Battery Technologies
  Lithium Thionyl Chloride (Li/SOCl2)

Lithium Thionyl Chloride cells have a metallic lithium anode (the lightest of all the metals) and a liquid cathode comprising a porous carbon current collector filled with thionyl chloride (SOCl2). They deliver a voltage of 3.6 V and are cylindrical and prismatic in shape, in size 1/2AA to D and 4PN to 16PN format, with spiral electrodes for power applications and bobbin construction for prolonged discharge. Lithium Thionyl Chloride cells have a high energy density, partly because of their high nominal voltage of 3.6 V. Bobbin versions can reach 1220 Wh/L and 760 Wh/kg, for a capacity of 19 Ah at 3.6 V in D format. Because self-discharge is extremely low (less than 1% per year), this kind of cell can support long storage periods and achieve a service life of over 10 years. Those cells can operate at a temperature ranges from -55ºC to +85ºC for standard models and up to +150ºC for high temperature models. Lithium Thionyl Chloride cells are non-rechargeable.

Lithium Manganese Dioxide (Li/MnO2)

Lithium Manganese Dioxide cells have an anode in metallic lithium (the lightest of the metals) and a solid manganese dioxide cathode, immersed in a non-corrosive, non-toxic organic electrolyte. A standard Lithium Manganese Dioxide cell delivers a voltage of 3.0 V and a prismatic battery delivers a voltage of 9V. They are cylindrical, prismatic and coin in shape, temperature range from -40ºC to +60ºC. Lithium Manganese Dioxide cells are non-rechargeable.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

Lithium-ion electrochemistry involves the use of lithium insertion compounds. In a lithium-ion cell, the negative electrode (anode) is graphite and the positive electrode (cathode) is a lithium-bearing metal compound. Li-ion cells have an exceptional cycling aptitude owing to the stable electrode structure: charging and discharging involves exchange of lithium ions between the electrodes via the electrolyte. Because of the high output voltage, a non-aqueous electrolyte is used, mainly comprising a mixture of organic carbonates. Lithium-ion cells are rechargeable and deliver a voltage of 3.7V, have no memery effect, operating temperature range from -20ºC to +60ºC. Various active materials for the positive can be used: lithium cobalt oxide, lithium nickel oxide, lithium aluminium oxide, lithium manganese oxide, or lithium iron phosphate.

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)

Nickel-cadmium cells have an anode (negative) in cadmium hydroxide and a cathode (positive) in nickel hydroxide, immersed in an alkaline solution (electrolyte) comprising potassium, sodium and lithium hydroxides. The cells are rechargeable and deliver a voltage of 1.2 V during discharge. Nickel-cadmium cells can be sealed or open, and are available in low-maintenance and zero-maintenance versions. Sealed cells are cylindrical in shape, in nickel-steel cans . Open cells are prismatic in shape, with casing in plastic stainless steel or nickel steel. Nickel-cadmium batteries have a legendary reputation for robustness, reliability and service life. This is the benchmark technology for difficult and demanding applications: operating temperatures from 40ºC to +60ºC, excellent cycling capability, long storage life, and low or zero maintenance.

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Nickel Metal Hydride cells have an anode (negative) in a metal alloy capable of absorbing and desorbing hydrogen, plus a nickel hydroxide cathode (positive), immersed in an alkaline electrolyte solution of potassium, sodium and lithium hydroxides. Nickel-metal hydride cells are rechargeable and deliver a voltage of 1.2 V. This kind of cell can be sealed or open. The cells are maintenance-free but require precise charge level monitoring, to control gaseous exchanges with the outside and thus water consumption. Charge monitoring also helps minimize heating under charge, to maximize capacity and service life. Sealed cells are in cylindrical shape with nickel steel can and open cells are prismatic in shape, with casing in flame retardant plastic, with fluid circulation for temperature control. Nickel Metal Hydride cells have very similar properties to nickel-cadmium units, and share the same manufacturing processes and most components, except of course the hydridable anode material. They have excellent energy density by volume (up to 140 Wh/L) and are ideal for high-capacity maintenance-free units.