Batteries as the source of power have been our undeniable part. Everything that doesn’t run directly from the wall socket, is definitely powered by batteries. The battery being the portable source of power has been very famous in every gadget, household appliance, and can even power small device to a bigger house.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are essential to our energy-dependent lifestyle. We put on watch on our wrist, mobile phone in our pocket and other devices as well. They come in two types, rechargeable and non-rechargeable power source. It has been a couple of decades since the commercial debut of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and today they are dominant in the market as the top choice of portable power. They can be constructed in various shapes and sizes, making it the most preferred one to squeeze the battery even in the tighter of the spaces. The batteries are lighter than their alternatives. Like every other technical component, Li-ion battery to isn’t untouched with the disadvantages.
Lithium Ion Batteries Pros and Cons
Though the battery is widely used one and is being used for over two decades, there exists equally valued pros and cons. The pros and cons of lithium-ion batteries are given below.
- High energy density:
Greater energy density is the chief advantage of Li-ion battery. The devices available in the markets are shrinking in size and need to survive longer between the charges as well, so having the higher density Li-ion battery will help them keep size small and charge holding capacity relatively high.
The batteries tend to lose their charge much faster when not in use. But with Li-ion batteries whose self-discharge charge is very low than the existing batteries in the market, the problem of self-discharge is highly minimized.
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Some batteries out there have a need to be priming. Priming is the method of fully charging and fully discharging a battery. But Lithium-Ion battery has no such need. Therefore, li-ion battery saves a significant amount of time and hassle of charging and discharging before they can actually be used.
- Low Maintenance:
Many batteries out there require frequent battery check by the means of charging and discharging even when not in use. This ensures that there is no memory effect, due to which the batteries start holding less charge. But memory effect doesn’t happen with li-ions, so, there is relatively lower maintenance required with Li-ion cells.
- Variety of types available:
Li-ion batteries can be manufactured in a variety of types. Some devices require higher current density like in mobile devices and some require high current level like in power tools. Hence, li-ion batteries can be manufactured suiting every device’s needs and wants. This technological advantage has made the li-ion battery the ideal to use the battery.
- Quick charging:
Unlike other batteries, li-ion batteries take a fraction of time to charge which makes it feasible to use. For example, you can charge your mobile device batteries at the higher speed just by choosing the chargers that can safely charge the battery with a higher current. But other batteries might just take longer time for similar capacity battery.
- Protection required:
Li-ion battery and cell require a protection circuit to protect the battery from being overcharged and discharged too far below. The circuit protects the battery by not getting it deflected too far from the safe current limit. Though modern technology has the protection circuit either within the battery or in the device for protection.
The li-ion batteries are almost 40% expensive to manufacture than nickel-cadmium batteries. This makes the li-ion battery expensive than the nickel-cadmium and other batteries.
The Li-ion batteries suffers from the ageing effect. The charge holding duration is affected by the age of the battery and also the charging cycle. Some manufactures mention the maximum charging cycle of the battery as well. When the battery needs to be stored, the battery can be better charged up to 40-50% and stored in a cool place to increase the life.
Transporting the li-ion batteries is relatively risk task, specially by air. Although the battery is transferred in the luggage, but there must be a special care taken to avoid the batteries from short circuiting and should be kept in protective cases.
- Immature technology:
The li-ion battery is still in the development phase, the manufacturers are constantly researching and trying to produce batteries with higher capacity. It doesn’t work out every time though, under an unfavorable condition of heat, no ventilation, high current flow and others, the battery might explode as well and catch fire. We have seen many incidents of a mobile battery exploding.
Every technology has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. The cons of the technology cannot be eliminated completely but necessary steps can be taken to minimize the cons. By understanding the positives and negatives of the li-ion battery technology, we can make better choices of using the appropriate ones in the appropriate devices.