We all know that prismatic cells are one of the three main packaging methods for lithium-ion batteries, and the shell is usually packaged with a steel shell or an aluminum shell. Next, I will help you understand the advantages of prismatic cells and explore the differences between prismatic cells and cylindrical cells and pouch cells.
1. What are prismatic cells?
Prismatic cells differ from cylindrical and pouch cells due to their prismatic structure. This packing of cells forms a box-like prismatic structure, and more space is utilized than conventional cylindrical cells. The prismatic cells are utilized with a variable range of ampere-hours according to the requirement. There are two processes of these cells: 1) Stacked prismatic cell and 2) Flattened prismatic cell. Prismatic cells are more cost-effective than cylindrical cells because of less space. In particular, the new energy vehicle industry is becoming more and more popular, and many power battery manufacturers are choosing square aluminum shell batteries with high energy density.
2. How do prismatic cells work?
Prismatic cells of lithium-ion batteries have a separator separating the large sheet of anodes and a cathode. Cells are stacked with pressure into the metallic or plastic box. As the prismatic cells have a higher charge capacity, aluminum connectors are used to connect these cells. Aluminum is cost-saving, and current busbar collectors give more weight. Like the cylindrical and pouch cells, prismatic cells are joined between electrode foil and current collector tabs leading to the battery terminals. These current collector tabs and electrode foils are welded with laser or ultrasonic welding.
Furthermore, the design of the prismatic cells conserves the space. Four prismatic cells are connected in such a way to produce the 12V battery pack. These cells have more choices due to the rectangular shape and thin layers.
On the other hand, no standard prismatic cell is available to produce the other relevant cells. Manufacturer of the batteries has their design and shape. Prismatic cells in mobile contain different lengths, widths, and sizes. Electrical vehicle (EV) manufacturer have their shape and capacity for the prismatic cell.
3. The advantages of prismatic cells
Though prismatic cells are less common than cylindrical cells, they have some advantages too. Their efficacy is more significant than cylindrical cells because of the smaller rectangular shape, which provides more power to the system. The prismatic battery has a large capacity, simple system structure, convenient capacity expansion and good stability. And the shape of the battery can be any size, while the cylindrical battery is limited in this regard. Due to their compactness, prismatic cells can be utilized in smaller devices.
They do not swell or expand with movement or vibration; They can also be used in solar system and energy storage system. These batteries generate higher power, and these are durable. Prismatic cells remove the production steps involved, which enhances their cost. This enables the manufacturers to make the prismatic cells on a large scale.
4. The applications of prismatic cells
Due to petroleum prices and combustion engine pollution, electric vehicle industries are evolving in the automobile market. These industries are using cylindrical and prismatic cells in EVs. These cells are widely used in electrical devices such as hybrid/electric vehicles, electrical boats, golf carts, power tools, UPS systems, e-bikes, solar systems, etc. The energy obtained from wind, geothermal, solar, and other renewable sources can be stored in Li-ion batteries (LIBs) because of their high energy efficiency. Hence, different industries and manufacturers have an interest in using LIBs.
5. Differences between cylindrical and prismatic cells
Prismatic cells tend to store more energy than cylindrical cells but have less power. Prismatic cells discharge more rapidly than cylindrical cells, enhancing the per ampere-hour capacity of the cell. Hence, prismatic cells are optimized for energy efficiency.
Electric bike batteries are excellent example of prismatic cells. Cylindrical cells are smaller than prismatic cells, and more cylindrical cells are required to gain the same energy. In this case, prismatic cells are better due to less welded connections. In some way, twenty to hundred cylindrical cells produce energy equal to one prismatic cell. This is the reason for its wider use.
In the first electric vehicle of, Tesla, cylindrical battery cells were used. The number of cells was more significant to meet the energy need at a reasonable cost. Tesla bought cylindrical cells from Panasonic to make up more energy with less cost using cheap cylindrical batteries. Elon Musk (The founder of the Tesla company) said he would utilize the prismatic cells in the upcoming electric vehicles.
Tesla company wants to change the battery setup in the coming years.
In the first electric vehicle of, Tesla, cylindrical battery cells were used. The number of cells was more significant to meet the energy need at a reasonable cost. Tesla bought cylindrical cells from Panasonic to make up more energy with less cost using cheap cylindrical batteries. Elon Musk (The founder of the Tesla company) said he would utilize the prismatic cells in the upcoming electric vehicles. Tesla company wants to change the battery setup in the coming years.
6. Differences between the pouch and prismatic cells
Prismatic cells are stacked onto one another and pressed into the plastic rectangular or cubic box with fewer connections. In contrast, pouch cells are attached to cathode and anode and separated by a separator. The pouch cells are lighter than prismatic cells. The light weight of the pouch cell is because of the soft coating of aluminum in the battery and the packaging material. The size of the pouch cell is adaptable similar to the prismatic cells.
They can be manufactured according to the need of the gadget. This adaptability makes these cells more valuable for portable devices. This packing enhances the energy density and efficiency of the cells. Both these cells are being used in electrical devices. Pouch cells have some limitations, too—pouch cell structure lack standardization which increases its production cost and selling price. Also, pouch cells show lower mechanical resistance, and with time, potential expansion is found in the cells due to gas formation.
Because of the different ways of manufacturing and packaging, the three types of batteries have obvious differences in shape. However, it has no influence on the working principle of the battery itself, and the manufacturing method is mainly aimed at different working conditions. Cylindrical, prismatic and pouch batteries currently have their own unique values for the market, and the most important thing for us is whether their respective advantages can be finally maximized in terms of product strength.