No one argues about the best chemistry for storage batteries because that debate has been long settled. Lithium iron phosphate is the safest and most efficient battery chemistry. There are two well-known acronyms that denote lithium iron phosphate batteries: these are 1st LiFePO₄ and 2nd LiFePO₄. Both acronyms pay homage to the chemistry, and while both point to the same makeup, there is an important and, quite frankly, earth-saving difference. 1st LiFePO₄ batteries are commonly referred to as first life batteries, or 1st LiFe. They only got this name to differentiate them from the innovative second life batteries, or 2nd LiFe. So, what’s the difference?

1st LiFe batteries are either premium or, to be polite, not-so-premium – in other words, the ones that cost more money and the ones that cost less money. These batteries are built for one purpose – stationary energy storage. 2nd LiFe batteries are built from the best cells taken from electric vehicle (EV) batteries when they are replaced. There comes a time in an EV’s life when the battery needs to be replaced because the weight no longer justifies the output. These batteries are then cast aside or dumped in landfills and replaced with new ones. However, within these batteries are perfectly good individual cells, and by using a meticulous process, these cells can be repurposed. The process involves identifying the best cells and then building new batteries with new battery management systems. They have the same lifespan as 1st LiFe batteries but with an important added benefit: they are made from automotive-grade cells, which are designed to withstand much tougher operating conditions. REVOVTM builds premium 2nd LiFe batteries.

Comparing like for like

So, when comparing on a like-for-like basis, the REVOVTM 2nd LiFe battery is comparable to not only 1st LiFe batteries but also to the so-called premium 1st LiFe battery on all the important metrics, from lifespan to performance, but different in two key areas. The first is that you get a premium battery at a cost more similar to the – politely speaking, again – not-so-premium 2nd LiFe batteries. In other words, they cost more or less the same as inferior products that are brought into the country to try to compete on cost. However, the second differentiator is no doubt the most important.

A 2nd LiFe battery has a carbon footprint that’s 15% of that of a 1st LiFePO₄ battery. In other words, by choosing a 2nd LiFe battery, an installer is reducing the storage component of any system’s carbon footprint by 85%. Now, if we consider that a substantial portion of battery use is in renewable energy installations, this is a no-brainer. The planet matters, our futures depend on it, and why would anyone choose to increase their carbon footprint while doing the right thing – trying to decrease their carbon footprint by choosing solar? It makes no sense, and more people need to know this.

Long-term sustainability

Now that we have spoken about the differences between lithium iron phosphate batteries, it is equally important to talk about what happens after you buy the battery. Any installation, whether it be a UPS system or solar system, is not built for short-term gain. These are long-term investments, and just like anything mechanical, there could be a whole host of things that could conceivably go wrong. Who provides the local support? In the case of no-name cheap imports, the answer is, quite simply, nobody.

Always seek out reputable local suppliers who have the capacity to provide local support so that your battery investment is just that, not a once-off impulsive buy that burdens you a year or two down the line. However, the most important consideration simply must be the planet. If you have the chance to use a product that is equal on all metrics except that it saves 85% on the carbon footprint of the so-called competitor product, why would you choose anything else? REVOVTM 2nd LiFe is about more than a storage battery– it is a philosophy that places the well-being of our planet front and centre.