A practical and comprehensive guide to lithium ion battery applications
- What is the application of lithium? What are the applications of lithium-ion batteries?
- What are the common types of batteries and their applications?
- What are the common types of lithium batteries and their applications?
- Which performance will affect the application of the battery? How to affect?
- Why choose lithium-ion battery for our application?What are the advantages?
- What are the differences between the applications of 18650 cells and 21700 cells?
- What are the differences between power lithium-ion battery and energy storage battery?
- The classification of energy storage products
- How do we select the right lithium-ion battery for our application?
- What other applications of lithium-ion battery can be discovered in future?
- What are the applications of lithium carbonate in lithium-ion battery?
- What should be noticed when using lithium battery?
1. What is the application of lithium? What are the applications of lithium-ion batteries?
Lithium is a chemical element. The word lithium is derived from the Greek word ‘lithos’ which means stone. It belongs to the Group 1a elements in the periodic table which is the alkali metal group. Lithium is an essential element of lithium-ion batteries, therefore, it has a wide range of lithium ion battery applications on both industrial and laboratory scales.
Lithium metal is also used for metallurgy. Lithium is the main element of many rechargeable batteries that are used for portable electrical devices and electric vehicles as well as non-rechargeable batteries used for toys and clocks. In industries, lithium is used in the making of ceramics, glasses etc.
The lithium ion battery applications include boat, golf cart, motorcycle, power tool and solar system, energy storage systems, different types of electronic devices etc. The lithium ion battery applications are much in demand because of their high power density and low discharge rate and long cycle life. We can check on lithium ion battery cycle life article to know how long lithium ion battery can last. And lithium ion battery also has small size and light weight.
2. What are the common types of batteries and their applications?
The batteries can be divided into two groups depending upon the recharging capacity:
- Primary batteries (non-rechargeable)
- Secondary batteries (rechargeable)
1. Primary batteries
A primary battery has the simplest formation. It is very light in weight and needs less maintenance. It is the most convenient energy source which makes it readily available for several completely applications. These are non-rechargeable batteries which means they could be used until discharging. After discharging, such batteries need to be discarded. Primary batteries have further types which are :
- Carbon zinc batteries
Carbon-zinc batteries are very common and low in cost. Such batteries are readily available in different shapes and sizes. These batteries are unable to withstand extreme temperatures. The applications include radios, toys and different instruments.
- Alkaline batteries
Alkaline batteries involve the potassium hydroxide solution which makes them to last for a longer period. These are available at moderate prices and work well in extreme conditions, thus, used in flashlights. But the alkaline batteries are heavy and has short lifespan.
- Zinc-air batteries
These batteries produce electrical power by utilizing activated carbon with exposure to oxygen, thus, these are unique in their type of construction. These batteries are inexpensive but are very sensitive to extreme temperatures. In this battery, there exists a sealing point, which is removed for the activation of the battery due to the airflow. Such batteries are used in hearing aids.
- Magnesium batteries (Mg/MnO2)
Such batteries have a high capacity of power and also long shell life. These are used for military and aircraft radios.
- Mercury batteries (Zn/HgO)
Mercury batteries have long shell life and high power capacity. These are involved in medical purposes like hearing aids and pacemakers as well as photography.
2. Secondary batteries
Secondary batteries are the batteries that could be recharged again after the discharging process. The secondary batteries have long lifespan. The further types are as follows :
- Lead-acid batteries
Lead-acid batteries are common rechargeable batteries. It has been found in many applications. The main characteristics of such batteries are low expenditure and low cost. These batteries are available in different configurations ranging from small cells having a capacity of 1Ah to large cells with a capacity of 12,000 Ah. The applications include mainly in industry and energy storage, emergency light systems, and SLI batteries (Starting, Lighting and Ignition).
- Lithium ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are of significant importance and are more in need over the last couple of decades. The lithium ion battery applications are much more than other batteries because of their high power density, low self-discharge, wide range of temperatures, free maintenance and long cycle life and have no memory effect. These are used in electric devices and equipment and even in solar system and energy storage system,etc.
- Nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCad)
This is the oldest type of battery but is still in use because of its long life and reliability. Its main advantage is that these batteries have slow discharge rates and can be operated in extreme conditions. These batteries are used in drills, camcorders and small battery-operated equipment.
- Nickel- metal hydride batteries (NiMH)
Nickel-metal hydride batteries are high pressure version of Nickel-Hydrogen Electrode batteries which were used in the aerospace area. Its high power and energy viscosity make it more acceptable than Nickel-cadmium batteries. Its applications are electrical razors, solar lighting Industry relatively and composite vehicles.
3. What are the common types of lithium batteries and their applications?
Many improvements have been made in the making of lithium-ion batteries. The lithium ion battery applications make it easy to classify lithium-ion batteries into different categories. The following are the six different types of lithium-ion batteries :
- Lithium cobalt oxide
The composition of the battery includes lithium carbonate and cobalt. That’s why these are also called lithium cobalt batteries. Cobalt oxide acts as a cathode while graphite carbon as an anode. Its application is in laptops, cameras and mobile phones. Such batteries have some cons like short life span and low power.
- Lithium magnesium oxide (LMO)
These batteries are also called lithium manganate batteries. In this kind of battery, lithium manganese oxide was used as the cathode. Lithium manganate cathode material has the characteristics of low cost, good safety and high power, but the cycle life is relatively short, especially the high temperature life is difficult to meet the demand of power battery, so the current application is relatively limited.
- Lithium iron phosphate (LFP)
In lithium iron phosphate batteries, ironic phosphate acts as the cathode, these batteries are also called Lifepo4 batteries. The main characteristics of this battery are high energy density and a lengthy lifecycle. Its major uses are in electronic vehicles, etc.
- Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC)
In NMC batteries, a mix of materials that are available universally is used. These materials include nickel (60%), manganese (20%), and cobalt (20%). Its main features are elevated specific power and poor self-heating rate. These are commonly used in energy storage market, electrical automobiles, power tools, powertrains etc.
- Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA)
NCA batteries have great potential to be used in portable power source. It has a long life span with high energy. Lithium-ion batteries with nickel-cobalt-aluminum ternary materials have the highest specific energy among all lithium-ion batteries, and are commonly used in mobile power supply. The application in electric vehicles has been quite controversial. On the one hand, because of its high cost, but the more important problem is its low safety.
- Lithium titanate
The lithium titanate also called li-titanate battery has been rapidly growing in lithium ion battery applications because of its best nanotechnology. It has the fastest recharge time. Such batteries have the potential to be used in the making of electric buses, aerospace and military purposes, for reserving solar and wind energy as well.
4. Which performance will affect the application of the battery? How to affect?
There are some factors which affect the applications of a battery like:
- Charge current: The batteries are designed in such a way that the current could be controlled at a proper level that improves the efficiency of the battery. The charge current affects the efficiency of the battery by increasing the battery capacity.
When charging at a high current, this will lead to damage to the battery. Some applications require high-current battery discharge, such as starting a car. Some applications require small current discharges, such as energy storage systems.
- Battery age: The battery age affects the efficiency of the battery. The more ages of a battery, the less work is done.
- Ambient temperature: The specific temperature for the proper working of a battery is 20-25°C. Any change or variation in the temperature can lead to a change in the battery efficiency.
Lithium batteries can also develop more functions for application scenarios with different working temperatures. If low temperature battery has heating function, lithium ion battery suitable for high temperature environment has liquid cooling function.
- Cycling: The batteries are fully charged when installed. After that, the recharging and discharging decrease its efficiency by a small amount. Thus, with time, the ability of the battery to work efficiently reduces.
5. Why choose lithium-ion battery for our application?What are the advantages?
The lithium-ion batteries have some advantages as compared to traditional batteries. Some of them are as follows:
- Low-self discharge: When not working, the rate of self-discharge of this batteries is very low. Moreover, it is negligible in some cases. At room temperature, the monthly self-discharge rate of lithium battery is only 3.5%.
- High-energy density: The high energy density is one of the main advantages of lithium-ion batteries which makes them more useful. The lithium ion battery applications are increasing day by day because the lithium batteries make sure to provide higher and higher energy density.
- Size and shape: These batteries are available in different shapes and sizes which makes them suitable for different lithium ion battery applications. Thus, users of such batteries can select the battery according to their needs.
- Maintenance: The lithium-ion batteries do not need to be maintained. Thus, free maintenance is one of the key features of lithium-ion batteries.
6. What are the differences between the applications of 18650 cells and 21700 cells?
It is also discussed before that lithium-ion battery comes in various sizes and shapes. The two different types of batteries like 18650 battery and 21700 battery are discussed. The difference between the two mainly lies in their size and their capacity. The 18650 battery is 18mm in diameter and 65mm in height while the 21700 battery has a diameter of 21mm and 70mm in height.
18650 batteries are slightly smaller than 21700 batteries. As the 21700 battery is slightly larger, thus, it will surely provide more energy and runtime. 18650 batteries have 2000 to 3500 mAh capacity while 21700 batteries have a range of 3000 up to 5000 mAh capacity.
There is much overlap in the two application fields. The electrical devices, for example, Bluetooth speakers, Flash lights, multimedia players, etc use 18650 batteries that provides power for proper working. But the electrical vehicles like eBike use both 21700 and 18650 cells. Moreover, 18650 cells are also found in laptops, controllers of remote control cars, toys etc.
However, 21700 cells are found in medical instruments used for diagnostic purposes, UPS systems and wheel chairs. Due to high current and large capacity of power, 21700 batteries are found in instruments like drills.
18650 cells are used in laptops, electrical devices, electrical cars, flashlights etc. However, 21700 cells applications include electrical vehicles, electronic cigarettes, flashlights, power tools etc.
7. What are the differences between power lithium-ion battery and energy storage battery?
Depending upon the lithium ion battery applications, there exist two other types of lithium batteries those are power lithium-ion battery and energy storage lithium battery.
The difference between the two is that an energy storage lithium battery has a longer cycle life than power battery. Longer cycle life than power battery. Many power batteries use three-yuan lithium batteries.
They have a cycle life that is 1000-2000 times while that of energy storage lithium battery is more than 3500 times as Most of them are lifepo4 batteries. The significance of lithium-ion battery application is the power supply of electric vehicles, power tools, power transmission, hover boards etc. The energy storage lithium battery is used in hydropower, firepower, wind power, power products, medical and security etc.
8. The classification of energy storage products
The energy storage products are classified into five categories:
- Battery storage: Batteries are a commonly used form of storage. It is the most easily obtainable form of storage. Its construction consists of one or more cells with a cathode and an anode. Including home energy storage, solar energy and wind energy storage, portable energy storage, backup battery energy storage and so on.
- Thermal storage: Thermal storage is a form of storage that involves the release of heat and changes in the state of the storage medium.
- Mechanical storage: Mechanical storage involves the kinetic forces for storing energy. It also uses gravitational kinetic forces for storing it. It mainly includes storage with flywheels etc.
- Pumped hydro: The pumped hydro systems are much in demand for storing energy.
- Hydrogen: The process of storing energy with hydrogen is still under process. It involves the conversion of hydrogen from electricity via electrolysis.
9. How do we select the right lithium-ion battery for our application?
The lithium-ion batteries are in great demand and many advances have been made in their development to enhance lithium ion battery applications. Therefore, before purchasing lithium batteries, one must know some essential key points like:
- Power supply: Firstly, check and select the batteries according to the requirements. If the specification requirements of the power is more than the battery the desired power supply should be selected.
- Charging Rate: The rate of charging is another deciding factor in the selection of the battery. The rate of charging depends on the time the battery needs to charge completely.
- Operating temperature range: The lithium-ion batteries work over a wide range of temperatures. But it also depends on the battery size, thus, Lithium iron phosphate is afraid of cold ternary lithium battery is afraid of heat.
- Lifespan: With time, battery working will slow down after that. Hence, select the batteries with a longer life span like lithium ion battery.
10. What other applications of lithium-ion battery can be discovered in future?
Lithium ion battery applications are growing constantly since their development has been observed. For example, there are lithium ion golf cart batteries, lithium ion motorcycle battery. Because of its high energy density, it is used in electric devices, vehicles and power tools. The usage of lithium batteries is thought to be increased in future for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Lithium ion battery applications also could be found in transportation and grid stations, to meet the world‘s need for portable energy storage.
11. What are the applications of lithium carbonate in lithium-ion battery?
Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is a compound that exists in lithium-ion batteries and has great potential to be utilized in lithium ion battery applications. It has the great feature of retrograde solubility. And it can increase wear resistance, reduce expansion coefficient and melting temperature. It is mainly used as a precursor in lithium-ion batteries.
12. What should be noticed when using lithium battery?
Be sure to keep the battery in good discharge before activating the battery, otherwise it will affect the use of the battery, and try to prevent the battery from encountering high temperatures during use, otherwise it will affect the battery’s life and storage capacity. Such batteries should not be charged near flammable devices. Always use the charger that comes with the batteries to avoid some avoidable problems.
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