A lithium-ion battery is an advanced battery technology that uses lithium ions as a key component of its electrochemistry. During a discharge cycle, lithium atoms in the anode are ionized and separated from their electrons. The lithium ions move from the anode and pass through the electrolyte until they reach the cathode, where they recombine with their electrons and electrically neutralize. The lithium ions are small enough to be able to move through a micro-permeable separator between the anode and cathode. In part because of lithium’s small size (third only to hydrogen and helium), Lithium-ion batteries are capable of having a very high voltage and charge storage per unit mass and unit volume.
Lithium-ion batteries can use a number of different materials as electrodes. The most common combination is that of lithium cobalt oxide (cathode) and graphite (anode), which is most commonly found in portable electronic devices such as cellphones and laptops. Other cathode materials include lithium manganese oxide (used in hybrid electric and electric automobiles) and lithium iron phosphate. Lithium-ion batteries typically use ether (a class of organic compounds) as an electrolyte
Why Lithium-Ion Battery
- It is specially designed for optimum performance, very long life, and high reliability. These are evidently suitable for a wide range of applications; UPS Back-up for inverter Electric equipment/vehicles Solar installations This is a perfect Match for your Inverter & UPS Systems.
- Performs under extreme conditions.
- Withstands Deep Discharge and Overcharge. Excellent charge acceptance with either electricity or with solar panels
- No corrosion, no leakages and light weight. It can supply more current than a normal lead acid battery would. Its lighter and can be carried more easily around, than you can carry a traditional lead acid battery.
Advantages of Lithium-ion Batteries over other solar Batteries
Here are seven quick figures comparing lead and lithium-based batteries, and what that means for your quest for energy independence and finding the best batteries for solar.
- WEIGHT: As mentioned, lead is pretty heavy. That means lead-based batteries are typically more than three times the weight of their lithium counterparts.
- EFFICIENCY: When compared to modern alternatives, lead acid batteries are highly inefficient for both charge and discharge, meaning you’ll see a loss in amps while charging and a fast voltage drop during discharge that decreases the total capacity of your battery. Lithium ion batteries nearly solve the efficiency issue (more on that later).
- DISCHARGE: When using a lead-based battery, you’ll notice it never discharges more than 80%. In fact, most manufacturers recommend a discharge depth of no greater than 50%, while the lithium ion solar battery achieve almost a 100% discharge.
- CYCLE LIFE: When it comes to batteries you’d typically find in a home or mobile solar setup, most lead batteries achieve just 300 or so lifetime cycles, while lithium batteries can hit 700 to 800. On top of that, cycle life in lead acid batteries is highly dependent on the level of discharge we mentioned above, while standard lithium ion batteries are only slightly affected by discharge level.
- VOLTAGE: You’ll see nearly constant voltage levels through the whole discharge cycle of a lithium ion battery, while lead batteries experience a constant drop of voltage. Maintaining voltage translates to better efficiency.
- COST: Lead-based batteries are the cheapest to produce, but the real cost of owning a lithium battery is far lower when you factor in performance and the battery’s better longevity.
- ENVIRONMETAL IMPACT: Solar lithium batteries are the superior option in terms of environmental impact. It is clearly evident that lithium-ion batteries are the pinnacle of rechargeable battery tech with just little room for improvement, and very soon lead-based batteries would be on their way out.
Disadvantages of Lithium-ion Batteries
Despite their technological promise, Lithium-ion batteries still have a number of shortcomings, particularly with regards to safety.
- Lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to overheat, and can be damaged at high voltages. In some cases this can lead to thermal runaway and combustion.
- Like other solar batteries, Lithium-ion batteries are also subject to aging, meaning that they can lose capacity and frequently fail after a number of years.