Why do we use Li-ion batteries and what are the risks
Blog | 09.10.20
Labino is known for designing and manufacturing Ultraviolet (UV) products, continuously aiming to increase their efficiency, portability, and effectiveness in a nondestructive testing inspection environment. Lithium batteries are an essential part of the process.
UV lamps are products that require much more energy than the traditional white light lamps you might be using in your leisure time. Li-ion batteries are lighter and have higher energy density than other rechargeable batteries and that is why they are preferred. At the same time, UV lamps generate much more heat than other types of lamps and certain amount of caution is warranted.
It is important that Li-ion batteries are treated with respect, stored properly, and maintained properly. Marketing campaigns encouraging consumers mistreating products that contain lithium batteries are simply sending the wrong message. Lithium batteries are classified by international organizations such as IATA as “dangerous goods”. Labino does not recommend that you drop products with lithium batteries for fun as several incidences, none involving Labino products, have occurred and recorded by IATA and the FAA office of security and hazardous materials safety. Labino makes all necessary tests for you. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and 38.3 reports are available for yours and your freight forwarders review.
GENERAL ADVANTAGES OF LITHIUM ION BATTERY
Smaller and lighter: Li-ion battery is lighter than other rechargeable batteries. This makes it more practical in portable UV lights where physical specifications such as weight and size matter.
High energy density: Li-ion battery has higher energy density than other rechargeable batteries. This is suitable for use in power-hungry devices such as UV lights.
Low self-discharge: Li-ion battery also has a low self-discharge rate of about 1.5 percent per month. This means that the battery has a longer shelf life when not in use. The corresponding number for Nickel-metal hydride battery is a self-discharge of 20 percent per month.
Zero to low memory effect: Li-ion battery has zero to minimal memory effect. Take note than memory effect is a phenomenon observed in rechargeable batteries in which they lose their maximum energy capacity when repeated recharged after being only partially discharged. This memory effect is common in nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries such as NiCd and NiMH.
Quick charging: Li-ion battery is quicker to charge than other rechargeable batteries.
Longer lifespan: Li-ion battery can typically handle hundreds of charge-discharge cycles. Some lithium ion batteries loss 30 percent of their capacity after 1000 cycles while more advanced lithium ion batteries still have better capacity only after 5000 cycles.
GENERAL DISADVANTAGES OF LITHIUM ION BATTERY
Expensive: Li-ion battery is expensive to manufacture. In fact, the total product cost of this battery is around 40 percent higher than nickel-metal hydride battery. Take note that this battery needs an on-board computer circuitry to manage and ensure that voltage and current are well within the safe limits. This circuitry makes it more expensive.
Sensitivity to high temperature: Li-ion battery is susceptible to the downside of too much heat caused by overheating of the device or overcharging. Heat causes the cells or packs of this battery to degrade faster than they normally would.
Aging effect: Li-ion battery will naturally degrade as soon as they leave the factory. This means that it is not completely durable despite longer charge-discharge lifecycle because of this normal degradation that transpires whether consumers use them or not. Storage in a cool place at 40 percent charge reduces the aging effect.
Deep discharge: Li-ion battery has low self-discharge. The general integrity of this battery remains intact even if partially discharged. However, deep discharge or when the voltage of a lithium ion cell drops below a certain level, it becomes unusable.
Safety concerns: Li-ion battery may explode when overheated or overcharged. This is because gasses formed by electrolyte decomposition increases the internal pressure of the cell. Overheating or internal short circuit can also ignite the electrolyte and cause fire. This risk might also subject li-ion batteries to transportation restrictions, especially when shipped in larger quantities.