Lithium Batteries for Preppers: A Guide To Staying Energized And Safe

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Lithium batteries are the latest revolution in modern life.

It is amazing to see how this technology took over the whole world. They have been such a blast that people used to technical aspects of things, like myself, can’t help but wonder what will happen when the next generation of batteries makes it to the market.

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Some batteries in the lithium category include:

  • Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO22)
  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2)
  • Lithium Titanate (LTO)
  • Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4)
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2)

All of them with different capabilities and properties and different usages. For instance, to power machines in medical environments, Titanate Oxide is widely accepted. Their self-ignition risk makes them suitable for this particular application.

Don’t get me wrong; when I started to increase my self-reliance, I bought nothing but rechargeable NiCad batteries. I knew this was the way in a country like mine. However, back then, NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) was the most common chemistry. And they are still working. A little less performance than they initially had, but after 15 years, is to be expected. They should have been discarded years ago, but I will use them until they can’t hold a charge anymore.

The thing is, I don’t want to throw them away because heavy metals are very bad for water sources, and we don’t have processing facilities nearby. There is a plant on the opposite side of the country. And it’s not like I have too much to dispose of, indeed.

Since then, lithium batteries have gone from powering our smartphones and laptops to propelling electric vehicles and storing immense amounts of solar energy.

These compact powerhouses provide exceptional energy density and convenience. But behind their brilliance lurks a dark side: the potential for catastrophic failure. I know this firsthand because of my technical background. And some interesting and “classified” experiments with chemistry (ahem).

I watched one of these batteries explode in a coworker’s laptop right on his desk, indeed, back in the early 2000s

For preppers, understanding these hazards is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of their critical energy stores.

The allure of lithium-ion

Let’s be honest, batteries are amazing. They liberate us from the constraints of cords and outlets, freeing us to explore, work, and connect wherever we want. Lithium-ion batteries, in particular, shine when it comes to efficiency and capacity at decent temperatures.

Compared to their predecessors, they hold more energy while remaining lightweight and compact, and that makes them perfect for portable electronics and off-grid power systems.

But…”with great power comes great responsibility”

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