big advantages over other lithium chemistries:
- They use no rare earths or toxic metals and employ commonly available materials including copper, iron, and graphite;
- Less energy is consumed in mining and processing of materials;
- Phosphate salts are also less soluble than metal oxides, so they are less likely to leach into the environment if the battery is improperly discarded; and
- LiFePO4 batteries are chemically stable against combustion and rupture under nearly all operating and storage conditions.
Take a step into the right direction by pairing your solar system with one of the safest and highest-cycle battery chemistry yet!