When deciding on a battery for your UAV, UAS, RC, or robotics application, choosing between Li-ion (lithium ion cells) and LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) can be difficult. What chemistry should you choose?
Pros of Lithium ion(cylindrical cells):
Li-ion batteries are higher energy density(Wh/kg) which allows for longer runtimes and lighter weight
Can be charged up to 4.2v per cell
Cons of Lithium ion(cylindrical cells):
They are round cells in specific sizes which can create some limitations to fit in certain applications
They tend to hold higher temperatures during and especially after performing a higher discharge rate
Pros of LiFePO4 (LFP-Max)
- They come in lots of form factors and can be built to fit lots of different applications
- They are safer than Li-ion alternatives, being less prone to fire
- They have longer life cycles in the same applications compared to Li-ion
Cons of LiFePO4(LFP-Max)
- They are lower voltage per cell at 3.3v so put out less power than a Li-ion of the same size.
- They don’t perform as well at lower temperatures as Li-ion.
We hope this gives you a better idea of Li-ion batteries vs. LiFePO4 and what is better for your application. In summary, if you are looking for the highest capacity for the weight(energy density), choose Li-ion. If safety is a big concern and you are looking for more life cycles from your battery, choose LiFePO4. If you have any specific questions or want more information on which is better for your application, contact our battery tech team by clicking here; we would love to help.