Most batteries that are familiar to us, including lithium-ion batteries, have a long, round shape. Why is that?
Here is the answer.
Different Battery Types by Their Shapes
Batteries can be categorized into pouch, prismatic, and cylindrical types by their shapes. They are the same in that they are made by assembling the cathode, anode, separator, and electrolyte, but the different forms determine the classification. Other differences include energy density as well as the production process and difficulty.
Advantages of Cylindrical Batteries
Among the three forms, cylindrical batteries are most common. Indeed, they are the first type that comes to our mind when we think of batteries. These batteries have the longest history and are easy to make with the winding method that includes bending the cathode and anode like a toilet paper roll.
The biggest advantage of cylindrical batteries is the competitive price. Since a lot of large manufacturers have standardized facilities, cylindrical batteries can be produced in substantial quantities faster than prismatic or pouch types. There are also international standards and criteria set for them as these batteries are produced and used widely.
Numbers Indicate the Size
Most of the cylindrical batteries come in two formats: 18650 and 21700. Then there is 4680(0) still under development.
21700, 18650, and 4680(0) are all the names and sizes of cylindrical batteries. So, a “18650 battery” refers to one with 18 mm diameter, 65 mm length, and a cylindrical (0) shape.
That being said, larger battery size means higher storage capacity.
From Small Gadgets to Electric Vehicles: All-Rounder Battery
Cylindrical batteries were first mounted in a small IT device in 2001, when LG Chem (before the spinoff of LG Energy Solution) became the world’s first mass-producer of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for laptops. Later, they were introduced to larger electronic devices such as power tools and vacuum cleaners. Their types came to vary, and they were favored for devices that need intense power instantly.
Cylindrical batteries are currently considered to be an all-rounder in the field of batteries, as they are used even for EVs and ESS now, as well as low-emission vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters.
The Future of Cylindrical Batteries
The “4680” battery is definitely a rising star in the field of cylindrical battery in 2022. A lot of research and development are going on already. Market expectations are significantly high since this next-generation battery can offer higher energy density and energy output with its 45 mm diameter × 80 mm length.
How would cylindrical batteries evolve further?
In the following content, we will look into each type of cylindrical batteries in detail that you don’t want to miss!