As a battery, it delivers its mission which is power to go. It gives us all the conveniences of electricity in a handy, portable form. The only trouble is, most batteries run flat very quickly and cannot be recharged, then billions of disposable batteries were thrown away year by year and it is bad for our environment. Fortunately, rechargeable batteries help to solve this problem and the best kind of battery is called lithium-ion. Do you remember the periodic table of elements like a mantra? Let’s take a closer look at this type of rechargeable battery. What is lithium-ion battery? What is its features？ A lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery. It is composed of:1) the anode and the cathode; 2) a separator between the two electrodes; 3) an electrolyte that fills the remaining space of the battery. The anode and cathode are capable of storing lithium ions. By lithium ions moving between the negative (anode) and positive (cathode) electrodes through the electrolyte, the batteries can be charged and discharged. Because of its high energy density, lithium-ion batteries are suitable for storing high-capacity power with a light weight than other batteries. These rechargeable batteries are extremely versatile and suitable for the use in many different types of electronic devices from laptops to cars like golf carts, camper van. In addition, as an environmentally friendly technology, the long -life, temperature resistance, and safety features given by the recharge ability of this battery also allows it become growing popular in solar power battery storage, communication base station, etc. How Lithium-ion Batteries Work? Let’s keep it simple. Batteries store and releases energy by moving electrons from one “end” of the battery to the other. In the batteries, the electrolyte is a salt solution that contains lithium ions—hence the name. Lithium-ion travel between the negative (anode) and positive (cathode) electrode through an electrolyte. Taking cargo transportation as an example, the li-ion work as a truck. During discharging, the li-ion (truck) move from the negative electrode “loading” electrons and then unload the electrons on the positive electrode. In this process, a closed circuit is formed that generates current. When all the ions have left the negative electrode, the battery is fully discharged and needs charging up again.How a lithium-ion battery produces electricitySource: http://sustainable-nano.comWhen the battery is charging up, the li-ion(truck) which fully loads electrons will drive away from positive electrode and go back to the negative electrode. When no more ions will flow, the battery is fully charged and ready to use.Recharging a lithium-ion batterySource: http://sustainable-nano.comThe movement of ions (through the electrolyte) and electrons (around the external circuit) are interconnected processes, and if either stops so does the other. If ions stop moving through the electrolyte because the battery completely discharges, electrons can't move through the outer circuit either—so you lose your power. Similarly, if you switch off whatever the battery is powering, the flow of electrons stops and so does the flow of ions. The battery essentially stops discharging at a high rate (but it does keep on discharging, at a very slow rate, even with the appliance disconnected).Unlike simpler batteries, lithium-ion ones have built in electronic controllers that regulate how they charge and discharge. They prevent the overcharging and overheating that can cause lithium-ion batteries to explode in some circumstances. Do all lithium-ion batteries have the same performance?Lithium-ion batteries are divided into various kinds according to size, form, the material used for the positive and negative electrodes, and so on.UFO POWER lithium-ion battery uses high quality materials on the negative electrode, and provides a long life, rapid charging, high input/output power performance, excellent low-temperature operation, and a wide effective SOC range.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are commonly thought of as simple machines that perform simple tasks to take the place of personnel. And this is true in some degree, over the past decade, AGVs have been integrated into many industries other than distribution and manufacturing, such as retail, military and even healthcare.Lithium-ion batteries are more and more used in the AGV industry. So why Lithium-ion batteries are gaining market share? Let’s take UFO lithium-ion battery to compared with FLA or GEL and AGM batteries, here are several reasons to consider. Longer cycle timeFor a given depth of discharge, Lithium batteries ensures more recharging cycles so more life. In order to keep a good battery life, it is generally accepted that the practical and reasonable DOD (Depth of Discharge) for an AGM or GEL battery is 40%-50% while a lithium-ion battery could be kept DOD near 80%. Deeper Depth of DischargeThe deeper DOD, the longer working time for your AGVs. If an AGV battery is discharged to 50%, AGM/ GEL battery has around 1500 cycles but the lithium-ion battery can last for 5000 cycles. Taking A 100Ah AGV battery as an example, AGM/GEL battery can be used 40/50Ah before recharging while 80Ah can be used for a UFO lithium-ion battery with 2500 life cycles. So, more time are available for your AGV missions instead of more time for recharging. Source: lithium battery cycle life from Victron energy Higher Efficiency of Lithium-ion batteryLithium batteries efficiency is near 95%, however, it is about 80-85% in AGM or GEL batteries. How does this work out in the daily life? Here is an instance of AGM/GEL battery and UFO lithium-ion battery. If you want to charge 1Kw, a lithium-ion battery loses 5% but the AGM battery loses 15-20%. It means that you are allowed to spend less time in fully charging your AGV battery when using lithium-ion battery. Faster charge rateIn AGM/GEL batteries you needed around 4 hours to charge from 60% to 100%. With lithium you should need close to 1,5 hours. Therefore, you can charge a lithium battery much faster and the operating efficiency of AGVs can be improved. Higher Energy DensitySource: From www.medium.comAs you can see from the graph, with the same volume, more energy is available for lithium-ion battery. In other words, same power less weight. By comparison, the consequences are as follows.-- Lower battery weight, so AGV can carry more weight-- Same battery weight, so AGV has more battery availableWe can consider that this is what makes Lithium particularly suitable for high loads.Obviously, AGM batteries are required more replacement than lithium-ion battery. AGM batteries’ costs for time, transportation and installation also need to be taken into account, which further negates the higher initial investment of lithium. AGM or Lithium-ion batteries? It depends on you. Personally, in view of a cost-effective, reliable and high-performance solution, lithium-ion battery is better. UFO BATTERY has more than 10 years experiences in lithium battery manufacturing. A more profitable solution for your AGVs? UFO AGV Battery is good to consider.
Rechargeable Li-ion batteries are ubiquitous, thanks to their high energy density, stability and relatively low maintenance nature. Plus, self-discharge rate is lower compared to other rechargeable batteries. Although the lithium-ion battery has many advantages, it has its own lifespan just like human being. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we are able to delay our aging process. Doing so also allows the battery to operate efficiently. Here are a few ways of how to keep your lithium-ion batteries healthy.Allow partial dischargesLi-ion battery has no charge memory, it means that it doesn’t need to be discharged very deeply. Using only 20% or 30% of the battery capacity before recharging will extend cycle life considerably. As a general rule, 5 to 10 shallow discharge cycles are equal to one full discharge cycle. While partial-discharge cycles can run into the thousands, leaving the battery fully discharged also shortens battery life. Most lithium-ion batteries have a safety circuit within the battery packs that open if the battery voltage is below 2.5V or exceeds 4.3V, making the battery unsafe and dead. Therefore, to avoid completely discharging is necessary to protect the battery. Limit the battery temperatureProtecting the battery from temperature extremes can prolong battery life. Either heat or cold will shorten the lifespan of battery. Excessive temperature would higher the self-discharge rate. Also, too low the temperature can cause an internal short and damage the battery. By letting them stay in a cool place in hot summer or warm up them on a cold day will help keep the battery run well. To be safe, it is ideal to store your battery at room temperature. Don’t charge and discharge battery with high currents.Some people are always in blindly pursuit of high charge current in order to save time. Actually, extreme high charge and discharge currents will reduce cycle life and compromise safety rather than help save time. High current places excessive stress on the battery and thus can lead to failure within the battery in the long term. Check the battery capacity before storing your batteryWhen the lithium-ion battery is over discharged, it will lead to irreversible capacity loss of battery and may not be activated again. Due to the self-discharge of battery, it is important to make sure the lithium-ion battery is at 40%-50% discharge before storing it for a period of time. Not letting it die completely will extend the battery lifespan. And in view of safety, do not recharge deeply discharged lithium-ion batteries if they have been stored in that condition for several months.By proper care of your UFO lithium battery, you can enjoy the benefits of using li-ion battery. With the advantages of long life cycle, high energy density, light weight and low maintainance, lithium-ion battery can be a more cost-efective investment for your appliance than using lead-acid battery.
According to different application scenario, there are three main types of solar energy systems: off-grid, grid-hybrid and grid-tied. It really comes down to the customer’s current energy supply and each type has strengths that determine how suited they are to your needs.Off Grid Solar Power SystemAn off-grid residential system is completely disconnected from the traditional electric power grid, which is good for customers that cannot connect to the grid easily. It is used in remote areas, no power areas, island, communication base station, street light and other application fields that away from grid or it can power things such as boats, caravans, and RVs where mobility is required. The system consists of solar array, solar controller, inverter, storage battery bank and some other components. The operation mode of off grid system is “using while storing energy” or “storing energy before using”. Without a connection to the utility grid, batteries are essential to balance periods of excess production and excess demand.The solar array converts solar energy into electricity during the daylight, and supplies power to the load through the controller and inverter and charges the battery meanwhile. When your solar system is not working (night time or cloudy days), your appliances will draw power from the storage batteries. To protect against shortfalls of power when the solar system is under-producing and the batteries are discharged, you also will most likely want to have a back-up generator just in case your renewable sources are not enough at times to keep the batteries charged. The generator is used as a power source during periods of prolonged excess production or unusual demand.Read more about choosing the storage battery here. Grid-hybrid Solar Power SystemThe next type of system is a grid-hybrid system, also known as a grid-tied system with battery back-up. Grid-hybrid systems generate power in the same way as an ordinary grid-tie solar system but use special hybrid inverters and batteries to store energy for later use. With this type of system, more convenience can be brought for power use. Firstly, it allows depletion of stored energy in the battery bank during peak demand periods and lower electricity cost from the grid. Secondly, it enables charging of the batteries using cheap off-peak electricity which is more cost-effective. Thirdly, this grid-hybrid system can operate as a backup power supply. It is ideal for customers who are already on the grid but prone to power outages in their area. Battery based grid-tied systems provide power during an outage and battery can store energy for use in an emergency. Customers are able to back up essential loads such as lighting and appliances when the power is out.On Grid Solar Power SystemA on grid system or grid-tied system is a common solar system. This type of system, which is connected to the public electricity grid, does not need batteries and uses a standard grid-tied inverter. Any excess solar power that generate by the system is exported to the electricity grid. The main objective of a grid-tied system is to reduce the carbon footprint and benefit from solar incentives. Because of safety reasons, when there is breakout of power system, so does your system. Linemen who work on the power lines have to know that there is no power to the grid. If the solar inverter was still feeding electricity into a damaged grid it would risk the safety of the people repairing the faults in the network. Therefore, when grid-connected inverters do not sense the grid, they will automatically disconnect. It means that power cannot be provided during a blackout or emergency, and you can't store energy for later use. Customers have no control of power that used from the system, such as during peak demand period. However, grid-tied systems with battery storage are able to automatically isolate from the grid and continue to supply some power during a blackout.But if a customer has a basic grid-tied system, they still have the oppotunity if they want to add storage later. Batteries are able to be added to on-grid systems if required. The solution is doing an AC-coupled system where the original grid tied inverter is coupled with a battery back-up inverter. The UFO Powerwall battery is a great solution for customers who want to install solar now to take advantage of incentives, but aren’t ready to invest in the batteries just yet.