Batteries seem to be everywhere between electric cars, cell phones, and laptops. That won't change anytime soon. Worldwide electricity consumption is increasing rapidly, and smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are becoming more and more popular. Additionally,lightweight lithium polymer battery packs are being used to store energy as the renewable energy sector grows.
Engineers and scientists have developed many new technologies to meet our storage needs, but none of them seem to prove to be the best. Flywheel, compressed air, and heat storage are strong competitors for large-scale storage, while lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride batteries compete for portable energy storage. It all depends on the fact that we have not found an optimal way to store our electricity. This article describes the technology and capabilities of lithium batteries.
Until the 1990s, nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries were nearly the only choice for rechargeable batteries. The main problem with this device is the high-temperature coefficient. This means that the efficiency of the cell drops significantly when heated.
Lithium-ion cells have been used in hundreds of applications including electric cars, pacemakers, laptops, and small military networks. It is very low maintenance and energy-efficient. Unfortunately, commercial lithium-ion cells have some serious drawbacks. It is expensive, brittle, and has a short life in deep cycle applications. The future of many entry-level technologies, including electric cars, hinges on improving cell performance.