Quick Understanding of Characteristics and Parameters of Six Common Lithium Batteries (6/6)

March 18, 2019

Lithium nickel cobalt aluminate (LiNiCoAlO2 or NCA)

Nickel cobalt lithium aluminate batteries or NCA have been used since 1999. It has high specific energy, good specific power and long service life, which are similar to NMC. Less desirable are safety and cost. Figure 11 summarizes six key features. NCA is the further development of lithium nickel oxide; adding aluminium gives the battery better chemical stability.



Figure 11: Spider chart of NCA.

High energy, power density and good service life make NCA a candidate for EV power system. High costs and marginal security have negative effects.

Summary table

Lithium nickel cobalt aluminate: LiNiCoAlO2 cathode (9% Co), graphite anode

Abbreviation: NCA or lithium-aluminium. Beginning in 1999

Voltage nominal value is 3.60V; typical operating range is 3.0-4.2V

Specific energy (capacity) 200-260 Wh/kg; predicted to reach 300 Wh/kg

Charging (C rate) 0.7C, charging to 4.20V (most batteries), typical 3-hour charging, some batteries can be quickly charged.

Discharge (C rate) 1C typical; cut-off 3.00V; high discharge rate will shorten battery life

Cycle Life 500 (Depending on Depth of Discharge, Temperature)

The typical value of thermal runaway is 150 degree C (302 degree F). High charge will lead to thermal runaway.

Applications: Medical Equipment, Industry, Electric Power Assembly (Tesla)

Notes are similar to lithium cobalt. Energy battery.

Table 12: Characteristics of lithium nickel cobalt aluminate


Lithium titanate (Li4Ti5O12)

Since the 1980s, lithium titanate anode batteries have been known. Lithium titanate replaces graphite in the anode of typical lithium ion batteries, and the material forms spinel structure. The cathode can be lithium manganate or NMC. The nominal battery voltage of lithium titanate is 2.40V, which can charge quickly and provide 10C high discharge current. It is said that the number of cycles is higher than that of conventional lithium-ion batteries. Lithium titanate is safe and has excellent discharge characteristics at low temperature. It can achieve 80% capacity at - 30 C (- 22 F).


LTO (usually Li4Ti5 O12) has zero strain, no SEI film formation and no lithium plating during rapid charging and low temperature charging, so it has better charge-discharge performance than the traditional Co-doped Li-ion and graphite anode. Thermal stability at high temperatures is also better than other lithium ion systems; however, batteries are expensive. The specific energy is low, only 65Wh/kg, which is equivalent to NiCd. Lithium titanate charged to 2.80V and discharged to 1.80V at the end of discharge. Figure 13 shows the characteristics of lithium titanate batteries. Typical uses are electric power transmission systems, UPS and solar street lamps.


Figure 13: Spider chart of lithium titanate.

Lithium titanate has excellent safety, low temperature performance and life. Efforts are being made to increase specific energy and reduce costs.

Summary table

Lithium titanate: can be lithium manganate oxide or NMC; Li4Ti 5O12 (titanate) anode

Abbreviation: LTO or Li-Titanate, began to sell around 2008.

Voltage 2.40V nominal value; typical operating range 1.8-2.85V;

Specific energy (capacity) 50-80Wh/kg

Charging (C Rate) 1C Typical; Maximum 5C, Charging to 2.85V

Discharge (C rate) 10C possible, 30C 5S pulse; LCO/LTO cut-off voltage 1.80V

Cyclic life 3,000-7,000

Thermal runaway: the safest lithium-ion battery

Application: UPS, Electric Power Assembly (Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Honda Flight EV)

Solar street lamp

Note: Long life, fast charging, wide temperature range, low specific energy and high price. The safest lithium-ion battery.