It all began with Bluetti’s first solar generators, the EB150 and EB240, launched back in 2019.
One year later, they launched their flagship model, the AC200 (powered by NCA cells), through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The project generated nearly $7 million in two months.
Since then, Bluetti has been at the forefront of technological innovation, equipping all its new products with LFP technology over NCM, NCA, and lithium-ion batteries.
You might be wondering how they did this. In this article, we attempt to explain how they came to their conclusion.
What Are LiFePO4 Batteries?
LiFePO4 is short for lithium iron phosphate, and it was invented back in 1996.
For all the science buffs out there, its anode material is LiaC6, and the cathode material is LibFePO4, with the carrier being Li+.
With their lower resistance, LFP batteries provide some of the best electrochemical performance on the market. A nano-scale phosphate cathode material is used in the battery to achieve this.
This allows for the following benefits:
- Long life cycle
- Thermal stability
- Higher current rating
- An extra layer of safety
How Do LiFePO4 Batteries Work?
An LFP battery is essentially made up of the following components:
- Positive electrode (cathode)
- Negative electrode (anode)
- Lithium metal oxide (LiFePO4)
- Lithium salt
- Polymer membrane Charging
A LiFePO4 battery is charged when lithium ions are released from the cathode and move to the anode. The electrolyte facilitates this process.
The battery reacts in the opposite way when a power load is applied. The lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode.
The movement of lithium ions causes an electron flow between the two electrodes, which generates an electric charge.
LiFePO4 Batteries vs. NCM & Lithium-Ion Batteries
Here we’ll compare Bluetti, Jackery, and Ecoflow’s offerings in a simple chart below. For reference, Bluetti uses LiFePO4, Jackery lithium-ion, and Ecoflow NCM
|Manufacturer||Battery Chemistry||Capacity||Life Cycles||Cost|
(Since we were unable to find a comparable generator capacity size for Jackery, we included their largest generator, which has 1,534 watts.)
Next, what we want to do is figure out the LCOS or Levelized Cost Of Storage in USD/Wh.
When it comes to energy storage, a solar generator’s actual purchase price cannot simply be taken into account when calculating energy storage
Additionally, we need to consider how much energy the solar generator can store and release over its lifetime in watt-hours.
The formula to work out the LCOS is the following:
LCOS = Upfront Cost / (total kWh capacity x (DoD %) x cycle life)
Let’s work out the LCOS for each solar generator manufacturer and their respective product models:
- 2 kWh x 0.9 x 3500 = 6300
- $1,799 / 6300 = $0,285 per kWh
- 1.5 kWh x 0.8 x 500 = 600
- $1,599 / 600 = $2.67 per kWh
- 2 kWh x 0.8 x 800 = 1280
- $1,899 / 1280 = $1.48 per kWh
Taking the LCOS into account, Bluetti is by far the cheaper option in the long run, because LiFePO4 technology lasts much longer than both lithium-ion and NCM.
Keep in mind that the above LCOS includes other components such as the charge controller and inverter, since these two components are included in the upfront purchase price.
Why LiFePO4 Batteries Are The Perfect Fit For Solar Generators
To highlight this section, we thought it best to highlight all the advantages LFP batteries have and why they are best suited for solar generators.
LiFePO4 batteries are known to be lightweight compared to other battery technologies. In solar generators, this is particularly important. The lighter the generator, the easier it is to move. A Bluetti AC200 MAX, for example, weighs only 61.9lbs (28.1kg).
At first glance, this may seem like a lot, but consider how much energy storage capacity this machine has. 61 pounds is nothing compared to all that energy density.
Perhaps one of the greatest perks of the LFP battery is its ability to charge and discharge thousands of times. In Bluetti’s case, their latest solar generators can discharge over 3500 times.
For consumers looking to invest in high-quality products that will last them for many years, this is a significant factor. LiFePO4 technology enables this.
Unlike lead-acid batteries, LFP batteries offer incredible efficiency. By using up to 90% of their capacity, you can get as much power as possible with the least amount of space.
In general, LiFePO4 batteries can be discharged beyond 90% of their capacity.
No active maintenance
LFP batteries require pretty much no maintenance. This means you do not need to do anything to extend its lifespan. You can simply charge and discharge as you see fit.
LiFePO4 batteries are indeed safer than NCM batteries. In fact, they are the safest lithium-ion battery on the market.
These batteries are encased in an airtight aluminum case, specifically designed to withstand temperature, pressure variations, punctures, and impacts.
Bluetti’s solar generators are able to operate in a wide range of temperatures, which means they can be used for a variety of applications.
Temperature is not something to overlook when it comes to battery performance, and it can have a profound effect on any battery. However, LiFePO4 stands the best chance in extreme temperature variants.
Bluetti solar generators equipped with the latest LFP technology provide the safest and most reliable long-term energy storage option available.
Models such as the new AC200 MAX and the AC300 modular power system are capable of providing you with incredible amounts of energy storage.
For example, the AC300 has the ability to max out at 240V, 6,000W, and a total of 24,576Wh when combined with our Fusion Box Pro. This allows you to connect two units of the AC300 in series and connect up to 8×B300’s (four for each AC300).
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