Pouch, prismatic, and cylindrical cells are all key players in the realm of rechargeable batteries, each with its unique strengths. However, for those seeking a battery solution that combines flexibility, customization, and efficiency, pouch cells are increasingly becoming the go-to option.
In the world of rechargeable batteries, pouch cells stand out as a versatile and innovative choice. We are going to explore why these flats, lightweight powerhouses are making waves in the electronics industry.
SHAPE AND DESIGN: POUCH CELLS
Shape: Flat, rectangular, or pouch-like.
Design: Flexible, with a soft, flat, and lightweight structure. They often have a laminated aluminium or polymer outer casing.
Applications: Commonly used in smartphones, tablets, and laptops due to their thin and customizable form factor.
Pouch cells can have higher energy densities due to their lightweight shell material, and prismatic and cylindrical cells typically have a lower energy density, with cylindrical having the lowest, meaning they store less energy for a given volume or weight when assembled into a battery. The low packing density of cylindrical cells is due to the unused space between them after assembly into a battery. Prismatic cells can have higher energy density per given volume than pouch cells due to the efficiency of the stacking method, however they mostly have lower energy density per given weight due to their heavy shell material; this makes pouch cells more suitable for applications where maximizing energy storage in a compact space is crucial. The specific energy density will depend on the chemistry and size of the cell, because some electrolyte and electrode combinations will have better energy densities, and different sizes of the cell formats will have different ratios of packaging to active materials.
Pouch cells offer more flexibility in terms of shape and size, allowing manufacturers to customize the battery to fit specific device designs. This flexibility, pared with their low weight is especially important in consumer electronics.
COOLING AND HEAT DISSIPATION
While heat management is vital for all battery types, pouch cells have effective cooling methods available, such as utilising the tab component with high thermal conductivity. This ensures pouch cells maintain longevity, even in demanding conditions
DURABILITY AND IMPACT RESISTANCE
While prismatic and cylindrical cells are known for their durability due to rigid casings, pouch cells require extra protection. However, their unique attributes more than compensate for their need.
Each type of cell has its own manufacturing process, with cylindrical cells being one of the most mature and widely produced types.
In cylindrical cells the anode and cathode a two long foil strips that are wound on a cylindrical mandrel, described as a jelly roll. Their construction is simple and established, leading it to become the most produced and uniform cell format. In a prismatic cell anodes, cathodes, and separators are stacked or jelly rolled. They are stacked similar to the method used in pouch cells however in prismatic cells the electrode plates require a clamping mechanism to connect all the anodes together to the main terminal post.
In pouch cells the electrodes are prepared, stacked and assembled with the other components in a controlled environment, and filled with electrolyte before being sealed into the cell pouch foil.
Pouch cells are commonly used in slim and compact devices, and where weight reductions are needed. Examples are drones and wearable devices. Prismatic cells are used in various devices where a more robust and compact form factor is needed. Examples include forklift trucks and home energy storage. Cylindrical cells find applications in both small devices such as flashlights, and high-capacity applications like EVs and energy storage.
Pouch cells – The Future of Compact Power
Choosing the right battery cell is all about aligning your specific needs with the ideal technology. For applications demanding slimness, adaptability, and high energy density, pouch cells are emerging as the superior choice. Their lightweight, customizable design and efficient cooling methods make them an increasingly attractive option in the world of battery technology. When it comes to powering the future of compact electronics, pouch cells are leading the way.