Lithium ion batteries have been used since the late 90s for powering our small devices like mobile phones and laptops. Now they are also being used for powering vehicles like electric cars that have become the most advanced car technology and are also the post popular one too. Lithium ion batteries are of different kinds designed on the basis of application for which they are used. Designed back in 1991 lithium ion batteries are the most popular as they have over 35% share of energy storage. We will discuss why these batteries will continue their domination and in the future they are expected to overshadow gasoline-powered vehicles looking at the technology enhancements happening in this area.
What Is a 18650 Battery Used For?
This 18650-battery cell is used in a number of electronic devices. Take for example a DSLR camera that uses this cell for power generation. Let us explore its internal parts and find out with which material this cell is composed of. For its internal parts, it consists of three sheet layers and electrons flow inside them when a load connects with the battery. This natural flow of electrons shows that these electrons are stored inside in an unstable condition before the load connects with the battery. For understanding this basic principle more effectively, we need to understand the technological advancements that happen in lithium ion batteries. These unstable electrons are stored in a container-like thing called the Graphite with a higher electrochemical potential. Before storing electrons, they separate from the atomic structure of the element.
Lithium is a metal with a higher tendency to lose electrons from its outer shell due to which this metal is very reactive. As part of a metal oxide, atoms of lithium are very much stable. When an external power source is used its positive side attracts the electrons, and by using an electrolyte it blocks the flow of electrons through it as a result these electrons flow through the external circuit and get trapped between the graphite layers.
In the same way, the negative side of the power source attracts lithium-ions that also get trapped in the graphite layers. It is due to this phenomenon the lithium-ions are stored with a higher electrochemical potential. When the power source is removed and the load connects with the battery, all the electrons trapped inside the graphite layers start flowing through the load generating electricity.
Why Is 18650 Battery So Popular?
The three good characteristics that are good for an energy source are low cost, high energy density and long life. The 18650-lithium cell fares in all these three aspects. Let us find out how and what are the future trends?
1) Cost Factor: Considering the cost factor of lithium ion batteries we can say that the capital cost required for setting up an 18650 lithium-ion battery cell technology is higher than its counterparts are. Nevertheless, if we compare the running cost of electric cars with the gasoline cars, they run at the one-third price of gasoline cars. Then what is the reason for the high capital cost? Well, the main reason for this high capital cost is the presence of nickel and cobalt in the metal oxide compound. Battery manufacturers use these two metals in greater quantities than lithium. This is the main reason that lithium-ion batteries cost six times than that of a lead acid battery and three times that of nickel metal hydride batteries. However, the cost of per kilowatt-hour of a lithium-ion battery technology is dropping at a rapid rate over the period. Considering this, they will overcome the capital cost hurdle in the future.
2) Energy Density: 18650 Lithium-ion batteries provide much higher energy density than any other battery technology. The crucial part that affects the energy density is the storage medium of the lithium ions and the electrons. Scientists are now in the way of finding a way to change the storage medium from graphite to silicon. If it happens then the energy density will become 4.4 times higher. Silicon’s drawback is that it causes an unrespectable level of volume expansion and contraction during each cycle. For getting the benefits of silicon and avoiding its drawbacks, the manufacturers have started to use 5% silicon mixed in with the graphite.
3) Longevity: The most crucial part is the life of the lithium ion batteries. Our old laptop batteries died within one year but now they easily last for 3 years and sometimes more. For understanding how the battery life has improved by the researchers, it is important to understand what the mechanism for the death of these batteries is. Well, generally a battery dies after a few years no matter if it is used or not. This process of capacity loss is electro less meaning that it does not require any kind of electricity flow. A layer called the SEI layer saves the electrons from getting in direct contact with the electrolyte that saves the electrolyte from degradation.
How Do You Test 18650 Battery?
Testing of 18650 batteries helps in determining the capacity of each cell for making a battery pack, helping you to decide whether they are usable for you or not? For testing, we will need a voltmeter, an RC charger and four trays for organizing the battery cells. Test the cells with the voltmeter and dispose of the ones with reading below 2.5. Connect the cells with the Intel charger that will charge them with 375 milliamp per hour and if two cells are connected then each gets 750. Write the capacity of the cell on it and group them according to the capacities for using them in batteries.
Today all-important gadgets use lithium ion batteries as an energy source, with slight change in the chemical composition in the metal oxides used in them. Depending upon the type of application the cost, energy density and life cycle vary.
This discussion clearly shows a clear picture of how these batteries are getting better with time in terms of energy density and longevity. The automobile industry will decide the future of this technology. If these batteries are more competitive than they will gain more adaptability in this industry. The competitiveness needs to be in terms of cost, life, and energy.
lithium-ion battery e-bike battery lithium battery