There are two common types of batteries used in power stations across the industry, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (also known as LFP or LiFePO4) and Lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries (usually referred to as NMC).
Let’s dive into the differences between these two battery types to learn more about their advantages and applications.
LFP vs NMC
Both LiFePO4 and NMC batteries are reliable and safe when used in Goal Zero products. Our power stations go through rigorous testing and have sophisticated battery management systems to make sure your products work as well and efficiently as possible. That said, each type of battery comes with its own advantages. Historically, most Goal Zero products have used NMC batteries. Our newest generation power station, the Yeti PRO 4000, is built with LiFePO4 battery technology.
Benefits of LFP Battery Technology
Benefits of Li-Ion NMC Battery Technology
-Dramatically longer cycle count
-Higher energy density allows for smaller, lighter, more compact products
-Faster charging at low temperatures
Both battery types are safe and Goal Zero’s designs prioritize safety to ensure your products can be used worry-free. However, LFP batteries have a higher thermal runway temperature threshold, which makes them safer and reduces the risk of overheating, fire, and explosion.
LFP batteries last much longer than NMC batteries, particularly with frequent use. Our new generation of products has a 10+ year battery lifespan. This means that the cycle count is over 4,000. You could use the Yeti PRO 4000 every day and drain the battery then recharge. At the end of those 4,000 cycles your battery would have about 80% of its original capacity. That said, NMC batteries can still last for years if they are maintained well and not drained as frequently.
LFP batteries will work in a wider range of temperatures than NMC batteries.
NMC batteries have higher energy density. This makes them good for more compact, portable products. You can get more watt-hours in a smaller, lighter weight power station if you use an NMC battery.
A few words from the Goal Zero Engineering team:
Finding the Best Battery Technology for Each Application
“Certain battery types are better suited to certain applications. While some battery types excel at putting the most energy into the lightest package, we’ve made a deliberate decision to maximize power delivered over the lifetime of the product for the most demanding applications, like our new Yeti PRO 4000 power station. This newest generation power station uses LiFePO4 battery technology to maximize power and provide longer cycle life. Our previous generation Yeti X line products use Tier 1 NMC cells which provide more energy density, making those power stations lighter.”
--Sterling Robinson, Engineering Manager
Why Goal Zero Made the Switch to LFP
“After many years of designing products with Tier 1 NMC cells, Goal Zero has chosen to adopt Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry for our newest generation of products after diligent consideration. It was critical to us that we considered the maturity of the manufacturing process and are confident that we have not sacrificed quality and reliability for speed to market. We are proud to prioritize customer safety and reliability over pursuing new technologies for the sake of it and we are confident that with our Yeti PRO 4000 we will maintain the extremely high standards set with the previous generations.”
--Ben Pattison, Director of Product Development
As you can see, while LFP battery technology has the advantage in many situations, NMC batteries are still very useful for portable, lightweight power needs. At Goal Zero, we always prioritize safety and quality so no matter which type of battery tech is being used, you can count on your products to work well and safely for years to come.