Stuff worth knowing about > Opinion


Why do I think that LifePo4 is the best Lithium chemistry?

I want to spend my money on the best value and right now LifePo4 lithium batteries are the best in several areas: lifetime cycles, cost, and safety.

The safety is incredible. Not only does it work in a way that decreases the likelihood of exploding, it also has things to prevent fire if it should occur. It has been extensively used and tested and withstands abuse that other lithium cells would cause fire. It is the only technology that I feel comfortable using in a space that has gas like an RV or a home.

The lifetime cycles are the number of times that it can be used. Other technologies have cycles of 300, 500 or 1000. That means that if you fully charge and discharge your battery, that counts as one cycle. It is a little more complicated than that, but let’s just assume this is mostly true. So that means that for some batteries it might last a year, two years or even three years of daily cycle use. However it can last between 2000-2500 cycles and this means that it can last for 3-5 times longer than other types. It is common to see 10 year warranties on them, and some companies even have lifetime warranties. Of course all batteries can last longer if you treat them well, so your milage may vary.

The cost is interesting. LifePo4 does have a higher cost than some other lithium technologies but once you factor in the longer lifetime, it clearly is a better value. For example, let us say a lifepo4 battery will last 5 years, and another battery will last two years. The two year battery cost $75, and the lifepo4 cost $100. In another two years you will have to pay for another $75 battery, which means that your lifetime battery cost is now $150 compared to $100. You can see how this doesn’t make sense. In almost every case, buying a lifepo4 battery will save you money over buying another type of battery.

Now there are some really exotic battery technologies that have a better lifespan than Lifepo4 but they are not commercially available and cost doesn’t make sense. Right now Lifepo4 batteries have the best balance of what the average person needs. I have really enjoyed the one I have.

Solar power generators are quickly selling out

Have you noticed that if you look around the web, solar power generators are quickly selling out?

I was curious and looked back to see how the Beudens Lifepo4 that I mentioned in earlier posts was doing. It is completely sold out. I looked and many of the other solar generators that I considered are sold out as well. In fact, on many commerce websites solar generators are sold out and they don’t promise when the next batch will come in.

What does this mean? It means that the price of solar is so cheap that people are finding it easy to justify the cost of investing in a unit. I think it has also broken into the wider public knowledge because of the huge number of videos that talk about it and show how it works. Youtube has allowed companies to market their devices in a way that used to require national infomercials. It is stunning why there is such a demand.

I think part of the reason for the growth of this market is that it is easy to start and the average person finds its makes sense. There were always people setting up more individual systems that requires a higher level of planning and understanding. Those are interesting for people who have a home, but for people who are in apartments like me or RV’s like vans it isn’t always possible. Now with systems of all kinds of price points and sizes, this really is a market for every user.

If you get a system that has a LifePo4 battery and you are just starting out that is all you need. If you think you want to use this for an RV/cabin or provide backup power for your house, a 24 volt system is a better choice. If money is no object, then get a whole house Sonnen/Tesla Powerwall2. That might cost $15k. However you will be amazed at how it can pay for itself. For most people it has paid for itself in less than 10 years.

Probably peoples fears of the consequences of the election are also playing into this. Record number of gun sales are occurring, and preppers are very vocal as always to be prepared. There are always people who profit from selling fear, but it is also reasonable to have some precautions. Right now I have enough power to get by and with my solar panel I feel good about the future.

Don’t be afraid of the future. Nothing is as bad as it seems.