Terms Beginning With 'l'

Lithium-Ion Battery

  • January 09, 2021
  • Team Kalkine

A lithium-ion battery (LIB) is an umbrella term used for the group of rechargeable battery types in which the lithium ions migrate from the negative to the positive electrode during discharge and back while charging. Lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density with long-term charge retention and minimal loss, making it appropriate for varying applications including cell phones, laptops, modern robots, production equipment and cars.

Components of LIB:

A typical LIB contains five main elements: electrolyte, separator, anode, cathode and two current collectors. The electrolyte with high ionic conductivity carries the positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator.

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The electrolyte allows only ions to pass through it.  The charge is produced at the positive current collector due to the movement of lithium ions, creating free electrons at the anode.  The electrical current flows from the current collector through a device being powered to the negative current collector. The separator blocks the flow of electrons inside the battery while allowing small-sized lithium ions to move through the micro-permeable membrane.

History of LIB:

The work on lithium battery was started in 1912, after 95 years of lithium discovery (1817), under American physical chemist G.N. Lewis. Lithium is the lightest metal with the best electrochemical potential, giving the largest energy density for weight. Various attempts were made to develop rechargeable lithium batteries, but none could succeed due to safety problems arising from lithium metal instability. The problem in charging of lithium batteries pushed researchers to shift their interest towards lithium-ion driven non-metallic batteries. Although it provided slightly lower energy density but came with better safety as compared to lithium batteries. The production got commercialised in 1991 by Sony Corporation which was further followed by other companies too.

Lithium-Ion Versus Lead Acid Battery:


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 Lead-acid is a well-known economical option accessible in enormous amounts with little concern regarding the stockpile's security. Lead-acid is an excellent fit for stationary applications where space is plentiful, and energy necessities are low.


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 Lithium-ion is more efficient and compact as compared to lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries can achieve an energy density up to 125-600+ Wh/L; on the other hand, lead-acid batteries will reach up to 50-90 Wh/L of energy density. Lead-acid batteries require approximately ten times more space as compared to lithium-ion batteries, considering the same output range.


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 Lead-acid batteries may take up to 10 hours of charging time, depending on its size whereas lithium-ion batteries may take three hours or as little as minutes to charge. Also, LIBs allow faster current rate for quick charging.

Advantages of LIBs:

  • LIBs provide high energy density, which is one of the most important advantages of lithium-ion batteries. Mobiles, electric cars, and other gadgets require a stable power supply for their usage.
  • The self-discharge rate of LIBs is much lesser than that of many other rechargeable batteries. It comes around 5 per cent in the initial four hours after charging and further declines to 1-2 per cent per month after that.
  • It has relatively low maintenance compared to other batteries that require periodic top-ups and periodic discharge for memory effects.
  • Cell voltage offered by LIBs is around 3.0 V which is much higher than standard alkaline cells and lead-acid batteries, which provide 1.5 V and 2.0 V respectively.
  • LIBs don’t require any priming before first time use use and are ready to go.
  • LIBs are readily available in different types and forms, making them convenient to use in wide applications ranging from small cell phones to giant mega cars.

Disadvantages of LIBs:

  • LIBs can withstand over 500-1000 charge and discharge cycles, after which their capacity falls.
  • LIBs require protection from being under and overcharged as they need safe limits of charging for effective operations.
  • Transportation of LIBs is limited to waterways as airways often ban them.
  • LIBs are around forty per cent costlier than nickel-cadmium batteries.
  • LIB is an evolving technology with high scope of further development. In recent years, frequent advancement is seen in LIBs, which can make this technology more efficient in the future.

What is a drone? A drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle, is a crewless aircraft that is controlled remotely. Drones can even fly via software-controlled flight plans installed in the system, working together using onboard sensors and GPS. Over the years, drones have become critical for several businesses and government organisations. From industries engaged in quick deliveries to unreachable military base, drone technology’s role remains crucial and has proved immensely beneficial. Whether a drone is operated using a remote or accessed using a mobile application, the best part of the technology is that it can reach the most isolated areas with little or no workforce required. This is the reason behind drones being adopted by most of the countries across the globe. To know more about drone technology’s outlook, click here. How does a drone work? A typical drone is made up of light composite materials to reduce the weight and increase its movability. With these features, drones can cruise at high altitudes. A drone has infrared cameras,  landing gear, rotors, connectivity, motors, accelerometer, and altimeter. Infrared Camera Some drones have an inbuilt camera that allows the pilot to view the places where the drone moves. The user can see the areas/regions that could be explored earlier and are beyond people’s reach. Connectivity Connectivity refers to the means through which the user connects drone. It could be through a smartphone or a tablet. Wireless connectivity helps the pilots view the drone as well as the nearby surrounding from a birds-eye viewpoint. Users can also use the applications to pre-program specific GPS locations and create an automated flight path beforehand. Further, the user can track the battery in real-time. Rotors Rotors comprise of a propeller that is connected to the motor to hover. To hover, two of the drone’s four rotors move clockwise so that the drone's sideways momentum is balanced. Also, to prevent throwing the vertical motion off-kilter, the remaining two rotors increase their spin. Accelerometer and Altimeter An accelerometer helps in feeding data to the drone comprising details related to the drone’s speed and direction. On the other hand, altimeter updates the height of the drone. With these features, the drone can land slowly and safely to the target location. Types of Drones Multi-Rotor Drones These are the most common types of drones that are being used by professionals. These drones are used for aerial photography, aerial surveillance. Multi-rotor drones can be further classified into: Tricopter (3 rotors) Quadcopter (4 rotors) Hexacopter (6 rotors) Octocopter (8 rotors) Out of these four categories, Quadcopter is the most common and widely used. These drones are easy to manufacture and are comparatively cheap. However, the drawback with these drones is that they have limited flying times, limited strength, and speed. Thus, multi-rotor drones are not appropriate in cases such as long-distance aerial mapping. Fixed-Wing Drones Fixed-wing drones have a completely different to multi-rotor drones, both in terms of build and design. They appear like a normal plane and do not use energy to stay sailing on air. They move in a set course as programmed or set by the guide control. Fixed-wing drones can fly up to 16 hours and beyond. However, they are quite expensive, and it needs a runway or a parachute or a net for a safe landing. Single Rotor Helicopter Single Rotor Helicopter looks similar to an actual helicopter. It has one big-sized rotor and a small size rotor on the tail that controls the drone in its heading. Single rotors are much efficient as compared to the multi-rotor version. These can fly for a longer durations and can be powered through gas engines. The cost of these drones is quite expensive. Hybrid VTOL The Hybrid VTOL version of drones has combined benefits of both fixed-wing and rotor-based models. With the arrival of new generation sensors such as accelerometer and gyros have provided a new life and direction to these drones. These drones can be guided through remote-based manual control or could also be programmed on their desired course. The most common form of drone under this category is the drone used in Amazon commercial.

What is Near Field Communication? Near Field Communication (NFC) refers to the contactless or short-range wireless technology that allows the transfer of the data between two NFC-enabled devices. Using NFC technology, it is possible to make smartphones, wearables, payment cards, tablets, and many other smart devices smarter. Through NFC, you could even transfer data at a faster rate with a single touch. Source: © Audioundwerbung| Megapixl.com Evolution of NFC NFC has evolved from the integration of contactless detection and interconnection technologies. The first patent related to the Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) was given to Charles Walton in 1983. The patent related to the concept of Radio Frequency powered transponder was filed in 1970, and the patent was granted in 1973 to M. Cardullo and W. Parks. In March 2002, Sony and Phillips provided the force to progress NFC field by joining forces to determine specifications. In 2004, Sony, Nokia and Phillips founded NFC Forum to progress the development and implantation of NFC. This forum creates requirements that confirm the interoperability of the NFC components. In 2006, the first device with NFC functionality was introduced by Nokia under the product model Nokia 6131. In 2010, Samsung became the first company to introduce Android with NFC Support. The product was Samsung Nexus S. In 2011, RIM was the first company to be certified by MasterCard to provide the PayPass functionality on their devices globally. In 2013, Samsung and Visa entered into a partnership to develop mobile payment. In 2015, Apple introduced NFC to its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. The NFC application was limited to mobile payment. How does Near Field Communication work? Near Field Communication allows data transmission via electromagnetic radio field that allows two devices to communicate. It is essential to know that two devices using this technology can communicate with each other if they are NFC-enabled or simply, we can say that the devices have NFC chips. Source: © Scyther5| Megapixl.com Advantage of NFC over Bluetooth technology Both NFC and Bluetooth technology allow two devices to communicate with each other. However, there are certain advantages of NFC over Bluetooth. Let’s look at the key advantages. In Bluetooth technology, the two devices need to be paired to communicate or transfer data. However, in the case of NFC technology, devices pairing is not required. The connection between the two devices gets automatically established once they come close in the communication range. As NFC communicates in a shorter range, there is a high-security level compared to the Bluetooth technology. NFC also works even if one of the devices is not powered by a battery. An example of this is a contactless smart credit card. NFC requires less power as compared to the Bluetooth technology. What are the types of NFC devices? NFC devices are classified into two types- Passive NFC devices and Active NFC devices. Passive NFC devices Passive NFC devices comprise tags or small transmitters that send information without any power source requirement. These devices do not process any information that is sent from other sources. Besides, these devices cannot connect to other passive components. Active NFC devices Active NFC devices can send as well as receive data. They are capable of communicating with both active and passive NFC devices. An example of an active NFC device is a smartphone. Another example of active NFC device is a card reader most commonly used when one is travelling using a public transport. What are the different modes of operation? At present, there are three different modes of operation to determine the type of information that would be exchanged between the devices. These are: Peer-to-peer mode: In peer-to-peer mode, the exchange of information is allowed between two devices. The most common example is a smartphone. In this mode, both devices switch between active when they send data and passive while they are receiving data. Read-write mode: In this mode, one of the NFC-enabled devices links with the other to read information. Here, the active device is probably a smartphone. In this mode, advertisement tags are used. Card emulation: In card emulation, the NFC device can operate as a smart or a contactless credit card. These are capable of making payments or can be used in public transport systems.

What is an Electric Vehicle (EV)? Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd. EV which stands for Electric Vehicle is a vehicle running on an electric motor rather than the internal combustion engine (ICE). Conventional vehicles powered by fossil fuels work on ICE to burn the fuel and generate the power to drive the vehicles. They are also responsible for global carbon emission. As the whole world is trying hard to achieve the new-zero carbon emission by 2050 to address increasing pollution, depleting natural resources, global warming, EVs come as a savior. EVs are new-generation vehicles that don't require fossil fuels; instead, they run on electric power with high-end batteries. They are eco-friendly too. Please read: All the latest about electric vehicle and clean energy leader Tesla. Types of EVs: By the degree of electricity used as the energy source, EVs are broadly classified into three main sub-categories viz. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV). Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV): While saying EVs, its usually referred to as Battery Electric Vehicles. BEV does not contain any gasoline engines and runs completely on fully rechargeable batteries. BEVs store the electricity in the high-end battery packs. They are eco-friendly and don't emit anything harmful into the atmosphere. They get charged from the external power source with Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 or DC fast chargers. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles gives the customer a choice of fuel to be used. It is powered by alternative fuel, such as it has gasoline and a battery, and can switch the power through both ICE and electric motor. Batteries can be charged by an external power source and can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV): Hybrid Electric Vehicles have the benefits of both electric motors and fossil fuels. They don't have any power charging system; instead, the battery is charged by the vehicle's braking system called regenerative braking system. The electric power can be used to run electronic devices and power tools. Classification of EV Chargers Level 1 – Uses a standard 120v household outlet and takes around 8 hours to charge an EV that can run for about 75 to 80 miles. Level 2 – Needs a specialised charging station providing the power of about 240v. They are typically found at public charging stations and take about 4 hours to fully charge a battery for 75 to 80 miles of the run. Level 3 and DC fast charging – This is the fastest way of charging an EV. These chargers are found at dedicated EV charging stations and take about 30 mins to charge a battery for a range of 90 miles. Also Read: EVs on a shoestring: Australia’s five most affordable electric cars What is the need for EVs? Electric Vehicles can help the world to combat the increasing pollution. There are two main types of emissions produces by the vehicles viz. direct emission and life cycle emission. Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd. Direct emission is emitted by a vehicle through its exhaust. The remnants left after burning the fossil fuels get exhausted from the vehicle's tailpipe and get mixed up in the atmosphere. They increase the smog-forming pollutants, other pollutants leading to adverse effects on human health, greenhouse emission and carbon dioxide emission. On the other hand, EVs don't have any adverse impact on the environment based on direct emission. Apart from that, Life cycle emission incorporates all emissions that account for a vehicle's life cycle from production to the vehicle's recycling and scraping. EVs produce less life-cycle emission than conventional fossil fuel-driven vehicles because the emission involved in generating electricity is much lower than the direct emission of carbon through the burning of fossil fuels. The Journey of EVs in the past ten years: The journey of EV had started in the 1830s with Scotland’s Robert Anderson who used galvanic cells to run the motorised carriage; however, the technology took a large leap in 2010 after the release of Tesla's Roadster breaking a barrier of 200 miles per battery charge with an attractive price tag of USD 100,000. Source: Copyright © 2020 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd. After the Roadster release, Tesla evolved quickly to become the EV industry leader and set a benchmark for the competitors. Other manufacturers also participated in the EV euphoria by releasing various EV models in the past ten years. Additionally, the significant increase in the charging stations from mere 3,000 in 2011 to around 60,000 in 2019 in the US and around 1 million in the world has also triggered the industry's important movement. Advancement in the technology has also brought down the average EV cost in 2019 to USD 55,600 with most of the cars in the range of USD 33,000 to become a viable option to buy. The technology will excel in the future as well, and EV is the automotive industry's future.    Also Read: ABS update: Electric Vehicle Registration Double in 2020

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