The Lithium Ion Battery

The Lithium Ion Battery. Why is it So Popular in SA right Now?

An increase in the demand for a clean, efficient energy supply for South Africa has escalated. The demand we refer to is for alternative methods to keep the lights on. South Africa is looking for ways to transition. This is from the dependence on coal-fired energy.

The South African market is embracing renewable energy options. These are wind energy and solar energy. A key element in this transition is the lithium-ion battery. They are ideal for storing energy generated by wind and sun. They are providing backup power we need when the grid power fails.

Why the need for Lithium-Ion Batteries? What advantages do they offer?

The reason for their popularity in South Africa is their recharging characteristics and cyclic life. They enjoy high energy density and longevity. They can be recharged 10 times faster than traditional led acid batteries and you can cycle these batteries 2000 – 5000 times, compared to a few hundred times of Lead acid batteries. This makes them the battery of choice for energy storage.

We charge the batteries when power is available (wind, solar, the grid). They then provide power when these power sources are not available.

Find Out How Lithium-Ion Batteries Work

Lithium-ion batteries work by transporting lithium ions. This occurs during charging and discharging. The key components of the cells are cathode,
anode, and electrolytes. These batteries play a vital role in today’s miniaturised and rechargeable electronics. They have some serious negatives
such as cost and limited life cycle.

     Lithium-ion batteries move ions from anodes (negative electrode) to cathodes (positive electrode).


     Ions move through an electrolyte during discharge and back again whilst charging.

     We make anodes from graphite.

     We make cathodes from lithium-containing compounds. A typical example of a lithium-containing compound is lithium cobalt oxide.

     While charging the battery, the charging voltage forces the lithium ions to move from the cathode to the anode through the electrolyte. When fully charged, all the lithium ions are at the anode.

      When we discharge the battery, the lithium ions move to the cathode.

     This creates an electrical current.

     When discharged, the difference in electrical potential across the battery causes the lithium ions to move from anode to cathode.

     The movement of the ions releases electrons.

     These flow through an external circuit to the cathode.

     This completes the electrical circuit.


Materials & construction of electrodes, separator, and electrolyte determines the capacity of the battery. The bottom line is that they last
longer than other batteries.

There are 7 Main Differences Between Li-Ion & Lead-Acid Batteries


1. The 2 batteries have a difference in energy density.

Li-ion batteries are more energy dense than lead-acid batteries. They store more energy in smaller spaces. They are best suited where space is at a premium. Typical examples include laptops, cell phones, and electric vehicles.

2. There is a difference in the chemistry.

Li-ion batteries make use of ions as the key component of the battery electrolyte. Lead-acid batteries use sulfuric acid as their major component.

3. There is a difference in the cost.

Lithium-ion batteries are usually far more expensive than your lead-acid variety. The good news is that they are becoming more affordable to Joe Public.

4. There’s a difference in the life cycle.

Lithium-ion batteries enjoy a longer life cycle than lead-acid batteries. They can recharge and discharge more than lead-acid batteries.

5. There’s a marked difference in the weight of the batteries.

This is important, as lead-acid batteries are extremely heavy and quite unmanageable. Lithium-ion batteries are a lot easier to handle. They are much lighter than lead-acid batteries.

6. Self-discharge is lower in lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries take longer to self-discharge when left standing and not connected to a load.

7. Maintenance is lower in lithium-ion batteries.

Lead-acid batteries need more care than lithium-ion batteries. This includes topping up with water and checking electrolyte levels.

Find Out More About Lithium-Ion Batteries From Uptech

We help you keep the lights on with our range of renewable devices. Let us guide you on your journey toward power independence. Find out more about what we can offer you in the way of lithium-ion batteries. We have the solutions to keep your lights on. Call us today on 010 443 9773 or contact us here. We will get back to you with solutions that will make a difference in powering your world.

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