Today, lithium polymer batteries are much lighter, more compact and more powerful than they were a decade ago. Due to their improved technology, they can now provide a full charge in just a couple of minutes, and they can be used for a wide range of projects. Before you start using these batteries, it’s important to understand their usage and how they can be used properly.
The advent of lithium-ion batteries in 1991 marked the beginning of rapid technological development. Due to the wide variety of materials and technologies used, it’s important to thoroughly understand what you have when it comes to batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in laptops. These packs are usually spot welded together with nickel strips. Although lithium-ion is typically referred to as the overall technology of batteries, it also refers to the various types of cells that are made from metal bodies. One of these is the commonly used 18650. These cells are very strong and can be used in rough-and-tumble vehicles.
Polymer-based lithium-ion batteries, which are also known as lithium-polymer batteries, are designed with a different electrolyte than liquid ones. This allows them to be used in various applications, such as smartphones and tablets. Due to their flexible design, these batteries are ideal for high-capacity batteries and those with a flat form factor. They can also be used in radio-control models, which are incredibly lightweight compared to traditional cars.
High-voltage lithium-polymer batteries, which are known as lithium-HV, are designed with a special compound on the positive terminal that resists damage when charged at higher voltages. These batteries typically exhibit a significant capacity loss and lifespan when they’re charged at 4.2 volts. However, by using this additive, they can be charged to 4.35 volts, which provides a 10% increase in energy density.
A type of lithium-ion battery known as lithium-iron-phosphate, or LiFePO4, is designed with modified lithium-ion chemistry that allows it to endure longer charge/discharge cycles. It can operate at a maximum voltage of 3.35 volts. This type of battery is ideal for replacing 12v lead-acid batteries in various applications, such as smartphones and tablets. It can also perform better than the original six cells due to its flat discharge rate and long lifespan.
A lithium ion deep cycle battery is often used for powering small vehicles. In addition to powering various small vehicles, such as golf carts and forklifts, deep cycle lithium batteries can also be used in marine applications. These batteries can be used to power navigational devices and instruments, such as onboard instruments.
Lithium-ion batteries are not tolerant of mistreatment. When they’re charged below their low voltage limit, they can develop copper dendrites, which can severely affect their cell’s capacity or short circuit. Overcharging them can also lead to a short circuit or a full thermal runaway, which can cause fires and smoke.
To avoid damaging the cells, each pack should be charged at the same level as its neighbors. Doing so will prevent them from getting damaged prematurely. Also, it’s important to charge lithium-ion batteries at the right time. One of the most common reasons why lithium-ion batteries don’t appreciate being charged below freezing is due to the possibility of electropolymerization. This can lead to major damage and even cause a short circuit.
Between 0-5 degrees Celsius, charging should be done slowly. Failure to do so can lead to a dead battery or even cause an explosion at worst. In addition, overcharging can cause cells to swell and outgas. Fortunately, the battery-electronics industry has been working hard to address these issues.
Although lithium-ion batteries are generally safe to use, they should still be handled by people who are knowledgeable about their safety. In November, Bob Baddeley, a lithium-ion safety expert, published an article about the hazards of handling and charging the batteries.
For most applications, such as those involving the use of bare cells, charging with a lithium-ready charger is all that’s needed. However, it’s important to make sure that the device is equipped with the correct voltage limits. For instance, if you’re using a hybrid pack or a LiFePO4 battery, make sure that the charger has the correct voltage limits. You should make sure that you have a way to stop the batteries from discharging when the current gets low. This can be done by a warning light, an automatic shutdown or by turning off the device.
Despite their shortcomings, lithium-ion batteries are still safe to use in most applications. However, before you start using them, make sure that the hardware you’re using is designed to handle their temperature and voltage. This guide will help you integrate lithium power into your projects.