There are many new announcements made about batteries that are said to provide a range of advantages over the current crop of batteries on offer. Claims that include very high energy densities, ever higher charging / discharging cycles and battery profiles that are so slim that they are paper thin. Are these optimistic claims real (or fictitious)? Well almost, but typically they will not all exist within the same individual battery shell.
Each battery will be designed to target maybe one or two key issues. While one battery design maybe oriented towards a smaller size and extended run-time, this particular battery may not last long and is likely to deteriorate prematurely. Another battery design may be targeted at a longer life, but the size necessary to achieve this is relatively large and cumbersome. However, a third battery design may offer all of the targeted ingrediants but the cost of development and production means that the retail price would be too high to make it viable for commercial applications.
All the major Battery Manufacturers are in tune with the needs of their customer and have offered a broad range of battery pack designs that best suit the specific application at hand. When a generalised pack fails to provide for the specific needs of an application, a custom battery pack design may be required. PMBL are a Custom Battery Pack Design and Assembly Company based in the UK that can you help with this.
New battery designs place an emphasis on smaller sizes, higher energy densities and lower price models. Typically, the life span of the battery is a secondary consideration. Some of the general advantages and limitations of the current range of commercial battery designs available are as follows:
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Battery: Typically NiMH batteries have a relatively higher energy density (when compared to the NiCd Battery). This is usually at the expense of reduced cycle life. Main applications of NiMH Batteries include: mobile phones and laptop computers. However NiMH is toxic metal free and therefore environmentally friendly.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Battery: A well known and understood mature battery technology that is relatively low in energy density when compared to other technologies (such as NiMH). Key benefits are long life, high discharge rates and good price performance. Main applications where NiCd batteries are used include professional video equipment, power tools, two way radios and bio-medical equipment. One significant downside is that the NiCd contains toxic metals and is therefore unfriendly from an environmental perspective.
Lead Acid Battery: Generally, the most economical battery technology for larger power applications where weight is not a major limitation or concern. The lead acid battery is still the main choice for general hospital equipment, wheelchairs, emergency lighting and UPS systems.
Lithium Ion (Li‑ion) Battery: This continues to be one fastest growing battery technologies. Li‑ion is commonly used where high energy densities and low battery weight is of the utmost importance. The technology can be fragile and a protection circuit is usually needed to assure safety. Main applications of Li-ion Batteries include: notebook computers and mobile phones.
Lithium Ion Polymer (Li‑ion polymer) Battery: The Li‑ion polymer Battery provides the key attributes of the Li-ion Battery but in an ultra-slim container with simplified packaging. Main application for Li‑ion polymer Batteries are mobile phones.
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