LiON rechargeable batteries have been believed to be the next generation of rechargeable batteries that will come to replace NiMH. But recent high-profile LiON battery fires on jetliners has tech analytics questioning the long-term safety and viability of the technology.
If you follow tech news, then you know that LiON rechargeable batteries have quickly become the gold standard in the world of consumer electronics. The vast majority of mobile electronic devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops all use powerful, high capacity LiON battery packs to run their systems, while even some of the top battery manufacturers now offer LiON batteries in AA and AAA varieties for digital cameras, camera flashes, and other high-profile electronics.
The reason for the rise in popularity of the LiON is simple: it is a high-output, high-capacity battery that gives complex electronics the sustained power they need to run powerful onboard processors, high-resolution displays, and other hardware components. But while all of these benefits of LiON rechargeable batteries are indeed true, the safely and stability of the LiON battery cell is now being called into question.
Recently, there has been a spate of incidents involving LiON rechargeable batteries catching fire on jetliners, promping a full investigation into the cause of the fires. What is currently known is that the fires were not caused by pilot error or other external conditions, but rather from the design itself. the IBTimes reminds us that there were “a series of manufacturer recalls of laptops in the mid-2000s [that] brought widespread attention to the risk, however slight, of smoking or flaming lithium-ion batteries.” Now, this curren story brings concern over the technology again:
The investigation has yet to identify the precise cause of the battery fires, but the grounding of the model’s fleet in commercial service, which numbered 49 at the start of last year, shows investigators and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) are taking the matter seriously—perhaps more seriously than Japan, which eased safety regulations in 2008 to expedite the introduction of the plane because it features technology innovated there, according to a Reuters exclusive published Monday.
This problem, however, it not simply with industrial-grade LiON rechargeable batteries that are used on the airplanes themselves — analysts are concerned that the actual consumer-grade batteries that are stowed away in luggage are also at risk, though the reason is not yet clearly known.
The issue once again puts NiMH rechargeable batteries back into the spotlight, since time and time again, the NiMH cell has proven itself to be the most stable, reliable, and affordable rechargeable technology out there. This is why many battery cells in hybrid automobiles use NiMH over LiON.
If problems persist with LiON batteries, don’t be surprised if NiMH gets a second look even for high-end electronic battery packs as well.
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