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Falcon Electric Details the Advantages of Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries for UPS

December 16, 2020 by Gary Elinoff

Lithium ion batteries are not all the same, and Falcon’s timely report points out the crucial differences

Falcon Electric’s report points out why battery chemistries that work best for smartphones are not the best options for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). The same announcement also offers details on its two UPS devices that exploit the preferred lithium iron phosphate technology,  the SL LiFePO4 UPS and the SSG Industrial LiFePO4 UPS.


The SL LiFePO4 UPS (left) and the SSG Industrial LiFePO4 UPS.
The SL LiFePO4 UPS (left) and the SSG Industrial LiFePO4 UPS. Modified image courtesy of Falcon Electric.


The Report and its Findings

Falcon Electric publishes its conclusions in its report “LiFePO4 – Why is it Safer for a UPS?” In it, they maintain that cameras, laptops, or tablets work fine with lithium ion batteries (LiB) employing lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) as the cathode material. Smartphones are well served by lithium polymer type batteries. 

The bottom line is that these types of LiBs, while satisfactory for use in consumer electronics, won’t cut the mustard for commercial or industrial grade UPS battery backup applications. These demanding applications require the highest energy density and present tough safety standards that must be satisfied.


The key differentiator amongst the various types of LiBs is the cathode’s chemical makeup

Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) presents a very stable chemistry that offers far better thermal and chemical properties. The result is a safe, long-lasting and reliable battery. In the bargain, lithium iron phosphate batteries have no caustic materials and are non-toxic.

The lithium cobalt oxide battery cell has a nominal voltage of about 3.6 volts, as compared to the lithium iron phosphate’s 3.2 volts. This can result in higher electrolyte heat that can cause breakdown and capacity reduction.

The conclusion to be drawn is that, even in high temperature environments, lithium iron phosphate batteries offer a far lower combustion hazard, are safer, and enjoy a longer service life.


The Online, Standby, and Line Interactive UPS Types

The report presents a segue into a Comparison Guide. Online UPS, like Falcon’s SSG Industrial UPS, go a long way towards extending battery life.


SSG Industrial LiFePO4 UPS

The SSG Industrial LiFePO4 UPS are rackmount devices. The SSG1.5KRM-1/2, SSG2.2KRM-1/2 and SSG3KRM-1/2 sport nominal VA’s of 1500, 2200 and 3000, respectively.

Versions accept inputs of 80-138 VAC, or from 160 to 276 VAC. AC voltage out is programmable, with options including 100, 110, 115 or 120 VAC and 208, 220, 230 or 240 VAC.

Voltage regulation is ±2%. Step load change is ± 7% for 100% load variation, recovery in 5ms. Overload toleration is 110% for 40 seconds, 125% for 18 seconds, 150% immediate.

All versions recharge to 90% in 11 hours. They operate over a temperature range of -20ºC to 55ºC. 



The SL LiFePO4 UPS are available in rackmount and tower versions. The SL1KRM-1, SL2KRM-1 and SL3KRM-1 feature nominal VA’s of 1000, 2000 and 3000, respectively. The SL1KRM-1 is specced at 91.7% efficiency, and the latter two at 92.5%.

Nominal AC voltage input is 120 VAC, and AC outputs are programmable to 110/120 VAC.

Voltage regulation is ±1%. Step load change is ± 5% for 10% to 90% load variation, recovery in 60ms. Overload tolerance is 101% to 115% for 60 seconds, 116% to 133% for 1 second, >134% for 200 milliseconds.

These units recharge to 90% in five hours. They operate at full output over a 0℃ to +40℃ range, and from 40°C to 60°C at 50% derated output power.