A Complete Comparison Of Lithium Ion Vs Lithium Polymer Batteries

Lithium Ion Vs Lithium Polymer Batteries

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Introduction

It seems to be hard to decide on lithium ion batteries or lithium polymer counterparts. Each type of power bank boasts its pros and cons, making many feel confused when choosing.

To make everything much easier for you, we will share a complete comparison between lithium ion vs lithium polymer batteries.

What Makes Lithium Ion Batteries?

Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries are rechargeable power banks. When discharging, lithium ions travel from the negative electrode via an electrolyte to the positive electrode. They move back when charging.

A Lithium Ion Battery

A Lithium Ion Battery

Some typical Li-ion batteries come with high energy density, low self-discharge, and no memory effect. These batteries are also affordable and widely utilized for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

But it is worth noting that this type of battery can sport a safety risk as they have flammable electrolytes, likely leading to fires and explosions if incorrectly charged or damaged.

What Makes Lithium Polymer Batteries?

Lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries use polymer electrolytes rather than liquid electrolytes. Polymer electrolytes are formed from high conductivity semisolid polymers.

A Lithium Polymer Battery

A Lithium Polymer Battery

They offer higher specific energy than their counterparts. Manufacturers often use this type of battery in mobile devices, electric vehicles, and radio-controlled aircraft.

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What’s The Difference Between Lithium Ion And Lithium Polymer Batteries?

Chemical Electrolytes

The biggest difference between lithium ion vs lithium polymer batteries is their chemical electrolytes between negative and positive electrodes. While the Li-ion batteries feature liquid electrolytes, the LiPo counterparts come with polymer ones.

How Lithium Ion Batteries Work

How Lithium Ion Batteries Work

LiPo models utilize one of three types: gel-like electrolytes, porous chemical compounds, and dry solid. The most common type is the gel-like electrolytes widely found in the LiPo batteries of the latest electric cars and laptops.

How Lithium Polymer Batteries Work

How Lithium Polymer Batteries Work

Price

Besides, the manufacturing cost of Li-ion batteries is significantly lower than that of LiPo cells, making them more affordable. While they are inexpensive and relatively safe, you should always be cautious when purchasing this type of cell from unknown brands.

Aging

The memory effect happens when the cell suffers losses in the usable capacity from charging and discharging over time. As the LiPo cells experience a memory effect, they come with shorter durability than the Li-ion batteries.

Size & Weight

On the other hand, LiPo batteries are much lighter and more compact than Li-ion cells due to their higher energy density. That is why manufacturers prefer to use LiPo cells in their electronic devices to lower the weight of their products.

Still, it is worth noting that these devices will be more expensive as the manufacturing cost of LiPo batteries is higher than that of Li-ion cells.

Safety

When it comes to safety when used, the Li-ion is more likely to explode or catch fire when overcharged. If you do not overcharge or expose them to challenging settings, you do not need to worry about the combustion.

The LiPo is safer as there is a microporous separator to deter electrodes from touching directly. Hence, it is unlikely to have fire or explosion when using LiPo batteries.

Energy Density

Both Li-ion and LiPo cells feature high energy density, but the Li-ion batteries come with better density. In particular, the highest energy density Li-ion batteries feature 250-670 Wh/L while the LiPo batteries have 185 to 220 Wh/L on average.

Conversion Rate

Typically, the conversion rate of the LiPo batteries and Li-ion cells is 75-90% and 85-95%, respectively. The conversion rate refers to the internal battery cell’s power output at a nominal voltage.

The higher it is, the better the cell performance. So, in this case, the Li-ion batteries have better performance than the LiPo cells.

Charging Time

In terms of the time for charging, the LiPo has a better score. On average, LiPo cells take about 30 to 60 minutes to fully charge, which greatly depends on the charger’s size and the cell’s size.

Meanwhile, Li-ion batteries normally take merely 150 minutes to fully charge, but they can be charged in less than 60 minutes if they come with fast charging technology.

Verdict

Which is better battery lithium ion or lithium polymer? It is hard to decide which battery is better as they both come with great pros and few cons.

However, generally speaking, LiPo batteries are a greater option for those seeking portability, while Li-ion counterparts are ideal for those seeking durability.

Pros & Cons

Li-Ion Batteries

Pros

  High power density
  No memory effect
  Lower cost
  Long lifespan

Cons

  Suffer from aging
  Low safety due to explosion risks

Li-Po Batteries

Pros

  Robust and flexible
  Low profile
  Higher safety for avoiding leaking electrolytes

Cons

  Expensive
  Low capacity
  Shorter lifespan

Comparison Table Of Differences Between Lithium Ion And Lithium Polymer Battery

Lithium ion battery Lithium polymer battery
Aging Does not have memory effect for lasting longer Lower durability due to memory effect
Energy density Slightly higher specific energy density High density
Size Thick and big Thin and compact
Charging duration Need to be charged for a long time Come with a shorter charging time
Safety Likely to catch fire and explode when used incorrectly or damaged Higher level of safety
Conversion rate 85% – 95% 75% – 90%
Weight Heavy Lightweight
Price Affordable Expensive

Wrapping Up 

Generally, there is not much difference between lithium ion vs lithium polymer batteries.

The LiPo cells are more available in higher-end electronic devices for their compact design to reduce the weight of their products. Meanwhile, the Li-ion batteries are a better choice in terms of affordability due to the lower manufacturing cost.

Thus, it is best to make your final decision based on your preference and demand. We hope you will have a great time with your battery choice.

Should you have any further questions, feel free to let us know. Thank you for reading!


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