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Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries
Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
For many years, Ni-Cd (nickel-cadmium) batteries have been the only option for portable appliances and devices. More than two decades ago, Ni-Mh and Li-ion rechargeable batteries began to be mass-produced.
batteries are falling behind to provide more space to Li-ion batteries, which
are used in almost any wireless technology - electric toothbrushes, electric
razors, phones, tablets, laptops, screwdrivers, electric bicycles, cars, UPS systems, etc.
The trend shows that
Ni-Cd abd Ni-Mh usage will shift towards Li-ion technology and this is no coincidence. It is due to the many positive aspects of
lithium ion batteries which is expected to grow on an even larger scale.
Nevertheless, the main benefit
of using Li-ion rechargeable batteries instead of Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh is the energy
they provide, which is twice as much. Therefore, for a unit of energy a bigger
capacity is achieved with Li-ion batteries. Also, a lithium ion cell has a higher voltage (3.6V) in
contrast to the nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride (1.2V). This allows us
to purchase battery packs with just one or several cells.
In addition, a great benefit of lithium ion battery
is its ability to be stored fully
discharged. This is a distinctive feature compared to the standard Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh
batteries. Subsequently, we can also derive that Li-ion
batteries do not have the “memory effect” which is very specific for the Ni-Cd
batteries. Thus, it is not necessary to make plans for mandatory
charge and discharge cycles to ensure longer battery life.
Furthermore, a lithium ion battery has longer
lifetime than nickel cadmium or nickel metal hydride battery. For instance, the
number of lifecycles a li-ion battery can perform is more than 1000 as compared
to just about 500 lifecycles for Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd batteries.
Li-ion battery have a low self-discharge rate - less than half of the nickel cadmium. In addition, Li-ion cells cause less environmental damage than other types of rechargeable batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries contain flammable chemical
electrolyte. If a battery is used beyond capacity, its electrochemistry can
experience thermal runaway and overheat, which may cause fire or explosion. In addition, even if one cell in the lithium-ion
battery does a thermal runaway it can spread to the rest of the cells and
worsen the effect.
Despite the numerous advantages, lithium ion
batteries must follow strict rules when transported. Either in large quantities
or a single li-ion battery, certain safety rules must be strictly observed. When
it comes to charging a li-ion battery we must note that they can be charged solely
with specially designed chargers. They are slightly more expensive compared to
the regular SLA chargers. In addition, Li-ion battery prices are also higher.
To sum up, we can say that lithium ion
batteries slowly but surely seize more and more positions in modern appliances,
becoming an integral part of future technology. This progress is due to the
many positive aspects they carry and therefore, they are a preferred portable
energy source by today's engineers and technologists.
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