Which battery is better for a laptop, polymer or lithium?
There seems to be an endless debate on batteries in today’s technological society and especially when comparing lithium-ion to lithium-polymer cells. This argument has been a rampant and trending topic not only for laptops but also other many electronic appliances such as mobile phones. Settling this once and for all might be a difficult task but one can identify the special qualities of each battery lithium battery type and make the best choice that suites their laptops.
A typical lithium-ion battery is a secondary rechargeable battery technology which means that it isn’t disposed of once drained of charge but rather recharged back to full capacity. A normal lithium-ion cell contains a nominal voltage of abut 3.7V and when you check your laptop, you might find that it produces about 11.1V. This means that the laptop has about 3 single cells each of 3.7V hence 3.7 x 3 = 11.1. Not all laptop batteries have the same number of cells but they all eventually work under the same principle.
A typical lithium-ion battery for a laptop is a rigid plastic container that contains several lithium-ion cells and other electronics use to monitor the temperature and charging. These batteries need to be charged carefully or they might be a safe hazard due to explosion or spontaneous combustions.
Lithium-ion batteries require low maintenance and this is a specific and unique quality that not many other battery technologies possess. They tend to cause little or no harm when disposed of because they are clean energy sources and are rechargeable cells. However, they are a fragile battery technology and therefore, need a protection circuit to be able to maintain safe operation. The packs are well-known to last abut 5 years when use in laptops.
Lithium-ion batteries have high energy densities that serve as an opportunity for higher battery capacities. They don’t require prolonged priming when new because one normal charge cycle is all that is required. They also have a relatively low self-discharge rate which is half of their predecessor, nickel-based batteries. The batteries need no periodic discharges as they o not suffer from the memory effect that older versions went through.
These cells have been used as laptop batteries for many years because of the many pros they tend to offer, However, can they claim to be superior than their counterparts, lithium-polymer cells?
Now that you’ve explored all that lithium-ion batteries had to offer as a preferable laptop battery, it’s time t take a look at why other people claim that lithium-polymer batteries are better. These batteries work on the principle of movement of lithium ions from a positive electrode material, within their cells, to a negative electrode material. Unlike lithium-ion cells, these batteries use a gel polymer as the electrolyte making them less of a risk when compared to lithium-ion batteries.
A microporous separator is used in the cells in these batteries to prevent the electrodes from coming into contact and thus, damaging the battery. The separator also allows the movement of particles between electrodes. The batteries’ manufacturers are not limited to standard cell formats and therefore, any reasonable size and shape can be produced with high volume. The gel-like electrolyte used in these batteries makes packaging a simpler by doing away with the need of a metal shell. Li-Po batteries have improved or enhanced safety measure as compared to lithium-ion cells because they are more resistant to battery failures due to poor user habits.
Which one is better than the other?
The most distinguishing factor or property between lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries lies in their chemical properties. While Li-ion batteries use a liquid electrolyte, Li-Po cells make use of a gel-like one. Both these battery technologies have presented their advantages and disadvantages and Li-ion batteries are efficient and can hold impressive amounts of energy in their small sizes.
Lithium-polymer cells are strong, and flexible especially when it comes to their sizes and shapes. They are also lightweight, with a very low chance of experiencing leaking electrolyte However, this battery technology isn’t the most perfect one yet because the also have their own cons. These batteries tend to be more costly to produce as compared to li-ion and have a smaller energy density as well as its lifespan.
Picking the best battery technology, even after all these statistics may still be very difficult because they all serve the same high purpose. While you need to take precaution with lithium-ion batteries and especially when they are charging due to safety hazards, you don’t need to do the same with Li-Po cells. They may offer the same price but Li-Po batteries tend to be much more expensive.
How long do laptop lithium polymer batteries last?
Most standard LiPo batteries are expected to last longer than 300 charge cycles depending on their usage by the owners. For laptop batteries, they are expected to go for about 3 to 5 years of service before they need a replacement or fixing. However, this is determined by how they are used and cared for.
How do laptop lithium polymer batteries work?
Similar to other lithium battery technologies, Li-Po batteries works on the famous principle of intercalation as well as de-intercalation of the lithium ions between the electrodes. The cells have a gel-like electrolyte that facilitates movements of ions and a microporous separator that prevents the electrodes from coming into contact.
Choosing between lithium-ion and lithium-polymer for laptops isn’t an easy task. This is because they all offer irresistible benefits when used as batteries for laptops and therefore cannot be clearly distinguished into the most suitable possible. However, based on the specifications you desire for a laptop battery, it would be easier to pick a battery technology that suites your needs.
If you’re ever in a tight spot that you need to choose, remember that both options offer similar possibilities but just in different packages. There isn’t much of a difference but you can surely make that difference by taking up one of your best.
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