What Is a LiFePO4 UPS?

Posted by Robert Faulkner on June 6, 2024

Few people think about the chemical composition of batteries. When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, however, the chemical makeup of the cathode makes a huge difference in terms of safety, reliability, and cost.

The lithium-ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and other devices typically use a cobalt oxide cathode material. These batteries have a high energy capacity but also generate more heat, creating a risk of fire. Until recently, electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. have used lithium batteries with a nickel-cobalt cathode because they deliver the range that car buyers demand. However, they are prone to thermal runaway due to oxygen in the nickel-cobalt mixture.

Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) offers a far safer alternative. They use iron phosphate for the cathode materials, creating a more reliable battery that is stable, nontoxic, and produces less heat. There is a much lower risk of thermal runaway, so there’s less chance that a LiFePO4 battery will catch fire or explode. That makes LiFePO4 batteries a superior choice for EVs, power storage, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs).

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What Are the Benefits of LiFePO4 UPSs?

In previous posts, we discussed the benefits of lithium-ion UPSs vs. lead-acid UPSs and the differences between Li-ion vs VRLA batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are more compact than lead-acid batteries, have a longer lifecycle, and recharge faster. They are also energy efficient, have a higher operating temperature, and require minimal maintenance. LiFePO4 batteries take these benefits to the next level.

Energy Density

The energy density of a battery refers to how much energy will fit in its volume or weight. Volumetric energy density is measured in Watt-hours per liter (Wh/L), and gravimetric energy density is measured in Watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). LiFePO4 batteries have a gravimetric energy density of up to 170Wh/kg — higher than some other types of lithium-ion batteries. They also have high power output, making them ideal for energy-intensive applications.


A battery’s lifecycle is the number of times it can charge and discharge in its useful life. LiFePO4 batteries can charge and discharge up to 5,000 times before losing about 20 percent of their capacity. A lead-acid battery, by contrast, may have only a few hundred charge/discharge cycles before its capacity declines.

Operating Temperature Range

Temperature extremes affect a battery’s lifespan. Lead-acid batteries have a narrow operating temperature range of about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, while lithium-ion batteries can operate at up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. LiFePO4 batteries can tolerate temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Significantly, they can also operate at temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Other lithium-ion batteries perform poorly at temperatures below freezing.

Environmental Impact

LiFePO4 batteries are more eco-friendly. They do not release hazardous gases, making them safer to store and use in enclosed areas. They support solar charging for more sustainable energy consumption. And they are cobalt-free, so they do not perpetuate the inhumane conditions in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Enconnex: Your Source for LiFePO4 UPSs

Enconnex has updated its UPS line to include an online rackmount LiFePO4 UPS that delivers reliable backup power and efficient performance. Its 2U form factor makes it ideal for edge locations as well as server rooms. Because it’s an online (double-conversion) UPS, it provides backup power for the rack and shields equipment from power surges and disturbances.

The Enconnex LifePO4 UPS is available in power capacities ranging from 1.5kVA to 3kVA, with up to 14 minutes of runtime under full load. It delivers up to 10 years of battery life and up to 2000 full discharge cycles — up to 10 times more than lead-acid UPSs. View our UPS buying guide to help you find the right UPS for your environment, and contact the experts at Enconnex to discuss the benefits LiFePO4 UPSs can bring.

Posted by Robert Faulkner on June 6, 2024

Robert Faulkner is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Enconnex. He comes from a strong background in product management with over 20 years in the IT industry. He currently holds an MSME and CDCD certification. He earned his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno.

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