Is LiFePO4 Battery the Safest Lithium-Ion Battery for Living off the Grid?

Is LiFePO4 Battery the Safest Lithium-Ion Battery for Living off the Grid?

By Renogy Marketing Team
Renogy Marketing Team
renogys blog Mar 18th 2024

Living off the grid can be fun and exciting. The quiet environment and the beautiful scenery are all inviting, but to have the best experience, you must go with a reliable, safe battery to store your generated power.

Battery power solutions are a necessity for off-grid living as they help store energy generated from renewable sources.

While there are several battery options for living off-grid, LiFePO4 is an excellent option that has gained the hearts of RV owners and ice-fishing enthusiasts.

However, the common question among off-grid life enthusiasts who find value in LFP is, is LiFePO4 the safest lithium-ion battery for living off-grid?

This blog post unravels everything you need to know about LiFePO4 batteries' safety. You will also learn why you need to choose a 12V Pro LiFePO4 battery for your off-grid adventure.  

Table of contents:

What Is a LiFePO4 Battery?

It is crucial that you understand what a LiFePO4 battery is and its areas of application.

LiFePO4 is a common abbreviation for lithium iron phosphate, also commonly shortened to LFP. This is a rechargeable battery under the lithium-ion battery class with a unique chemistry.

While the battery is popular for its long lifespan and efficiency, optimal safety is a major feature that makes it a choice for various applications. Common applications to find LiFePO4 batteries include off-grid energy storage, electric vehicles, portable electronics, and backup power systems.

History of LiFePO4 Batteries

LiFePO4 has been around as far back as up to three decades. It first appeared in a research work by the University of Texas in 1996 but gained popularity when it began to feature in small gadgets like laptops and cell phones.

However, even when it was introduced to small gadgets, LFP was never deemed fit to power larger storage solutions. This setback was associated with a few challenges, which have now been addressed optimally.

Today, LiFePO4 batteries are safe for various applications as they are less hazardous than other lithium-ion batteries.

LiFePO4 vs. Other Lithium-Ion Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries are a variety of lithium-ion batteries, but they stand out with a few outstanding features. Some of the reasons why LiFePO4 batteries make a better choice than their lithium-ion counterparts include:

Chemical Composition

The first thing you have probably noticed with the LiFePO4 batteries and other lithium-ion batteries is the name difference, and this signified the different chemical compositions of the two battery types.

While a lithium-ion battery is made up of lithium manganese oxide or lithium cobalt dioxide, a LiFePO4 battery (lithium iron phosphate) has its cathode made up of lithium iron phosphate.

Interestingly, this unique chemical composition makes lithium-ion phosphate safer than other lithium-ion batteries.

Thermal stability

The new technology found in LiFePO4 batteries gives them better chemical and thermal stability than their counterparts.

With improved chemical and thermal stability, LiFePO4 batteries are less likely to give in to combustion, making them safer for different applications like off-grid living and ice fishing.  


It will interest you to learn that LiFePO4 has a longer lifespan than other lithium-ion battery technologies, which is credited again to the phosphate chemistry of LiFePO4.

However, it is worth noting that both chemistries have a long lifespan; the only difference is that lithium iron phosphate is less affected by overcharging or short-circuiting, hence a longer lifespan. You can learn more here to find out why you should choose a lithium iron phosphate battery.

Can an LFP Battery Get Dangerous?

LiFePO4 batteries are safe to an outstanding degree. It is one of the safest batteries for different applications. However, since no battery is completely safe, LFP doesn't guarantee safety.

Safety facts of LiFePO4 batteries

The uncommon level of safety of LiFePO4 is credited to the batteries' ability to remain chemically composed when overcharged or over-discharged. Plus, the batteries are structurally stable when subjected to physical damage.

However, it is worth mentioning that LiFePO4 batteries can be hazardous, just like other batteries, and how safe your LiFePO4 battery is depends greatly on your maintenance routine and how you use the battery. One thing about batteries is that even the most robust battery will malfunction and pose safety risks when not properly maintained and used.

For example, long exposure to fire, electric stress, or mechanical shocks can damage the battery and trigger hazards.

Two Major Hazards Common with LFP: Thermal Runaway and Electrical Hazards

Two major hazards are common with LiFePO4 batteries: thermal runaway and electrical hazards.

Thermal Runaway

Thermal runaway is one common challenge lithium-ion batteries, including LiFePO4, face.

Thermal runaway is a condition where a battery's temperature exceeds the recommended operating temperature range. This is usually caused by over-charging and over-discharging, summed up to internal heating. Also, a battery's temperature change can be linked to external heating.

Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards are another form of hazard experienced with lithium iron phosphate batteries and come in the form of electrical shocks. Electrical hazards occur when the battery is improperly connected or short-circuited.

The best way to avoid electrical hazards with LiFePO4 batteries is to verify the polarity during connection and be careful when working with metallic tools around the battery.  

(Source: Lithium-ion Battery Incident Reporting, UL Solutions)

Four Key Factors Contributing to the Hazards

Hazards from LiFePO4 batteries are linked to different abuses, but the major ones include:

Mechanical abuse

Electrical abuse

Thermal abuse

Manufacturing and design defects.

Here is a breakdown of how these factors can affect the functionality of your LiFePO4 battery and how to mitigate them:

Mechanical Abuse

A LiFePO4 battery can experience mechanical abuse when it is subjected to external forces. When your battery collides with a heavy object, the weak points of the cells making up the battery can break and cause damage.

This is why you have to be careful with how you transport your battery and choose a suitable location for it on your vehicle.

Electrical Abuse

As mentioned earlier, one way RV owners expose their batteries to electrical abuse is during the charging and discharging process. Also, your RV battery becomes a subject of electrical abuse when it is short-circuited.

Gladly, modern battery manufacturers build their batteries with BMS to monitor the batteries' charging and discharging process. Hence, looking for a battery with BMS makes sense when choosing a battery for your off-grid life.

Thermal Abuse

Thermal abuse situations are linked to increased internal or external temperature of a battery. While the battery can experience high temperatures due to internal activities like overcharging and over-discharging, increasing the temperature around it can also trigger thermal abuse.

Also worth noting is that a significant decrease in the temperature of a LiFePO4 battery can affect its performance and safety.

Hence, ensure you use your battery in cool environments and it is not near any heat source. Also, choose a battery with protection against cold temperatures, especially if you will be using it in cold environments, such as when fishing.

Manufacturing and Design Defects

While there are a few ways to protect your LiFePO4 battery from abuses and hazards, manufacturing and design defects are definitely out of your control.

This is why buying your battery from a reputed battery manufacturer matters. Thanks to expertise, industry-leading brands offer optimal design and quality control on their batteries.

Customers' Feedback and Opinions

Customers who have invested in LiFePO4 batteries have submitted different feedback on their batteries, ranging from positive to negative feedback. While some users praised the technology behind LFP, others reported concerns about the battery's different aspects, including safety.

For example, a buyer on Amazon said, "I'm using my Ultramax 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 lithium battery as part of an off-grid PV lighting system in my new garden shed. Please note that the battery should NOT be left fully charged before a long period of disuse.)"

This type of feedback shows that LiFePO4 batteries are not completely safe and can be prone to different forms of hazards.

Advice on Designing LiFePO4 Batteries from Reports

According to the report from Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), designing LiFePO4 batteries should be done with caution, and there are a few factors manufacturers should take into consideration.

You can use this advice to your advantage by considering the factors when choosing your LiFePO4 batteries. Here are a few points to have in mind when picking your LiFePO4 battery:


BMS (Battery Management System) plays a crucial role in the safety of a LiFePO4 battery. The system monitors and controls a battery's charging and discharging process and the temperature. Without this system, a LiFePO4 battery is prone to damage and potentially poses safety risks.

Manufacturers are advised to use multiple independent levels of protection to protect the battery’s major components under abnormal temperature, current, or voltage.

Hence, it is important to look out for this system when picking your battery.

Physical Design of Batteries

The physical design of a battery is one big feature we cannot overlook in the safety measures of a LiFePO4 battery. There are a few ways manufacturers can achieve this, which you should look out for before making your choice of battery.

One, LiFePO4 batteries should be equipped with heat sinks and thermal barriers to protect the battery from damage when used in higher temperatures. Also, the right number of sensors should be placed intelligently to monitor the temperature of the battery and its environment.  

Enclosure Design

The enclosure design of a battery is also crucial to the battery's safety and overall performance.

According to reports, a battery enclosure must have some of these features:

  • Ability to resist physical abuse when used in unpleasant environments
  • Protection against moisture when used in wet environments, such as when fishing
  • Resistance against fire
  • Sufficient flammability rating for polymer materials
  • Resistance against corrosion for metal enclosures

Renogy 12V Pro LiFePO4 Battery

If you are looking for a LiFePO4 battery for your off-grid adventure, look no further than the Renogy 12V Pro Battery. Now available in 100Ah and 200Ah to tailor for your power needs, these off-grid battery are packed full of safety features to ensure that you have the best experience while away from home. 

Double Active Safety System

Renogy 12V 100Ah & 200Ah Pro LiFePO4 both feature a double active safety system that comprises 60+ BMS protection and active backup protection.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to choose a battery with multiple levels of protection, as it is crucial to optimal safety and enhanced performance. With over 60 protection measures and alerts from this Renogy LiFePO4 battery, you can be confident that your batteryis well protected if there is something going wrong.

60+ BMS Protection

Compared with most LFP batteries that come with 20 industrial grade BMS protection on the market, the 12V 100Ah Pro battery is equipped with 60+ EV-grade BMS protection (which has 200% more protection & alerts than the competitions) to help monitor voltage, temperature, and current more accurately.

Take temperature monitoring for an example, the BMS inside the 12V 100Ah Pro LFP Battery not only detects the cell temperature, but also monitors the battery compartment’s temperature. This ensures abnomality will not easily be missed and neglected. Moreover, the BMS will also keep an eye on the heating pad and stop it from operation should the heating pad gets overheated.

Active Backup Protection

For the first time, Renogy introduces Active Backup Protection-the second line of defense-into the LiFePO4 battery lineup, ensuring the safety of battery, system, and user. One occassion where the Active Backup Protection is when key component fails inside a battery. a MOS switch) fail.

Conventional protector like temperature fuses, they work by conducting the temperature rise in the battery to the inside of it viawires. Hence, their response to risks is slower (may take minutes or even hours for response).

For instance, when the battery with conventional protector is having 135% of rated current, it will take 600s or longer for the conventional temperature fuses to melt in response to the overcurrent. As a result, the battery cells may have already been damaged before the fuses eventually blew. For a Renogy 12V 100Ah Pro LFP Battery, the Active Backup Protection is pre-programmed and initiates in 15s to open the circuit once the hazard is detected, even if a MOS switch defects due to overcurrent.

Self-heating & Bluetooth

Renogy equipped the 12V LiFePO4 battery with a self-heating and Bluetooth system for enhanced safety. The self-heating feature is a great advantage for users who would like to use their vehicle in cold conditions, such as fishing.  

Also, thanks to the Bluetooth built into the Pro batteries, you can have real-time tracking of your battery performance on your smartphone. Best of all, Renogy Pro Batteries also come with over-the-air update, allowing your battery to receive the future update and always stay at its best.

UL94 V-0 Fire-retardant Casing: Robust Power Even in Heatwaves

When building the Pro lithium battery, Renogy realized how detrimental fire outbreaks can be to a battery's safety, hence the importance of the UL94 V-0 fire retardant. This feature helps to stop the flame from spreading in 10s so your power system can get protected before little fires develop into great disasters.


Undoubtedly, LiFePO4 batteries are a force to reckon with in off-grid camping. While they offer improved charge and discharge efficiency, they are lightweight and safer to use.

However, it should be noted that, like other batteries, LiFePO4 batteries do not guarantee total safety, and how you use and maintain your battery will contribute hugely to its safety. Hence, caution should be exercised regarding how you use your LiFePO4 battery.

Constant exposure to heat or cold can steal the battery's efficiency and, in most cases, damage it. Also, when shopping for a LiFePO4 battery, pay attention to the safety design, as this will contribute largely to its overall safety.

Are you looking for a 12V lithium battery that gives you peace of mind while away from the city? Learn more about the all-new Renogy 12V 100Ah & 200Ah Pro LiFePO4 Battery. With the embedded safety features, expect a better off-grid experience with the incredible Renogy Pro LiFePO4 batteries anywhere, in any type of weather. 

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