Electronics & Test
New Breed of Lithium Batteries

Image 1 of 3      Next >

A flat lithium polymer battery allows handheld devices to be thinner than they'd be with prismatic or cylindrical batteries.  Source: BAK Battery
A flat lithium polymer battery allows handheld devices to be thinner than they'd be with prismatic or cylindrical batteries.
Source: BAK Battery

Image 1 of 3      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Future capacity?
Alexander Wolfe   7/20/2011 10:17:49 AM
You raised the big battery elephant in the room question at the end, Chuck, about capacity. Will capacities rise to 4.2A-hr or 4.4A-hr? This of course relates directly to product weight. If capacities don't rise, eventually (soon, actually) portable devices relying on these things will hit a design wall, and the heavier devices will end up being performance-impaired.

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Safety Concerns
Douglas Smock   7/20/2011 10:24:58 AM
What are the safety issues with the laminate-style lithium polymer batteries? It seemed that there was a lot of buzz a couple years ago about potential fires or even small explosions with lithium batteries, but I don't hear much about it anymore. Are these issues addressed in the polymer technology, laminate constructions or just in more robust housings? (Or not at all.)



Ivan Kirkpatrick
User Rank
Thermal Management
Ivan Kirkpatrick   7/20/2011 1:52:09 PM
The problem before was in cotnrolling the batteries themal characteristics.  Sometimes if the battery was being discharged too rapidly the temperature rose and created the issues already noted.  Smae thing can happen when charging the batteries.  I think the solution was in the modification of the chemistry involved.

In terms of energy storage the total energy stored is getting interesting.  And any uncontrolled release of that energy has to be dealt with in a safe manner.  consider a stick of dynamite.  I am not sure exactly how much energy it stores but when it is released suddenly it has dramatic effects.  If that same energy could be controlled and released gradually in the form of electric current it would make a fine storage device but probably not rechargeable.

If one had a Lithium-Ion type battery with the same energy storage potential as a comparable size stick of dynamite it would certainly warrant very careful attention to catastrophic failure modes. 

As I recall from chemistry class, the most energetic chemical reaction is the conversion of H to H2.  That is Monatomic Hydrogen binding with another free Hydrogen into diatomic Hydrogen, H2.  I believe it also liberates an electron.  Probably not possible to make a battery out of it.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Re: Future capacity?
Beth Stackpole   7/21/2011 3:41:57 PM
Is there some kind of Moore's law governing capacity in batteries as there is in processor design? Perhaps a technology that's the equivalent of multi-core for batteries? It would seem there would have to be as devices get smaller malland ser and as as people become ever more reliant on them on a 24/7 cycle. I don't see that demand dissipating any time soon.

User Rank
Lithium Ion batteries have created huge shift in model airplane field
BobGroh   7/26/2011 10:34:29 PM
The increased energy capacity combined with the lighter weight and the high discharge rates of Lithium Ion batteries has completely transformed certain areas of model airplane flying.  Using battery power instead of gasoline or other liquid fuels has been played with for a long time but the emergency of the Lithium Ion in a soft, flexible (and lower weight) has completely transformed the hobby. Many fliers of Radio Controlled (R/C) planes have completely switched over to electric power (I know that I have) for planes ranging from very, very small (sub-ounce weights) to very large aircraft.

Electric propulsion systems have also expanded into control line planes (U/C - planes which fly with lines attached) and free flight (just fire them up and launch them into the air!).  Absolutely amazing and quite liberating - no starters, no fuel cans, pumps, batteries for glow plugs, etc.  Wonderful.

Of course there has been a bit of learning curve for the hobby. We needed new safety procedures (there is a lot of energy in a charged battery and they have been known to break into flame), new ways (using electronic speed controllers) to control motor speed, new brushless motors for high speed and high output applications,  special battery chargers (seems like every battery chemistry has it's own special requirements for charging and maintenance) and the like.

A great revolution which is still going on.

User Rank
Safe flat lithium polymer battery
kenw1213   7/28/2011 9:35:29 AM
Forgot the company, but one company boasted their construction method for the flat polymer battery that made it safer when punctured (and layers shorted) with metal spike!  Who is that company?

Hellmut Kohlsdorf
User Rank
Re: Thermal Management
Hellmut Kohlsdorf   7/28/2011 12:49:05 PM
Hi Ivan

Fuel cells are the devices that transform hidrogen in electrical energy and water! I see a lot taking place here in germany to have very small devices of this kind

User Rank
Re: Safe flat lithium polymer battery
Ratsky   7/28/2011 2:15:39 PM
That wasn't a lithium-polymer battery!  It was an SLA (sealed lead-acid) one, and it was made by Gates (as I recall) quite a few years ago.  They were the first to use a "super-gelled" electrolyte to make an extremely leak-proof cell structure.  I saw a demo (of a nail being driven through one of their batteries which continued to deliver full power to a load!) at Comdex in Atlanta back in the 1980's.  Very impressive!

User Rank
Flat, safe lithium polymer battery
kenw1213   7/28/2011 3:43:05 PM
Ahhh, I remember the company now.  They joined with Dow to form Dow Kokam Battery.  Kokam has a patented construction method that keeps the battery "safe".  I recall seeing a demo video.  Check out http://www.dowkokam.com/tech-cells.htm

User Rank
Re: Flat, safe lithium polymer battery
kenw1213   7/28/2011 3:51:24 PM

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service