Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries

Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries

A lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery that contains lithium. These are a standard battery type for many rechargeable consumer products, including smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. Lithium-ion batteries power many of the world's rechargeable electronic devices, and replacement batteries are useful to many consumers to swap in at any time.

How does a lithium-ion battery work?

A lithium-ion battery is primarily composed of three things:

  • A positive electrode made of carbon
  • A negative electrode made of a metal oxide
  • An organic solvent containing electrolytes and lithium ions

An ion is an atom with an electrical charge. When the battery pack is operating, the lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode, generating electricity. When the battery is placed in a charger, the lithium ions move back again to the negative side. Depending on the materials used, the voltage, capacity, and lifespan can vary greatly.

What are the benefits of using a lithium-ion battery?

A typical lithium-ion battery pack is very dense and energy-efficient, packing a great deal of energy per charge to keep energy-intensive devices going. It can also hold a charge for a long time. It has no "memory effect," so you do not need to fully discharge it every cycle. These batteries can handle hundreds of charging cycles before fully degrading.

What are lithium-ion batteries used for?

Lithium-ion batteries are used in many consumer electronics, including rechargeable phones, laptops, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, flashlights, cordless power tools, electronic cigarettes, electric vehicles, drones, and handheld video game systems. The lightweight, energy-efficient design makes them well-suited for a huge variety of different applications. Lithium-ion batteries can also be purchased on their own, either as a replacement part for older worn-out batteries or for a DIY project. Most consumer products only tend to be compatible with a very specific model of rechargeable battery, so check the size and type to ensure compatibility.

How long do lithium-ion batteries last?

The total lifespan of the battery varies widely from product to product. It depends on many different factors, including the battery materials used and the total amount of discharge. For many consumer applications, the battery is expected to last for about three years. You can easily purchase a replacement battery to keep the power flowing.

How is the capacity of lithium-ion batteries measured?

Lithium-ion battery capacity is measured in ampere-hours, or Ah. Each ampere-hour means that one amp can be drawn from the battery for one hour. You may often find the capacity expressed in milliamp-hours or mAh. Higher capacity, or mAh, means that your battery can power a more energy-intensive device for a longer period of time.

What is a lithium cobalt battery?

Lithium cobalt is a type of lithium-ion battery that utilizes a lithium cobalt oxide compound. It is the most common type of cathode material used in rechargeable batteries. Because of its higher energy density, high heat capacity, and high discharge voltage, lithium cobalt tends to be used in the most demanding electronic, medical, and automotive devices.