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Do Cell Phones Have Lithium Batteries-Types and Safety？
Smartphones have been among the major beneficiaries of rechargeable battery technologies. Otherwise if batteries never existed, we would only be able to use our phones when they are directly plugged into power. Imagine how that would be! But thanks to rechargeable battery technology that has been improving over the years. The improvements made are mainly to make the batteries safer, more durable, store more energy per unit volume also to become cheaper.
For instance, the cots per KWH of Li-ion batteries were $1200 in 2010. This cost is now under $200 in 2020. This is about 80% reduction in the price within 10 years. This reduction has made it cheaper for smartphone companies to add bigger batteries in their smartphones without any significant increase in price. At the moment we have smartphones that have batteries with over 4000mah but costing less than $300. This wasn’t possible 10 years back when the cost per KWH of these batteries was still above $1000
What phones have lithium batteries
Cell phones all the way from the late1990s till today mainly use Lithium-ion batteries as their source of power. However, there are some earlier phones that used Nickel-Cadmium?batteries instead of Lithium. In recent years Nickel-cadmium battery technology has been phased out by Li-ion batteries thanks to the many benefits that Li-ion has over other battery technologies.
Li-ion batteries are preferred because of their high energy density, durability and lightness that is very important in the designing of phones. The earlier challenge of Li-ion batteries was mainly their price but this problem is slowly being solved as the prices of Li-ion batteries are going down every year that passes.
As of 2020, almost all smartphones and other cells phones mainly use Li-ion batteries. There are other battery technology alternatives that are being researched like the Fluoride-ion batteries that are meant to address some of the challenges that Li-ion batteries face. However, all these alternatives still have a couple of years to be validated to get into the general market. So, Li-ion batteries are still expected to dominate the next 10 years as the most used battery technology in cell phones.
Which type of battery is used in mobile phones?
- The only challenge with Li-poly batteries is their price. Since the technology of Li-poly batteries is still new, it is still more costly to design and manufacture these batteries than Li-ion batteries. That is why most of the smartphones are still using Li-ion batteries. Li-Po batteries are more popular in electric cars and plane industries thanks to the many advantages they have over other alternatives like Ni-Cad.
- Can cell phone catch fire?
- The answer to this question is YES. We can look at a case study of the Samsun galaxy Note 7 that made lots of news in 2016 after a couple of them caught fire. The main reason behind this was related to the battery, cooling systems and circuits that distribute power to the different motherboard components. This phone was finally discontinued and those who returned their galaxy note 7 phones were given the galaxy s7 edge in return.
- The main cause of fire is normally a short circuit within the battery system. When Samsung carried out an investigation as to why the batteries were catching fire, they found out that it all started when the anode and cathode of the batteries started crimping. This caused the separator between the two electrodes to weaken hence causing a short circuit. The heat that damaged the two electrodes was as a result of limited space between the heat-sealed protective pouch around the battery and its internals. This meant there was limited space to emit heat from the battery onto the casing and then outside the phone.
- In that case the problem was with the design battery systems. But in some situations, a phone may catch fire due an old battery whose separator has been weakened over time. Hence lead to a short circuit that causes the fire. Another issue could be a result of physical damage on the battery that may lead to damaging the electrodes or the separator which may also lead to a short circuit and catching fire.