Lithium Ion Battery
Technical Articles

Is lithium-ion considered to be an ideal battery?


Nickel-cadmium was once the suitable battery available for portable equipments to mobile computing to wireless communications. It was during the early 1990s that 12 volt lithium battery and nickel-metal-hydride emerged in the market and slowly gained customer acceptance.

Lithium Ion Battery

About lithium-ion battery

Its energy density is found to be twice when compared to standard nickel-cadmium. However, higher energy densities are possible in the future. Its load characteristics are quite good, while with regards to discharge, it behaves just like nickel-cadmium. The 3.6V high cell voltage offers battery pack designs having single cells. Mobile phones of today require just a single cell for smooth operation. On the other hand, the nickel-based pack is likely to require 1.2v cells of three connected in a series.

Moreover, lithium-ion battery requires low maintenance, something that cannot be claimed by other chemistries. Schedule cycling or memory is not necessary for its durability. Self-discharge is also less by half when compared to nickel-cadmium. This is what makes this battery type to be ideal for modern, sophisticated fuel gauge applications. These cells also do not cause much harm when disposed.

However, it comes with a few drawbacks. 12 volt lithium battery packs type is found to be fragile in nature. For safe operation, there is essential protection circuit. Custom built within each pack, every cell’s protection limit tends to limit peak voltage at the time of charging. This way, the cell voltage does not drop too low when discharged. To avoid temperature extremes, cell temperature is constantly monitored. On most packs, the maximum discharge current and charge is limited to about 1C to 2C. Considering such precautions, metallic lithium plating taking place because of overcharge is almost eliminated.

Another concern is this type of battery is aging an issue not much discussed by the manufacturers. After one year, there can be noticed some capacity deterioration, irrespective of the fact taht the battery is being used or not. But after a couple of years or so, battery is found to fail quite often. Other chemistries are also noticed to have degenerative effects that are age related. For nickel-metal-hydride, it is quite true, if it gets exposed to very high ambient temperatures. In some applications, lithium-ion packs can serve for around 5 years. For more details, refer here!

Manufacturers have been continuously trying to improve this battery type. Every year, there is being introduced new and much more improved chemical combinations. Hence, it becomes a bit tough to evaluate aging of the revised battery.

However, 12 volt lithium battery manufacturer state that the lithium-ion as well as other chemistries aging process can be slowed down by keeping it in a cool place. The recommended temperature to store it is 15 degree Celsius. Also, during storage, the battery needs to be kept in partially charged condition. The recommended charge is around 40%.


• Prolonged priming not essential when new. It just requires just a single charge.
• Speciality cells offer applications like power tools with very high current.
• High energy density. However, there is potentiality to enhance capacities.
• Low maintenance. No memory is present or periodic charge required.
• Relatively low self-discharge. When compared to nickel-based batteries, self-discharge becomes less than half.
• It is subject to aging, which can be reversed by keeping it at 40% charge at a cool place.
• Not completely mature. Chemicals and metals evolve continuously.
• Protection circuit essential to maintain current and voltage within safe limits.
• It is a bit costly which is approximately 40% or more than nickel-cadmium.
• Transportation restrictions. Large quantity shipment is subject to authority control. However, for personal carry-on batteries, restriction does not stand valid.

So, this battery’s advantage makes it useful and in great demand across the globe. Contacting the professionals at 12 volt lithium battery packs manufacturer will allow you to make bulk orders.