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Lithium-ion Batteries VS
Other Rechargeable Batteries

Nowadays, the use of lithium-ion batteries is becoming more and more widespread, and it has become a common product in the fields of information, energy, transportation, and industrial manufacturing. One might wonder why lithium-ion batteries are so popular in various fields. So, in this article, we will focus on the analysis of the advantages of lithium batteries over other common batteries, and hope you can find out the reasons.

Lithium-ion Batteries VS Other Rechargeable Batteries

Advantages of lithium-ion batteries over other rechargeable batteries

Compared to other rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries have the following advantages:

1. More energy

The lithium-ion batteries can store more energy for their size or weight than other other rechargeable batteries because of their higher energy density.

2. Higher voltages

They can operate at higher voltages than other rechargeable batteries.

3. Lower self-discharge rate

Due to their lower self-discharge rate, the lithium-ion batteries retain their charge for a longer time than other types of rechargeable batteries once they are charged.

For example, NiMH and NiCd batteries may lose 1-5% of their charge each day (depending on the storage temperature), even when they are not installed in a device. However, lithium-ion batteries can retain most of their charge even after months of storage.

4. Faster charging

Lithium-ion batteries can charge quickly and save more time.

You may ask, are lithium batteries necessarily better than all other type of rechargeable batteries? Then I would tell, that is not necessarily the case. Because it depends on what aspects.

So no let’s take a look at the disadvantages of lithium batteries compared to other batteries.

Disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries compared with other rechargeable batteries

1. More expensive

With the similar capacity, the lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than the NiMH or NiCd batteries. Because the production of lithium-ion batteries are much more complicated. In fact, there is special circuitry that protects the battery from damage caused by overcharging or undercharging in the lithium-ion batteries. What’s more, they are manufactured in much smaller quantities than NiMH or NiCd batteries.

However, the lithium-ion batteries are getting less and less expensive and their prices decrease over time ( kind of depending on the prices of battery materials).

2. Higher requirement for the charger

They require the specific sophisticated chargers to carefully monitor the charging process. Besides, due to the different shapes and sizes, each type of Li-ion battery requires a specially designed charger to suit its particular size and manufacturer. Therefore, the chargers for lithium-ion batteries are more expensive and harder to find than the ones for NiMH and NiCd batteries.

Are there standard sizes for Li-ion batteries (like AA, C or D battery sizes)?

No, there is no standard size for lithium-ion batteries.

This may be because some users may inadvertently place it in a charger that is not designed for Li-ion batteries. And that will lead to a potentially dangerous situation. If a user put an alkaline battery in the wrong charger it may leak or even burst. But if one puts a Li-Ion battery in a NiCad or NiMH battery charger that is not designed for Li-Ion and can catch fire.

Moreover, designing a 1.5V Li-Ion cells will be expensive because the operating voltage of Li-Ion cells (typically 3.7V per cell) is much higher than the 1.2 to 1.5V of most cells.

How to store Li-ion batteries well?

Lithium-ion batteries can be used for months on a full charge. Lithium-ion batteries are best stored partially charged or fully charged.

Sometimes, if a Li-Ion battery which is in a very low charge is stored for a long period of time (months), then you may find that its voltage slowly drops below the level at which its built-in safety mechanism allows it to be charged again. That is, it’s dead.

If the battery is going to be stored for several months, it is best to charge it after a few months. A better practice is to actually use the battery every few months and then recharge it partially or fully.

Do I need to charge the battery for the first time use ?

Most Li-ion batteries are already partially charged after the production. Most battery instructions will include instructions on how long to charge a new battery before using it for the first time. So, that means it’s necessary to finish the rest charging for the battery until it is fully charged before first use.

How to properly dispose of lithium-ion batteries?

Like all rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries are recyclable. So they should be recycled instead of thrown in the trash. They must never be incinerated because of the risk of explosion.

When will the battery “die”?

In other words, this is question about the lifespan of the lithium-ion battery. Speaking of its lifespan, it can be calculated by the charging and discharging cycles. The lifetime of a typical lithium-ion battery can reach up to 2000 charge and discharge cycles. And the use of most lithium-ion batteries can last 2 to 3 years.

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