How to Charge a Lifepo4 Battery Safely?

how to charge a LiFePO4 battery

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries have gained popularity for their high energy density and long cycle life. To ensure the safety and optimal performance of LiFePO4 batteries, it is crucial to follow proper charging methods and guidelines.

This article examines charging methods, algorithms, recommended charging voltages for various battery systems at different charging stages, and safety tips for charging LiFePO4 batteries.


LiFePO4 charging methods

In this section, we delve into optimal LiFePO4 charging methods. Regardless of the chosen charging method—solar, AC power, or DC-DC—it's crucial to confirm compatibility between the selected charger and LiFePO4 batteries. This ensures optimal performance, longevity, and safety during the charging process.


Charge with solar energy

Incorporating solar energy for LiFePO4 battery charging is a sustainable and eco-friendly approach. Utilizing a solar charge controller, this method efficiently manages the energy generated by solar panels, regulating the charging process and ensuring optimal power transfer to LiFePO4 batteries. This application is ideal for off-grid setups, remote locations, and environmentally conscious energy solutions.


Charge with AC power source

Charging LiFePO4 batteries with an AC power source provides versatility and reliability. To optimize the charging of LiFePO4 batteries with an AC power source, hybrid inverter is recommended. This type of inverter, in addition to integrating a solar charge controller, includes an AC charger that can charge the battery from both generator and the electrical grid. This method is suitable for both on-grid and backup power systems, offering flexibility in charging options.


Charge with DC-DC charger

In mobile applications such as recreational vehicles (RVs) or van houses, LiFePO4 batteries can be charged on the go using a DC-DC charger connected to a vehicle alternator. This method ensures a steady power supply for the vehicle's electrical systems and auxiliary devices.


LiFePO4 charging algorithm

In general, it is advisable to employ the CCCV charging technique when charging a LiFePO4 battery pack. This charging method consists of two stages: constant current charging (bulk charging) and constant voltage charging (absorption charging). This is similar to the first two charging stages of lead-acid batteries, with differences only in voltage parameters.

cccv charging current-voltage curve

Compared with lead-acid batteries, which require full daily charging to prevent the sulfation of active materials, lithium iron phosphate batteries, due to their lower self-discharge rate, do not require trickle charging/float charging in usual case.

Below is a table summarizing the voltage requirements for each system voltage using the CCCV charging technique. Assuming that you're charging 12V LiFePO4 batteries, the charging voltage ought to be between 14V - 14.2V. While charging 24V batteries in equal, the charging voltage ought to be 28V - 28.4V. Charging 36V lithium batteries in equal requires a voltage of 42V - 42.6V. At last, charging 48V LiFePO4 batteries require voltage boundaries of 56V - 56.8V. The following is a table with a synopsis showing the voltage necessities for every framework voltage.

System Voltage Charging parameters
12V 14V – 14.2V
24V 28V – 28.4V
36V 42V – 42.6V
48V 56V – 56.8V


Float charge LiFePO4 or not?

lifepo4 three charging stage

In practical application scenarios, there is a frequently raised question: Is it necessary to float charge LiFePO4 batteries?

If your charger is connected to loads, and you prefer the charger to prioritize powering the load rather than depleting the LiFePO4 battery, you can maintain the battery at a specific State of Charge (SOC) level by setting the float charge voltage (e.g., maintaining it at 13.30 volts when charged to 80%).

Please refer to the technical specifications and recommendations provided by the battery manufacturer to ensure proper charging management for the battery.


Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries do not need to be fully charged to prevent premature failure.


LiFePO4 charging voltage chart

The following are the key, average charger inputs while utilizing an inverter/charger or charge regulator for charging LiFePO4 batteries. Numerous hybrid inverter require extra boundaries, kindly contact specialized help for help.

Bulk Voltage 14V – 14.6V 28V – 29.2V 56V – 58.4V
Absorption Voltage 14V – 14.6V 28V – 29.2V 56V – 58.4V
Absorption Time 0- 6 min 0- 6 min 0- 6 min
Float Voltage 13.8V ± 0.2V 27.6V ± 0.2V 55.2V ± 0.2V
Low Voltage Cutoff 10V 20V 40V
High Voltage Cutoff 14.6 29.2V 58.4V


Tips for charging LiFePO4 safely

Tips for charging lifepo4 in parallel

  • Ensure that the batteries are of the same brand, same battery types and with the same size.
  • While associating LiFePO4 batteries in parallel, kindly ensure every battery is inside 0.1V of one another prior to placing them in assistance, This will limit the opportunity of awkwardness between batteries. 
  • Internal Resistance less than 0.05 Ω difference between any two cells/batteries, supone que tienen que Make sure that all cables and connectors are of the same length and size to ensure the internal connections are of the same resistance.
  • When charging batteries in parallel, the solar-derived charge current is divided by half, while the maximum charging capacity doubles. For instance, consider two 48V 100Ah batteries connected in parallel, each having a maximum charging current of 50A. In this configuration, the combined battery bank can be charged with a total current of up to 100A. This translates to an effective charging rate of 50A for each battery, assuming they have the same state of charge (SOC).


Tips for charging lifepo4 in serie

  • Before series charging, make sure that the type, brand and capacity of each battery is the same, otherwise it will cause voltage imbalance between the batteries, resulting in overcharging or undercharging, affecting the performance and lifespan of the batteries.
  • While interfacing batteries in series, kindly ensure every battery is inside 50mV (0.05V) of one another prior to placing them in assistance. This will limit the opportunity of an awkwardness between batteries. Assuming your batteries escape balance, the voltage of any battery is >50mV (0.05V) from one more battery in the set, you should charge every battery separately to rebalance.


You can charge every battery separately intermittently to stay away from unevenness. While charging LiFePO4 batteries in series, it is ideal to utilize a multi charger/multiple mppt hybrid inverter that charges every battery exclusively to guarantee the cells stay adjusted. You can likewise utilize a 24V battery LiFePO4 charger or a 48V battery LiFePO4 charger assuming that you might want to charge your framework overall.


Whether You Can Charge the Battery Directly with a Solar Panel

It is not advisable charge battery diectly with solar panel, because the output voltage and current of solar panels will vary depending on the intensity and angle of sunlight, which may exceed the charging range of LiFePO4 batteries, resulting in overcharging or undercharging, affecting the performance and lifespan of the batteries.

Therefore, to safely use a solar panel to charge a LiFePO4 battery, you need to add a charge controller between the solar panel and the battery.


LiFePO4 Temperature Compensation

iFePO4 batteries do not require temperature compensation for voltage when charged at high or low temperatures. All LiFePO4 batteries are equipped with an internal BMS that protects the battery from low and high temperatures. If the BMS is disconnected due to low temperatures, the battery must warm up before the BMS can reconnect and receive charging current. If the BMS is disconnected due to high temperatures, the battery will need to cool before the BMS will accept a charge to the battery. Refer to the datasheet for your specific battery for BMS low and high temperature cutoff and reconnection values.


FAQS on charging LiFePO4

FAQS on charging LiFePO4

With minimal self-discharge, even a six month idle period will not drop the charge much. Therefore,It is advisable to recharge an LFP battery before it depletes to the 20% charging point (80% depth of discharge), to ensure the BMS functions correctly.


How many amps to charge LiFePO4 battery

The charging current for a LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery depends on its capacity and the manufacturer's specifications. Generally, it is recommended to charge a LiFePO4 battery with a current that is 0.5C to 1C, where C is the capacity of the battery in ampere-hours.

As mentioned above, in parallel charging scenarios, the maximum charging capacity is cumulative, and the solar-derived charging current is evenly distributed, resulting in a reduction of the charging rate for individual batteries. Therefore, it is imperative to make adjustments according to the quantity of batteries involved and the specific requirements for each battery.


Can I charge LiFePO4 with lead acid charger

whether we can utilize a lead-corrosive battery charger to charge LiFePO4. The short response is indeed, the same length as the voltage is set inside the boundaries OK for lithium iron phosphate batteries.


How long does it take to charge a LiFePO4 battery

LiFePO4 batteries typically support faster charging rates, and the charging time can range from a few hours to several hours, depending on the specific conditions, such as the battery's capacity, charge rate, and the charging method used.

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