Why Businesses are Shifting to Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries to Power Their Operations
No matter how you look at it, batteries are getting more and more expensive to make and purchase. Global unrest, raw materials shortages, and concern for the environment are forcing power supply manufacturers to reconsider their primary battery chemistry, and lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP batteries) are becoming the top option for businesses looking to replace or upgrade industrial batteries.
Even car manufacturers are getting on board with finding new ways to power their electric vehicles (EVs). Tesla’s shift is the most notable example of this new trend, with half of all EVs manufactured in Q1 powered with LFP batteries. Volkswagen has plans to start using LFP batteries in smaller vehicles, and Ford is also looking into the viability of making the transition to these more eco-friendly batteries.
Should You Consider LFP Batteries to Replace Your Current Commercial or Industrial Batteries?
When it comes to choosing the battery chemistry for your next commercial or industrial battery upgrade, there is a great deal to consider. Businesses concerned about tempering their CapEx investment may struggle to justify more expensive advanced battery systems, even if they will last longer. However, lithium iron phosphate batteries open the door to more sustainable power for a wide range of applications, and recent advancements in their energy density make them an advantageous long-term investment.
Most Common Industrial Battery Solutions Pros and Cons
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the industrial battery solutions you may consider using to power your mobile workstations and hospitality carts.
SLA – Sealed Lead Acid Batteries
People tend to gravitate toward the familiar, which is likely why sealed lead acid batteries are still in use despite the far superior options. In addition to being heavier than other commercial battery types and having a shorter overall life cycle, they have a tendency to overheat and a short life cycle.
Even worse is their impact on the environment. According to the World Health Organization, more than three quarters of the world’s lead consumption goes toward lead acid batteries. Lead is a highly toxic heavy metal, and batteries that have not been disposed of properly can contaminate the ground and water, causing lead poisoning in residents of the surrounding area. Even some lead acid battery recycling facilities have contaminated the nearby environment.
SLA Battery Pros:
- Least expensive option
- Readily available/most common on legacy equipment
SLA Battery Cons:
- Bad for the environment
- Short cycle time
- Short overall life cycle
- Tendency to overheat
NMC – Nickel Manganese Cobalt Batteries
Nickel manganese cobalt batteries (NMC batteries) are a type of lithium ion battery (not to be confused with lithium iron phosphate batteries, or LFP batteries). While NMC batteries have been the industrial battery of choice in recent years because they are safer, more efficient, and lighter than SLA batteries, they are losing their favor in commercial and industrial applications due to a number of factors.
Russia is a primary supplier of nickel, which is why prices surged in March shortly after the country invaded Ukraine. Additionally, mining nickel often employs practices that are damaging to the environment.
The cobalt used in NMC batteries is also fraught with negative humanitarian implications. About half the world’s cobalt reserves come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children as young as six years old work long hours in cobalt mines.
NMC Battery Pros:
- Less upfront expense than LFP batteries
- Safer and more efficient than SLA batteries
- Longer life cycle than SLA
- Lightest battery option
NMC Battery Cons:
- Materials are often mined under inhumane or politically unsavory conditions
- Nickel is in short supply and getting more expensive
- Unstable and more likely to catch fire than LFP batteries
- Repeated full charges shortens life of battery
LFP – Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are a clear winner among other industrial battery and commercial battery options. The batteries that make up these advanced battery systems are the safest and most reliable on the market. And, they are made with raw materials that are inexpensive and easy to come by.
Though they are heavier due to their lower power density and have a higher up-front cost, LFP batteries have several advantages that make them highly appealing for industrial and commercial applications. They operate at a low temperature so they don’t need a cooling fan, they charge quickly, and they last longer than SLA or NMC batteries, leading to a lower total cost of ownership.
LFP Battery Pros:
- Green battery chemistry
- Made with abundantly available materials
- Lower TCO than NMC batteries
- Longer lifetime
- Faster charge
LFP Battery Cons:
- Heavier weight/lower power density
- Highest up-front cost
Consider Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries for Your Next Industrial Battery Replacement or Upgrade
Transitioning to a new battery type can feel like a long process, but LFP batteries are versatile and simple to integrate into your operations. They are the greenest, safest battery on the market today, and they will last through a higher number of charge cycles than SLA or NMC batteries. So even though the upfront cost is higher, the total cost of ownership is lower.
DTG is always designing new LFP battery formats to deliver dependable, hot-swappable battery power to the devices you use most. What’s more, ROI is guaranteed, and all batteries come with an industry-leading 5-year warranty.
Contact us today to learn more about how DTG can deliver safe, dependable power solutions with LFP batteries that are made to last.