What are the different types of lithium batteries? Did you ever wonder how many types of batteries are out there, specifically Lithium batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries can be categorized into six main types. They have multipurpose uses. And according to their uses, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights and are made of different components.
We are making a clear comparison among the main six kinds of Lithium-ion batteries. This will make it clear where you can use them, their capacity, advantages, and drawbacks.
What Are the Different Types of Lithium Battery?
Lithium batteries come in different varieties. Every type has a different power capacity, safety level, application, and cost. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Lithium Manganese Oxide
The Lithium Manganese Oxide, in short, LMO batteries, are a combination of Lithium-ion and Manganese Oxide. The idea of this type of battery was first developed in 1980. Later on, in 1996, it was manufactured by Moly Energy for commercial production. Some common names for this battery type are- lithium-ion manganese, lithium manganese, li-manganese, and manganese spinel batteries.
Even though these lithium batteries have a high-temperature tolerance level, it is not the highest bid. Also, they have a moderate lifespan. So, it is not the safest Lithium battery option for you.
These batteries can endure a high level of temperature. So, they are widely used in products where the temperature needs to be maintained. Some common uses of Lithium Manganese Oxide Batteries are- medical equipment, electric cars, and various electronic devices. Other uses of this battery are- motorcycles, laptops, portable power tools like- drilling machines, HVAC tools, etc.
You will find countless positive sides of Lithium-ion Manganese Oxide batteries. The most prominent advantage of a Lithium Manganese Oxide battery is that it can take a great workload. These batteries have greater thermal stability. So, they are comparatively more enduring than Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries at a higher temperature. Also, these rechargeable Lithium batteries charge pretty fast. The LMO batteries can produce high specific energy.
The most common problem with LMO batteries is that they only last 300 to 700 charge cycles. Its life cycle rate is lower than other Lithium batteries.
2. Lithium Cobalt Oxide
Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries are a combination of lithium oxide and Cobalt. Lithium-ion cobalt batteries and lithium cobaltate are some common names for this battery. These batteries are not the safest option even though they are being used in electronic products.
This type of battery comes with a graphite carbon anode and a cobalt oxide cathode. The charged ions travel from cathode to anode during a charge, while the opposite happens during a discharge.
The main use for this Lithium battery is for portable electronic devices. These batteries have excellent power storage capacity. Therefore, they are popular among electronic manufacturing companies to use in a variety of mobile electronic products. You can see them on laptops, mobile phones, tabs, digital cameras, video cameras, and other electronic devices.
When used under low workloads, the Lithium Cobalt Oxide battery can deliver power for a long period.
Cobalt is an expensive material. So, Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries are also quite expensive. This Lithium battery cannot run under an excessive workload. Also, there are some safety issues regarding this Lithium battery due to its low thermal capacity. They have a relatively short lifespan ranging from 500 to 1000 charge cycles.
3. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)
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Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFePO4 is shortly known as LFP. This Lithium battery has Phosphate in the cathode. In the anode, it has graphitic carbon electrodes. The battery’s performance is outstanding because of its harmonic electrochemical balance. However, it has a lower energy density and a low voltage capacity. Depth of discharge or DOD has a minimal impact on it. Its cycle capability is 2750 to 12000 cycles during its lifetime.
LFP batteries are a common replacement for lead-acid batteries. Besides that, they are also used in large-scale power grids, solar energy storage, electric vehicles, and various power tools. These batteries work as backups as well.
The LFP batteries have excellent thermal endurance. So, they are great for high-cranking amps. Also, these batteries have a long life cycle. The toxicity level of this Lithium battery is low. So, it is not as harmful as other types. Another advantage is they are not as expensive as Cobalt Oxide batteries and have a long life cycle, up to 10 years. Most LFP batteries have the capability of up to 80% depth of discharge, and some even 100%, and the battery is not damaged. So, they are safe to use and worth your money.
They are not a great fit for high-cranking amps. These battery cells have a low power capacity, only 3.2 volts.
4. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC)
This Lithium battery supplies a combined power of Manganese, Nickel, and Cobalt. These elements reside in the cathode of the battery. And it has a graphite anode. Each element has a particular feature that contributes to adding a greater value to it. And a reduced amount of Cobalt in the ratio has reduced its price.
NMC or Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide Lithium batteries have applications in electric production. Electric vehicles- cars, scooters, and e-bikes, mostly have this battery in them. Lithium NMC batteries are also used in power tools. Actually, this battery has more or less similar applications to Lithium Manganese Oxide batteries. And it is becoming popular due to the wide range of applications.
NMC batteries have high thermal endurance. But the best thing about NMC batteries is their high power density because of their combination of three different materials. Also, this battery has a long cycle life.
The only notable drawback of this Lithium battery is the lower voltage than a Cobalt-based battery.
5. Lithium Titanate
Lithium Titanate batteries have distinct characteristics from other types of lithium batteries. Lithium Titanate replaces graphite in a battery anode. In cathode, the combination is typically NMC or LMO. This unique combination in the battery system makes it the safest Lithium battery option available.
LTO batteries have a variety of applications due to their high-temperature tolerance. You will find them in charging stations, solar street lights, electric vehicles, spacecraft, military equipment, etc. Besides that, these batteries are great for storing electric power. So, they are used in wind and solar energy storing systems, power supplies, and telecommunication systems.
These Lithium batteries hold charge for a long time and charge very fast. They have multipurpose use because of their high-temperature tolerance. And they have a long lifespan.
The drawback of Lithium Titanate batteries is that they are highly expensive and have low specific energy.
6. Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA)
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide battery is an upgraded version of the Lithium Nickel Oxide battery. This battery has a high specific energy and stable power. The addition of Aluminum gave it extra strength and an even longer life, but the cost became very high.
This Lithium battery is not that common to use in the day to day objects. Further research needs to be done to make this high-power battery widely available for broadened use.
The Lithium NCA battery is the electric powertrain for the popular electric car brand Tesla. Besides being used in electric vehicles, this battery is also useful in industrial equipment and medical devices.
This Lithium battery has high specific energy and power. Its life expectancy is higher than other types of Lithium batteries.
Two notable drawbacks of this Lithium battery are- expensive and not the safest option.
How Are Lithium Batteries Different From Other Types of Batteries
Lithium batteries are different from other types of batteries in several ways. One of the main differences is the type of chemistry used. Lithium batteries use lithium ions as a charge carrier, whereas other types of batteries, such as lead-acid batteries, use lead ions. This results in several advantages for lithium batteries, including a higher energy density, which means they can store more energy in a smaller space. Additionally, lithium batteries have a longer lifespan and a wider temperature range in which they can operate. They also have a lower self-discharge rate, meaning they lose less energy over time when not in use. However, they tend to be more expensive than other types of batteries and require specialized handling due to the potential for thermal runaway.
1. What Are the Different Types of Lithium Batteries?
The six main Lithium battery types are- Lithium Manganese Oxide or LMO, Lithium Cobalt Oxide or LCO, Lithium Iron Phosphate or LFP, Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide or NMC, Lithium Titanate or LTO, and Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide or NCA.
2. What Type of Lithium Battery Is Best?
If you are concerned about safety, then LFP or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are the safest options you can go for. But for the power capacity, they will lay behind other categories. You have to understand that each type of Lithium battery has a different application. Every type is best in a different category. You have to choose according to your necessity rather than the type.
3. What Is the Most Common Lithium Battery?
Lithium Cobalt Oxide or LCO batteries are the most commonly used Lithium batteries. You will find them on cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, as well as digital video cameras.
As you have learned about the six different types of lithium batteries, now you know where they fit best. The most amazing thing about these batteries is that even though they all are Lithium batteries, each of them has particular applications as well as some drawbacks. So, you can use them for many things, from electric vehicles to portable devices.
About This Writer
Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.