Lithium battery & lead-acid battery
We may not know, but batteries play several important roles in daily life. They have proven to be useful, reliable, and affordable sources of power .
From car engines to medical procedures to telecommunications, batteries are often the first source of energy. They have become an important source of energy.
They are also the main source of power for most electronic wireless devices. From smartphones, laptops to watches, clocks, smoke alarms and remote controls – they’re everywhere!
Perhaps you’ve come across at least a few different types of batteries in your life. Your packaging speaks for itself; chances are that once you see them, you’ll be able to spot some types.
However, identifying each type and how to use it can be tricky and we are here to help you. In this article we will discuss the different types of batteries.
Their specifications, classifications, and terminology are also included.
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What is battery?
The Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the first battery in 1800. Since then, battery technology has been used around the world.
A battery is a collection of one or more cells that store electrical energy for powering electrical devices.
How does it work?
Chemical reactions create the flow of electrons within a circuit. The stored chemical energy is then converted into DC electrical energy.
Cell and battery
We all know how capable a battery is of delivering electrical energy. What we may not know, however, is the underlying component, which plays an important role in creating voltage and current.
The cell . This electrochemical basic unit takes over the actual energy storage in a battery.
A cell contains three main components: two electrodes and an electrolyte.
Let’s start with the electrodes. There are two types: the anode and the cathode .
The anode is the negative electrode while the cathode is the positive.
When the anode loses electrons to the external circuit, it becomes oxidized. It is also called a fuel electrode or reducing electrode.
In contrast, as soon as the cathode accepts electrons from the internal circuit, it is reduced. It is also known as the oxidation electrode.
Here the energy conversion takes place in a battery. This is due to the electrochemical oxidation-reduction reaction of a cell component.
The third element is the electrolyte . It serves as a medium for the transfer of charges in the form of ions between two electrodes.
An electrolyte is not electrically conductive, but it is ion-conductive. It is often referred to as an ion conductor.
Overall, the cells of a battery provide the necessary voltages and currents.
Different types of batteries
Electrochemical cells and batteries are classified into two types. While there are several other classifications, these two are the basics:
- Primary (not rechargeable)
- Secondary (rechargeable)
Primary batteries are not rechargeable. This means that they cannot be charged with electricity.
The secondary batteries work differently. They are ideal for charging.
A primary battery is a convenient source of power for portable electronics and devices. This includes radios, clocks, toys, lights, cameras, and more.
Since they cannot be recharged when they are empty, they are the type to “dispose of immediately” . In short, they cannot be used again.
Primary batteries are inexpensive, light, and convenient to use without maintenance. Most used in home applications are of the unicellular type.
They usually come in a cylindrical shape, such as alkaline batteries . They get their name from the electrolyte used in them: potassium hydroxide – a pure alkaline substance.
This type of primary battery is a chemical made up of zinc (Zn) and manganese dioxide (MnO2). It has a power density of 100 Wh / kg.
Other shapes and sizes of primary battery include a coin shaped battery, also known as a button cell battery . They are often used in flashlights, remote controls, wall clocks, small portable devices, and more.
The chemical composition of a button cell battery is also alkaline. But it also contains lithium and silver oxide chemicals.
These connections make this small battery more efficient and provide a constant and stable voltage. It has a power density of 270 Wh / kg.
Other types of primary batteries are:
|Alkaline (Zn / Alkaline / MnO2)||Very popular, moderate cost, high performance||The most popular primary batteries|
|Magnesium (Mg / MnO2)||High capacity, long shelf life||Military and aircraft radios|
|Mercury (Zn / HgO)||Very high capacity, long shelf life||Medicine (hearing aids, pacemakers), photography|
|Lithium / solid cathode||High energy density, low temperature performance, long shelf life||Replacement for button and cylinder cells|
|Lithium / soluble cathode||High energy density, good performance, wide temperature range||Wide range of applications with a capacity of 1 – 10,000 Ah|
|Lithium / solid electrolyte||Low power consumption, extremely long shelf life||Memory circuits, medical electronics|
|Silver / zinc (Zn / Ag2O)||Highest capacity, costly, shallow discharge||Hearing aids, photography, pagers|
|Zinc – carbon||Ordinary, inexpensive, various sizes||Radios, toys, instruments|
The main advantage of these batteries is that they can be charged and reused. Hence the other term: batteries.
Secondary batteries usually cost more than primary batteries. But because they are rechargeable, they can have a longer lifespan.
Used for two applications:
- Energy storage
- Applications where the battery is used as the primary battery and discharged
In the first application, secondary batteries supply and store energy for devices such as:
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
- Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)
This means that they are used as energy storage where they are electrically connected to the main energy source. At the same time they are charged by it and provide the required energy.
For example a UPS. It is a battery backup, especially for computers. It provides reserve power if your regular power source fails.
As for the second application, rechargeable batteries also work for portable electronics such as:
- Cell phones
- Electric vehicles
As soon as they are completely or almost discharged, they can be recharged using a charging mechanism.
For example smartphone batteries. Most models have a lithium-ion battery that will last longer if charged frequently.
This type of battery acts as its main source of power , its primary . In contrast to the standard primary batteries, lithium-ion is rechargeable and reusable.
For one, unplug your cord or charger instead of throwing it away, then plug it into an electrical outlet to charge it.
Another great example is the lead-acid batteries found in most automobiles and vehicles. It comes with a nominal voltage of 2V to 24V with a power density of 7 Wh / kg. In addition to lithium-ion, it is one of the four most important types of secondary batteries.
Other important types of rechargeable batteries are:
- Nickel – Cadmium Batteries. One of the oldest types of batteries available today. They have a very long service life and are also very reliable and robust.
- Nickel – metal hydride batteries. They are a new type of battery, an expanded version of nickel-hydrogen electrode batteries. Ideal for use in aerospace applications (satellites).
Primary and secondary batteries are both used in many devices, such as:
- Portable electronic devices: smartphones, watches, cameras, laptops, calculators, including test equipment such as multimeters.
- Entertainment: radios, MP3 and CD players, infrared remote controls, toys and games, etc.
- Household: smoke detectors, alarms, clocks, UPS, portable power tools and more.
Choose the right battery for your needs
Performance and cost are the main features to look for when buying batteries. In addition to these two, you should also consider the following:
- Primary or secondary
- Energy or power
- Energy efficiency and charge rate
- Battery life
- Battery temperature
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BATTERY by TYPE
Lithium batteries are primary batteries that have metallic lithium as an anode. These types of batteries are also known as lithium metal batteries.
They differ from other batteries in their high charge density and high unit costs. Lithium cells can generate voltages from 1.5 V (comparable to a zinc-carbon or alkaline battery) to approx. 3.7 V, depending on their design and chemical compounds.
Lithium batteries are widely used in portable consumer electronics devices. The term “lithium battery” refers to a family of distinct lithium-metal chemistries that include many types of cathodes and electrolytes, but all with metallic lithium as the anode. The battery requires 0.15 to 0.3 kg of lithium per kWh. As designed, these primary systems use a charged cathode, which is an electroactive material with crystallographic vacancies that gradually fill during discharge.
The lead-acid battery is a type of rechargeable battery that was first invented in 1859 by the French physicist Gaston Planté. It is the first type of battery ever developed. Compared to modern rechargeable batteries, lead-acid batteries have a relatively low energy density. Nevertheless, due to their ability to deliver high surge currents, the cells have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. These features, along with their low cost, make them attractive for use in automobiles to provide the high current required by starter motors.
Large format lead-acid designs are often used for storage in emergency power supplies in cell towers, high availability environments such as hospitals, and stand-alone power systems. Modified versions of the standard cell can be used for these roles to improve storage times and reduce maintenance. Gel cells and absorbed glass mat batteries are common in these roles, collectively known as VRLA batteries (valve-regulated lead acid).