With lithium-ion technology in our batteries, N1 Critical Technologies has made the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system more advanced than ever. We’ve revolutionized the industry. But it wasn’t easy.
Batteries have a long, rich history, and the introduction of N1 Critical’s Lithium-Ion UPS system is only to going to make the future of battery technology more exciting.
You could say the battery evolution has become a revolution with industries beyond UPS manufacturers using lithium-ion. We just happened to be the first!
Lets take a short look at this history of batteries and where we are today with the latest and greatest found inside our powerful, long-lasting UPS systems!
Essentially, batteries are electro-chemical storage that can release and transform energy that can be transformed into electrical power. They are really mini chemical reactors, allowing the transfer and flow of electrons between an anode and cathode, making it possible to power up connected devices.
The “Baghdad Battery” may be the first “battery” made by man. We use the term loosely as its use is still debated. The device was originally discovered by the Director of the Baghdad Museum in 1938. This early battery-like device — possibly dating back to ancient Mesopotamia (250BC) — consisted of a small, five-inch-long clay jar containing a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod. Producing barely any voltage or current, its early use was unknown. Some theories include electroplating metals, making mystical tingling idols, or magical rituals.
It was U.S. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who coined the word “battery” back in 1749 when he conducted different experiments on electricity by using a string of capacitors linked with each other.
However, the first undisputed real battery that is considered the ancestor of all batteries today was invented in 1799 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta.
He put copper and zinc discs on top of each other with clothes that are soaked in saltwater separating each one. Then, he attached wires on each end of the stack and found out that it produced a stable and continuous current. The whole set was called a “cell” and it was capable of producing nearly 1 “volt” (a term coined after Alessandro Volta).
Currently, batteries are produced in many different sizes, from giant room-sized batteries with Megawatts of stored power (enough to supply power to some small inhabited islands), to the miniature button battery we can find in our watches and hearing aids. Today’s more advanced batteries use lithium-ion technology (more on that below) are used to power up our N1 Critical UPS systems, smartphones, laptops, electric and hybrid cars and more.
Primary or Rechargeable?
A primary battery is one that does not allow reversing of electron-producing reactions. This means that when they are already out of electrons, they die and can no longer power equipment.
Replacing batteries is a pain. So, inventors looked for and found ways to recharge batteries.
The first rechargeable batteries were a lead acid variety, which then, as now, are often very heavy for the amount of energy it can hold. This is fine for application where weight isn’t a problem, but there are other drawbacks, such as a limited number of discharges and recharges, as well as poor performance in harsh operating environment.
Other battery types have been developed since, including common nickel-iron batteries, zinc-carbon batteries, alkaline batteries, nickel-hydrogen and nickel metal-hydride and the latest, lithium-ion batteries.
The Future lies with Lithium-Ion Batteries
As technology develops and we become more technology-dependent as a society, the demand for safer, more compact, and larger capacity rechargeable batteries has grown. Lithium was experimented with in batteries in the the early 1910s and it came to market in the 1970s in button batteries. Lithium-ion batteries were first commercialized in the early 1990s by Sony and are commonly used today in many household applications.
There are several chemistries that fall into the “Lithium-Ion” family of batteries, according to BatteryUniversity.com.
Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) is popular with such devices as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and cameras for its high specific energy in a small package. However, it is more prone to thermal runaway.
Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) is not very common today, but has been used in such applications as power tools, medical instruments and some hybrid and electric vehicles.
The more popular choice for power tool and electric vehicle batteries has been Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC). Nickel-based systems have higher energy density, lower cost, and longer cycle life than the cobalt-based cells but they have a slightly lower voltage.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) (the chemical makeup of N1 Critical’s UPS batteries) is catching on as a preferred battery of choice in UPS applications due to its high energy density with relative safety and stability (vs. other types of lithium-ion battery chemistries, such as lithium-cobalt batteries). According to BatteryUniversity.com, Lithium Iron Phosphate offers good electrochemical performance with low resistance. The key benefits of such batteries — again, making them a perfect choice for UPS systems — are high current rating and long cycle life, plus good thermal stability and enhanced safety and tolerance if the batteries are abused.
Two other lithium-ion battery chemistries — Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) and Lithium Titanate (Li4Ti5O12) — are used in speciality applications, primarily due to cost.
With lithium-ion technology in its batteries, N1 Critical Technologies has made the UPS system more advanced than ever. Lithium-ion offers tremendous advantages that far exceed just about anything else in the market today!