When it comes to lithium, various uses are available; however, its placement in high energy-density batteries is among the most valuable. In fact, the presence of lithium in batteries is more important than it has ever been before, and the demand is ever-increasing. From handheld devices to heavy-duty power tools, lithium batteries can be applied in all manner of ways.
As the least dense solid element and lightest metal, it’s no wonder that lithium has become an integral anode material. Similarly, its electrochemical potential characterises it as a worthy component of high energy-density rechargeable batteries.
With that said, why exactly is lithium so often used in batteries?
As far as lithium batteries are concerned, there are two main types: lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries. These differ in multiple ways, including their versatility, power capabilities, durability, weight, portability, and lifespan. Therefore, each type has its own advantages, which makes it suitable for unique applications.
There’s no escaping the fact that lithium-ion batteries are the most popular type of rechargeable battery for consumer electronics. This is due to the number of advantages they boast, as detailed below.
A full charge cycle refers to the battery being discharged to flat and then recharged to full. Lithium-ion batteries allow for more of these cycles, which results in a longer battery lifespan.
In the instance that older batteries were consistently partially discharged before recharging, the battery was only capable of delivering the amount of energy used during the partial discharges before its voltage decreased. As a result, these older battery models required regular maintenance to keep the performance up to scratch.
Lithium-ion batteries aren’t affected in the same way, meaning they can be harmlessly charged no matter how much of their power has been used.
Lithium is capable of storing and releasing substantial amounts of energy due to its highly reactive nature. As a result, lithium-ion batteries boast a high energy capacity in a miniature size. From this, lithium-ion batteries are able to last longer between charges than other rechargeable batteries. Despite this, their high level of performance isn’t compromised during this time.
Since lithium and carbon are most often used in lithium batteries, this results in the production of more lightweight and smaller batteries. This is very convenient, as it facilitates the creation of more powerful devices without increasing their size.
Last but not least, lithium-ion batteries don’t contain copious amounts of toxic metals. Previously, batteries were packed full of mercury, lead, and cadmium; prolonged exposure to these metals can be harmful to plants, animals, and humans alike. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries are enabling us to pave the way to a safer future. While lithium-ion batteries are safer than most other battery types, correct recycling is still required. Therefore, in order to reap the benefits of the eco-friendly nature of lithium-ion batteries, you should never throw them into the general waste.
Due to the customisable nature of lithium-polymer batteries, they’re often found in wearable tech. That said, there are so many more advantages relating to lithium-polymer batteries, as detailed below.
Due to the consistent voltage and current charger of lithium-polymer batteries, they can be quickly charged. Similarly, the use of colloidal electrolytes allows for a higher discharge platform and more stable discharge characteristics.
Regardless of the application’s requirements, the cell thickness of lithium-polymer batteries can be reduced or increased. This allows for the whole battery shell space to be used, improving the battery capacity.
Lithium-polymer batteries have a lower internal resistance than liquid batteries, meaning they’re able to deliver high currents on demand. This is because lower resistances mean less power is converted to heat and lost. Instead, more of the supplied power gets to its intended destination.
As previously mentioned, lithium-polymer batteries can be customised to suit an array of unique requirements. This is down to the lack of solid metal housing. In place of this metal housing stands a thin layer of plastic-laminated aluminium foil.
As with lithium-ion batteries, lithium-polymer batteries contain a very reactive element – lithium. This allows them to release and store significant amounts of energy, resulting in a high energy capacity in spite of their small size. Consequently, lithium-polymer batteries can last longer between charges while still maintaining quality performance.
YOK Energy supplies lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries alike, allowing you to choose the best-suited battery solution for your industry. For further advice and guidance about the use of lithium batteries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you and powering the future of your business.
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