How Lithium-ion Batteries Work?
How Lithium-ion Batteries Work?

The Lithium-ion batteries, they are quite popular. It is all because it has the capability of powering millions of lives every single day. Be it the smartphones or the laptops, from the hybrids to the electric cars, the tech has been growing within its popularity because of the light-weighted, high energy density,

and that ability for it to recharge. But when we talk about these batteries, the major question with that curiosity, that comes ahead is how exactly do these lithium-ion batteries work? Or how are they so energetic and popular?

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In case if you are looking the answers to the above-mentioned questions, now is the time to satisfy your curiosity and read through this article. It will provide answers to a lot of questions. Just keep reading ahead to know more.

Lithium-ion Batteries- What are these? What are its features?

The lithium-ion batteries, they are rechargeable batteries that get charged/discharged with the lithium ions, which move in between the anode and the cathode or the negative and positive electrodes. In general, the batteries which can be discharged and charged in a repeated manner, they are called the secondary batteries, and the disposable ones are known as the primary batteries.

As the lithium-ion batteries, they are suitable for the high-capacity power storage, and they have wide applications, including the consumer electronics like the industrial robots, automobiles, PCs, and the smartphones too.

Advantages of Lithium-ion Batteries 

The lithium-ion batteries are quite popular because it comes with a lot of advantages that it enjoys over the competing tech.

  • Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries of similar size. The electrodes of it are made of carbon and the lightweight lithium. It is a highly reactive element which means a lot of energy could get stored in the atomic bonds.
  • They can hold the charge. In general, the lithium-ion battery pack loses around 5% of the charge every month in comparison to the 20% loss every month for the NiMH batteries.
  • They do not have the memory effect. So, one doesn’t need to completely discharge it before putting it in for the recharge, like it happens in most of the battery chemistries.
  • The lithium-ion batteries, they can handle 100s of the charge and discharge cycles.

Basics of Lithium-ion Batteries

The battery is made of the below-mentioned,

  • Anode
  • Cathode
  • Electrolyte
  • Separator
  • 2 current collectors, including the positive and the negative ones.

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In the above, the anode and the cathode, they are known to store lithium while the electrolyte, it carries the positively charged lithium ions to the cathode from the anode and then vice versa using the separator.

The lithium-ion movement, therefore, creates the free electrons within the anode, which, in turn, helps to create the positive current collector. Next, the electrical current flows from the current collector of the device that gets powered, like the cell phone or the computer, etc., to the current collector, which is negative. Then the separator blocks electron flow within the battery.

Charging & Discharging

When the battery starts to get discharged and offers the electric current, the anode helps to release the lithium ions to the cathode helping with the generation of the electrons from one end to another. Then, plugging the same in the device, there starts the opposite move wherein the lithium-ion starts to get released through the cathode and then get received by the anode.

Power Density vs. Energy Density 

There are 2 important concepts that are associated with the batteries. They are,

  • Energy Density; it gets measured in the watt-hours per kg or Wh/kg, and this is the energy amount which can be stored in the battery in consideration of the mass.
  • Power Density; it gets measured in the watts per kg or W/kg, and this is the power amount that can get generated by the battery we use, in consideration of the mass.

For drawing a clear picture, just think about draining the pool. The energy density remains to be of the same size as that of the pool, and the power density, it is similar to the draining pool, much quick or rather as quick as possible.

Are all Lithium-ion Batteries meant to offer Similar Performance?

The lithium-ion batteries, they are divided into varied types based on the form, size, and the materials that get used for the negative and positive electrodes, and much more. There are some lithium-ion batteries that use the lithium titanium oxide on their negative electrodes, and that, in turn, offers a long life, high output and the input powered performance, rapid charging option, the excellent lower temperature operation, and a wide effective range of SOC.

How is Energy Stored in the Lithium-ion Batteries?

The lithium-ion battery, as said above, remains composed of the separator between two electrodes, the cathode, and the anode, the electrolyte which fills up the remaining amount of space within the battery.

The cathode and the anode, they can store the lithium ions. The energy gets stored and then released as the lithium ions, which travel in between such electrodes through electrolytes.

When the energy is stored during the charging process,
  • The charges it passes the current in the battery.
  • Lithium ions make a move from cathode to anode with the help of electrolyte.
  • The battery gets charged as the result of the potential difference that exists in between the 2 electrodes.
When the energy is used and the battery starts to discharge,
  • The discharge circuit gets formed in between the cathode and the anode.
  • The lithium ions get stored within the anode, and then they move to cathode.
  • Finally, the energy gets used.

The Department of Energy, they work on these batteries to increase the energy density while they continue to try and decrease the cost and maintain the power density, which remains acceptable.

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Final Words

Now that you are aware of the lithium-ion batteries basics, working, and much more, what exactly do you plan to do? Do you feel interested in these concepts and want to see in detail how all of it works or how the Department of the energy continues to work to power up the energy density while trying to decrease cost, etc., you can continue working in the field and begin your learning in relation to it, starting today. Go ahead and try, who knows, this is where your future lies.



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