Sample Essay on Lithium-Ion Battery

Lithium-Ion Battery

Lithium-Ion batteries, also described as Li-ion, are a class of rechargeable batteries whose principal components are the lithium ions. They are usually used in handy electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras and so on. Li-ion battery technology is relatively new and is, thus, yet to be fully adopted in automotive. However, the past five years have seen extensive attempts in using of Li-ion batteries in automobiles. What are some the advantages and of disadvantages of Li-on batteries?

One of the chief advantages of Li-ion batteries over other rechargeable batteries is their high energy density. As Gaines (2014) explains, Li- ion batteries or cells offer high density that makes it efficient in gadgets such that needs to operate for long hours without a recharge. In addition, the stable solid state mechanism of Li-ion technologies allows production of small and compatible sized batteries. This is the major reason as to why Li-ion is suitable for portable devices

As Gaines expound in her article, Li-ion batteries have a low rate of self-discharge as compared to the Ni-cad and NiMH batteries (2014). One of the drawbacks of rechargeable batteries is that they tend to loose charge over time. However, the rate at which Li-ion discharges if unused is relatively low.

The third advantage is that Li-ion batteries do not require any maintenance such as liquid refilling or periodical discharge. Some rechargeable batteries such as the Ni-cad cells require regular discharge so as to protect the memory effect. However, Li-ion does not have memory effect; thus, it is not necessary to completely discharge it before recharging.  Also, Li-ion batteries do not require initial priming like other rechargeable cells.

Despite the above-listed advantages, Li-ion batteries, like any other technology have some limitations that make it suitable for specific applications and not others. Firstly, Li-ion batteries age at a relatively fast rate (Gaines, 2014). Ordinarily, a Li-ion battery can last up to three years, irrespective of the rate of use. In addition, their aging process is not time dependent but rather, depends on the number of discharge cycles.

Li-ion technology is also more expensive that other rechargeable battery technologies such as Ni-cad.  As Gaines admits, it is expensive, not only to manufacture but also to recycle Li-ion batteries as compare to similar rechargeable batteries (2014). Also, Li-ion batteries require certain protective measures that are not necessary for other rechargeable technologies. For example, Li-on cells should be protected from charging or recharging too far, or exposure to too much current. For this reason, Li-ion batteries require regulatory circuitry to be incorporated within the battery. In older days, such circuity would significantly add to the cost of manufacturing. However, this has been made easy by the modern integrated circuit technology.

Li-ion technology is efficiently used in portable electronics; but can they be used in hybrid cars? As Gaines implies, Li-ion batteries recharge rapidly and stores energy for a relatively long period (Gaines, 2014). Therefore, Li-ion batteries are the most suitable for hybrid cars since electric motors require a sufficient energy accelerate.

Evidently, Li-ion technology provides an efficient form of rechargeable batteries. Although the technology is a little more expensive, it is worthwhile due to its efficient. For this reason, Li-ion batteries should be adopted, not only to the tiny portable gadgets but also to the giant hybrid vehicles.

 

Reference

Gaines, L. (2014). The future of automotive lithium-ion battery recycling: Charting a sustainable course. Sustainable Materials and Technologies1, 2-7.   Retrieved 8 February 2015 from file:///C:/Users/Francis/Downloads/70648437_1-s2.0-S2214993714000037-main_1.pdf