All types of lithium-ion batteries present users with several characteristics that offer various benefits and limitations as compared to other rechargeable battery types. These advantages and limitations include:
A battery's lifespan depends on the number of charge-discharge cycles it is capable of handling throughout its service time. The low-grade lithium-ion batteries can manage hundreds of charge cycles while the common variants can accommodate more than 1000 cycles before they lose about 30% of their original maximum capacity. The highly advanced lithium-ion batteryversions are capable of handling up to 5000 charge-discharge cycles, thus making their lifespans last longer than other battery types.
A battery can only be said to have undergone a full cycle if more than half of the battery was discharged before it is recharged to full capacity.
Faster charging rates
When compared to NiCad and NiMH cells or the rechargeable alkaline cells, lithium-ion batteries have proven to e faster to charge; This all depends on the devices' hardware specifications that use the battery and the mAh capacity of the lithium-ion cell and the effect is about one to two hours for a complete charge.
Enhanced energy efficiency
Energy efficiency may be the main benefit that comes with using lithium-ion batteries as compared to other types of rechargeable cells. Since the batteries contain a higher energy density than others, relative to its physical size, and low self-discharge rate, the energy efficiency is enhanced.
Lithium-ion cells contain a higher charge capacity relative to the physical size and therefore, they are capable of storing large amounts of energy in a small space. This makes them more portable and less bulky as compared to other battery types. Being portable makes them convenient for use in conventional consumer devices such as smartphones and laptops.
Limitations of lithium-ion batteries
High manufacturing costs
The production of lithium-ion cells tends to be costly as the manufacturing cost for the battery can be around 40% more than that of nickel-metal hydride cells. Factors such as the expensive on-board computer circuitry that regulates voltages within safe limits constitute this high price tag.
Over the past years, lithium-ion batteries have been reported to present safety hazards as they are prone to cases of overheating. This overheating can cause thermal runaways thus igniting a flame that can further lead to an explosion.
The batteries start degrading once they leave the factory whether or not they may be in use, and this is referred to as the aging effect.
Is there a better battery than lithium-ion?
There have been many rumors of a breakthrough that has replaced lithium-ion batteries in the current age of battery technology. However, lithium-ion batteries have been in business for a very long time powering the creation and evolution of technology from one phase to another. To say that there is a battery technology better than the current one seems to get on as a hoax because there are plenty of tools and efforts being made to improve the current issues faced by lithium-ion technology.
It is a fact that there have been known of breakthroughs capable of replacing lithium-ion cells but since they still haven't been incorporated into commercial use as this one, then we cannot say there is anything better at the moment. Lithium-ion batteries will continue to stay reliable for a while now, and it doesn't seem to be in a hurry to leave.
Solid-state lithium batteries
This type of battery is capable of functioning at super capacitor levels allowing the user to charge or discharge the battery completely in just under 10 minutes. They offer maximum stability but at the cost of electrolyte transmission. This property makes solid-state lithium-ion batteries suitable for electric cars because of its solid-state which tends to be safer and more stable as compared to current batteries. The battery technology can accommodate temperatures of as low as -30 degrees Celsius up to 100 degrees Celsius. While solid-state batteries haven't been perfected enough for commercial use due to the issues faced with the electrolyte, they seem to be an excellent opportunity for the improvement of lithium-ion cells.
Prieto battery company has outdone itself by inventing a battery that uses a copper foam compound. The batteries will be expected to provide the utmost safety conditions because of the inflammable electrolyte used. They will also provide longer lifespans as compared to lithium-ion technology and faster charging as well which can be up to faster and with a much more significant energy density. Foam batteries are expected to be cheaper to manufacture and smaller in weight as compared to current battery technologies. The battery is, however, yet to be perfected, but the future holds good things in store for it.
Sand batteries make use of silicon to attain a higher performance rate than standard lithium-ion batteries. It is however, a version of lithium-ion technology with the only difference being that it uses silicon instead of graphite for the anode electrodes. Sand can be purified, powered and then grounded with magnesium and salt and later heated to remove oxygen. The resulting product left behind is pure silicon which is porous and three-dimensional, which assists in enhancing the battery's performance.
This is a type of rechargeable battery technology adored for its high specific energy. The battery is said to have a low atomic weight of lithium as well as an average atomic weight for sulfur. These batteries are said to be capable of powering a smartphone for up to 5 days and thus better than lithium-ion cells. Also, the battery is preached to have a lower impact on the environment as compared to lithium-ion ones, together with lower manufacturing costs. Its main application ca be in smartphones for holding longer hours of charge and in electric vehicles as it can power a car for up to 1000 kilometers.
Lithium-ion cells have been around for decades and this battery technology has nurtured the growth and revolution of many industries. It is therefore, a reliable source of power, and as much as it also contains limitations, much effort is put into perfecting the batteries for a better future.