What is a Lithium Ion Battery? Know its ABCs Here
Lithium-ion batteries power the lives of millions today. But what is a lithium-ion battery? It is a technology that growing popular with each passing day due to its ability to recharge, high-energy density and light weight. A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable type of battery made of cells. The safety characteristics, cost, performance, and chemistry vary across the types of Li-ion batteries. A lithium-ion battery also famously known as the Li-ion battery, is an advanced battery technology that utilizes the lithium ions as the key component of its whole electrochemistry.
Prior to understanding what is a lithium-ion battery, it is important to understand the basics of a battery and its working. A battery is typically made of an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, a positive and a negative current collector. The electrical current flows from the positive current collector via a device being powered to the other current collector (negative). The separator blocks the electrons’ flow inside the battery.
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What is a Lithium-Ion Battery?
Let us now dive into understanding what is lithium-ion battery and its working.
The life of a lithium-ion battery is defined as the total number of full discharge and charge cycles to reach the failure threshold in terms of impedance rise and capacity loss. The Li-ion battery cycle life is affected by several different stress factors including the state of charge, the charge current, the discharge current and the temperature.
Lithium ions move from the anode and pass through the electrolyte till the time they reach the cathode. This is where they recombine with the electrons and neutralize electrically. At the time of a discharge cycle, the lithium atoms in the anode are ionized and then separated from the electrons.
The Working of Li-ion Batteries
- The lithium ions are small enough to be able to move through a micro permeable separator between the anode and the cathode. Also, because of the small size of lithium (one-third to that of helium and hydrogen), Li-ion batteries can have a high voltage and storage of charge per unit mass and volume.
- During the time when a lithium ion battery is providing electric current, the anode releases the lithium ions to cathode which ultimately, generates an electron flow from one side to the other. When plugging in a device, the exact opposite happens, wherein the lithium ions are released by the cathode and received by the anode.
- The two most common concept associated with batteries is power density and energy density. Energy density is measured in Wh/kg and is the amount of energy that a battery can store with respect to the mass. Power density is measured in W/kg and is the power that a battery generates with respect to the mass.
- Li-ion batteries can use a number of materials as an electrode. The most common combination is that of a lithium cobalt oxide i.e., the cathode and graphite (the anode). Other cathode materials can include lithium iron phosphate and lithium manganese oxide. Li-ion batteries typically use an organic compound such as an ether as an electrolyte.
The Advantages of Li-ion Batteries
As compared to the other high-quality and rechargeable battery technology such as nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium, Li-ion batteries come with a number of advantages.
- In addition to this, the Li-ion battery cells hold the capacity to deliver 3.6 volts which is thrice the voltage of Ni-MH and Ni-Cd. This indicates that they can deliver a large amount of current for high-power applications.
- The Li-ion batteries are also comparatively low maintenance and function with high efficiency sans the requirement of scheduled cycling to maintain the battery life.
- Last but not least, the lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect. Memory effect is a determinantal process, wherein, the repeated partial charge and discharge cycles cause a Li-ion battery to remember a lower capacity. These batteries also do not contain toxic substances like cadmium and can be disposed off with much more ease.
Having answered the question what a lithium-ion battery and the ABCs about it, it is also important to make the right choice. The Li-ion batteries today, have found an ever-rising use in terms of power backups by using inverters with built-in li-ion batteries. The research areas for Li-ion batteries include extending the lifetime, improving the energy density, safety and reducing the cost while increasing the speed of charging. Research is also underway to improve safety based on the volatility and flammability of the organic solvent in a typical Li-ion battery electrolyte. The Li-ion 1250 inverter by Luminous, the pioneer in power solutions comes with a built-in lithium battery and is the new-age sine wave inverter that comes with the widest range of benefits for your household.