The tech industry was in need of a lightweight rechargeable cell that was able to power the ever-growing market for portable electronics. This is where the lithium-ion battery came in to solve the problem. The 1990s saw cell phones and rechargeable cameras skyrocket in popularity, meaning a reliable and powerful yet lightweight solution was required. As a result, lithium-ion batteries have become the power source of choice for a multitude of industries, including the automotive and power tool industries.
What sets lithium-ion batteries apart from other power sources more so than anything else is the number of discharge cycles that they provide. It’s due to this reason that lithium-ion batteries are indispensable in electric vehicles and smartphones alike. Despite this, this isn’t the only measure that places them above other power solutions. For instance, the high-energy density of the cells means that they can discharge at higher power and recharge more quickly.
What’s more, lithium-ion cells result in zero gas emissions from charging cells. Meanwhile, heat loss is very low as a result of the optimized charging efficiency. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries can be isolated from their surroundings and even be recycled at the end of their lifetime. This is unlike most other battery types, as they tend to contain toxic materials, including lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can’t be recycled.
As with any other rechargeable battery, during the discharge of a lithium-ion battery, electrical charge moves through an external wire circuit between the battery electrodes. Therefore, positively charged lithium ions move through an internal electrolyte circuit between the negative and positive electrodes to balance the cell’s charge transfer. This process is reversed when it comes to recharging.
In order to make electrode materials, any number of chemicals can be used. As a result, much research and development are being carried out within the field. According to yokenergy.com, the demand for lithium-ion batteries has only grown, and this means that research and development has rapidly expanded. To that end, listed below are just some of the many features and advantages of lithium-ion batteries and what this means for the industry.
The ever-growing range of applications for lithium-ion batteries means that the standardisation of such has evolved to reflect this. For instance, the International Electro-Technical Commission covers industrial uses, and there are a number of battery and cell requirements contained within this.
The high energy content of lithium-ion batteries means that the transportation of such must be properly controlled. After all, lithium-ion batteries are Class 9 Hazardous materials, meaning that they must be labeled accordingly. In addition to this, all commercial cells are required to have passed various safety tests.
Battery Management Systems
When it comes to the safe operation of multi-cell lithium-ion batteries, Battery Management Systems are an essential component. Their role is to bring all cells in a battery to the same state of charge and maintain them in this condition. This is achieved via the monitoring of the voltages of individual cells. For instance, those with higher voltages are discharged to bring them in line with the remainder of the pack.
The Battery Management System is capable of collecting a significant amount of information, and this is then precisely monitored to provide enhanced security when compared to other power sources. As a result, the cost of maintenance is also significantly reduced, meaning that the operating life is also extended.
Lithium-ion batteries boast a robust design comprising metal walls and a prismatic shape. From this, the optimal combination of protection, thermal management, and packing density is provided. This makes lithium-ion batteries ideal for automotive and industrial applications alike.
There are numerous advantages to lithium-ion batteries, including a lack of toxicity, which allows for recycling, no gas emissions, a lower cost thermal management, a wide charging temperature range, power security, partial state of charge excellence, high energy efficiency, long cycle life and energy throughout, small footprint and floor loading, fast charging, and a high-rate discharge with consistent capacity.
So, lithium-ion batteries produce zero gas emissions during charging, which contributes to greener and cleaner energy usage. This is on top of the lower-cost thermal management when likened to other battery technologies, meaning various charging temperatures still allow for operation and power security.
The partial state of charge that can be maintained by lithium-ion batteries is a massive advantage, as this means that consistent performance and efficiency can be achieved. This is down to the fact that partial discharges equate to high energy outputs and long cycle life, as multiple charge and discharge cycles can be withstood without the battery degrading considerably. Similarly, their small floor loading and footprint means that they’re space-efficient, which contributes to their versatility.
Speaking of charging, the charging capabilities of lithium-ion batteries are great due to the fast-charging times of the products. This means that users are able to replenish their devices quickly and can rest assured that the capacity isn’t going to be poorly affected. Quite simply, lithium-ion batteries sit among the most reliable power sources and still maintain this identity even under the most demanding of conditions.
The Lithium-Ion Battery Revolution
It goes without saying that lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized the world of portable electronics and energy storage solutions. From their robust design to their environmental friendliness, they’re among the most popular storage solutions for all manner of industries.
This is on top of their high energy density and their exceptional number of discharge cycles, which make lithium-ion batteries superior to the vast majority of energy sources. While lithium-ion batteries are more impressive than they have ever been before, the trend of technology dictates that they’re only set to evolve further and become even more impressive.
As a result, the future of lithium-ion batteries suggests that the sustainability, efficiency, and performance of lithium-ion batteries are only set to become even more impressive. Technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, meaning in 20 years’ time, it’s likely to become even more remarkable.