Ultra-detailed Lithium Battery Knowledge

Lithium Battery Energy Storage Production Line​

Lithium batteries are rechargeable batteries that use graphite or other carbon materials as the negative electrode and lithium-containing compounds as the positive electrode. It is a kind of battery that uses lithium metal or lithium alloy as positive/negative electrode material and uses a non-aqueous electrolyte solution.

The Development of Lithium Batteries

The first patent on lithium-ion batteries was published in 1981.

In 1992, SONY began mass production of civilian lithium-ion batteries.

In 1998, a large number of square lithium-ion batteries were put on the market, occupying a large market share.

In 1999, mass production of lithium-ion batteries began in China.


The Classification of Lithium Batteries

Classification by shape

Cylindrical lithium battery

Cylindrical lithium-ion battery, its model name is generally 5 digits, the first two digits are the diameter of the battery, the middle two digits are the height of the battery, and the last digit 0 represents a cylindrical shape, in millimeters.

The most commonly used cylindrical lithium batteries:

  • 18650 lithium battery
  • 14500 lithium battery
  • 18500 lithium battery
  • 21700 lithium battery
  • 26650 lithium battery
  • 32650 (32700) lithium battery
Square lithium battery

Square lithium battery usually refers to aluminum shell or steel shell square lithium battery, which is widely used in exploration and mapping, medical equipment, and portable testing equipment.

Classification by shell

Steel case lithium battery

Most of the early lithium-ion batteries had steel casings. Due to the heavy weight of the steel shell and poor safety, but the strong stability of the steel, many manufacturers optimized the design structure through safety valves, PTC, and other devices in the later period, which greatly increased its safety performance. And some directly replace the steel shell, using an aluminum shell and soft package, such as the current mobile phone battery.

Aluminum shell lithium battery

Aluminum-shell lithium-ion batteries are slightly better than steel-shell lithium-ion batteries due to their lighter weight and safety.

Flexible packaging lithium battery

Due to its lightweight, low cost of mold opening, and high safety, flexible packaging lithium-ion batteries are gradually expanding their market share.

Classification by the positive electrode material

There are currently four types of cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries:

  • Lithium cobalt oxide battery
  • Lithium manganate battery
  • Lithium iron phosphate battery
  • Nickel cobalt manganese (ternary) lithium battery
Project Lithium cobalt oxide battery Nickel Cobalt Manganese (ternary) Lithium manganese oxide Lithium Iron Phosphate
Tap density (g/cm3) 2.8~3.0 2.0~2.3 2.2~2.4 1.0~1.4
Specific surface area (m2/g) 0.4~0.6 0.2~0.4 0.4~0.8 12~20
Gram capacity ( mAh /g) 135~140 140~180 90~100 130~140
Voltage Platform (V) 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.2
Cycle performance ≥500 times ≥500 times ≥300 times ≥2000 times
Safety performance Difference better good excellent
Applicable fields Small and medium batteries Small battery/small power battery Power Battery, a low-cost battery Power battery/super-capacity power supply

Classification by Electrolyte

Liquid Lithium Ion Batteries

The liquid lithium-ion battery uses a liquid electrolyte, and the electrolyte is an organic solvent + lithium salt.


The polymer lithium-ion battery is replaced by a solid polymer electrolyte. This polymer can be “dry” or “colloidal”. At present, most polymer colloidal electrolytes are used. The matrix of the polymer is mainly HFP-PVDF, PEO, PAN, and PMMA.

All-solid-state lithium-ion battery

“All-solid-state lithium battery” is a lithium battery in which the electrodes and electrolyte materials used in the working temperature range are solid and do not contain any liquid components, so the full name is “all-solid-state electrolyte lithium battery”.


Application Areas of Lithium Batteries

Consumer goods

Mainly used in digital products, mobile phones, mobile power, notebooks, and other electronic equipment. Commonly used are 18650 lithium batteries, and lithium polymer batteries.

Industrial field

Mainly used in medical electronics, photovoltaic energy storage, railway infrastructure, security communications, exploration and mapping, and other fields. Commonly used are energy storage/power lithium batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries, polymer lithium batteries, and 18650 lithium batteries.

Special field

Mainly used in, aerospace, ships, satellite navigation, high-energy physics, and other fields. Commonly used are ultra-low temperature lithium batteries, high-temperature lithium batteries, lithium titanate batteries, explosion-proof lithium batteries, etc.


Lithium Battery Parameters


Standard voltage

The potential difference between the positive and negative electrodes of the lithium battery is called the nominal voltage of the lithium battery. The nominal voltage is determined by the electrode potential of the plate material and the concentration of the internal electrolyte.

Open circuit voltage

The terminal voltage of the lithium battery in the open circuit state is called the open circuit voltage. The open circuit voltage of a lithium battery is equal to the difference between the reduction electrode potential of the positive electrode and the negative electrode potential of the lithium battery.

Operating voltage

The working voltage refers to the voltage displayed during the discharge process after the lithium battery is connected to the load, also known as the discharge voltage. The working voltage at the beginning of the discharge of the lithium battery is called the initial voltage.

Recommended voltage for lithium batteries:
  • 12V lithium battery
  • 24V lithium battery
  • 36V lithium battery
  • 48V lithium battery


The amount of electricity that a lithium battery can give under certain discharge conditions is called the capacity of a lithium battery, which is represented by the symbol C. The commonly used unit is ampere-hour, abbreviated as ampere-hour (Ah) or milliampere-hour (mAh).

The capacity of a lithium battery is affected by the cathode material used, the temperature of the battery, the discharge rate, and the voltage.

Internal resistance

The internal resistance of the lithium battery refers to the resistance when the current passes through the interior of the lithium battery, and the internal resistance will affect the voltage of the lithium battery.

Cycle life

The cycle life of a lithium battery is generally expressed by the number of times of use, and one cycle represents a complete charge and discharge cycle of the lithium battery (that is, the lithium battery is charged from empty to full, and then discharged from full to empty).

Note: The cycle characteristics of lithium batteries are good, and generally, about 80% of the capacity can be maintained after 500 cycles.

Discharge rate

The discharge rate refers to the magnitude of the current of the lithium battery during discharge, which is generally expressed by C, and expressed by the formula:

Discharge rate = discharge current / rated capacity

Note: Since lithium batteries use organic solvent electrolytes, the conductivity is generally only a few percent of that of lead-acid or alkaline battery electrolytes. Therefore, when the lithium-ion battery is discharged at a large current, it is too late to replenish Li+ from the electrolyte, and a voltage drop will occur.

Operating temperature

The working temperature of the lithium battery refers to the environment and the temperature of the battery itself that the lithium battery can adapt to when it can maintain normal charge and discharge operation.

When the lithium battery is at a low temperature, the discharge platform is reduced to a certain extent. When the temperature is high, the cycle performance of the battery will be affected, and the battery will swell slightly. Therefore, the battery is generally recommended to work in the range of 0-40 °C.


Lithium battery and lead-acid battery, NiMH battery

Project Lithium battery Lead-acid batteries NiMH batteries
The energy density ( wh /kg) 200~260wh/kg 50~70wh/kg 40~70wh/kg
Open circuit voltage (v) 3.6V 2.0V 1.2V
Cycle life (times) 300-2500 400-600 300-350
charging speed quick slow very slow
memory effect none none Have
Environmental performance less pollution high pollution low pollution


Energy Storage Lithium Battery Pack

The energy storage lithium battery Pack refers to the processing and assembly of lithium batteries, mainly to process cells, protection boards, BMS, connecting sheets, label paper, etc. into the products required by customers through the battery PACK process.

Click here to view Sunket Energy Storage Lithium Batteries.


Lithium Battery Safety Test

The best lithium batteries meet the UL2054 safety standard (lithium batteries) and complete the following tests:

Electrical performance test

  1. Short circuit test
  2. Abnormal charging test
  3. Forced overcharge test
  4. Forced discharge test
  5. Limited voltage test

Mechanical test

  1. Crush Test
  2. Vibration Test

Peripheral test

  1. Casting pressure release test
  2. Burning test
  3. Jet test

Environmental test

  1. Heating test
  2. Thermal cycle test


Lithium Battery Transportation

Lithium battery transportation methods include air, water, and land transportation. The most commonly used are air transportation and ocean transportation.

Since lithium is a metal that is particularly prone to chemical reactions, it is easy to expand and burn, so lithium batteries are prone to combustion and explosion due to improper packaging and transportation.

Packaging requirements for lithium batteries:

  1. It must be packaged in the UN specification package specified in the DGR Dangerous Goods Code in accordance with the applicable packaging instructions, and the corresponding number must be fully displayed on the package.
  2. Class 9 hazard labels must be affixed.
  3. The dangerous goods declaration form must be filled out and the corresponding dangerous package certificate must be provided.

Shipping requirements for lithium batteries:

  1. The battery must pass the UN 38.3 test requirements and the 1.2m drop package test.
  2. The provided dangerous goods declaration document shall be marked with the UN number.
  3. Batteries should be protected against short circuits and in the same package to prevent contact with conductive substances that can cause short circuits.
  4. To avoid strong vibration during handling, use corner protectors to protect the vertical and horizontal sides of the pallet.


How to Use Lithium Batteries Correctly

Lithium battery storage:

The most critical storage conditions for lithium batteries are temperature and humidity. It is recommended to store them in an environment with a temperature of 20 °C. Pay attention to moisture and humidity, and do not leave lithium batteries in a power-depleted state. Do not squeeze, collide, and do not store in places with strong static electricity and strong magnetic fields.

Lithium battery charging and discharging:

Do not overcharge, do not use inferior chargers, and do not blindly use high-rate chargers. Do not discharge more than 80% of the battery capacity.


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