Among all the battery types available, the lithium-ion battery comes out on top for most applications. Scientists agree that solid-state batteries are the future of electricity storage, and lithium-ion is something that we have commercially available today.
Still, several manufacturers make them for several applications, and choosing the right one can get confusing. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn all about why lithium-ion batteries are so popular and the top 5 best lithium-ion battery manufacturers by usage.
What Are Lithium-Ion Batteries and Why Are They So Popular
These are solid-state batteries that use lithium as the primary ion for exchanging charges, hence the name. They are popular due to their high thermal stability, flexible and lightweight design, extended life cycle, and increased safety compared to other battery types.
How Do Lithium-Ion Batteries Work
While lithium-ion batteries come in various shapes and sizes, they all work on the same basic principle. A carbon-covered anode stores the lithium, whereas the cathode is made from lithium oxide doped with cobalt. The electrolyte is usually lithium hexafluorophosphate, which has high ionic conductivity without dissipating too much heat.
During the discharging process, the lithium anode loses electrons, oxidizing into lithium ions and displacing the lithium ions within the electrolyte. The lithium absorbs the electrons within the cathode and reacts with the carbon to form lithium carbide. The oxygen ions react with the cobalt and create cobalt oxide. The reactions are reversed during the charging process.
The Benefits of Using a Lithium-Ion Battery
Lithium-ion batteries have several benefits over other variants that make them suitable for various applications. These include, but are certainly not limited to, the following.
Being solid-state batteries, lithium-ion doesn’t dissipate too much heat. None of the ions changes its state, so there are no significant thermic reactions. It makes the battery safer than other variants like lead-acid and nickel-cadmium. Moreover, because no highly toxic materials are involved, the repair and disposal of lithium-ion batteries are much safer.
Thanks to high thermal stability and negligible electrolyte loss, lithium-ion batteries can function adequately for a long time. While typical lead-acid batteries have an average lifespan of three years, a Li-ion battery can last well over five years, going over a decade, if kept under strict environmental control.
Li-ion batteries are highly durable since they can be sealed tight to resist the harmful elements of their surroundings. Such batteries are waterproof, dustproof, able to withstand severe vibrations, and can survive high-speed impacts against rigid surfaces, provided they have the correct case covers.
Lithium has a high rate of conductivity, despite being one of the lightest metals on the planet. Therefore, you can build a high-capacity battery that can power a bus without weighing as much as one. The weight-saving measures also augment other features. So, you have a battery fit for highly specialized tasks, like powering a drone or running a mini-cooler on a fishing boat.
Have you ever seen phone or car advertisements that claim to recharge within surprising timeframes? Chances are, all of them use lithium-ion batteries. Thanks to its solid-electrolyte design, it is swift to divert a high volume of charges to the electrodes. That doesn’t just allow for more high current output but also a level of fast charging that would make any other type of battery explode.
Li-ion batteries have no aqueous solutions, making them suitable for a wide range of designs. You can manufacture the battery as cylinders, sheets, boxes, or any other frame without worrying about leakage or stress points.
5 Best Lithium-Ion Batteries on the Market Today
While you can get lithium-ion batteries from most major battery manufacturers available in your area, some stand out for their performance and value. Here are a few of them that retain the top spot for their respective fields.
Samsung AA Li-ion Batteries
Samsung is a massive company that remains at the forefront of consumer-related goods. It manufactures a wide range of electrical components (including batteries) and devices that offer excellent value for money. Its lithium-ion batteries are no different.
You can get rechargeable AA and AAA Samsung batteries that can last for years. All their phone batteries are self-manufactured. Samsung also offers solutions for power banks, smart watches, e-bikes, and vacuum cleaners that utilize its Li-ion battery technology.
Panasonic 4680 EV Battery
In the case of large-size EVs, Panasonic is at the forefront of innovation. Its contract with Tesla is all you need to know about how reliable and long-lasting the batteries are. They have recently unveiled the new 4680 series that offers 15% more efficient than its predecessors. That means that future Teslas are destined to go further and faster without risking the safety of their passengers.
It is a battery that you can run in dual modes. One stabilizes the voltage at high current discharge, providing more acceleration, while the other maintains a low current output, reducing the top speed but increasing the car’s available range.
ExpertPower 12V 100Ah Lithium Deep Cycle Battery
This is the battery that’s best for solar or wind charging applications. ExpertPower batteries work with lithium-iron-phosphate as the core electrolyte, which makes them much more suitable for changing temperatures than other lithium-ion batteries. It is only one-third the weight of an equivalent lead-acid battery. So, you can use it for RV, van, marine, or off-grid applications.
Exide Integra Lithium-Ion Batteries
For the best Li-ion battery for domestic inverters, you can’t get any better than Exide Integra. It is a state-of-the-art pure sine wave UPS system that can safely manage your home’s electrical supply. Yes, it is a bit expensive, but it has a maximum capacity of 720 Watts and a sleek wall-mounted design that can fit any home.
Exide provides a 5-year warranty for both the inverter and the battery, and the system can automatically manage overload and short-circuit issues, keeping the rest of the appliances safe.
Energizer Energi To Go XP18000
There may be circumstances when you require power to your laptop or smartphone without a power outlet. The Energi To Go XP18000 from Energizer is your perfect companion for those occasions. It is a lightweight mini-inverter that can give you 6 hours of battery backup for your laptop and up to 72 hours for your smartphone. It can hold a charge for one year and features auto shut-off after a full charge.
How To Choose the Right Lithium-Ion Battery for Your Needs
When choosing the correct lithium battery, you must consider a few factors.
Lithium-ion batteries are highly susceptible to changes in temperature. It can’t operate efficiently in temperatures below 12°C (53.6°F) and above 40°C (104°F). Thus, if you encounter such temperatures, it is best to choose a battery with good insulation.
Lithium-ion batteries have high thermal stability, but they still have limits to the maximum current output. If you desire high current density, then you should go with lithium-iron-phosphate variants. For improved voltage capacity, lithium hexafluorophosphate is best used as an electrolyte.
Source of Electricity
The source of electricity that you use to recharge determines which battery suits you best. If you charge with high-density sources like power grids or solar energy, you should prefer high-capacity batteries, preferably ones with more than 200 Ah.
Ease of Replacement
Depending on which manufacturer supplies your lithium-ion batteries, your battery may have a different lifecycle. Some offer a 3-year warranty while others offer more than five. You should choose the one depending on how easy it is to replace the battery. Keep in mind that a more extended lifespan usually means higher costs.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Lithium-Ion Battery
You can make your battery last much longer than its rated lifespan through a few simple steps.
- Keep the battery in an isolated chamber and at a consistent temperature.
- Check the terminal voltage using a multimeter every few months.
- Clean the terminals with a mild solvent if you spot any dirt or rust.
- If the seal of the battery is light, keep the surface tidy by cleaning it with a soft cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Lithium Batteries Are Best?
It depends upon the application. Some can support a high current density, while others have exceptional voltage capacity. The best batteries come with insulated seal covers and a multiple-year warranty.
What Is the Strongest Lithium-Ion Battery?
So far, Panasonic has been able to manufacture the most robust lithium-ion battery, with its latest being the 4680 series. They can propel a Tesla Model S to 347 Km/h (216 mph).
Which Battery Is Best for the Long Term?
Samsung lithium-ion batteries last the longest if you consider portable electronics. For bigger capacity, you should consider ExpertPower deep cycle batteries.
Who Is the Best Battery Manufacturer?
Again, it depends on which application you consider. Panasonic takes charge of EVs, whereas Exide is the leader for domestic inverters.
And that concludes our guide for the top 5 lithium-ion battery manufacturers that you can access online or through your local store. Did we miss any out? What are your thoughts on the viability of Li-ion batteries? Let us know in the comments below.