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rechargeable lithium battery

The use of lithium-ion batteries has grown significantly in the past few years. These are the most popular type of rechargeable batteries for consumer electronics. The products which use lithium-ion batteries include smartphones, laptops, vacuum cleaners, robots, electric cars, and drones. Furthermore, features like high energy density, low maintenance, and eco-friendliness make it the most energetic rechargeable batteries available in the market..


How long do lithium batteries last?

Lithium batteries age with time. They only last 2 to 3 years, even if they are left unused. In other words, the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries is about 300-500 charge cycles as rated by manufacturers. During this span, the cells will experience reduced capacity due to fluctuating temperatures, charge cycling, storage, and frequency of use.

How often should you charge a lithium-ion battery?

If the battery is fully charged, it should be unplugged as soon as possible to avoid overheating. An empty cell should be charged to at least 30% as quickly as possible. Moreover, it is advisable to keep your battery level as close to 50% as possible.

Can you recharge non-rechargeable lithium batteries?

Charging a non-rechargeable lithium battery can lead to severe consequences. Non-rechargeable batteries contain dangerous chemicals that can release if charged. It can also overheat, resulting in leakage and explosion of the cell.

Advantages of lithium-ion batteries

A rechargeable lithium battery offers many advantages over other forms of batteries. These include:

  • High energy density

    There is a need for batteries with higher energy density because electronic devices need to operate longer between charges while still maintaining their high level of performance. As a highly reactive element, lithium can store and release large amounts of energy. As a result, lithium-ion batteries last much longer than other rechargeable batteries.

  • Low self-discharge rate

    Self-discharge is an irreversible phenomenon in batteries, where the internal chemical reactions reduce the stored charge of a battery, even when the battery is not in use. Many rechargeable batteries have a high self-discharge rate. But in lithium-ion batteries, the rate of self-discharge is much lower than that of others, like NiMH and Ni-Cad. In the first 4 hours, it is around 5% and then falls to about 1% or 2% per month.

  • Low maintenance

    Due to the low self-discharge rate, lithium-ion batteries require low maintenance to ensure their performance. Also, lithium batteries don’t have any memory, and thus, they don’t suffer from the memory effect. This means that deep discharge cycles and maintenance procedures are not required.

Disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries

To understand the use of lithium-ion battery it is essential to know its limitations as well. Let’s have a look.

Aging

One of the major flaws in lithium-ion batteries is that they suffer from aging. Lithium-ion cells age with time, and its aging also depend on the number of charge-discharge cycles that the battery has undergone. It results in reduced energy storage capability, and after a while, batteries may need replacement. According to Cadex Electronics, a fully charged lithium-ion battery will lose about 20% of its capacity after 1,000 charge cycles.

High cost

Another disadvantage of lithium-ion cells is their high cost. These batteries are around 40% more expensive than Nickel-cadmium cells. This is a significant issue that affects the widespread adoption and use in consumer products.

High protection required

Unlike NiMH and Ni-Cad cells, Li-ion batteries are not strong. They are subject to overheating and even exploding if overcharged or misused. Hence, for safety purposes, it is critical to incorporate some protection circuitry while designing lithium cells into a product.

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