Lithium-Ion vs Lithium Polymer Battery

Lithium-Ion and Lithium-polymer batteries are suitable for high power usage. While Lithium-ion uses a liquid electrolyte, Lithium Polymer uses of dry and solid like gel of electrolyte. Both of them have their own pros and cons. Let's refer to them and discover which is better and why?

Before moving to the comparison of the lithium-ion and the lithium-polymer battery, we have to first understand, what is Lithium-ion and Lithium-polymer battery.

What is a Lithium-Ion Battery?

Lithium-Ion vs Lithium Polymer Battery

Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are a family of rechargeable batteries having high energy density and are commonly used in consumer electronics. Unlike the disposable lithium primary battery, a LIB uses intercalated lithium compound instead of metallic lithium as its electrode.

Usually, LIBs are significantly lighter than other kinds of rechargeable batteries of similar size. LIBs are heavily used in portable electronics. These batteries can be commonly found in PDAs, iPods, cell phones, laptops, etc. This term is also known as an LI-ion.

Lithium ions move from the negative electrode (anode) to the positive electrode (cathode) when a LIB is discharging (cathode). Lithium ions move in the opposite direction when a LIB is charging, the negative electrode becomes the cathode and the positive electrode becomes the anode.

Advantages of Lithium-Ion batteries

  1. A typical LIB can store 150 watt-hours of electricity per kg of battery, compared to 100 watt-hours in a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery and only 25 watt-hours in a lithium-ion battery.
  2. LIBs hold a charge well. They usually lose approximately 5% of their charge each month, against a 20% monthly loss for NiMH batteries.
  3. LIBs do not require complete discharge before recharging.
  4. LIBs can handle more charge/discharge cycles.

Disadvantages of Lithium-ion Batteries

  1. The LIBs start to degrade the moment they leave the factory. They usually last for only two to three years from the date of manufacture, regardless of whether used or unused.
  2. LIBs are highly sensitive to higher temperatures. Higher temperature leads to a much faster degradation rate than normal.
  3. If a LIB is fully discharged, it gets damaged.
  4. LIBs are comparatively expensive.
  5. There exists a small possibility that if the LIB pack fails, it may burst open into flame.

What is a lithium-polymer battery?

What is a lithium-polymer battery

A lithium-polymer (LiPo, LIP, or Li-Poly) battery is a rechargeable battery with a soft polymer casing and a soft external "pouch" for the lithium-ion battery inside. It could also be a lithium-ion battery with a gelled polymer as the electrolyte. However, the term is most commonly used to describe a type of lithium-ion battery that comes in a pouch. The more accurate name for this type of battery is lithium-ion polymer battery.

Lithium-polymer batteries are lighter and more flexible than other kinds of lithium-ion batteries because of their soft shells, allowing them to be used in mobile and other electronic devices, as well as in remote control vehicles.

The lithium-polymer batteries(Lipo) are most commonly used in mobile devices, power banks, very thin laptop computers, portable media players, wireless controllers for video game consoles, wireless PC peripherals, electronic cigarettes, and other applications where small form factors are considered.

Advantages of the LiPo battery

  1. It offers high specific energy compared to other lithium batteries.
  2. It is used in less-weight devices such as smartphones and thin laptops as well as smart wearables due to its lightweight and compact size.
  3. It offers high capacity and hence can be used to hold more power.
  4. It is safe from explosion, unlike Li-Ion battery.
  5. It does not lose its charging capacity as fast as a Li-Ion battery. Hence its life span is greater than 1000 times which is higher than a Li-Ion battery. Its charging time is very short.

Disadvantages of LiPo Battery

  1. It supports less recharge life which is about 300 to 400 cycles.
  2. Its chemistry leads to fire when the LiPo battery is punctured.
  3. It requires special care during charging, discharging, and storage.
  4. It is expensive. The cost is almost double that Li-Ion battery.

Comparison between Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer Batteries

Specifications

Lithium-Ion

Lithium Polymer

Energy density, WH/Kg

Higher, 100 to 250

Lower, 130 to 200

Cost

Cheap

Expensive, almost double than Li-Ion

Size

Big

Slim

Chances of explosion when overcharged

Like to explode if do not handle with care


Safe from explosion



Life

The charging capacity is reduced over time. Life span < 100 times

It does not lose its charging capacity as much as compared to Lithium-Ion. Life span > 1000 times

Duration of charging

Long

Short

Weight

Heavier

Light in Weight

Conversion rate

About 85 to 95 %

About 75 to 90 %

Nominal cell voltage

3.2 V

3.7 V

Safety concern

Not stable

Stable

Environment concern

Very dangerous

Somehow

Conclusion

In this blog, we have seen the basics of lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries and their differences. Hope in blog helped you to get started with the 2 different types of lithium batteries.

Components and Supplies

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