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Battery or rechargeable battery?

The term battery is used both as a generic term for energy storage and as a name for a non-rechargeable energy storage device (primary battery). Whether a device uses a non-rechargeable primary battery (e.g. long-term use in a wristwatch) or a rechargeable battery (e.g. in an electric vehicle) depends on the application.

A battery stores energy by connecting several galvanic cells. Originally these were not rechargeable. Nowadays, no distinction is made between batteries, accumulators or galvanic secondary cells, which is why the energy storage modules installed in electric cars are often referred to as batteries. 

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What is a battery?

A battery or more correctly an accumulator is a rechargeable energy storage device. The term vehicle battery is actually not physically correct, but is used colloquially. When buildinge-vehicles These power storage systems are an important component. Many manufacturers now use them instead of the outdated onesLead gel batteries the more modern oneslithium-ion batteries. These are also called Li-ion batteries and are chemical energy storage devices for electrical current that you can recharge very often without losing their storage capacity.

Because the energy density of Li-ion batteries is higher than other types of batteries, they are now the most commonly used storage technology. You can find lithium-ion batteries everywhere in smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras or evenElectroautos,e-scooters,e-mopeds ore-bikes. Large batteries for e-bikes or even electric cars typically consist of many small battery cells strung together, the so-called accumulators. The light metalLithium itself is safely packaged in the cell housing as a charge carrier in a wide variety of compounds and material pairings.

In principle, batteries can also be made of other materials such as iron phosphate or lead gel.

What is a lithium air battery?

Thanks to their high energy content, lithium-air batteries enable energy to be stored efficiently. The storage capacity increases many times over that of a conventional lithium-ion battery. This improves performance and savesprovides higher charging capacities for electric vehicles, which are no longer inferior to the range of their gasoline-powered competitors. In addition to lithium, atmospheric oxygen is used as a chemical energy source. Intensive research is currently being carried out on this cost-effective variant in order to increase its service life and reduce voltage losses.

What is a lithium iron phosphate battery?

The LFP battery is a variant of a lithium battery that does not contain the substancesKobalt and nickel. Likewise, the proportion oLithiums reduced. The dreaded one Memory effect no longer exists in this battery form. LFP batteries also have high cycle stability, self-discharge is classified as low and the battery is far less sensitive to temperature. The risk of fire is significantly reduced, which makes them particularly safe.

Compared to classic lithium-ion batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries have the disadvantage of a significantly lower energy density. This means to achieve the same usual performancen, you need significantly more cells. With the same weight, the LFP battery has a slightly shorter range, but can be recharged more quickly.

The LMFP battery - lithium manganese iron phosphate battery - is a variant of the LFP batteries that uses the existing lattice structure of iron phosphate, but also uses manganese. This can increase capacity by around 15% and improve cycle stability. The lithium iron phosphate batteries are now used in approx.Quarter of all e-cars produced, especially in Tesla Model 3 or BYD vehicles.

What is a sodium-ion battery?

The sodium-ion battery (SIB - sodium-ion-battery) uses ions of the alkali metal sodium to store electrical energy. The expensive lithium is completely dispensed with. Furthermore, questionable substances such as copper, cobalt or nickel are not used. Sodium is one of the cheap elements because it is abundant in the form of table salt. This causes the fallen the procurement costs of the battery components are cheaper.

Sodium-ion batteries can be completely discharged and recharge very quickly. The batteries can withstand several 10,000 charging and discharging cycles without showing any weaknesses.  A deep discharge does not damage the battery, it prevents short circuits and there is no risk of fire. This means that sodium-ion batteries are not considered dangerous goods when transported.

The much cheaper batteries are said to have a lower capacity per unit volume than lithium-ion batteries. However, this could be compensated for by the fast charging capability. 

The Chinese manufacturer is leading the development and production of sodium-ion batteries.CATL market leading.

The Chinese manufacturer of electric mopeds, NIU Technologies, announced the equipment of the first models SIB from 2023 to reduce production costs.

What is a solid state battery?

A further development stage in battery technology is the solid-state battery. In contrast to the lithium-ion battery, which has a liquid ion conductor and is therefore sensitive to deep discharge and overheating, the solid-state battery uses an electrolyte made of solid material. The electrodes are also made of solid material. The higher energy density allows for greaterRichdistance and shorter loading time. In contrast to the previous liquid conductor, the risk of fire with a solid-state battery is greatly reduced.The use of cobalt should also be significantly reduced. 

What is the memory effect?

You often hear that basically all batteries are affected by the so-called “memory effect” and lose energy capacity if they are charged too early. The memory effect was discovered by NASA engineers in the 1960s. They noticed that the batteries installed in a satellite lost capacity over time. After repeated partial discharges, the batteries only provided as much energy as was previously charged. 

The memory effect primarily occurs with nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCd), which are often installed in cordless tools. The effect is caused by crystal formation on the cathode made of cadmium. The battery “remembers” the level of partial discharge through repeated short-term charging and only makes this “remembered” amount of energy available during further use. If the performance of the battery decreases, the operating time of the battery-operated device is automatically reduced. The result: In practice, the battery has to be charged more and more frequently. In the worst case, it becomes unusable at an early stage.


But are the batteries installed in electric vehicles also affected by this loss of capacity?

No! The memory effect is no longer detectable in modern Li-ion batteries because their cell chemistry is completely different than the NiCD and NiMH cells used previously.

How long does a battery last and what is the SoH?

The lifespan of a battery cannot be quantified in years. The number of charging cycles is more important for the wear and tear of the storage technology. This value describes how often and to what extent you can discharge and recharge the battery. A complete charging cycle includes fully charging a completely empty battery - i.e. from 0 to 100 percent. WIf your battery is instead only charged from 75 to 100 percent, that corresponds to a quarter cycle. Four such kuA few charging processes would therefore be equivalent to a complete cycle. In practice, however, a complete charging cycle very rarely takes place because there is usually still a little current or remaining range in the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries now retain 80% or even more of their original capacity even after 800-1,200 complete charging cycles. An example: if you charge your electric scooter with a range of 120 km once a week, you will still have almost 100 km of range available after 15 years.

It tells you how healthy a battery isSoH value from, the state of health. This is  100% at the time of manufacture and decreases over time and use. The SOH of a battery can be determined using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). An impedance profile is determined over a defined frequency range within a few minutes. Various measured values of the alternating voltage and temperature of the cell are evaluated. Often there are also simple approximations by recording the number of Charge-discharge cycles, the total current consumption, the age over time or the temperature change during a defined discharge provide information about the SOH of a battery. So just drive and observe whether and how the charging behavior changes, then you usually get a good feeling that you can assess the SOH yourself.

What is meant by the capacity of a battery?

The capacity of a battery indicates how much electrical charge can be stored. The battery capacity is given in ampere hours (Ah). Technically, it describes how long (in hours) the battery is able to deliver a certain current (measured in amps).

Here is an example: A battery that lasts exactly 10 hours (10 h).ampere (1 A) has a capacity of 10 amp hours (10 Ah). However, the capacity specification is becoming more and more commonWatt hours (Wh) because this takes the voltage into account and makes different battery types easier to compare. You calculate this amount of energy by multiplying the amp hours by the respective voltage of the battery. Example: 10Ah × 26volt = 260 Wh. On the other hand, a 10 Ah battery with a voltage of 36 volts would store 360 watt hours and give you a larger oneRange make possible.

What is the SoC?

SoC - State of Sharge - is translated as the current state of charge of a battery. As with the SoH, the value is given in percent. If the battery is fully charged, the SOC is at 100%, if the battery is empty it is at 0%. 

What is a Battery Management System (BMS)?

The battery management system (BMS) is a central component of a lithium-ion battery. This electronic control protects the battery and ensures constant performance. The BMS controls power input and output. If defined limit values are exceeded or fallen below, the BMS switches off the battery and thus prevents damage. Prevent itrt both overcharging and deep discharging of the battery cells. A well-functioning battery management system guarantees reliability, high efficiency and longevity.

What is meant by charging losses?

Have you ever spilled a little petrol or diesel when filling up your combustion engine? Sure, that happens to the best of us. In principle, it is of course not possible to “spill” electricity, but in theory this happens every time you use yourElectric vehicle loads. These are the so-called charging losses. 

Charging losses mean that not all of the energy used during the charging process actually reaches the battery. This means that unfortunately a little more power is required to really fully charge the battery. Because the traction batteries of the electric car can only store direct current, but alternating current is supplied from the power grid, this has to be done.On-board charger convert this current into direct current. Significant losses already arise here. Loading at homewhalelbox Normally takes place in three phases (instead of single phase) and therefore with a higher charging power. When charging with alternating current, the rule of thumb applies: the higher the charging power, the shorter the charging process, and the lower the charging losses. Charging on the wallbox with maximum charging power is ultimately more cost-effective than slow charging with higher charging losses. However, you shouldn't always charge the battery to full 100% anyway in order to extend the life of your vehicle battery. How efficiently an electric vehicle charges depends on various factors, including the manufacturer, the battery size and the type of battery. You can find a comparison of different manufacturers at ADAC.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, charging loss means you're paying a little more for charging than you actually get. The charging provider bills you for the entire amount of electricity charged - including the “lost” part. But we are sure that research and development will also make progress here in the future!

What is a Rapidgate?

Rapidgate refers to the limitation of the charging and driving performance of an electric car due to repeated rapid charging in short, successive intervals. The term first appeared at the beginning of 2018 and referred to reports of the Nissan Leaf with a 40 kWh battery. Fast charging on oneDC-Charging station heats up the battery. In order to extend the life of the battery, Rapidgate uses a mechanism that limits the charging speed.

What does the second life of a battery mean?

The end of one's lifeevehicle achieved, but the battery can still be used even after years of use. Even after 15 years, e.g. B. the battery of onee-mopeds still 80 percentcharging stationcapacity exhibit. It doesn't necessarily have to bebe disposed of.

For example, it can serve as an electricity storage facility for excess energy from wind or solar energy for another 10 years. This means that several accumulators, combined to form a large energy storage system, have a “second life” in industrial plants or in the domestic power grid that is linked to photovoltaic systems. Used batteries are also used for power bufferingFast charging stations or emergency power supply. If, after a certain period of time, you notice a significant loss of performance even with this secondary use, the components of the battery can be damaged within the framework of theBattery recycling be recycled.

And what does Coldgate mean?

In addition to temperatures that are too high, very low temperatures are also bad. A cold battery can absorb less power. We speak of the so-called coldgate when the charging performance drops when the outside and battery temperatures are too low. The charging current is limited by a cold battery and the speed slows down. It can happen that the downtime at the fast charging station is significantly longer than previously planned. Using a battery heater helps here. Although this also uses some energy, it can increase charging efficiency enormously if it is activated a few minutes before the charging process begins.

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