Hitachi Maxell Announces Development Of High-Power Cylindrical Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery

September 26, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. announced that it has developed an 18650-type high-power cylindrical lithium ion rechargeable battery (18mm x 65mm). In addition to realizing a high output of up to 20A, the new battery is described as having outstanding safety. Maxell will begin sample shipments at the end of 2007 and begin product shipments from spring 2008.

According to the company, in the market for mid-size rechargeable batteries, demand of high-power required products are increased for such applications as electric power tools, electrically assisted bicycles, electric motorcycles, and cordless home appliances. The batteries included in such products require large current discharges, ranging from several amps to several tens of amps. At present, those high outputs are principally achieved by using nickel-cadmium batteries or nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries. However, recently there has been a rapidly emerging trend toward the replacement of those batteries with lithium ion rechargeable batteries due to increasing concerns about environmental problems and efforts to make products lighter.

Maxell claims that it has developed a high-power cylindrical lithium ion rechargeable battery capable of large current discharges, which were regarded as an obstacle to the use of lithium ion rechargeable batteries for high-output applications. Maxell has enabled large current discharges and realized a maximum output of 20A by reducing the internal resistance of the positive electrode through the application of the company’s original technology for uniform dispersion processes and by using a specially treated negative electrode material. Further, the company claims it has realized a battery with even greater safety and reliability through the use of Maxell’s original positive electrode composition, which includes a spinel-type lithium manganese oxide that has high thermal stability, and the use of a separator that has minimal thermal contraction.

Maxell has exploited its high-precision packing technology and thin-film coating technology for magnetic tapes to develop and market high-capacity prismatic lithium ion rechargeable batteries. The company has positioned its recently developed high-powered cylindrical lithium ion rechargeable battery as one of its business projects, which are tasked with accelerating the establishment of businesses. Maxell will deploy this new battery to target what it believes is the significant demand that the market for mid-size rechargeable batteries promises.

Giving first priority to high safety levels, Maxell will continue multifaceted technology development efforts aimed at advancing performance, capacity, environment friendliness, and other product features. At the same time, the company aims to further expand its battery business by rolling out a new lineup of lithium ion rechargeable batteries.