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Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 3 – Lithium Ion

Posted on 13th June 2019

Euro Energy Guide to Battery Chemistries number 3 – Lithium Ion

It’s approaching 30 years since the first Lithium Ion (Li Ion or Li-Ion) batteries were manufactured commercially.  Constant evolution, driven by the World’s desire to move away from fossil fuels for automotive applications, has resulted in higher discharge current, faster charging and enhanced safety. Whilst success here is the big prize, developments are beneficial across all industry sectors.

Li-Ion has many benefits over other chemistries, such as;

  • Low self-discharge. Around 10% of that experienced with Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH or NiMH)
  • High terminal voltage, three times that of Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Very high energy density, more than twice that of Nickel Metal Hydride
  • A flat discharge voltage profile, with very little voltage reduction during discharge

These characteristics have led to battery packs of a similar voltage and capacity reducing by 55 to 60% in volume and weight when compared with Ni-MH alternatives. Clearly for many products this gives a distinct advantage.

Lithium Ion cells ability to ‘Vent with flame’ is a well- documented phenomenon, and big steps have been taken to ensure this possibility is minimised, primarily by the inclusion of a safety circuit or PCM, or BMS in all lithium batteries. The function of this circuit is to isolate the cells from the output wires should an adverse incident occur. Safety concerns have also led to them being classified by the UN as Class 9 Miscellaneous dangerous goods for shipping purposes, either by road, rail, air or sea. Compliance is a legal requirement, and is a costly process when placing new designs on the market. This is often the prohibitive factor for the use of Li-Ion on small to medium project requirements.    

Euro Energy can lead you through the compliance process, or alternatively we may already have a suitable pre-approved ‘Project Ready’ soft pack in our ever-growing range. If you have a requirement, call our Technical Team to discuss – there’s a good chance we have the solution to your problem!

For further information on Lithium Ion (Li Ion/Li-IOn) cells and battery packs or to learn more about our custom battery pack design and build service, contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email info@euroenergy.co.uk

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