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Product Engineering Processes

Battery Primer

A short battery primer

Handbook of batteries, Linden and Reddy

Short Primer on Batteries


Types

Primary (dry cell): non rechargeable


low power applications
infrequent use
Secondary: rechargeable
high discharge rates
frequent use

Short Primer on Batteries


Selection considerations
Physical characteristics: size, shape weight
Voltage: nominal, maximum, minimum, discharge profile
Load current: rate, constant power, constant resistance, pulsed
Duty cycle: continuous, intermittent, cyclic
Charge/discharge cycle: cycling (float), deep cycle, efficiency of charging
Temperature range: maximum, minimum and nominal
Service life: required operation time
Safety: failure rates, leakage, off-gassing, toxicity, disposal
Environment: vibration, acceleration, orientation
Maintenance: regular upkeep, replacement
Cost: initial, life-cycle cost

Short Primer on Batteries


Cell voltage
Cell voltage
4.5
4
3.5

Voltage (V)

3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s)
Battery type

Nickel-metal
hydride (s)

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Specific energy
Specific energy
160

Specific energy (Wh/kg)

140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s)
Battery type

Nickel-metal
hydride (s)

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Energy density
Energy density
450
400

Energy density (Wh/l)

350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s)
Battery type

Nickel-metal
hydride (s)

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Self discharge
Shelf life

Shelf life (months@20 Celcius)

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s) Nickel-metal hydride


(s)
Battery type

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Estimated cycle life
Typical cycle life

Typical cycle life (discharge/charge cycles)

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s)
Battery type

Nickel-metal
hydride (s)

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Temperature range
Operating temperature
80

Temperature (Celcius)

60

40

20

0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s)

-20

-40

-60
Battery type

Nickel-metal
hydride (s)

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Relative cost
Cost
50
45

Relative cost/Wh

40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Alkaline (p)

Lead-acid (s)

Nickel-Cadmium (s) Nickel-metal hydride


(s)
Battery type

Lithium-ion (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Voltage and state-of-charge

Short Primer on Batteries


Temperature and energy density

Short Primer on Batteries


Temperature and shelf life

Short Primer on Batteries


Power and discharge rate

Watts/litre

1000

100

10

0.2
0.1

10

Hours to discharge

100

Alkaline (p )
Lithium ion (s)
Nickel-metal hydride (s)
1000
Nickel-C admium (s)

Short Primer on Batteries


Secondary battery comparison
Lead-acid SLI (starting, lighting, ignition)

advantages
low cost, high availability,
high current, low
temperature, good float
service, maintenance free

Lead-acid traction

lowest cost of deep cycle


systems

Lead-acid stationary

designed specifically for


float charging cycles
maintenance free, long flat
service life, low and high
temperature, operates in
any position
rugged, excellent storage,
high current, low
temperature, operates in
any position
rugged, high energy
density, high current,
operates in any position,
good cycle life
rugged, high energy
density, high specific
energy, operates in any
position, good cycle life, low
self discharge

Lead-acid portable

Nickel-Cadmium (sealed)

Nickel-metal hydride

Lithium ion

disadvantages
Cycle life
low cycle life, shallow
200-700
discharge cycles, low
energy density, poor
charge retention,
hydrogen evolution
low energy density, less 1500
rugged, hydrogen
evolution
hydrogen evolution

Life (years)
4

Cannot be stored
250
discharged, lower cycle
life, difficult for small
batteries
high cost, memory
500
effect, poor for float
service

high cost (between


Nickel-Cadmium and
Lithium ion)

600

lower current, very high 1000+


cost

6
25

Short Primer on Batteries


Cycle life and discharge depth (lead-acid)

Short Primer on Batteries


Secondary battery charging

Lead-acid
Nickel-Cadmium (sealed)
Nickel-metal hydride
Lithium ion

charge method
constant current, constant voltage
constant current
constant current, constant voltage
constant current, constant voltage

current rate C(A) charging energy efficiency


0.1
75%
0.3
60%
0.1
60%
0.2
95%

Short Primer on Batteries


Constant voltage charging (lead-acid)

Short Primer on Batteries


Constant current charging (lead-acid)