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We as a group have been trying to write an academic essay about advantages of lithium batteries. We have made some research about lithium batteries and found that lithium batteries have high cycle life. This part was given to me. As I have understood, cycle life is a full decharge-charge cycle. But I could not find why life cycle is an advantage of lithium batteries. Would you tell me the exact advantages instead of comparing to other type of batteries? If there is a free academic source, it would be wonderful.

Thanks.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you looked here: batteryuniversity.com in general it seems a good source and from what they write that at least to me it seems they know what they're talking about. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Oct 23 '15 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dont know whether the tutor would accept this as a source. I have said, I need academic source. \$\endgroup\$ – Vitiello Oct 23 '15 at 7:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then try here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#References Most of the listed articles look to me like they come form an academic source. But note that many academic articles will focus on one or maybe a few developments but will not mention general facts about certain batteries. Most articles will assume the reader has this knowledge already. So if you need to build up your general knowledge first (if what I wrote in my answer is new to you) then first have a look at batteryuniversity and later read the academic articles and understand them better ! \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Oct 23 '15 at 8:02
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Cycle life does not mean a full charge/discharge cycle. It is the actual amount of energy that "passes through" the battery during it's lifetime. Lithium batteries have the advantage that you can also really use that high cycle life.

For example: let's say we have a battery that you discharge and charge daily and this way it lasts 1 year. ( 1 C /day => 1 year) If you were to not fully discharge this battery but discharge it until it's half full and then charge to full it would last 2 years ! (0.5 C /day => 2 years) Likewise at 1/5th discharge per day it would last 5 years.

Note how the amount of displaced energy remains the same: 1 charge per day for 1 year is the same amount of energy as 1/2 charge per day during 2 years.

This is one of the unique properties of Lithium based rechargeable cells.

Lithium cells have no memory effect, the oldfashioned Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) cells have a memory effect, if you only use 1/2 of their capacity each day they "lose" the unused part of the capacity and they remember (the memory) that you only discharged them 1/2 last times and now they assume that's all you need.

Nickel-MetalHydride (NiMh) cells used to have high self-discharge, they discharge even when you're not using them. Nowadays we have low-self discharge NiMh cells (Sanyo Eneloop, GP ReCyKo) that have fixed this problem.

Lead-Acid batteries (used in cars mainly) are cheaper than Lithium Ion cells but can store less enery per volume.

Lithium cells have the advantage that they can store a high amount of energy in a small space and they are not very heavy.

Lithium cells must be manufactured properly though and also charged properly, mistreating them can result in smoking, fire and even explosion !

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Lithium batteries basically have a higher energy density compared to any other type of batteries. Energy density is nothing but the amount of energy stored in a given part of space/mass.However there are also other batteries which give higher energy density will also have a higher cycle life. Advanced VRLA batteries manufacturers claim higher cycle life.

However Cycle life also depends on the temperature and Depth of Discharge.Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are considered to be the safest of lithium family claims a cycle life @25 degrees of 2200 Cycles @100% DOD 3600 Cycles @ 80% DOD 4400 Cycles @ 50% DOD.

Cycle life also decreases with the rise of temperature and % of DOD.

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"Cycle life" is really a misnomer. Few people agree what it actually means. For example, is it the # of charge & discharge cycles over the useful life of a cell? What happens when depth of discharge affects the useful life--how is that accounted for when quoting 'cycle life' as a spec? Or, is cycle life the whole useful lifespan of the cell--regardless of how much or little it was used?

The best way to consider lithium energy storage devices is to compare them to other cells in specific mechanical, electrical, physical, etc. properties & characteristics & then compare those things to other energy storage devices. What you'll generally find is: lithium chemistry devices have higher: specific energy, energy density, specific power, cell voltage, & energy efficiency than other common energy storage devices. They also have lower self-discharge.

The number of charge & discharge cycles that can be obtain from a cell depends on many factor: charge & discharge rates, depth of discharge, age, frequency of recharging, battery configuration (serial, parallel, or serial+parallel), whether cells are balanced when charging & discharging, how much over charge & over discharge abuse a cell experiences, etc.

The maximum life in years that a lithium cell can last varies by the chemical composition, however, some lithium cells last 10+ years (what their available energy capacity is after 10+ years might not be useful for some application, however.

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