Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries had been the power of choice for smartphones and various other portable devices. However, lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries are now gradually replacing Li-ion as the mainstream battery for most smart devices. We’re going to discuss the differences between these two types of batteries in today’s Battery Monday.
Lithium-ion batteries consist of positive and negative electrodes and are separated by a liquid chemical electrolyte, such as ethylene carbonate or diethyl carbonate. These batteries are mostly cylindrical or rectangular in shape due to the limitations of the manufacturing process and the housing material.
Like all batteries, the capacity of lithium-ion batteries decreases with the charge cycle and can even discharge when not in use. To make matters worse, the chemical electrolyte can become unstable at extreme temperatures. If punctured, thermal runaway or fires can occur.
Standard lithium-ion batteries require a strong case to press the electrodes together while lithium polymer does not. As a result, small LiPo batteries are lighter in weight compared to traditional hard-shell batteries, and thin-film technology can offer more flexible designs that more accurately fit the space in the battery compartment. These cell designs can be made in a myriad of shapes, such as ultra-thin, curved, etc., which also allows for more energy storage.
Moreover, in LiPo batteries, the microporous electrolyte replaces the traditional porous diaphragm, and an aluminum-plastic composite film is used as the packaging material. This aluminum film allows for more flexibility and a lower chance of thermal runaway and explosion from electrolyte leakage.
Lithium-ion batteries will have a longer life than most other types of batteries. They can last about two to three years or even longer and about 300-500 charge cycles. Their cycle life continues to improve as lithium-polymer battery production and technology matures.
Both lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries are suitable for high power use. However, lithium-ion batteries are more widely available at a lower price, making them more suitable for mass use.
There are ultimately pros and cons to using either Li-ion and LiPo batteries, and the best one will be according to clients’ needs. However, with the progression of modern technology and the increased necessity of more technologically-advanced devices, we at Grepow strongly believe that lithium polymer batteries will be more sought after.
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