What are lithium batteries?
Lithium batteries are batteries composed of a series of chemical components enclosed in a casing, connected to the outside through two metal ends, one positive and one negative. This type of battery is ideal for use in devices with extended run time such as watches, flashlights, games, burglar alarms, sensors, and cameras.
How do lithium batteries work?
Lithium-ion batteries are composed of one or more electronic parts capable of producing energy, called cells. Each consists of three elements:
- A cathode, which is a positive electrode;
- An anode, which is a negative electrode;
- A chemical substance, called an electrolyte
When the battery is being charged, the cathode releases some lithium ions. They pass through the electrolyte and are then accumulated in the anode: as they continue to flow through it, they become negatively charged and generate energy. When these negatively charged ions stop moving through the electrolyte, the battery is charged.
Conversely, when the battery is being discharged, the opposite process occurs: the ions travel from the anode to the cathode, thus supplying energy to the battery (and, consequently, to the device connected to it). Once they arrive at their destination, they combine with the electrons in the cathode, depositing themselves.
It is the path taken by the ions that determines how long it takes to charge and discharge the battery: Since the charging phase takes place on an internal circuit and the discharging phase on an external one, it goes without saying that charging the battery takes much less time.
What are the advantages of lithium-ion batteries?
The main advantage offered by lithium-ion batteries is, undoubtedly, their efficiency. Compared with conventional batteries (such as, for example, lead-acid batteries), for the same volume and mass, lithium batteries are able to deliver a greater amount of energy.
In summary, compared with conventional batteries, lithium-ion batteries ensure:
- High voltage;
- Strong discharge current;
- High energy efficiency;
- Strong spill resistance;
- Weak self-discharge and excellent storage life.
Lithium-ion batteries provide numerous benefits, both in terms of durability and performance. This is why they find applications in areas where energy is needed for long periods such as photography, measurement instrumentation, lighting or radio communications.