The last installment of this two-part series presents the province’s current and upcoming selections of lithium batteries and packs.
Li-ion and Li-polymer units constitute Guangdong province’s mainstream supply of lithium batteries and packs. These come in standard cylindrical and prismatic configurations. The main applications are mobile phones, digital still and video cameras, MP3/MP4 players, tablet PCs, laptops, GPS, RC toys, power tools and electric vehicles.
The 18650 cylindrical variants with a diameter of 18mm and a height of 65mm, and LiCoO₂ anode material are commonly used in portable electronics. These have a rated voltage of 3.6 or 3.7V, and capacity ranging from 1,000 to 2,800mAh.
The 26650 units, which are 26mm in diameter and of the same height as 18650 versions, are based on LiFePO₄. Typically applied in electric vehicles and power tools, they have a 3.2V rated voltage and 2,000 to 3,200mAh capacity.
Prismatic and Li-polymer kinds suit mostly mobile phones, GPS and MP3/MP4 players. These support 700 to 1,500mAh and come in custom sizes.
The Li-on category rules output because of its low cost, but manufacturers such as Shun Wo New Power Battery Technology Ltd direct product development efforts toward Li-polymer. This is because of the latter chemistry’s widening adoption in portable electronics, notably notebook and tablet PCs. Li-polymer variants use solid electrolytes, ensuring no leakage. They have low flammability, high power density and a good charging/discharging rate, in addition to being lightweight and low-profile.
Guangdong suppliers also offer lithium power batteries for electric vehicles. The products are categorized based on the anode materials used, which include mainly LiMn₂O₄, LiMnNiCo and LiFePO₄. Businesses such as Shenzhen Green Battery Tech Co. Ltd emphasize units adopting the last in R&D because of their elevated capacity, long life span, light weight and low cost. The maker’s latest 36V/10Ah battery pack is for electric bicycles and motorcycles.
To grow these categories, makers in the province each allocate more than $1 million for product development. Most use imported manufacturing and testing equipment. Some companies cooperate with local and foreign academic institutions to explore new cathode and anode materials.
Anode inputs are key to the battery performance. For lithium power batteries, the choice remains LiFePO₄, but the rights to its two key techniques are with Phostech of Canada, and 123 and Valence of the US. This necessitates the payment of high fees, which is a challenge to Guangdong suppliers.
To cope, domestic makers secure patents for the technologies they use. Shenzhen Green is applying for a national patent for its LiFePO₄ models. Others try to develop a new formula. They add cobalt to LiFePO₄ or improve the performance of LiMn₂O₄ to achieve a low self-discharge rate and a longer life span.
Click here to read the complete article on Global Sources.
Note: This article "Guangdong: Li-ion, Li-polymer batteries & packs lead supply" was originally published
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.