Lithium batteries have been available since the 1970s. Technological advances in Lithium battery research have made it the most sought after now. Lithium batteries have a high energy to weight ratio, over 1000 discharge cycles and fast recharging. These batteries are used in mobile phones, security gadgets, drones, electric cars and so on.
Composition of a typical lithium battery cell.
A lithium battery is composed of 4 parts namely;
Cathode: (+ terminal). It is a lithium compound mixed with other materials.
Anode: (+negative terminal). It is a graphite material.
Electrolyte: An organic compound containing lithium salts to transfer lithium ions.
Porous separator: Allows lithium ions to pass through itself but separating the cathode and anode.
Form of Lithium batteries
Pouch: These forms of lithium batteries look like thin foil bags. They have two terminals at an edge of the porch. They are lightweight and cheap to produce. They are used to power cell phones and some types of laptops.
Prismatic: these are similar to pouch in form but more robust. The battery cells are placed in rigid rectangular cases. They have threaded terminals which makes building of larger batteries easier. They are used in high energy storage devices such as electric vehicles and home use.
Cylindrical: These forms of lithium batteries look like the AA batteries we use in our touch lights and remote controls. However the cylindrical lithium battery form is much larger than a typical AA battery in size. Unlike pouch and prismatic forms of lithium batteries, the sizes of cylindrical lithium batteries are standardized. The most commonly used cylindrical battery size is the 18650 cell. The 18650 cell means that the Lithium battery cell is 18mm in diameter and 65 mm long. There are other standard sizes too like the 14500 cell ( 14mm dia & 50mm length) and the 26650 cell( 26mm dia & 65 mm length). Cylindrical lithium battery cells are used in laptops, power banks, electric cars, solar system and so on.