LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better? Skip to content
LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

It is probably time to get a new battery for your devices. But you're stuck between choosing a gel battery or a LiFePO4 battery. This confusion is because you're not conversant with each battery's unique properties.

In this blog post, the characteristics of each battery will be discussed in detail. You would gain an insight into which battery is better. We will be sharing our knowledge so you can decide on the best. 

Choosing Between Gel and LiFePO4 Batteries

LiFePO4 and Gel batteries are rechargeable and can retain their charge for a long time. In addition, these cells are an improvement over lead-acid types in terms of maintenance. Gel and LiFePO4 batteries need minimal maintenance.  

However, the two battery types are still different. Depending on your budget or specific need, you may prefer one to the other. What are these differences? 

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

Understanding LiFePO4 Batteries

A LiFePO4 battery is a type of lithium ion battery. It is rechargeable and useful in a variety of applications. It is also known as LFP. LiFePO4 is the short form for “lithium iron phosphate.” This name implies its composition. 

The active material is an intercalated lithium compound. It also contains phosphate, iron, and oxygen. It uses lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material. And for the anode, it utilizes a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic backing.

There are five other types of lithium ion batteries which are:

  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide
  • Lithium-Ion Manganese Oxide
  • Lithium-Ion Cobalt Oxide
  • Lithium-Ion Titanate Oxide

However, LiFePO4 batteries are the most used lithium ion batteries. This is due to some of the qualities we will be discussing below.

Key Characteristics of LiFePO4 Batteries

The characteristics of a LiFePO4 battery include:

Voltage and Capacity

Voltage is the measure of electrical energy a battery has stored. It rises as the battery charges and falls as it discharges. 

LiFePO4 batteries have a fast charging rate. They also have 80% depth of discharge. Hence, they usually have high voltage and high capacity.

Energy Density

This refers to the amount of energy stored in a given space. LiFePO4 batteries have a high energy density. Hence, it will store more energy for any given size and give higher power output.

Cycle Life

A battery’s cycle life is the number of charge and discharge cycles it can complete before losing performance. LiFePO4 batteries have a long expected cycle life of 2000 - 10000 cycles.

Safety Features 

LiFePO4 batteries do not contain lead and acid. Hence, they are less hazardous and do not cause contamination. They are eco-friendly.

Advantages of LiFePO4 Batteries

The benefits attributed to using LiFePO4 batteries are: 

Long Lifespan

LiFePO4 batteries have a long cycle life. The higher the cycle life, the longer the lifespan of the battery. Let’s assume you purchase a LiFePO4 battery with 4000+ cycle life from GoldenMate energy. You would have to charge and discharge the battery 4000 times before there will be a need for replacement.

Stability and Safety

LiFePO4 batteries are stable under high temperatures. They do not undergo thermal runaway. So, they can neither be overheated nor do they explode during unfavorable conditions. 

Also, they are eco-friendly. Even after disposal, they do not decompose or collapse like other battery types.

Fast Charging Capabilities

LiFePO4 batteries can be fully charged in about 2 hours. This makes it very reliable for devices that are used frequently.

Applications of LiFePO4 Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries are employed in these instances.

Electric Vehicles 

LiFePO4 batteries are the major power source in electric vehicles. This preference is due to their lightweight nature. They are also used because they have a quick charge rate.

Renewable Energy Storage

More people have adapted to using solar panels and other renewable energy sources. But they are not usually reliable. For instance, there may not always be sunlight to power your solar panel. For this reason, LiFePO4 batteries are utilized. They store energy in these devices for later use.

Portable Electronics

Have you ever thought of what kind of battery powers your phone or laptop? Likely, your battery has a LiFePO4 battery or any other lithium ion battery. 

Remember they have high energy density. That allows them to fit into your portable electronics. They are also rechargeable and do not require frequent maintenance.

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

Understanding Gel Batteries

Does it seem like we've been singing the praises of LiFePO4 batteries? 

It's time to learn about gel A gel battery is a type of lead-acid battery. It is similar in composition to a typical lead acid battery. The only difference is that it uses a silica based gel. 

The gel is produced by mixing the electrolyte with silica and sulphuric acid. It does not use liquid electrolytes. And all the acids are suspended in a solid matrix. 

This composition makes it spill-free. It is also maintenance-free and supports deeper discharges. 

Key Characteristics of Gel Batteries

The unique properties of gel batteries that enhance their performance include:

Voltage and Capacity

Earlier, we established that the charging rate of a battery affects its voltage and capacity. Gel batteries charge slowly. Hence, they have low voltage values.

Energy Density

Gel batteries have low energy density. This means that gel batteries will require a heftier design for their storage capacity.

Cycle Life

When compared with other lead acid batteries, gel batteries have a greater cycle life. This is because they are sealed. Also, they do not require any maintenance like refilling water levels or cleaning plates.

Safety Features

Gel batteries contain lead and acid. These components cause environmental hazards. But they release less hydrogen gas, thereby reducing the damage it can cause.

Advantages of Gel Batteries

Gel batteries have the following benefits:

Maintenance-free Operation

If you use a wet cell battery, you should have your gloves on most of the time. This is because it requires constant maintenance. Thank goodness! Gel batteries are different. They are maintenance-free. All you should do is to store them in the most appropriate way.

Robust Performance in Various Temperatures

Gel batteries work best at temperatures between 25-27⁰C. But they can also tolerate high temperatures up to about 55⁰C.

Good Deep Discharge Recovery

When wet cell batteries discharge to a large extent, it is usually difficult to recharge. It is different for gel batteries. They can sustain up to 75% discharge. Afterwards, they can be recharged.

Applications of Gel batteries

Gel batteries are best for operating the following devices:

Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters

Gel batteries provide the energy needed to drive wheelchairs and mobility scooters. These are deep cycle applications. So, gel batteries are best suited because they have a good deep cycle recovery. And they are less susceptible to environmental factors that could affect its ability to hold a charge. Gel batteries are also used in this capacity due to their durability. 

Marine Applications

Because of their makeup, gel batteries work well in marine applications. They are resistant to corrosion and spill-free. Their resistance to vibration also allows them to withstand the turbulence in water.

Backup Power Systems

Gel batteries are the most suitable for operating backup power systems. 

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

Comparative Analysis: LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries

So which is better? LiFePO4 or Gel Batteries? Below, we compare both batteries using these metrics: 

  • Performance
  • Safety
  • Cost Analysis
  • Environmental Impact

Performance Comparison

Based on the performance of the batteries, consider the following:

Energy Density and Efficiency 

LiFePO4 batteries have higher energy density than gel batteries. Hence, LiFePO4 batteries are best suited for portable electronics. While devices using gel batteries would have a heftier design.

Cycle Life and Durability

Gel batteries have a cycle life of 500 - 5000. While the cycle life of LiFePO4 batteries is between 2000 and 10000. That implies that LiFePO4 batteries last longer than gel batteries.

Charging and Discharging Rates

LiFePO4 batteries charge faster than gel batteries. On the other hand, gel batteries have a faster discharge rate. Their depth of discharge (DOD) is about 75%, which is lower than LiFePO4. But, the high DOD of LiFePO4 does not affect its lifespan.

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

Safety Comparison

To compare the batteries in terms of safety, evaluate: 

  • The risk of thermal runaway
  • Performance in extreme conditions

Risk of Thermal Runaway

Gel batteries have a higher risk of thermal runaway. They are more susceptible to overheating and explosion than LiFePO4 batteries.

Performance in Extreme Conditions

Both LiFePO4 batteries and gel batteries have excellent performance in extreme conditions. Even so, this occurs in varying degrees.

Cost Analysis

Let's talk about money! It is an essential part of making your decision.

Initial Investment

If you're ready to purchase the batteries, you'll find that LiFePO4 is more expensive. So, if you need a cheaper option, you should consider gel batteries.

Long-term Cost Efficiency

LiFePO4 lasts longer than gel batteries. Therefore, it has a better long-term cost efficiency. See our earlier article on the TCO of lithium batteries to see how this purchase will, in fact, save you money. 

Environmental Impact

Batteries can affect the environment in varying degrees thus:

Production and Disposal Considerations

During the production of LiFePO4 batteries, there is little energy emission. In addition, they are less toxic during usage. But its production consumes a large quantity of water.

The sulphuric acid used in the production of gel batteries is corrosive and toxic to aquatic life.

Environmental Footprint

LiFePO4 batteries are eco-friendly. After all, they are more durable. A high-quality LiFePO4 battery will last a couple of years after you replace your faulty gel battery. This longevity is good for the environment. 

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?

Choosing the Right Battery

We've evaluated the unique characteristics of both gel batteries and LiFePO4 batteries. Have you decided which one to get? If yes, go ahead and make a purchase. Otherwise, read on.

Assessing Application Requirements

A major reason for choosing a battery type is the application needs. Knowing these needs will help you choose correctly. 

Power Needs

This is almost similar for the two. The ideal charging voltage of gel batteries is 14.1 - 14.4. For LiFePO4, it is 14.2 - 14.6.

Environmental Conditions

If you're environmentally conscious, then this point is worth reiterating. LiFePO4 batteries are more eco-friendly than gel batteries. They release little to no toxins into the environment.

Cost vs. Performance Considerations

For many buyers, the cost is a big deal. But you should be careful to calculate other associated costs.

Short-term vs. Long-term Costs

If you're working with a tight budget, a gel battery would be best. But it is important that you consider the long-term cost.  LiFePO4 battery lasts longer. So, you can cut long-term costs by purchasing them. High-power users can shop for 100Ah or 200Ah lithium battery to support their heavy use. 

LiFePO4 vs. Gel Batteries: Which Is Better?


Choosing between a gel and a LiFePO4 battery can be a difficult task. However, the above article should simplify your decision. A LiFePO4 differs in composition and application from a gel battery.

So you may have to contrast them to make your decision. If you decide in favor of LiFePO4, visit our GoldenMate Energy to purchase a high-quality battery. 

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping