Using Lithium-Ion Batteries
Researching how to use lithium as an anode, or main component, of a battery began as early as 1912 but the product did not become commercially available until 1970s. Scientists then worked to create a rechargeable battery and eventually came up with the lithium-ion battery which is a lithium compound that makes it stable enough for recharging.
The Lithium-ion (or Li-ion) battery is used in many different devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other rechargeable devices.
Advantages of Rechargeable Lithium Batteries
- Shelf-Life: Because lithium-ions dont have a high self-discharge rate, it can remain charged for longer than other rechargeable batteries made from nickel-cadmium (NiCd) which can lose anywhere from 1-5% of its charge every day. You can use your charger on a lithium-ion and then let it sit for a few months. It will still have nearly all of its charge.
- Short Charge Times: These often charge faster than other batteries so you wont find yourself without a battery or device for long.
- High Drain: Li-ion batteries can discharge high current without damaging the battery or tripping any protection measures. This can be extremely useful for devices that require a lot of current like vaping.
- Memory Effect: Other kinds of rechargeable batteries require the battery to be fully drained before being charged. Otherwise, they are subject to what is known as the "memory effect" where they will jump to the energy point they began charging at when used. A rechargeable lithium battery doesnt require draining and it is in fact discouraged because it shortens their life span.
Disadvantages of Li-ion Batteries
- Protection Circuit: Lithium batteries require more safety measures than some other forms of batteries. Unlike alkaline or nickel cadmium which may just leak or burst, lithium batteries can ignite or explode. For that reason, there are often a number of safety measures such as protection circuits, if the lithium battery starts getting stressed.
- High Temperatures: The battery cant get too hot, otherwise the battery begins to degrade and lose charge. Getting too hot can cause it to become unstable, which will usually kick in the protection circuits.
What Can You Use a 3 Volt Lithium Battery For?
- Digital Cameras: Digital cameras such as a Kodak, Nikon, or Arlo cameras use either a regular 3V lithium battery or a rechargeable one. These batteries usually contain enough power to handle 300 to 600 pictures before needing a charge.
- Flashlights: Because they dont self-discharge rapidly, lithium batteries are ideal for emergency flashlights. Even if the flashlight sits idle for a month on a shelf, it most likely will still turn on.
- Home Theater Remotes: 3V lithium-ion batteries can come in button cell form which can be used in smaller devices such as remotes or even car keys. Due to their long shelf-life, they can work for years before needing to be recharged or replaced.
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