In todays modern way of life, communication has always been an integral part of our society’s improvement in regards to keeping in touch and relaying important data through the use of technology. Keeping these essential electronic equipment efficiently running in regards to their portability has always been the continuing goal of electronic design engineers. Portability always had one design obstacle that needed to be addressed and that is designing a power supply that will effectively power it for a definite duration of time. Lithium Ion batteries have become the most popular source of powering virtually every portable device that we use in this day and age. You can see them in almost every electronic device that demands a stable power output.
Devices such as PDA’s, laptops, iPod’s and most of the time, cellphones. Lithium Ion batteries are so efficient in storing high capacity energy that it is also used to power portable vacuum cleaners like the best vacuum for hardwood floors. Lithium Ion batteries are so commonly used nowadays simply because of the power that they store and the efficiency of how they distribute that to power our devices. Though there is a word of caution as some faulty made Lithium Ion batteries have a tendency to just simply burn out or even worse, burst into flames. Though these are just isolated cases and are caused most of the time by improper handling or charging. There were even times that a whole product line of Lithium Ion batteries had to be recalled by the manufacturer, costing them millions of dollars just to ensure that it does not cause any harm to the public.
What makes Lithium Ion batteries stand out from all of the rest and how do you take proper care in charging them without causing damage to it or to yourself? Lithium Ion batteries have a number of advantages compared to other types of rechargeable batteries, to which some of it are the following:
Lithium Ion batteries are more lighter compared to other batteries:
In comparison to other existing battery technologies, Lithium Ion batteries are far more lighter. Basically, the electrodes of a Lithium Ion battery is made out of Lithium and Carbon. In regards to the metallic compound of Lithium itself, it is a highly reactive and poisonous element that should not be handled with your bare hands as it’s active ingredient can easily be absorbed by the body. It’s atomic composition enables it to store more energy compared to other compounds used in batteries.
Lithium Ion batteries have a bigger weight to energy storage ratio:
To give you an idea on the how much potential energy Lithium Ion batteries can effectively store compared to other batteries, it can be measured by it’s weight density and the power that it can hold. A lithium ion battery has the ability to efficiently store 150 watt-hours of electricity for every 1 kilogram of it’s overall weight. Comparing this to a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery that can only store about 100 watt-hours per 1 kilogram of it’s total weight. On the other hand, a typical lead acid battery only stores about 25 watt-hours per kilogram respectively. In contrast, it will take 6 kilograms of lead acid battery weight to produce 150 watt-hours of energy that it takes for a 1 kilogram lithium ion battery to produce the same amount.
Lithium Ion batteries can hold a charge far longer than typical rechargeable batteries:
A stark contrast of comparison can easily be seen in the aspect of lithium ion batteries to hold it’s charge capacity for a longer time compared to ordinary batteries. In fact, A fully charged lithium ion battery tends to loose only 5% of it’s charge for a duration of 1 month in storage as compared to other batteries that loose 20% of their charge in a monthly basis.
Lithium Ion batteries have no memory effect:
Most people are not really familiar with the term “memory effect” when it comes to lithium ion batteries. Most common rechargeable batteries such as Nickel Cadium (Ni-Cad), Nickel Manganese (NiMa) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are subjected to “memory effect’ which is simply termed as the inability to fully optimize charging until the battery is fully discharged. It does not really mean that you can not charge these types of batteries, the only problem is that it only reaches a half life cycle and does not continue to recharge itself unless all of the previously stored energy in it has fully been discharged.
Lithium Ion batteries have a longer charging and discharging cycle tolerance:
The fact that you can charge and discharge a lithium ion battery without even fully discharging it’s leftover power is one of the most critical advantages that these type of batteries have compared to other similar rechargeable batteries. A good example would be that of lithium ion batteries that are so commonly used in cellphones. A typical cellphone battery gets charged 2 to 4 times a day which is pertains to heavy usage. Lithium batteries like these usually last to about 2 to 3 years with proper use and charging.
It may seem that Lithium Ion batteries have all the advantages that it can offer but it does not mean that it has no limitations or flaws that are contrary to their efficiency as stated otherwise. Considering the composition of lithium ion batteries, they start to degenerate as soon as they leave the manufacturer whether you use them or not. Storing lithium ion batteries in warm places is not advisable as heat is one of the factors that can quickly destroy a lithium ion batteries ability to store it’s charge. One important factor that people tend to disregard is the way on how to properly charge a lithium ion battery as some people forget to recharge them on time. Letting a lithium ion battery to completely become discharged is one of the causes that leads to it’s inability to properly charge. It may not be seen at first, but almost all lithium ion batteries that are used on portable devices have built in charging and discharging circuits integrated inside the battery pack itself. This is the main controlling module that regulates the energy that is being stored and discharged for the lithium ion battery to efficiently power up your devices.