What are Cylindrical Cells? An Intro for Those Considering Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Mechanic Training

Exploring the whole new world of hybrid and electric vehicles is definitely an exciting aspect to the auto mechanic industry. There are two main battery formats that you will find when dealing with hybrid and electric cars: the cylindrical cell and the prismatic cell. While each type of battery cell has its benefits for certain situations, the cylindrical cell has generally shown time and again to be the most convenient and adaptable of the two. 

One downfall that has caused prismatic batteries to fall behind is their tendency to short circuit due to the many positive and negative electrodes sandwiched together. It also tends to be inconsistent with dissipating heat and automation. The cylindrical cells are the improvement that the industry was looking for, and have quickly become the most commonly used cell type today. Read on to learn more about this battery format and all it has to offer.

How Do Cylindrical Cells Operate? An Overview for Those in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Mechanic Training

As an aspiring hybrid and electric vehicle mechanic, you will want to understand just how the cylindrical cells operate to provide battery power to these vehicles. This battery format involves many cells combined both in series and in parallel to increase both capacity and voltage of the battery pack. This structure is beneficial for performance because if one cell goes bad, there is little effect on the pack as a whole.

The electrodes in these cells are wound tightly and contained in a metal casing, which minimizes the electrode material from breaking up due to the mechanical vibrations. This arrangement also prevents any disruption from thermocycling or mechanical expansion of the conductors. Overall, the structure of the cylindrical cells is what sets them apart from other options and allows them to be more consistent and automated.

Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and understanding different battery formats can be helpful

Safety Components of Cylindrical Cells

Recognizing the importance of safety risks is a crucial component of your hybrid and electrical mechanic course. A concern when using lithium batteries is overheating and subsequent rupturing if they become overcharged. A notable safety feature in cylindrical cells is the internal thermal fuse between the anode and cathode that is designed to break if the cell begins to overheat. This stops the pressure from rising, and also activates the safety vent to help cool down the battery.

Another important feature of many cylindrical cells is the use of flame retardant electrolytes. With this feature, they are safer to operate without risk of catching fire. There is also an explosion-proof stainless steel cylindrical case enclosing the contents of the battery, fully protecting its surroundings should something go wrong. 

You will learn to recognize the importance of safety risks during your hybrid and electrical mechanic course

Other Advantages and Disadvantages of Cylindrical Cells

Due to the high mechanical stability as well as the innovative design, the cylindrical cells are produced with increased optimization processes such as increasing consistency and decreasing cost per unit. Additionally, many different manufacturers are able to replicate this battery format, making it more accessible and creating product uniformity.

One disadvantage of the cylindrical cell is the actual shape of the cylindrical casing. This shape doesn’t allow for maximizing space, and therefore leads to a lower packing density compared to the prismatic cells. Their shape may be a limiting factor in their level of optimization and performance in the future. Finally, the cylindrical cells require a much larger cell count, increasing the overhead for both the battery and thermal management systems of the vehicle.

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