What are the advantages and disadvantages of power batteries and energy storage batteries and the types of lithium batteries

News 2023年7月19日 116

Energy storage mainly refers to the storage of electrical energy. Energy storage is also a term used in petroleum reservoirs, representing the capacity of the reservoir to store oil and gas. Energy storage itself is not a new technology, but from an industrial perspective, it has just emerged and is still in its early stages.

So far, China has not reached the level of treating energy storage as an independent industry like the United States and Japan, and has not introduced dedicated support policies. Especially in the absence of a payment mechanism for energy storage, the commercialization model of the energy storage industry has not yet taken shape.

High-power applications of battery energy storage generally use lead-acid batteries, which are mainly used for emergency power supplies, electric vehicles, and storing excess energy in power plants. For low-power applications, rechargeable batteries such as nickel-metal hydride batteries and lithium-ion batteries can also be used. Let’s follow the author to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of nine battery energy storage technologies.

Battery Energy Storage: Advantages and Disadvantages

Lead-Acid Batteries:

Main advantages:

(1)Easy availability of raw materials and relatively low cost.

(2)Good performance in high-rate discharge.

(3)Good temperature performance, capable of operating in environments ranging from -40°C to +60°C.

(4)Suitable for float charging, long service life, and no memory effect.

(5)Easy recycling of waste batteries, beneficial for environmental protection.

Main disadvantages:

(1)Low specific energy, typically around 30-40 Wh/kg.

(2)Shorter service life compared to Cd/Ni batteries.

(3)Manufacturing process prone to environmental pollution, requiring the installation of waste treatment equipment.

Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries:

Main advantages:

(1)Significant improvement in energy density compared to lead-acid batteries, with weight energy density of 65 Wh/kg and volume energy density increased to 200 Wh/L.

(2)High power density, capable of large current charging and discharging.

(3)Good low-temperature discharge characteristics.

(4)Extended cycle life (up to 1000 cycles).

(5)Environmentally friendly and non-polluting.

(6)Relatively mature technology compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Main disadvantages:

(1)Normal operating temperature range is -15°C to 40°C, with poor high-temperature performance.

(2)Low operating voltage, with a working voltage range of 1.0-1.4V.

(3)More expensive than lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries, but with lower performance compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-Ion Batteries:

Main advantages:

(1)High specific energy.

(2)High voltage platform.

(3)Good cycling performance.

(4)No memory effect.

(5)Environmentally friendly and non-polluting. Currently one of the most promising power batteries for electric vehicles.


Main advantages:

(1)High power density.

(2)Short charging time.

Main disadvantage:

Low energy density, typically only 1-10 Wh/kg. Supercapacitors have a short driving range, making them unsuitable as the main power source for electric vehicles.

Fuel Cells

Main advantages:

(1)High specific energy, enabling long driving range for vehicles.

(2)High power density, capable of large current charging and discharging.

(3)Environmentally friendly and non-polluting.

Main disadvantages:

(1)Complex system, with poor technological maturity.

(2)Delayed development of hydrogen supply system.

(3)Requires high-quality air, with strict requirements on air pollution. Due to severe air pollution in China, the lifespan of fuel cell vehicles domestically is relatively short.

Sodium-Sulfur Batteries(h3


(1)High specific energy (theoretical 760 Wh/kg; actual 390 Wh/kg).

(2)High power (discharge current density up to 200-300 mA/cm2).

(3)Fast charging (fully charged in 30 minutes).

(4)Long lifespan (15 years or 2500-4500 cycles).

(5)Non-polluting and recyclable (near 100% recovery rate for Na and S).

(6)No self-discharge, high energy conversion efficiency.


(1)High operating temperature, typically around 300-350 degrees Celsius, requiring heating and insulation during battery operation, resulting in slow start-up.

(2)Expensive, costing thousands of yuan per kilowatt-hour.

(3)Poor safety.

Flow Batteries (Vanadium Batteries) (h3


(1)Safe and capable of deep discharge.

(2)Scalable, with no limitations on tank size.

(3)High charge and discharge rates.

(4)Long lifespan and high reliability.

(5)No emissions and low noise.

(6)Fast charge and discharge switching, only requiring 0.02 seconds.

(7)Site selection is not limited by geography.


(1)Cross-contamination of positive and negative electrolytes.

(2)Some may require expensive ion exchange membranes.

(3)Large volume of two solutions, resulting in low specific energy.

(4)Low energy conversion efficiency.

Lithium-Air Batteries:

Fatal flaw:

The solid reaction product, lithium oxide (Li2O), accumulates on the positive electrode, blocking the contact between the electrolyte and air, resulting in discharge interruption. Scientists believe that lithium-air batteries have a performance ten times that of lithium-ion batteries and can provide energy equivalent to gasoline. Lithium-air batteries charge by absorbing oxygen from the air, allowing for smaller and lighter battery designs. Many laboratories worldwide are researching this technology, but without significant breakthroughs, commercialization may still require another 10 years.

Lithium-Sulfur Batteries (Lithium-sulfur batteries are a highly promising high-capacity energy storage system) 


(1)High energy density, with a theoretical energy density of up to 2600 Wh/kg.

(2)Low raw material costs.

(3)Low energy consumption.

(4)Low toxicity.

Although lithium-sulfur battery research has undergone several decades and has achieved significant progress in the past 10 years, there is still some distance to go before practical applications.