Best practices for storing Li-ion batteries include: avoiding extreme temperatures; keeping them in a dry environment; storing them at a partial state of charge (SoC); and separating batteries by chemistry type. By following these best practices, OEMs can ensure the longevity and safety of their Li-ion batteries, resulting in better performance and reduced risk of safety hazards.
Several types of lithium-ion chemistries are commonly used in electronic devices, each with unique properties and characteristics. Prevalent types include lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC).
LiFePO4 is a safe and stable chemistry used in electric vehicles, power tools, consumer devices and renewable energy storage. It has a longer lifespan and is less prone to thermal runaway. Although it has a lower energy density than LiCoO2, it is still attractive due to its enhanced safety features.
LiCoO2 is a commonly used chemistry in consumer electronics (laptops and smartphones) due to its high energy density, lightweight and low self-discharge rate. However, it is also known to be unstable and can be a safety hazard, especially in high-temperature environments.
LiMn2O4 is commonly used in power tools, medical devices and hybrid electric vehicles. It has a lower energy density than LiCoO2 but is a safer option due to its increased thermal stability.
LiNiMnCoO2 is a relatively new chemistry used in EVs, drones and power tools. It has a higher energy density than LiFePO4, making it a better choice for devices that require high power output. However, it is also prone to thermal runaway, making proper handling and storage crucial.
Shipping Li-ion batteries requires strict adherence to regulations to ensure safe transportation. The UN, DOT, IATA and IMDG Code establish strict labeling requirements for Li-ion batteries being shipped and compliance with these regulations is essential to avoid safety hazards during shipping. There are also restrictions on lithium-ion batteries based on their watt-hour (Wh) rating. Batteries with a watt-hour rating of less than 100Wh can typically be shipped on commercial and cargo airlines provided they are shipped at a state of charge not exceeding 30 per cent of their rated design capacity.
With battery experts on staff, Sager Electronics can help identify the most suitable battery for an application and provide custom battery pack design and manufacturing services. Additionally, the company can provide access to the latest and most reliable battery technologies, giving customers the confidence to make informed decisions about their lithium-ion battery needs.