What should I know about lithium batteries?

Answer

This is the latest technology in the field of rechargeable batteries. The lithium rechargeable battery has a tremendous energy density. The volume is much smaller and lighter compared to NiMH batteries and the voltage of a lithium battery is much higher (3,7 Volt). Furthermore, the self-discharge is not high and does not damage the battery in case of prolonged overload. Two types of rechargeable lithium batteries can be distinguished:

  • Lithium-Ion. This technology doesn’t make use of lithium metals for the negative electrodes. Instead, carbon is used that absorbs lithium ions. This system is much more environmentally friendly compared to other rechargeable batteries. For example, this battery type doesn’t make use of toxic substances such as cadmium, lead or mercury.
  • Lithium polymer. This type of battery makes use of a gel substance and is mainly used in small electronic applications. The high energy density, low self-discharge, but in particular the voltage of 3,7V make lithium polymer batteries superior compared to other rechargeable battery systems. The capacity of a lithium polymer cell depends on what type and brand of battery is concerned, but this varies roughly between 300 mAh and 8000 mAh. In terms of equipment, these batteries should be charged with special chargers. The regular NiCd/NiMH chargers are not suitable for recharging these battery types.


Applications of lithium rechargeable batteries:

  • Photo and video equipment.
  • Laptops.
  • Mobile phones.
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