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Secondary Lithium Battery
Working on lithium batteries started in 1912 under the mentor-ship of G.N.Lewis but it was commercially availed in the 1970s. Lithium is the lightest of all the available metals and posses a great electrochemical potential and it offers the highest energy density for weight.
The biggest challenge in the development of lithium batteries was the safety problem. Because of the intrinsic instability of lithium metal mainly during charging the research on lithium shifted to a non-metallic lithium battery making the use of Lithium ions. Lithium-ion is safe because of lower in energy density than the lithium metal and needs certain precautions are during charging and discharging.
As stated by The Economist

“Increasingly, lithium is becoming to batteries what silicon is to semiconductors—prevalent, even among worthy alternatives. In one form or another, the lithium-ion battery is the technology of our time.”

High energy density: The much greater energy density is one of the chief advantages of a lithium ion battery or cell. With electronic equipment such as mobile phones needing to operate longer between charges while still consuming more power, there is always a need to batteries with a much higher energy density. In addition to this, there are many power applications from power tools to electric vehicles. The much higher power density offered by lithium ion batteries is a distinct advantage.

Self-discharge: One issue with batteries and ells is that they lose their charge over time. This self-discharge can be a major issue. One advantage of lithium ion cells is that their rate of self-discharge is much lower than that of other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH forms.

No requirement for priming: Some rechargeable cells need to be primed when they receive their first charge. There is no requirement for this with lithium ion cells and batteries.

Low maintenance: One major lithium ion battery advantage is that they do not require and maintenance to ensure their performance. Ni-Cad cells required a periodic discharge to ensure that they did not exhibit the memory effect. As this does not affect lithium ion cells, this process or other similar maintenance procedures are not required.

Variety of types available: There are several types of lithium ion cell available. This advantage of lithium ion batteries can mean that the right technology can be used for the particular application needed. Some forms of lithium ion battery provide a high current density and are ideal for consumer mobile electronic equipment. Others are able to provide much higher current levels and are ideal for power tools and electric vehicles.

Protection required: lithium-ion cells and batteries are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies. They require protection from being over charged and discharged too far. In addition to this, they need to have the current maintained within safe limits. Accordingly one lithium ion battery disadvantage is that they require protection circuitry incorporated to ensure they are kept within their safe operating limits. Fortunately with modern integrated circuit technology, this can be relatively easily incorporated into the battery, or within the equipment if the battery is not interchangeable.

Ageing : One of the major lithium ion battery disadvantages for consumer electronics is that lithium ion batteries suffer from ageing. Not only is this time or calendar dependent, but it is also dependent upon the number of charge discharge cycles that the battery has undergone. When a typical consumer lithium cobalt oxide, LCO battery or cell needs to be stored it should be partially charged – around 40% to 50% and kept in a cool storage area. Storage under these conditions will help increase the life.

Transportation: Another disadvantage of lithium ion batteries is that there can be certain restrictions placed on their transportation, especially by air. Although the batteries that could be taken in aircraft carry-on luggage are unlikely to be affected, care should be taken not to carry any more lithium ion batteries than are needed. Any carried separately must be protected against short circuits by protective covers, etc.

Cost: A major lithium ion battery disadvantage is their cost. Typically they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel cadmium cells. This is a major factor when considering their use in mass produced consumer items where any additional costs are a major issue.

Immature technology: Lithium ion battery technology is a developing area. This can be a disadvantage in terms of the fact that the technology does not remain constant.

Batteries/Energy Storage
Anyone shipping lithium-ion batteries in bulk is responsible to meet transportation regulations. This applies to domestic and international shipments by land, sea and air.
Lithium Alloys
Lithium-ion cells whose equivalent lithium content exceeds 1.5 grams or 8 grams per battery pack must be shipped as “Class 9 miscellaneous hazardous material.” Cell capacity and the number of cells in a pack determine the lithium content.
Batteries/Energy Storage
Exception is given to packs that contain less than 8 grams of lithium content. If, however, a shipment contains more than 24 lithium cells or 12 lithium-ion battery packs, special markings and shipping documents will be required. Each package must be marked that it contains lithium batteries.
Lithium Alloys
All lithium-ion batteries must be tested in accordance with specifications detailed in UN 3090 regardless of lithium content (UN manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3). This precaution safeguards against the shipment of flawed batteries.
  • The energy density of the lithium-ion batteries are two times higher than the standard nickel cadmium and it posses the potential for more higher densities. In terms of discharge, the load characteristics of lithium-ion behave well compare to the nickel cadmium. The cell voltage for lithium batteries is 3.6 while the cell voltage of nickel cadmium is 1.2 volts. in today’s era most of the mobiles run on a single lithium-ion cell.
  • The lithium-ion chemistry is the low maintenance battery which is the best in class that other chemistries cant offer. No scheduled maintenance and memory is required to prolong the battery life. The self-discharge of the battery is comparatively less compared to the nickel cadmium. When disposed lithium-ion cells cause a little harm.
  • Apart from its overall advantages, Lithium-ion batteries posses some drawbacks i.e. it requires a battery protection circuit maintain and offer the safe operation of the battery and it is fragile. The Battery protection circuit limits the maximum peak voltage during charging of the cell and it protects the cell voltage to drop below the rated voltage during discharge.
  • It also protects the battery by monitoring the temperature. Maximum charge and discharge condition on the cells are limited between 1C to 3C.
  • Manufacturers of lithium battery are constantly working on improving the lithium ion, they are introducing new and improved chemical combinations every six months. Seeing the advanced progress in the lithium industry it is hard to predict the age of the revised age of the battery.
  • The most convenient and economical lithium-ion battery in terms of cost and energy ratio is cylindrical 18650 cell i.e. 18mm X 62.5mm Size. These cells are mostly used for mobile computing and other portable devices which don’t require ultra-thin technology. If ultra-thin size is required a prismatic lithium battery is the best choice.