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Why are lithium polymer batteries so popular?

by:dcfpower     2021-03-13

Polymers usually refer to certain types of lithium-based batteries, which are usually known as pouch or prismatic batteries. Lithium polymer is different from other battery systems of the type of electrolyte used. The original polymer design dates back to the 1970s and used solid (dry) polymer electrolytes similar to plastic films. The insulator allows the exchange of ions (charged atoms) and replaces the traditional porous separator impregnated with electrolyte.

Solid polymers have poor conductivity at room temperature, and batteries must be heated to 60°C (140°F) or higher to allow current to flow. Large polymer batteries for stationary applications were installed, requiring heating, but these have disappeared. The much-anticipated hype promised in the early 21st century for 'real plastic batteries' did not materialize because electrical conductivity was not available at ambient temperatures. In order to make modern lithium polymer batteries conduct electricity at room temperature, gel electrolytes are added. Most lithium-ion polymer batteries currently contain microporous separators and some moisture. Lithium polymer can be built on many systems, such as Li-cobalt, NMC, Li-phosphate and Li-manganese, and is not considered a unique battery chemistry. Most lithium polymer packaging is cobalt-based, and other active materials can also be added.

What is the difference between ordinary lithium ion and lithium ion polymer with gel electrolyte?

As far as users are concerned, lithium polymer is basically the same as lithium ion. Both use the same cathode and anode materials and contain similar amounts of electrolyte. The unique feature of lithium polymer is that the microporous electrolyte replaces the traditional porous diaphragm. Lithium polymer provides slightly higher specific energy and can be made thinner than traditional lithium ion, but it is said that the manufacturing cost is higher than the cylindrical design. For discussion purposes, pouch batteries are generally identified as Li-polymers.

Lithium polymer batteries also use a flexible foil-like casing, similar to food packaging. Although standard lithium-ion batteries require a rigid casing to press the electrodes together, lithium polymer uses laminates that do not require compression. Compared with the traditional hard shell, the aluminum foil shell can reduce the weight by more than 20%. Thin-film technology liberates the design, because the battery can be made into any shape and neatly fit into fashionable mobile phones and tablets. Lithium polymer can also be made very thin, similar to the thickness of a credit card. Light weight and high specific power make lithium polymer the first choice for amateurs. The charging and discharging characteristics of lithium polymer are the same as other lithium-ion systems, and no special charger is required. The security issues are similar, all of which require protection circuits. Note: The gas volume gathering during the charging process causes some prismatic and pouch-shaped batteries to expand. Therefore, equipment manufacturers must consider expansion.

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