Lithium Battery Cells

Lithium battery cell is the core component of a battery. It contains key materials and structures such as lithium ions, positive electrodes, and negative electrodes, and is responsible for storing and releasing electrical energy. Lithium battery cells are currently one of the most commonly used rechargeable batteries and are widely used in mobile electronics, power tools, electric vehicles and other fields.

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Lithium Battery Cells FAQ

Which is better 18650 or 21700?

The choice between 18650 and 21700 batteries depends on the specific requirements of your application. Both battery types have their advantages and disadvantages.

18650 Batteries:

Size: 18650 batteries are smaller and lighter compared to 21700 batteries. This can be crucial in applications where space and weight are significant considerations.

Availability: 18650 batteries have been widely used in various electronic devices for many years, so they are more readily available and come in a broader range of options.

Compatibility: Many devices, such as laptops, flashlights, and vape mods, are designed to use 18650 batteries. If your device is designed for 18650 batteries, it might not accommodate 21700 batteries.

21700 Batteries:

Capacity: Generally, 21700 batteries have a higher energy density and capacity compared to 18650 batteries. This means they can store more energy and provide longer runtime.

Power: 21700 batteries often have higher power output capabilities, making them suitable for high-performance applications, such as electric vehicles and high-drain electronic devices.

Future Trend: The industry has been moving towards larger battery sizes like 21700 for higher energy density and improved performance. This could be a consideration if you are looking for a more future-proof option.

In summary, if size and weight are critical and your device is designed for 18650 batteries, then 18650 might be the better choice. However, if you need higher capacity and power output, and your device supports 21700 batteries, then 21700 might be a better fit. Always check the specifications and requirements of your specific device before choosing a battery type.

What are cells in lithium-ion batteries?

In the context of lithium-ion batteries, a "cell" refers to the basic electrochemical unit that produces electrical energy through the movement of lithium ions between the positive and negative electrodes. A single cell typically consists of several components:

Anode (Negative Electrode): The anode is typically made of a lithium-containing material, such as graphite. During discharge, lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode.

Cathode (Positive Electrode): The cathode is usually made of a lithium metal oxide. During discharge, lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode.

Separator: The separator is a porous material that keeps the positive and negative electrodes apart, preventing a short circuit while allowing the flow of lithium ions.

Electrolyte: The electrolyte is a conductive solution or gel that facilitates the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode. It also plays a crucial role in the overall performance and safety of the battery.

Current Collectors: These are conductive materials that facilitate the flow of electric current to and from the electrodes. They are usually made of materials like aluminum for the cathode and copper for the anode.

When multiple cells are combined, usually in a series or parallel configuration, they form a battery pack. The arrangement of cells in a battery pack determines the voltage, capacity, and other performance characteristics of the overall battery.

The term "cell" is often used interchangeably with "battery cell" to refer to these individual units within a lithium-ion battery. The cells can vary in size and shape, and different chemistries may be used in their construction, leading to variations in performance and characteristics.

What is a prismatic cell?

A prismatic cell is a type of lithium-ion battery cell that has a flat, rectangular or polygonal shape, as opposed to the cylindrical shape of traditional cylindrical cells (such as 18650 or 21700 cells). Prismatic cells are designed to be more space-efficient and easier to stack in a battery pack, making them suitable for certain applications where form factor and energy density are critical factors.

What is the difference between 18650 and prismatic cells?

18650 and prismatic cells are two different types of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, distinguished by their shape and design.

18650 Cells:

Shape: The name "18650" refers to the dimensions of the cell. An 18650 cell is cylindrical, with a diameter of 18mm and a height of 65mm.

Design: These cells are often used in a variety of electronic devices, including laptops, flashlights, and power tools. The cylindrical shape allows for efficient heat dissipation, and 18650 cells are known for their energy density and reliability.

Applications: Commonly used in devices where a cylindrical shape is suitable and where space efficiency is important.

Prismatic Cells:

Shape: Prismatic cells have a flat, rectangular or square shape. They are often referred to as "pouch cells" due to the flexible, pouch-like packaging.

Design: Prismatic cells can be more flexible in terms of design and packaging, allowing manufacturers to create custom shapes and sizes to fit specific devices. The lack of a rigid cylindrical casing makes them lighter and potentially more space-efficient.

Applications: Frequently used in applications where a flat, compact design is crucial, such as in thin electronic devices like smartphones and tablets.


Shape: The primary difference is in their physical shape, with 18650 cells being cylindrical and prismatic cells having a flat, rectangular or square shape.

Design Flexibility: Prismatic cells offer more flexibility in terms of design and packaging due to their flat shape, allowing for customization to fit specific device requirements.

Applications: The choice between 18650 and prismatic cells often depends on the specific needs of the device. Devices that require a cylindrical form factor may use 18650 cells, while those with space constraints or a need for a custom shape may use prismatic cells.

What are the advantages of a prismatic battery?

Prismatic batteries offer several advantages, making them suitable for specific applications and devices. Here are some of the advantages of prismatic batteries:

Compact Design: Prismatic batteries have a flat, rectangular or square shape, allowing for a more compact and space-efficient design. This is especially beneficial in applications where size and thickness constraints are critical, such as in smartphones and other slim electronic devices.

Lightweight: The absence of a rigid cylindrical casing, as found in 18650 cells, contributes to the lightweight nature of prismatic batteries. This can be advantageous in applications where weight is a significant consideration, such as portable electronic devices.

Customizable Shapes: Prismatic cells offer more flexibility in terms of design. Manufacturers can customize the shape and size of prismatic cells to better fit the specific requirements of the device they are intended for. This customization can lead to more efficient use of available space.

Enhanced Thermal Performance: The flat design of prismatic cells allows for improved heat dissipation compared to some cylindrical cells. This can contribute to better thermal performance and increased safety during operation.

Ease of Assembly: Prismatic batteries can be easier to assemble into battery packs or modules, especially in devices where a flat and modular design is preferred. The ease of assembly can simplify the manufacturing process and reduce production costs.

Aesthetic Considerations: The flat design of prismatic cells can be aesthetically pleasing and allows for more creative and integrated designs in consumer electronics, such as in the case of slim and sleek smartphones and tablets.

What is the best lithium cell?

Determining the "best" lithium cell depends on the specific requirements of the application. Different lithium-ion cell types have various characteristics, and the choice depends on factors such as energy density, size, weight, safety, and cost. Here are a few popular types of lithium-ion cells, each with its own strengths:

18650 Cells:

Advantages: Widely used, reliable, good energy density, and suitable for various applications.

Applications: Commonly found in laptops, flashlights, power tools, and other portable electronic devices.

Prismatic Cells:

Advantages: Compact design, customizable shapes, lightweight, and suitable for slim electronic devices.

Applications: Often used in smartphones, tablets, and other devices with space constraints.

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Cells:

Advantages: Flexible form factor, lightweight, high energy density, and suitable for various shapes.

Applications: Commonly used in consumer electronics, drones, radio-controlled vehicles, and wearable devices.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Cells:

Advantages: Enhanced safety, longer cycle life, and stability at high temperatures.

Applications: Used in electric vehicles, solar energy storage systems, and other applications where safety and long cycle life are critical.

Solid-State Lithium-Ion Cells:

Advantages: Potential for higher energy density, improved safety, and longer cycle life.

Applications: Still in the early stages of development, but they hold promise for electric vehicles, portable electronics, and other applications.

High-Energy-Density Cells (e.g., NMC, NCA):

Advantages: High energy density, providing longer runtime for devices.

Applications: Commonly used in electric vehicles, power tools, and high-performance electronic devices.

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