Lithium batteries are rechargeable batteries with the power to completely revolutionize the portable electronics market. The lithium battery has swiftly replaced nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries ranging from consumer electronics to electric vehicles and solar panels. These low-maintenance batteries are ideal for modern applications.
Lithium solar batteries are rechargeable energy storage solutions that can store excess solar power when you pair them with a solar energy system. In addition to their promising features, lithium batteries are the most cost-effective option.
Read on to discover lithium batteries’ composition, working, uses, pricing, pros and cons, and more!
How are Lithium-ion Batteries Made?
A lithium battery comprises a lithium-ion cell with:
- An anode (the negative electrode made of carbon)
- A cathode (the positive electrode made of metal oxide)
- A separator (the physical barrier separating cathode and anode)
- An electrolyte (a lithium salt)
- Two current collectors (positive and negative)
So, lithium-ion batteries are manufactured as sets of cathode and anode. The two electrodes have a porous electrode coating assembled in a li-ion cell. The cathode determines the capacity and voltage of the battery. On the other hand, the anode allows the electric current to flow through an external circuit.
The electrolyte contains salts, additives, and solvents. It serves as the conduit of Li ions between anode and cathode.
How Do Lithium Batteries Work?
Within a lithium cell, the cathode and anode store the lithium. The electrolyte is responsible for carrying positively-charged Li ions from the anode to the cathode during discharge or when it provides an electric current.
The opposite happens when the device is plugged in: the cathode releases lithium ions, which the anode receives. The separator blocks the electron flow within the li-ion rechargeable batteries.
Also, it is vital to understand that the lithium battery does not immediately begin to discharge when it is plugged into some load. The delay in discharge occurs because a lithium battery has an internal resistance of 95 Ampere, implying that 95 Amperes will be used, and only 5 Ampere of charge will stay idle or in reserve.
Why Do We Need Lithium-ion Batteries?
Lithium batteries have a much higher energy density than other batteries. It can have up to 150 watt-hours (WH) of energy per kg. The nickel-metal hydride battery has 60-70WH/kg, and lead-acid ones have 25WH/kg. This property makes them highly desirable.
The lithium-ion solar battery has high charge and discharge efficiencies, making it an optimal option for a solar system.
Furthermore, compared with traditional battery technology, lithium-ion batteries are faster to charge and last longer. As a result, the lithium-ion battery pack lasts longer and has minimal maintenance costs. For instance, the Li-ion 18650 battery is the most economical as per its cost-to-energy ratio. It is used for mobile computing and other applications.
Moreover, lithium batteries are generally not as harmful to the environment as other batteries except when disposed of in large quantities. They’re not expected to bioaccumulate. Thus, their chances of human and environmental toxicity are low.
Price of Lithium-ion Batteries
The lithium-ion battery price ranges from ₹ 2250 to ₹1.5 lakh. In comparison, a lithium-ion cell price is up to ₹100.
The lithium battery price is higher than other batteries, but it is worth the price because of its unique features and longer life. Top companies have been trying to reduce the li-ion battery price by implementing various technologies.
Uses of Lithium-ion Batteries
Commercial lithium-ion batteries are applicable in consumer electronics and electric vehicles. Find the details below!
- Portable devices: Mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, handheld game consoles, flashlights, e-cigs, and torches.
- Power tools: Cordless drills, saws, sanders, and garden equipment, including hedge trimmers and whipper-snippers.
- Electric vehicles: Electric cars, hybrid vehicles, scooters, electric motorcycles, e-bicycles, advanced electric wheelchairs, radio-controlled models, and model aircraft.
- Solar energy storage: Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for solar power stations, replacing the lead-acid batteries with short lifespans.
They also find applications in the niche of telecommunications for backup power.
Advantages of Using Lithium Batteries
The most promising advantages that have led to the popularity of a lithium battery are as follows:
- It is lightweight and compact.
- The life cycle is 1500 cycles @ 95 Amperes.
- It consumes very less space.
- It is quick to charge.
- Low maintenance cost because you can’t open them.
- The C-rating is very low. It loses up to 5% of its charge monthly, while nickel-cadmium (NiMH) batteries lose 20% monthly.
- It doesn’t require prolonged priming when new.
Disadvantages of Using A Lithium Battery
Despite several perks, a lithium battery also has a few disadvantages:
- They are expensive.
- They’re very sensitive to high temperature
- They can explode and burn as the electrolyte is flammable.
- They have a shorter life of 3-4 years.
- Lithium-ion batteries don’t come in a specific standard size, making it difficult for manufacturers to design and assemble them.
Lithium-ion battery rechargeable options are highly rewarding in terms of charge density, cost, and lifespan. The lithium-ion battery cell has a high voltage of 3.6 volts, allowing battery pack designs with a single cell only. Also, its small size makes it useful for large-scale commercial applications.
Since a lithium battery causes little harm when disposed of, it is one of the most promising solutions in today’s scenario.
Q. How long do Li batteries last?
The estimated life of lithium batteries is about three years minimum or 500 charge cycles, whichever occurs first.
A lithium battery has a lower rate of decay compared to other batteries. Good care and optimal charging can enhance the life of your Li battery.
Q. Why are lithium batteries expensive?
Lithium-ion battery packs comprise the metal lithium that has limited availability on Earth. As a result, they are expensive. The other metals like nickel, manganese, and cobalt used in Li batteries are also less abundant.
Q. Are lithium batteries safe?
Li-ion batteries are generally safe. However, they can catch fire if they are mistreated. Therefore, you must avoid placing them at high temperatures. Instead, maintain optimal conditions by storing a lithium battery in a well-ventilated, dry area between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.