A brand new breed of functional, high-energy lithium battery packs is changing the shape of next-generation products. Portable gadgets, starting from notebook computers to portable medical instruments to power tools, are benefiting from constant developments when it comes to energy density, together with from the popularity of thin-format laminate cells. For design and style engineers, the final thought is that compact products along with much longer charge periods are more possible than ever.
Definitely, manufacturers of consumer products are doing just that. Apple Inc. has notably second hand laminate-style lithium polymer battery packs to advantage in the Ipod and iPad, as well as in the paper-thin MacBook Air.
General Motors and also Nissan are actually making use of the same laminate-style modern advances on the Volt and Leaf, while Tesla Motors is utilizing 6,800 cylindrical lithium-ion battery packs in their highly promoted Roadster. On top of that, lithium is actually getting a big niche within the medical industry, whereby cart-based instruments are making way to portable displays.
Some of the secrets to the current rise of lithium-ion cells is the continuous improvement in capacity. Lately, two.2Amp-hour cobalt-based lithium power packs were all the rage, but in the past five-years, they have been replaced instead by lithium cells that made use of nickel-manganese, then nickel-aluminum. During this march of progress, battery power capacities rose to 2.6A-hr. and after that 2.9A-hr.
Around June, Panasonic rolled out the NCR18650A, a lithium-ion cell that again extends battery power capabilities, this time to 3.1A-hr. Eventually this year, a few battery makers plan to turn to 3.4A-hr. And also 4.0A-hr. battery packs in the popular 18650 form element (cylindrical batteries a bit larger than an AA) could be released as soon as 2013, they claim.
Cylindrical cells push the envelope
Engineers say the higher-energy variety of power packs is actually beginning innovative applications in countless industrial sectors, but specifically in healthcare. There, clients are making use of them within portable ultrasound, portable oxygen concentrators, and also portable work stations designed for checking their patients. Furthermore, a classical number of clients still is utilizing lithium-ion as a substitute for nickel-metal hydride batteries in notebook computers, cellular phones, digicams, and even power tools.
Laminate batteries make a comeback
Even at the lithium-ion class, however, a sub-category is gaining momentum. Lithium polymer, another branch of lithium-ion which uses a flat laminate composition, is reaching a growing variety of programs. “There’s definitely a trend toward lithium polymer in portable devices because there’s a race to make them all thinner,” TI’s Barsukov claims. “All of the newest, coolest gadgets out there, starting with Apple and Android devices, are using polymer because of the thin cells and the high energy density.”
Indeed, Apple’s MacBook air measures 0.67 ” in thickness, thanks in part to its utilization of lithium polymer battery packs. Lithium polymer offers some other benefits. One of them:
Flexibility, allowing engineers to easily adjust a design to match a approved space
Aspect ratio, which makes it much easier to produce a substantial, flat cell
Higher C-rate, that makes it possible to provide more current in a shorter time
Lithium polymer provides many alternatives mainly because it uses a laminate structure with an electrolyte which can range between water to gel to solid. Unlike conventional lithium-ion cells, that happen to be included in a metal can, lithium polymer cells reside in a minimized foil container, just like a potato chip bag. The multi-layered bag may keep fluids from moving into battery and inhibits electrolytes from leaking out, but it gives an additional benefit: It’s far lighter in weight and even thinner than the cylindrical metal housing of the 18650. Which, consequently, enables us to generate a battery power that is definitely comparable in form to a loose-leaf notebook.
What’s more, lithium polymer cells offer increased rates of discharge. The C-rate — a parameter that explains the time it takes to completely discharge a battery — is a lot higher in polymer batteries compared to cylindrical or even prismatic lithium-ion batteries. While traditional lithium-ion power packs top out at C-rates of roughly 2, lithium polymer batteries can have C-rates approaching 15 or more. The cabability to discharge current on quicker rates translates to increased power for the apps.
Nowadays, so many electronics come with rechargeable batteries, but some aren’t a li-on batteries. which is the sole reason why when they eventually die, you will need to invest in a quality li-on batteries